As a designer, you know that photography can play a huge role in the designs that you make. Sometimes you have to buy commercial photographs, take your own, find free stock photography, and other methods to get photographs to use. And if you are the type, like me, that tries to find free photography for personal or commercial use, you know that it is sometimes very hard to find the right photograph. Recently, I have come across a photo reference site that is called, morgueFile. morgueFile is a free achrive of photography available for personal, commercial, or any other creative pursuits.

A place to keep post production materials for use of reference, an inactive job file. This morgue file contains free high resolution digital stock photography for either corporate or public use.

The term “morgue file” is popular in the newspaper business to describe the file that holds past issues flats. Although the term has been used by illustrators, comic book artist, designers and teachers as well. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. This is the world wide web’s morguefile. (mourgeFile)

When you go to the website, you will want to view the section, Image Archive. The archive is where you find all the photographs categorized. Select a category and begin your searching! When you are in a category, you will get a listing of all the photographs (and there are many) along with the details of the photograph. Also, these photos are high resolution and the quality is usually great.

The interface for the website is very nice and organized and provides methods for registered users to save photos in their “lightbox” so you can access them easier at any time. You are not required to register, although it is free. If you don’t register, you will also miss out on the ability to add comments to the photographs or to save to the lightbox’s.

morgueFile is an excellent service that has amazing photography that is completely free for commercial and non-commercial. The website is a collaborative effort by Kevin and Michael Connors. I will definitely be using morgueFile for when I have to use photography in a project. You do not have to give credit to the photographer, but I feel that it is the more respectable thing to do. So, if you do use the service, keep that in mind. Now view those archives!

View morgueFile: where photo reference lives.

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