With the ever-increasing number of free stock photo sites out there, it is always refreshing to find one that has a real sense of character, style, and purpose. From the moment you first click onto Picjumbo.Com, it is obvious that you are in the presence of more than just some of the best free stock photography, but also the ongoing dedication and steady creative influence of its sole founder and operator, Viktor Hanacek.
In this review, we are going to break down the different features available from Picjumbo, including what kind of free stock images they offer, how they can be used, and perhaps most importantly, how easy it is to find the exact stock image that you’re looking for.
For anyone out there who is looking to take their marketing or design game to the next level, we are also going to take a close look at the different premium subscription and membership options that exist on Picjumbo beyond just the free stuff.
The Breakdown: Stock Photography at Picjumbo.com
- Large collection of free, ultra-HD stock photography
- Stock images can be browsed by either category or tag
- Fonts, Icons, & UI kits can be browsed on Picjumbo (but purchased elsewhere)
- Dark mode feature available from the front page
- Free and premium plans available depending on user’s needs
- Full photo collection available for immediate download with a donation
- Can easily sort free stock images by “new”
- Free Picjumbo newsletter sends new stock photos to your inbox without a membership
- Designed and operated by a photographer
- Donations are accepted through Ko-Fi.com
Picjumbo: Detailed Overview
Founded in 2013 by programmer / designer / photographer Viktor Hanacek, Picjumbo is a small but reputable stock photo site that offers 100% of their content for free. They operate off of a Creative Commons Zero licensing structure which means that ever image can be used for commercial, personal, or educational purposes (with only a few small caveats that we’ll get into shortly).
While premium memberships are available for a monthly subscription fee, they are not necessary to access the free content. Every one of the 3000+ images are free to download, and what’s more, Picjumbo has given users the option to download the entire catalog at once for an unspecified donation. Simply offer the amount you think is fair, and the whole collection will be yours in minutes.
On the more technical side of things, Picjumbo is doing a lot of things right. A clean webpage, functional image search function, and a front-page dark mode button all make this the kind of stock image provider that you’ll want to go back to again and again.
Picjumbo vs. The ‘Other Guys’
The most striking difference between Picjumbo and other small to medium sized stock photo providers is the vibe and character of the organization itself. From the landing page and onward, it is apparent that this is a creative project with a lot of heart and soul behind it, no doubt due to the fact that it is a small operation ran by basically one person.
Still, this doesn’t seem to harm the quality of the content.
The size of the Picjumbo library is only about 3,000 images, but every one of them is 100% free and can be used for personal, educational, or commercial purposes. New photos are being added all the time, and simply by using the “new” button at the top of the page, designers can stay updated on the new content that is becoming available.
One awesome feature that we had no idea we wanted in a stock photo site was an easily accessible “dark mode” option. Like a lot of designers and web heads, we spend a lot of time on the computer and anything that reduces eye strain is fine by us.
The premium memberships offered at Picjumbo are another differentiation point; a lot of sites like these do not offer any kind of upgraded membership but instead will refer the user to one of the “big boys” of royalty-free stock photos, like Adobe, Getty, or Shutterstock. Picjumbo has three different premium plans available, all of which provide access to a larger and more diverse library of images. The Agency Plan is a great value for design firms and creative agencies, because it allows the membership to be shared with up to 50 people on the team.
The Types of Images in Picjumbo’s Free Stock Library
There is a tale that is told on the Picjumbo website about how founder and creator Viktor Hanacek once had a hard time getting his photographs accepted by royalty-free image sites. Supposedly his work was refused for “lack of quality”. Instead of giving up, Viktor plowed forward with his vision and ended up creating a valuable image resource that to date has garnered millions of downloads and has helped countless creative projects reach their potential.
For these reasons, the Picjumbo stock photo selection is somewhat broad in terms of topic, but cohesive in the sense that every image shares a certain professional flair while not being too cheesy. In other words, free stock photos that don’t look like free stock photos.
The Types of Users That Would Love Picjumbo
Anyone needing to spruce up their project, presentation, or website will likely find something useful at Picjumbo, but the fact that they also provide a more premium level of membership makes them the “one to watch” for any creative firms or marketing agencies that like to stay ahead of the game when it comes to visual media.
The Picjumbo Free Stock Photo License
One of the reasons that Picjumbo has become so popular is because of the level of quality that they provide while still being able to offer their collection for free, meaning there is neither a charge nor attribution requirement for any of there images. This means that an image downloaded from Picjumbo can be used for just about any purpose, from personal creative projects to commercial merchandising and corporate presentations.
The type of license that Picjumbo uses for these photos is known as Creative Commons Zero (CC0) and it is actually quote common for stock image providers of this size.
However, there is some fine print that users should take heed of, and in fact it is good advice for any stock photo website: while the images maybe be provided for free and not require a license for use, there is always a chance that there is a trademark or logo in the picture that might have it’s own use restrictions. In addition, photos of human individuals may or may not have the required likeness permissions that you would need to use it commercially. In some cases, it is possible to contact the photographer and find out, which is highly recommended if there is any doubt.
Aside from trademarks and people, there is only one thing that you cannot use Picjumbo photos for, and that is photo redistribution. When it comes to stock photos, this term refers to the act or practice of taking free images from a stock photo site and selling or sharing them for download via a different site or business. For instance, you can’t start a new free stock photo website and simply upload all of Picjumbo’s images to it. (Plus, that would be widely considered to be a jerk move).
However, the operating team at Picjumbo has a clever workaround in the form of various redistribution licenses that can be purchased. Primarily, these are a great deal for website builders and blog companies, but designers and marketing departments probably wont have to worry about securing a redistribution license.
The Picjumbo Premium Membership Levels
As opposed to many of the small-to-medium sized stock photo sites out there, Picjumbo is one of the few that actually offers a premium-style membership that is worth the extra cost, and is not just a Shutterstock membership in surprise. By signing up for a premium membership with Picjumbo, users unlock a number of different special features, premium photo collections, premium fonts, and more.
Here is a breakdown of the different subscription plans that are offered by Picjumbo:
- Blogger Plan – $9.99 per month. Also available for $59 per year, this base-level premium membership is more than adequate for most users at Picjumbo, because it provides unlimited access to all of the premium photo collections alongside exclusive stock images that can’t be found anywhere else. Blogger Plan subscribers will also get three premium fonts (a value of $10 apiece).
- Designer Plan – $14.99 per month. In addition to the features listed above, the Designer plan includes access to premium-level categories and image searching, as well as access to the complete, downloadable collection pack of every free stock photo hosted at Picjumbo. This plan is also available for $99 per year.
- Agency Plan – $ 34.99 per month. This ultra-premium level is a must-have for larger design firms and creative operations. It provides everything listed with the Designer plan in addition to special mockup features and the ability to share the membership with up to 50 members of your organization, giving the whole team access to the high-definition stock photo library at Picjumbo.
Using the Site
Picjumbo features some pretty sleek, nearly invisible design … the kind that makes browsing stock photos an absolute pleasure. The front page makes it easy to see what the most popular downloads are, and clicking on them takes the searcher to a relevant image category. The effect is an image library that can be explored based on nothing but whim and fancy, if one so chooses.
On the other hand, the designer on a deadline is going to have an immediate interest in finding the perfect stock photo fast. Picjumbo’s category system is a good place to start. While not as extensive or specific as some of the other free stock photo libraries out there, it does a good job of separating images by the most commonly sought-after topics, themes, and ideas.
The integrated tagging system is less comprehensive than the category fracture, but it is still helpful. This allows users to sort images by things like “space for text” if they aren’t totally sure what kind of subject matter they are looking for.
Standout Feature: Sort by “New”
It is such a simple feature and yet there are so few stock photo websites that do this correctly. With a simple, bright “NEW” button on the top of the page, Picjumbo has made themselves the kind of place that designers and artists will want to keep coming back to, even if they’re not in the middle of a project.
The newly-added free stock photos can also bee seen by anyone who signs up for the Picjumbo newsletter or follows the Picjumbo blog, neither of which require a premium membership.
Downloading Stock Images at Picjumbo
The download process is totally hassle free. It’s two clicks on the desired image and then the download dialog box should appear, meaning the whole process takes about ten seconds. Users will find themselves spending far more time looking for a picture than trying to figure out how to download it. This is in contrast to some free stock content sites that will bounce you around from page to page trying to maximize ad revenue before finally giving you the picture.
Another unique thing offered by Picjumbo (that we think other sites are going to start to emulate here soon) is the ability to download the entire collection at once. All it asks is for a non-specified donation from the user, which seems fair when you consider that you’re getting over 3,000 HD stock photos instantaneously. This is an option that is also provided to premium members who have the Designer Plan or the Agency Plan.
Q: Can I Sell or Upload My Own Pictures to Picjumbo?
At this time, the entire Picjumbo library of free HD stock photos is made available by the site’s creator and founder, Viktor Hanacek. As such, there is currently no option for becoming a contributor to Picjumbo, and from the looks of it, there are no plans to change the operating structure.
The real strength of a site like Picjumbo is its ability to offer free, high quality stock photos without the burden of excessive ads or the need to drive clickthrough traffic. This is a place where designers, artists, bloggers, and even bigger organizations can source unique content from a refreshing source. The premium plans aren’t necessary for access, but they are certainly something that professionals should look at if its time to supplement your stock content sources.