Design & Development

Tutorial: Sources for Free Stock Photography, Icons

Knowing where to find free stock photography and stock icons can be helpful when running an ecommerce website.

In this video tutorial, I will review my top picks for websites providing free stock photography and stock icons. I will also briefly discuss the licensing that comes with stock content.


Stock.XCHNG is a good source for free, high-resolution stock photography that can be used commercially. While a majority of the images available there allow for commercial use without attribution, it is always important to double-check the licensing associated with the image you plan to use. There are some images on Stock.XCHNG that require either permission or attribution. The site requires registration to download the images, but registration is free and takes just a few minutes.


Everystockphoto is a search engine for finding free stock photography. It offers a number of powerful tools including “Most Popular” searches and “Sort By” features. Because many of the stock photos available from Everystockphoto are pulled from separate stock photography websites, you will need to review the appropriate licensing, and in the case of Stock.XCHNG, will still need a registered account to view high resolution photos.

Flickr Creative Commons

Some images on are from Flickr Creative Commons. You can use those images if proper attribution is given to the original artist or photographer. I’ll take you to the Creative Commons page on Flickr and briefly go over the different types of licensing that apply to the images there. While many of the images found in the Flickr Creative Commons are not available for commercial use, there are many terrific images that you can use commercially if you include author attribution.


If you are looking for free, quality stock icons that can be used commercially, I recommend IconFinder. While reviewing IconFinder, I will show you how to sort through icons to ensure that you are only viewing those with commercial licenses. Again, it is important to double-check the licensing of any content you plan to use, and in the case of IconFinder, look for any associated “Read Me” files as well.

Not only does IconFinder have a wide range of quality icons from a number of contributing artists, and the ability to sort icons by commercial availability, it also has an open API, allowing developers to integrate IconFinder into their websites or applications.

Drew Coffin

Drew Coffin

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