So lets say you want to design something, and you are a student and have no money. For images you have basically two quick options. 1. you can take a photo your self
And I can say of this, there is no bigger pain in the ass. If your school has a camera lending program and you know how to use a camera then it's already 50% easier. But in the end there is a world of lighting and post production work many students have little to know clue about.
Well here is the most popular and Google images where you cull images for your newest project, like your grungy paper textures.
So there are two major resources that people forget about.
So there is a bunch of great work on here that if you ask for politely can get permission to use. Beware there is a lot of crap to wade through but has the advantage of groups so if you are looking for fruit then you should be able to find a group dedicated to fuit.
But the problem now is facebook, less and less people are posting to flickr. Hell when was the last time you uploaded to flickr? I'm on there all the time exploring and I rarely ever upload any photos. Okay I wish I had a pro account and perhaps a few photos I thought were worth sharing. But first I might need a better camera. If you want feel free to get me a d70.
So have you ever used this before? Most likely not, its kind of a black sheep in the photo sharing world. But you can get an unlimited amount of storage(through your Google+ account) and has one of the best desktop photo cataloging software packages around and the software is free. And I would strongly suggest using it if you have no money and can't afford Lightroom from Adobe. But you don't browse through the app so that is beyond the point. So yeah wors basically like Flickr.
How many times have you searched online for free stock images and iStockPhoto comes up? Yeah it happens a lot and they never have anything for free and the images you do want are like $50. So I've spent years using a website that most people I know dont' know.
So they have textures, they have images and its categorized and can be searched by color even(a fun feature). Like I've said I've used it for years and although it may not have it all it does have a lot of stuff. But did I find a replacement for it?
Yes yes I did. This place is pretty boss with tons of stock images and tutorials all you need to do is sign up(it's free) so far a few searches have netted about 1000 results. So get on it and it could save you a bit of time and hassel.
So both ImageAfter and Stock.Xcnhg have pretty big files and they are much better than anything you will find on Google images. I'll still keep using all of the above though because in the end I like the options afforded to me and there is no escaping that images cost a bunch of money and most of us cannot afford it. Sure if you are doing pro work you should be paying since you in turn are getting paid, but for student work you'll need that money to buy some coffee.
If you have any other resources let me know.