Adobe Unveils Free Collection of Over 70,000 Stock Photos and Other Assets

In preparation for this year’s virtual AdobeMAX conference, Adobe has unveiled two new initiatives that are meant to “inspire and empower diverse voices as we democratize creativity”: an Artist Development Fund, and a massive free collection of 70,000 photos, illustrations, vectors and other Adobe Stock assets.

The $500,000 Artist Development Fund is newsworthy in its own right, but it’s really not too different from the other relief funds and grants (and one “Bursasy”) that various companies have unveiled during the pandemic, each one meant to support creatives during this challenging time.

In Adobe’s case, the fund will be shared among 40 selected artists, supporting them as they “embark on ambitious new projects in 2021.” You can learn more about the Development Fund and how it will be disbursed on the Adobe blog.

The Adobe Stock free collection.

The more intriguing announcement, in our humble opinion, is the unveiling of the Adobe Stock free collection: a curated collection of 70,000 photos, videos, illustrations, vectors, and more, all free to use for commercial purposes just like any other asset you would actually pay to license through the Adobe Stock library.

But unlike some other free libraries a la Unsplash, this content was actually bought and paid for by Adobe. In addition to including content that will be commissioned by the aforementioned Artist Development Fund, Adobe assures us that the artists behind the work you’re downloading for free were paid for their time and talent.

“We understand how much effort goes into creative work, from idea to finished product, and Adobe Stock makes sure artists are paid for creating this valuable content,” reads the announcement. “In supporting artists for providing free content, we see this as investment back into the artist community to continue evolving the creative landscape, while ethically creating greater opportunities for stock customers.”

Now, when you visit the Adobe Stock website, the drop down next to the search bar allows you to select the category “free,” revealing 66,698 assets as of this writing:

“Whether you’re looking for a vibrant photo, an engaging video, or a sleek icon, the Adobe Stock free collection showcases a wide breadth of popular topics that are aesthetically fresh and will inspire you to create your best work yet,” explains Adobe. “This new collection is a way to empower our community by making the means to create accessible to all, while supporting our artists.”

That last part is crucial. While giving away photos for free is never going to have a positive impact on the perceived value of a photograph or illustration, it’s nice to see Adobe taking a stand and paying the artists for the work that they’ve contributed to this free collection.

To learn more about the Adobe Stock free collection or explore it for yourself, check out the intro video up top or head over to the Adobe Stock website.