Are you tired of the same stock photos?
Fortunately, free photo websites have been popping up, giving you many options to find that perfect image for your content marketing strategy.
Even better news: you don’t have to spend hours searching the web yourself to find these websites. I have compiled a large list of free online image sources that have photos you will actually want to use.
The sites are in no particular order. Some have extremely niche categories.
Even though I provided notes about each website, be sure to review the sites’ license agreements to know how the photos can be used and if attribution is required.
Every week, hundreds of high-resolution photos are added to StockSnap.io.
According to Stocksnap.io, each one of their images is released under Creative Commons Zero and can be copied, modified and distributed, including images that will be used commercially. No attribution is required.
They curate photos from around the web, but also have their own network of talented photographers.
2. Unrestricted Stock
Unrestrictedstock.com offers royalty-free photos, videos, and vectors at no cost.
As stated on their website, you can do pretty much anything with their online collections.
The license agreement only has a few restrictions, which should be checked out before using their stock.
Pexels makes it easy to access databases of hundreds of thousands of high-quality photos.
Not only does Pexels pull from its own website that houses images from its team of photographers and community members, it also searches other sites, including Pixabay and Gratisography.
The images can be modified and used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Attribution is not mandatory.
5. Travel Coffee Book
Travel Coffee Book is a great site if you are looking for landmarks and scenery photos.
All images are available under Creative Commons Zero.
The tool can also work as a photo management tool where you can also submit your own travel photos to the website.
Unsplash is one of my favorite free photo websites. All you have to do is visit the site to know why.
As their website states, there are 10 new high-resolution photos added every 10 days and all images are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.
Shopify offers Burst, which is a royalty-free provider for high-resolution photos. Anybody has permission to modify the images in any way and use for commercial purposes.
Not only is there a search feature, but the website also offers a good representation of different areas and topics, and the categories are useful when you are not sure what you are looking for.
Some images on the website fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license, but others have a nonexclusive license, so be sure to check how you can use the image you download.
8. Freerange Stock
Freerange Stock has thousands of free photos available for commercial or non-commercial use.
According to their website, the photos are directly from their in-house photographers, archives, and their community of photographers.
They request that you include an image credit similar to the following, “Photos courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com,” as well as the name of the photographer.
NegativeSpace provides images that work around a common theme of a central focus point with blurred surroundings.
The site is easy to use and even allows you to search for images by color or simply select from one of their categories.
The images can be used based on the Creative Commons CC0 license.
The morgueFile has a nice collection of photographs that are free for corporate or public use.
According to the website, the morgueFile license is for the use of designers and illustrators and it is requested that you give credit to the photographer.
If you are planning to use the image in a blog post, it is recommended that you get in contact with the photographer and include a byline with the image that includes the photographer’s name.
11. New York Public Library
The New York Public Library has Digital Collections with over 180,000 items, which are in the public domain.
They are now available as high-resolution downloads.
According to the New York Public Library, no permission is required and there are no restrictions on use.
Picjumbo.com is a stock photo site created by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek.
The images are free and available for personal or commercial use.
There is a great feature on the site that allows you to “test drive” the image, meaning you can get a feel for how it can be used.
13. Jay Mantri
JayMantri.com provides free, breathtaking images that can be used under Creative Commons Zero.
14. Free Refe Real Life Photos
Free Refe Real Life Photos is by GetRefe.com, a site that offers royalty-free images.
All photos are free and have a range of themes and imagery.
15. New Old Stock
New Old Stock is a unique image site in that the photos are vintage and found in public archives.
Per the site owner, Cole Townsend, all photos are available for personal and non-commercial use.
If you want to use them for commercial purposes, you will need to do some homework by looking into the institution’s rights statement (all of this information is explained on the Rights and Usage page of the website).
You can purchase images from pro photo packs on the website, which are available for commercial use.
16. Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons includes a collection of more than 52 million media files that are free to use.
The website has a search function the help locate specific subjects and genres.
According to Wikimedia Commons, the images are available under licenses that are listed on the image description pages.
Gratisography showcases free photos by Ryan McGuire that are offered under the same terms as Creative Commons Zero.
As the photographer puts it, there are some common sense limitations to using the photos, but attribution isn’t required.
18. Life of Pix
Life of Pix offers a relatively small, but beautiful collection of high-resolution images, which can be used for commercial or personal use and do not have copyright restrictions.
On a side note, if you need videos, check out Life of Vids.
SplitShire provides free stock photos and images that can be used for commercial purposes.
According to the website, these images have been used by The Huffington Post, CNN, and thousands of other websites.
Bigfoto has a gallery of images taken by amateur photographers across the world.
Photos are categorized by geographical areas and themes and can be used for commercial or personal use.
Images are royalty-free, but in return they ask that you provide a link to the bigfoto site on your website or blog.
Reshot touts a free exchange of the “world’s best visual content.” Per their website, the contributors range “from seasoned pros to those with a newly-discovered creative spark.”
The images are available for commercial and non-commercial use. In other words, the images include an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos for free.
StockPhotos.io is a sharing community that has a collection of over 27,000 free photos.
According to StockPhotos.io, “only public domain or Creative Commons licensed photos that are allowed for commercial use are added on this site.”
They advise you to check the licensing of each photo to avoid legal issues.
You can grab some great high-resolution photos on DesignersPics.com, which are taken by Jeshu John.
The images are available for free for commercial or personal use – attribution is not required.
Pixabay has more than 530,000 photos, illustrations, and vectors.
As stated on their website, all images are released under Creative Commons CCO into the public domain and can be used royalty-free, including for commercial purposes. Attribution is not required.
A search feature makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Just like the web address indicates, Foodiesfeed is great for all kinds of food photos. If you are looking for an image of food, this site is the perfect niche for you. All the photos are free to download and fall under the Creative Commons Zero license.
FreeImages.com hosts more than 387,000 free photos and illustrations.
Be sure to read the Content License Agreement and also view specific restrictions for each image, which can be seen on the preview screen.
You may need to let the photographer know you are using the image and in some cases, you will need to give him or her credit.
Skitterphoto has added a new image every day since its inception in 2014, so you can do image search to unique high-resolution photos.
Skitterphoto images are taken by three photographers and are available under the Creative Commons Zero license.
You can find various themes, including landscape, people, transportation, and more.
MMT provides free photos and videos for commercial use. The platform was launched in 2014 by the founder, Jeffery Betts, to share his love of photography with the world.
Images have been featured on Shopify and Canva and there are new photos every week.
The images and videos are available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net has free, small-sized photos (if you want larger files, you have to pay) that can be used for personal or commercial use.
There are tens of thousands of images on the site in various categories.
If you download a free image, wherever you use it, you are asked to publish an acknowledgment to FreeDigitalPhotos.net and the creator of that image.
Pikwizard offers more than 100,000 free images and over 20,000 of those are exclusive to Pikwizard.
According to the website, there are a lot of images of people that are available for download. The images are free to use without attribution.
31. IM Free
IM Free offers thousands of high-resolution images in various collections.
You can use the search box to find what you’re looking for or browse the collections.
Photos are under a Creative Commons license and can be used for commercial purposes, but note that attribution to the creator is required.
32. Startup Stock Photos
Per the website, Startup Stock Photos began as an outlet for photos that were being taken on a regular basis, but has since grown.
Startup Stock Photos positions itself as a website with “free photos for startups, bloggers, publishers, websites, designers, developers, creators, and everyone else.”
Images are available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
Foter hosts more than 220 million free Creative Commons images.
These images are from numerous online sources (Foter uses Flickr API and searches Creative Commons photos).
What makes Foter unique is their WordPress plugin.
Stockvault.net has been around since 2004 and offers free stock photos, logos, and web layouts.
The images are free, but be sure to check the license for each image, as it varies.
Contributors have the option of three types of licenses, including non-commercial, commercial, and public domain (CC0).
Picography has an easy-to-use search function and a category dropdown to help in locating images.
The photos are under the Creative Commons CC0 license and do not require attribution.
Rgbstock has a variety of images and graphics available for free download.
Rgbstock has a detailed description of how the images can and cannot be used.
Stockfreeimages is owned by Dreamstime.com, a major stock image supplier. The website includes content donated by Dreamstime contributors for free download.
You do need to register for an account (also free) to access the images. The images fall under the Royalty Free license, but if you use one of the images, you need to include an image attribution and/or a link back to Stockfreeimages.com.
FreeImages.co.uk has an index that includes more than 18,000 images in 89 different categories.
The images can be used in printed materials, websites, publications, and other illustration or design projects, but if you use the images on your website, FreeImages.co.uk requires a link or printed credit in return.
Kaboompics provides free stock photos that can be used for both non-commercial and commercial projects.
There are thousands of images to choose from and attribution is not required. Images can also be modified.
StreetWill.co offers vintage photos that are available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
The site doesn’t have as many categories as some of the others, but the images are unique and visually appealing.
According to the website, there have been more than 1.1 million downloads of the images.
41. ISO Republic
ISO Republic has thousands of images and videos available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
You can use the search function or view the categories, which range from Animals to Sport to Technology, to find what you’re looking for.
You should be able to find just the image you are looking for for your content or social media marketing strategy on one of these 41 great free photo websites. But if not, many more free quality photos sites exist.
- 10 Good Alternatives to iStock
- How to Pick Memorable Images for Your Content
- 7 Reasons Why Content Needs Amazing Images, Videos & Visuals
All screenshots taken by author, March 2019