Free! (But Not Cliché!): Diverse Stock Photos for Your Next Project

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Free stock photos. They can be pretty bleak. (Woman laughing alone with salad, anyone?).

They are plentiful, but they also tend to depict people that are white, thin, heteronormative, and able-bodied. This is changing! Pexels, in particular, revised their search algorithm recently to feature people that LGBTQ+ without having to add additional search words. This is great! But it still doesn’t go far enough.

Free But Not Cliche: Diverse Stock Photos

The stock photos you use in your learning projects and your marketing materials should reflect all of your audience. Besides being the right thing to do, there’s a study that shows that the more people see faces belonging to other races, the more they like people of those other races (Zebrowitz, White, & Wieneke, 2009).

This is the Mere Exposure effect. The more a person hears or sees something in particular that’s unfamiliar, the more they grow to like that thing.

Therefore, the more you use stock photos of people from underrepresented groups, the more your audience is going to like people of those underrepresented groups. That’s awesome!

And that’s also a great addition your antiracist tool belt!

I collect free stock photo and illustration sites that depict people of underrepresented groups.

Download the list now (and share it with your friends – it’s licensed CC BY 4.0!). 

You’ll also find these terrific resources on my Instructional Design Toolkit.

Have any more to suggest? Drop it in the comments.