Cheesy and bad free stock photos mocked by EveryPixel campaign

Image: Depositphotos

Most stock libraries offer a small selection of free images, as a taster of their offerings – and a way to get you to hand over your email address so they can market to you later.

These images are constantly changing, and the quality of these images can be variable – some are reasonable, a few can be really great, and some are so bad as to make you wonder how they would make you think that the library behind them had anything to offer the competent designer. Maybe it's reverse psychology to lure you in with poor free stock images, convince you that free images are just awful and that you'll just have to go buy stock images instead.

This is the approach favoured by stock search engine Everypixel, which lets you search the likes of iStock, Shutterstock, BigStock, Offset, Depositphotos, Dreamstime and more (thought not Adobe Stock). Everypixel's has created a newsletter that you can signup to discover what's new and free from those sites. You can sign up for it here.

Everypixel is upfront about the quality of these images, calling them 'weakly' rather than 'weekly' and saying "Sometimes it's looks nice. Sometimes not so,  but it's still free anyway. You don't lose anything."

Instead, Everypixel would prefer you to search through the paid libraries it works with, for which is takes a cut of every sale made (full disclosure: so do we from links to iStock, Shutterstock et al – it doesn't affect our editorial judgement as we likely get a cut whichever library you go to to purchase).

Talking down free images might seem a little odd from a site that also lets you search 22 free image sites. But most of these have a lot of rubbish on them too.

So maybe instead you should check out our guide to the best stock photos and images.

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