Whether you’re looking for premium photos, illustrations, vector graphics or templates, Adobe Stock (opens in new tab)is the place to go.
It’s packed full with high-quality assets, created by professionals, for professionals. And you can access all these resources, directly and seamlessly, within Adobe Creative Cloud apps, such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
But while Adobe Stock’s (opens in new tab) low prices offer incredible value, sometimes even that’s too much money. So what do you do when you’re on a zero budget, and don’t have a single penny to spend?
There are many sites on the web purporting to offer “free images”, but these are often fraught with legal pitfalls, as we explain here. Amazingly, though, there are three ways you can use Adobe Stock images for free, perfectly legitimately. Read on to find out how.
01. How to get free photos
If you’ve never used Adobe Stock (opens in new tab) before, then take advantage of this brilliant offer. When you sign up for a 30-day free trial (opens in new tab), you get between 10 and 40 free photos, depending on your chosen plan.
How does it work? Basically, you sign up for one year of Adobe Stock, in which you get the first month free, then will get charged each month after that. However, if you do not wish to continue with the subscription, you can cancel within the first month, and you won’t be charged.
That said, if you plan to use more than three Adobe Stock images a month, then the subscription plan is a good deal, so don’t dismiss it out of hand, particularly given that you’ll be getting a free month into the bargain.
02. How to get free templates
Not a lot of people know this, but there are a masses of free templates to download from Adobe Stock, including Photoshop templates, Illustrator templates, Premiere Pro templates and more.
These cover a huge range of subjects, from beer labels to tickets, brochure designs to website homepages, as well as abstract patterns and background photography.
To find the right free template for you, just do a search such as 'free templates', 'free Photoshop templates', 'free brochure templates' etc, in the normal search box.
Be warned: some of the images this search returns may actually be paid-for templates that include the word 'free', such as the image we've used at the top of this article.
But many more will be free to download with a standard licence. And you'll know which ones these are, because the word 'FREE' will appear in the bottom-right hand corner of the image in the listings.
Note, also, that if you're looking for an extended licence, which permits more than 500,000 copies or views of the image, you'll probably still have to pay for it.
03. How to use images for free in your mockups
One of the biggest reasons to use Adobe Stock rather than any other stock library is its smooth integration into all the Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and others.
What that means in practice is that you can 'try before you buy'. Adobe Stock enables you search for images directly within the app; import watermarked versions; edit, modify and resize them; move them around within your mockups; and finalise your designs... all without having to pay for a single image.
In short, you don't need to buy a licence until you're completely happy, you have signoff from your superiors, clients, stakeholders etc, and your design is ready to go into production. If however, along the way, you decide against using a particular image, then you won't have to pay a thing.
For further details on how to use unlicensed Adobe Stock images within your Creative Cloud design software, follow this excellent tutorial (opens in new tab).