Free stock photos are a great resource, especially when you’re bootstrapping a new business or starting a new blog. Whether it’s for your website, Keynote or PowerPoint presentations, your blog or social media; free stock photos drive home your message far better than content without photos. In fact, all content should always have photos. And remember, graphics and photos will not only enhance your content but they will boost your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. Always remember to use alt tags with your photos for accessibility.
I’ve put together a list of sites with free stock photos that are not only 100% free, royalty free, but they offer photos that are under the Public Domain or the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
Here’s a brief overview of the three main types of copyright categories:
Public Domain – Photos in the public domain either have expired copyrights or their creators have relinquished all their rights. These photos are free for personal or commercial use.
Royalty Free – This simply means that you pay a fee and then use the photo without paying additional royalties or licensing fees. This also means you don’t have to give attribution.
Creative Commons – By specifying a particular Creative Commons (CC) license, you can use photos that are licensed CC. Photos with a CC0 license means the photographer has relinquished all rights, and a CC 2.0 requires the user to provide attribution.
Here’s the list of websites with 100% free stock photos … you can thank me later.
Pexels – Searchable CC0 images. (By far the best on this list)
Pixabay – Public domain images
SplitShire – Free photos with no copyright restrictions.
Unsplash – New photos released every 10 days. CC0 license.
Burst – By Shopify, free stock photos for entrepreneurs. CC0 licence.
Stockpic – Beautiful free stock photos
Barn Images – Free for personal or commercial use.
FreeRange Stock – Free high-res images, registration required.
KaboomPics – Free for personal or commercial use.
Freestocks – Free and licensed under CC0.
Good Free Photos – Public domain.
Negative Space – Free for personal or commercial use.
StockSnap – Beautiful free stock photos
Jay Mantri – Free and licensed under CC0.
ISO Republic – Free to use.
PicJumbo – Free for personal or commercial use.
Life of Pix – Public domain images.
MMT Stock – Free to use under CC0.
Shot Stash – Free stock photos for all your projects.
Foodie’s Feed – High-res food images.
Pickup Image – Searchable database of public domain images.
Photogen – Free for personal or commercial use.
Gratisography – Free images by Ryan McGuire. CC0.
Death to the Stock Photo – Delivered monthly to your inbox.
Skitterphoto – License-free photos, free to use under CC0.
Morgue File – A huge repository of free photos.
pdpics – Public domain images.
New Old Stock – Vintage photos
Newly added free stock photos:
Rawpixel – Changing the way people see stock photos. Premium and free stock photos available – our link goes right to free.
FancyCrave – An online resource providing free public domain photo packs.
stockvault – A free stock photo community where photographers & artists share their photos and artwork.
BURST – Stunning stock images, perfect for blogs and websites. Free stock photos for websites and commercial use.
IM FREE – Free stock photos and templates. A curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.
Startup Stock Photos – Free photos for startups, bloggers, publishers, websites, designers, developers, creators, & everyone else.
jay mantri – Free pics. Do anything (CCO). Make Magic.
PIKWIZZARD – Free stock photos for all your creative needs. Free for personal and commercial use.
Magdeleine – Photographer – A free hi-resolution photo every day.
Travel Coffee Book – Sharing beautiful travel moments. All photos are listed under CCO.
Visual Hunt – We hunt free high quality stock photos. CCO 100% free.
Get Refe – Get free ref real life photos. Royalty-free, high-quality, natural looking photos.
New in 2021:
Reshot – Authentic free stock photos. Curated for you to use in your next creative project, for free!
Nappy – Beautiful photos of Black and Brown people, for free.
PICoGRAPHY – Gorgeous, High-Resolution, Free Photos that you can use however you like with their free license.
Free stock photos samples
Be sure to check the licensing on each website as they are always subject to change. It’s important to use photos that are legal. If at all possible, mention the source or the photographer.
Please feel free to reference this article when you need a photo for your project and share this awesome resource with others that are in need of quality, free stock photos for their projects. Remember when I said, “you can thank me later”?
It’s later. 🙂
About the author:
Nick France has been designing everything from ads to websites for over thirty-five years and it’s obviously engrained in his DNA at this point. When he’s not designing or writing he’s usually found loving on his family or strapped to a guitar, singing his heart out.
Don’t spill all your candy in the lobby, is a phrase I use quite often. Some time ago, a LinkedIn group for marketers posed this question; “What is your best marketing advice?” I replied with “Don’t spill all your candy in the lobby.” I did so because, in my view this is a fundamental mistake many make when marketing a product or service. They spill all their candy, not only in the lobby, but some spill it in the street on the way to the theater. And quite frankly it drives me crazy to witness this. It makes me even crazier to be dragged into this bad behavior by a colleague or client. But it happens, and when it does happen, I go into my spiel about spilling your candy.