iStock: Free Images and How to Get Them

istock photo overview

Every cheap stock photography vendor out there can help you find good quality images for a decent price.  But very few go above and beyond and actually offer regular free photos for download.  And when vendors do offer free downloads, it’s usually only as a promotional deal or only the lowest quality images in their library.  But iStock flips all of that on it’s head, and actually some great quality free stock photos to it’s users on a regular basis.  Here’s everything you need to know about iStock free images and how to benefit from them.

iStock Offers Free Weekly Images to Members


In order to benefit from iStock’s free image offerings, you need to sign up as a member on their site.  Signing up for a membership is free and easy, and only takes a few seconds to do.  And don’t worry, membership doesn’t mean that you have to pay for a subscription.  Just sign up for an account, and you get access to iStock’s free images every week.

Once you are a member, you can download iStock’s weekly free image to use however you like, for as long as you like.  Every week, iStock posts one free image from their library. Images are somewhat random, but are all high quality and definitely useful for a lot of different purposes.  In addition, they also offer one free illustration per week, which can be great for website design and adding some graphical content to your site.  iStock also posts one free audio clip and one free video clip each week as well, all for free use for all commercial purposes.

Don’t Rely on iStock’s Free Images Alone

istock-free images

iStock free images can be a great way to add some free stock photos to your content, but you shouldn’t rely on them entirely for a few reasons.  First off, the one free image per week probably won’t be enough for most users with bigger needs.  Second, you should keep in mind that every iStock member has access to the same free images and illustrations every week.  That doesn’t mean you can’t use them for your commercial needs, but it does mean that if you rely on them entirely, you won’t have any real chance of standing out.  Overall, iStock’s free image offerings are great and fun, and a good way to get a taste of stock photography, but one image a week won’t satisfy the appetites of most users.