Top 5 Resources for Free Images

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It’s a continuous struggle for e-learning developers and designers to find quality free images. Since we need loads of images for our courses, it’s not always feasible to buy images from stock photography sites. There’s always a budget constraint!

So, here is my list of top 5 websites that offers free images. Please note that I have done a quick job using PowerPoint while creating the examples. I am sure your designer will do a much better job while creating an actual session.

5. Free Images:  This website offers 6,000+ images divided in 84 categories. It has some useful categories for e-learning developers like workplace, industries and so on. You need to sign up for a free account in order to access all images. Images are of not out of the world. However, they will look alright if you combine them with a professional design. Here is an example:

Example Free Photo
An illustrative course screen created with a free photo from ‘Free Images.’

4. Open Photo: Open Photo is a collection of user generated photographs offered free under ‘Creative Commons’ licenses. The site looks pretty armature, but it has the photographs neatly arranged under different categories. There are some pretty good photos that can be used straight in an e-learning scenario, like this one.

An illustrative scenario screen created with a free photo from ‘Open Photo.’
An illustrative scenario screen created with a free photo from ‘Open Photo.’

3. Stock Xchange: Stock Xchange is actually quite well known among designers. It was launched in 2011 and today it claims to have 2,500,000 registered users and around 400,000 photos online. This site almost feels like a professional stock photo site. There is category drop down that neatly allows you to views images. Under each category it offers further sub categories. For example, under the category ‘Business’ you can further drill down to sub-categories like people, meetings, offices and so on.   The quality of the photos is quite professional. These can be directly adapted in to a design. Here is an example:

An illustrative screen created with a free photo from ‘Stock Xchange.’
An illustrative screen created with a free photo from ‘Stock Xchange.’

2. Morgue File: Yes, it’s a strange name! The term ‘morgue file’ is actually an advertising industry term which means an inactive job. This website provides free high resolution images and illustrations. The images offered by this website are quite useful in designing the front page of your e-learning course which may require a full screen high resolution image. Here is an example:

An illustrative cover screen created with a free photo from ‘Morgue File.’
An illustrative cover screen created with a free photo from ‘Morgue File.’

1. Compfight: Compfight is my favorite free image search engine by far. This is a site that searches images from the Flickr database. Therefore, you have access to literally millions of images uploaded by Flickr users. The site is easy to use and looks very professional. This site provides the facility to filter images based on license. Here is a presentation entirely created by using images from Compfight.

Let me know if you found these resources useful. Do you know about any other similiar resources? Please add them in the comments section. 
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