Lesson Learned: Stock Photos don’t have to be cheesy

For stock photos not being used by everyone else, try Barn Images and Photo Forest

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Using stock photos is tricky business. How many times have you thought this?

UGH!!!  I JUST used that same stock photo with my last blog post!! Why does she always use the same ones I use??

It’s happens all the time.  Maybe it’s because you and “she” have similar good taste.

But more likely, it’s because you are getting your stock photos from the same few places you can rely on to get ones that are free AND non-cheesy.  Most of us know about Pixabay, Unsplash and Death to Stock, but here are some lesser-known sources where you can get non-cheesy, not-used-by-everybody-on-the-internet stock photos … some free, some reasonably priced.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase through these links. Thanks for supporting Do A New Thing!


Started by Christian photographer Ben White, you may recognize some of the pictures at ChristianPics.co from Unsplash or other free sites.  But did you ever wish you had something similar, but from a slightly different angle? Or a little different expression on the face?  I love that Ben has posted full photo sessions so you have a lot of choices.  There are tons of faith-based images and BONUS!  A picture of a Bible open to each book! Love it!  Ben also has an active Facebook group for ChristianPics.co  members where you can request specific shots you are looking for!  Here are some of my favorites:


Barn Images

Barn Images was launched in March 2015 by two photographers from Latvia.  They have accumulated a large stable of photographers providing images from all over the world.  They have stunning photos of scenery and architecture, and a lot of ethnic looks not found elsewhere.  The photos are tagged and searchable.

They add free photos to the site every weekday and you can download as many of them as you like for free.  They have a suggested donation of $1 per picture, but it’s not required.  I use them often, so I throw a $5 or $10 donation to them every once in awhile.

They also offer a premium service where you get a pack of 30+ premium photos every other month, plus access to all of the past premium packs (14 packs, over 1500 images).  For $55/year it’s a great deal on a large library of photos not being used by very many people.

The Barn Images blog is also one of my favorites.  Honestly, it is one of the few email subscriptions I always open when it hits my inbox.  Lots of tips, ideas and tools for visual content and just fun random stuff.


Use the code DOANEWTHING to get 25% off the premium membership or individual premium packs! Thanks to the awesome people at Barn Images for offering this discount to my readers!

Here are some of my favorite photos from Barn Images.  I’ll find a way to use them sooner or later!



On a top https://barnimages.com/

Photo Forest

Brand new on the stock photo scene is Photo Forest.  They don’t officially launch until mid-October, 2016 but you can sign up for their mailing list now and receive free photos every week during the pre-launch.  I’ve been really impressed with them and have used some already.

10-free-stock-photo-image-1Although they plan to have free stock photos monthly, they also will have a membership plan.  For a monthly fee (discount if you sign up during the pre-launch!), you’ll have access to all of their photos, plus a private Facebook group where they will share tips and ideas for using stock photos.

The most unique feature of Photo Forest is that they will be community-driven.  In the Facebook group, you’ll be able to request specific types of photos you want.  (Hello… more vertical shots for Pinterest graphics, please!)  I think that’s pretty cool and I’m interested to see how it pans out.

Here are few of my favorites from Photo Forest

Oranges - The Photo Forest

Rocky Beach - The Photo Forest

3 ladies-1

Now that I’ve told you my two off-the-beaten-path sources for stock photos that are not cheesy, we might end up using the same ones.  But that’s ok. Just shows we have good taste!

Where do you get non-cheesy stock photos?  Share your secret stashes!

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Linking up with Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Tanya at #SmallVictoriesSunday and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth

7 thoughts on “Lesson Learned: Stock Photos don’t have to be cheesy”

  1. Awesome, thank you! Of course I am always looking for new stock photos. I have hundreds saved now, but more never hurts 🙂 I actually wrote a post awhile back on all the places I get my free photos too, but I didn’t include any of these!

    • You are welcome, Kristin! If you can swing the fees, the premium version of either of this will give you some shots that relatively few people are using.

  2. Thank you, I needed different stock photos to choose. I got tired of seeing the same photos in mine and other blog posts, it is difficult to be unique when using stock photos available to everyone. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday linkup, pinned to our Linkup board.


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