Finding the right photo to use for your website or blog can be challenging considering that almost every image is now copyright protected. Copyright grants the original owner exclusive legal rights to use and distribute their creative work.
The good news is that, there’s a growing number of websites that share visually-appealing stock photos that are not only beautiful, but most of them are free to use.
Today’s post will focus on the 21 websites that offer the best free stock photos you can find to add to your websites, blogs and social media posts. If you have other suggestions that included in the list, you may add them in the comment section below.
Pixabay boasts of more than 390,000 free photos in its repository. It is an extensive source not just for free photos but also free drawings and vectors. You have the option to upload Pixabay images even without an attribution and it can also be used for commercial purposes.
If you’re sick and tired of seeing boring stock photos plastered on blogs and websites everywhere, you’re not alone. Unsplash offers a collection of high quality and gorgeous stock photos that you can use absolutely free. Every 10 days, Unsplash releases 10 new photos under the Public Domain and Creative Commons License.
Free Digital Photos has thousands of images you can download and use for your websites, newspapers, magazines, print ads, book covers and so much more. All photos are of high quality and shared by its robust community of digital designers and professional stock photographers. All images are free but may require an attribution to its owner, with an option to pay at reasonable price if you want to download a larger version.
Flickr takes photo storage on a whole new level with its free 1 TB storage capacity, more than enough to store all photos in this lifetime. All photos uploaded here are published in full resolution. To search for free photos, use an appropriate creative commons license. Make sure to put an attribution and a link back to the original owner when posting their photos to your website.
StockSnap.io provides a huge collection of free stock photos in high quality resolution. Its intuitive search feature makes browsing through thousands of photos really painless. New photos are released every week under the creative commons public domain. Adding an attribution is optional.
Previously known as Stock.xchng, FreeImages is an exceptional resource for free images to use on websites or blogs. Each photo has different attribution and copyright requirements so it’s recommended to check them before downloading any photo. Some photos are also available for a reasonable price.
Looking for eye-catching visuals for your next blog post? MorgueFile features high quality stock photos that are absolutely free. Although, they may require you to ask permission and attribute the original source. The term “morgue file” is used to describe paper folders that contain old issues and article clippings used by newspaper reporters for future reference. Today, this site is arguably one of the leading sites that archives the best free images on different creative genres.
With more than 15 million royalty-free stock images, Dreamstime offers a superb library of images that you can use absolutely free from its “Free Section”or purchase per piece or subscription. However, there’s a certain limit you can download the free images and may require you to buy credits to continue using their services. For as little as $9.99 per package, one can definitely afford to purchase any images in Dreamstime.
Ryan McGuire from Bells Design is the man behind Gratisography, a site where he uploads high resolution photos that he shot himself. All photos are free to use for personal and commercial projects without any copyright restrictions. New photos are released every week. While the use of his photos is 100% free, you may have the option to donate any amount to his “Coffee Fund” if you really like his work.
Users on its Free Photos category are given a pack of 10 photos per month sent on their inbox while those who might want a wider library of photos might choose to go premium for $15 a month. The goal behind Death to Stock Photos is to offer better quality images than the cheesy stock photos available online without having to spend anything. Their photos are under Photograph End User License which grants anyone to download, display, reproduce, add to collection and make adaptations. The only exception is you’re not allowed to distribute or sublicense their photos.
Free Photos Bank has a wide selection of free photos that you can download without registering an account. What’s great about them is that their photos are neatly categorized and there are multiple ways to search them.
Another awesome photo sharing site that doesn’t require registration, Picjumbo has free photos available in different categories like business, technology and food. New photos are sent regularly to users who are subscribed to their newsletter.
IM Free has an extensive collection of free images for personal or commercial use organized in different categories. Always check the license in every photo as some might require an attribution.
While Wylio is not a photo-sharing site per se, it is still a great source for free photos. Wylio is a robust search engine for free Flickr photos that aims to find and make Creative Commons attribution on blogs and websites much easier. It also includes resizing and formatting feature to help you aesthetically customize photos before uploading them to your blogs.
Wikipedia Commons is an extensive free media file repository where anyone can contribute and use. The images are organized according to topics. If it’s your first time to browse around the site, you can start with the Featured Pictures, Valued Images and Quality Images.
A creative studio based in Los Angeles, Califonia, Superfamous Studios was established by Dutch designer, Folkert Gorter. It is an online publisher of visual and literary content contributed by its members. You can freely use their images even for commercial purposes provided that a credit is included.
New Old Stock is popularly known for its interesting selection of vintage photos available in public archives without any copyright limitations.
Sadly, Little Visuals is currently not publishing new photos since its owner died few years ago but you may still browse around and use his archived photos anyway you want without any copyright limitations. Since his death was mysteriously sudden, this site is asking anyone who downloaded his photos to make a small donation to the Hand on Heart Charity and announced to update soon with other unpublished photos.
Pickupimage’s huge database of stock photos are typically about nature and outdoors. You can copy, modify and distribute the photos even for commercial use, without the hassle of registration.
Life of Pix is a creative project managed by Montreal-based LEEROY Creative Agency that offers high resolution stock photos added on a weekly basis. It is donated to the public domain which means it has no copyright restrictions.
*EDITED (as of February 26, 2016): We recently added another stock photo website below to give you new option where you can get stock or public domain photos for your blog.
Good Free Photos is your one-stop shop if you’re searching for hard-to-find photos that you might not find elsewhere. Their popular categories include food, plants, animals, textures, relics, art and many more. You have the choice of browsing through the last 100 images they’ve uploaded or go directly to their Featured Photo. What’s so great is that all photos on this site are under the Public Domain license which means that it’s free to use whether for personal or commercial projects without any permission whatsoever. Just make sure to give this cool site a proper attribution each time you download their photos.
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