Students in my publication design courses are often looking for art or photos to incorporate into class projects. There are many sites that offer free and royalty-free items for use.
Students should be aware that some sites offer both “free” and “for purchase” items. Some have trade criteria where you earn credits for uploading art or photos and then use those credits to “purchase” other art and photos.
Some advice: whatever you use – keep track of where it came from. I urge my students to keep a folder for each site and download into that so they can keep track of what photos came from what site. It helps when you want to double check criteria if that project just happens to have life beyond the classroom.
One favorite site is the Stock.Xchng at http://www.sxc.hu/index.phtml
Also, the MorgueFile is an interesting site for photos. Below is a good starter list of sites to use.
and the creative commons area of flickr