This post was part of the #12DayGiveaway

This post is part of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. Just leave a comment below to enter to win todays prize.

Graphics Snapwire

This post contains affiliate links....
Note: This post contains affiliate links (disclosure). If you choose to purchase a product after clicking through one of my links I may earn a few dollars. There will never be any additional cost to you, and I’m very grateful when you do! Thanks

graphics snapwireSometimes it’s about the amount of time it takes to learn new software, and sometimes it’s about the money. Regardless of the reason, not everyone takes the time to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop.

On any given day I might find myself wanting to edit a simple graphic or a .psd file to add to a blog post or something I’m creating for sale on my website.

I send bigger jobs off to someone else, but the simple ones are edited in a free, software that you might have thought no longer exists.


If you’d like to learn more about free photo software tools, consider joining my online business school at

I use Microsoft to edit .psd files

1.  Microsoft with a psd plugin

The combination of these two works like a charm. It’s simple, lightweight and gets the job done


PSD Plugin


Other highly recommended alternatives:


Another open source product that can do almost everything photoshop does. There are plenty of tutorials on the internet to help you learn anything you need to know about GIMP so you can create the images you need.


The advanced editor has a lot of the same features as Microsoft, GIMP and Photoshop. But it’s all online so you don’t need to download any files or install programs. The account is free and includes some storage as well.  You don’t even need to log in to use it (but you can if you want to store images and work on them over time – I rarely do)


And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t include some resources to websites that can help you create the images you’re most likely to want to create. Most people reading this blog need cover graphics for products, ebook covers, and basic mock-ups of digital programs.  Here’s where I go to create mine (yeah, I’m giving away my secrets! You’ll see a lot of recognizable shapes & styles on my blog from now on & know where I created them)


4. Stunning mockups by Breezie like the one I created for the webinar program:Your First Webinar 500x500

Mac computer graphic created in Breezi as a png file & then edited in Microsoft to include the floating text underneath

5. (no list in 2014 would be complete without this resource)

Although you can’t edit a current image file (a .psd, jpg or .png) you can create brand new images from scratch or import .jpg or .png files and add new elements to those existing images.  Do a quick google search for Canva tutorials, or access their training library here:

Canva Design School (all free)

Many of the graphic elements are free to use in Canva, but most of the photos are not. So, I’ve included my huge list of free stock photo sites. Simply find a free stock photo & import it to your Canva uploads area to complete your designs.


50+ Images for Blogging & Creative Projects

Creative Commons & Stock Photos

  1. Ancestry Images offers a free image archive of historical prints, maps and artifact photos, like this print of a New Zealand Maori Warrior from 1817.
  2. 123RF (some aren’t free, but this link “should” lead to free ones)
  3. BigFoto (amateur photographers, no login required)
  4. Bigstock  (Free Images each week)
  5. (searches through flickrs creative commons images)
  6. Crow the Stone  
  7. (free high resolution, sent to you once a month)
  8. Dreamstime a free section that’s searchable and frequently updated. You will have to sign up for a free account though.
  10. Foodiesfeed (free high resolution food images for personal or commercial use)
  11. Foter (compiles Flickr images, including some that may not be usable for commercial purposes)
  12. Free Pixels 
  13. (categorized and searchable. Business, personal or educational use.  Small sizes are free, larger sizes available for purchase)
  14. Free Images – more than 350,000 stock photos, searchable and categorized. Bit of a painful sign up process.
  16. Free Photos Bank  (categorized & searchable. Download without login)
  17. Freerange Stock (free high-resolution stock photos. Registration required)
  18. Getty Images (over 350K images)
  19. GetRefe 
  20. Graphic Leftovers (includes some vectors too)
  21. Gratisography (free high-resolution, completely free of copyright, weekly, simply click to download, no registration)
  22. IM Free (search by keyword or browse by category. All for commercial use.)
  23. ISO Republic 
  24. Little Visuals 
  26. Life of Pix 
  27. (7 images every 7 days)
  28. Magdeleine
  29. Microsoft Clipart (retiring Jan 1, 2015)
  30. Morgue (credit the photographer when possible)
  31. New Old Stock Photos (vintage photos from public archives)
  32. Pexels  
  34. PhotoDune (several free images available each month)
  36. (searches Flickr’s creative commons licenses)
  37. (New photos uploaded daily, no registration)
  38. Pickupimage (nature and outdoor images, free to do as you wish, including commercial use)
  39. Picography 
  40. (copy, modify, distribute and use the images, even for commercial purposes. No registration is required)
  41. Pixel Perfect (free stock photography for designers)
  42. Public Domain Archive 
  43. (amateur photographers. signup required)
  44. Rgbstock is a free stock image site created by photographers and graphic artists. Registration (required) is one-click and the pool of photos is pretty deep.
  45. 7 free photos each week on their tumblr blog. Plus, signup to use Snapwire and we both get $20 towards a photo from a request or their marketplace. Use my link
  46. Stock Vault
  47. (photos sharing community, 25,000+ images. Allowed for commercial use with credit to author)
  48. Split Shire 
  49. Startup Stock * must attribute
  50. Stock Exchange
  51. The Stocks (compilation of photo sites – including many on this list)
  52. Travel Coffee Book  (10 new photos every 10 days – travel photos – no sign up required)
  53. (directory of US Government ‘s free photo galleries)
  54. (no sign up required, all images are available for commercial use)
  55. (10 free photos every 10 days in your inbox)
  56. Wikimedia (also includes video & mp3)

SW_NateMuellerFree for everyone ($20 snapwire credit)

Snapwire is a photography marketplace. If you need a photo of something unique, simply create a request and photographers will bid on your request.

You can also purchase unique images in their marketplace (most I’ve seen are $10 and up)

Signup to use Snapwire and we both get $20 towards a photo from a request or their marketplace. Use my link



Giveaway for December 19, 2014  $25 extra Snapwire Creditgraphics snapwire

On top of the $20 you get from using my referral link above.

To enter the contest:

  1. Leave a comment below.
  2. If you want an extra entry, share this post with a friend and ask him/her to say you referred them. 1 entry for them, and an extra one for you.

On December 24th I’ll draw a random name (through from the comments left on this post, to select a winner of the $25 Gift Certificate.
Happy Holidays!

p.s. remember to come back tomorrow to see what I’m giving away next, or go back to previous days & enter to win)




You might also like:

Photo_software_course_cover_imageJoin the Biz Training Club (free) and get 1 new free course per month.

(including courses like “Budget Friendly Photo Software Training”)

Join the Biz Training Club

Pin It on Pinterest