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Photo Contest Insider Blog

The Ultimate Collection of Free Online Resources for Photographers

October 21, 2017

Ever wondered where you could access Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, overlays, photo editors, online photography courses and more for free? Today you’re in luck, because we’ve chosen to reveal our ultimate collection of free online resources for photographers!

While it would be easy to simply supply a long list of free resources we haven’t had experience with before, we’ve decided to sort through those available online and narrow them down to the tried-and-tested resources we personally recommend. That’ll save you even more time!

We suggest bookmarking this page so you can easily access it again and again. After all, who doesn’t love free stuff?

Photoshop Actions, Lightroom Presets, and Overlays

Chances are you utilize resources such as actions, presets, and overlays in programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, but purchasing these additional resources to simplify your editing process can become costly. Thankfully, the resources listed below offer a range of these elements for free.


Brusheezy offers free Photoshop brushes, textures, patterns, and actions, so feel free to sort through their wide range to find elements that will further enhance your work. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t forget to use the helpful search tool at the top of the page!


MCPactions provides free premium Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, and other editing tools such as templates. You’ll be surprised by the amazing quality of the resources on offer!


For those of you who haven’t spent hours trawling through DeviantArt over the years, you’re certainly missing out! It’s never too late to take advantage of the generous community offering free resources for photographers, such as elements for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator. You’ll also find a never-ending list of stock images, overlays, textures, and so much more.

Marketing Materials

Marketing is often the aspect of running a photography business that photographers struggle with the most, so the following free resources are sure to allow you to successfully market your business with little effort.


Squijoo offers some really helpful and professional-looking resources for photographers, all in exchange for your email address and name. Too easy! You’ll instantly gain access to pre-designed templates, including one for your Facebook timeline, a birth announcement, senior rep card, and more.

BeFunky Designer

We love the BeFunky Designer for its ease of use and wide array of pre-designed templates. Beautifully designed resources such as social media templates, event graphics, invitations, flyers, business cards, and more lets you do what you do best – taking photos of course! After all, who’s got time to waste on graphic design when the experts have done all of the hard work for you?


It’s not hard to see why Canva has become such a popular resource for photographers. While some templates cost a few dollars to use, many of these still remain completely free to utilize. You’ll find really helpful designs that you can tweak within just minutes, including those for social media, resumes, posters, business cards, logos, gift certificates, and more. Basically, anything that helps you with the business side of your photography endeavors!

Photo Editors

Find Photoshop or Lightroom too costly? Try one of these free photo editing alternatives instead!


Along with their Designer, BeFunky also has an in-depth photo editor which will blow your mind! While some of the more premium options are only available to paid accounts, there are still plenty of editing tools on offer for free.


PicMonkey is another popular alternative to paid photo editing software, and just like BeFunky, it offers a range of free editing options with paid premium tools.

Stock Images

Never underestimate the power of a good stock image! As we discussed in this previous article, even photographers can use these free stock images for their photography projects.


While this platform isn’t updated with new photos quite as much as the others listed below, it certainly contains some of the most high-quality stock images you’ll come across.


A personal favorite, StockSnap is beautifully curated with thousands upon thousands of stunning stick photos.


Pixabay is one of the original stock image websites, and while it takes a little longer to sort through the millions of images to find super high-quality photos, the platform does also offer other resources such as vectors, videos, textures, and more.


Pexels is like StockSnap’s twin because they are both extremely similar and enjoyable to sift through. You’ll find high-quality stock photos covering a wide range of popular topics.

Online Courses

Gone are the days when you have to spend a small fortune attending educational photography courses at a local institution. Thanks to the internet, you can learn all there is to know about the industry from the very comfort of your own home…for free.


While CreativeLive offers an array of premium, paid courses, they also run live classes every week which are completely free to tune into. At the time of writing this, they’re currently celebrating photography week (a regular on the platform).

You’ll be amazed by the standard of photography courses being offered on this platform, all completely free of charge!


Inspired by the UN Declaration that “everyone is entitled to a free education”, Alison aims to be the world’s leading provider of free high quality knowledge and workplace skills training.

Shaw Academy

This one-month course on photography from Shaw Academy offers ten incredible lessons and live webinars. You won’t want to miss out on it!


FutureLearn is one of our very favorite online hubs for free online courses. You can even pay a small fee upon course completion to gain a certificate in that field!

There you have it – our ultimate collection of free online resources for photographers! Which resources will you be utilizing?

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