This is Day 4 in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. You can read Day 3’s post here.
Everyone knows it brightens up a web page to have a photo or two. It’s obviously fine to use your own photos, but you may not be a whiz with a camera, or may sometimes want to use a photo of something that’s not so easily obtainable. This is where stock photos come in.
Good quality photography can come with a hefty price tag. If you don’t have a lot of cash to spare, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of websites you can download images for free. Here are 10 of them.
Pixabay offers a massive selection of images – more than 310,000 images in all. This includes illustrations and vectors as well as photos.
How to download: Find the image you want and click the Download button for the size you want. If you register, you will avoid typing in captchas.
Usage restrictions: Images are in the public domain, but may still be copyrighted – read their blog for full usage rights. You can attribute images if you want to, though it’s not strictly necessary.
freeimages has another large selection of images. The photos tend to be quite large in size, which is great if you are using them for graphic design purposes.
How to download: Create an account, search for the photo and download it.
Usage restrictions: Most photos come with standard restrictions, but some ask that you contact or credit the author before their use.
The everystockphoto site aggregates photos used in other sources (e.g. Flickr).
How to download: Search for a photo and click on it to see the full size version to save.
Usage restrictions: Check the everystockphoto help page. Each photo has its own license agreement, so read carefully.
Morguefile styles itself as “the free photo archive for creatives”. The photos are of very high quality, and are intended for use in creative projects.
How to download: Search the Free Photos archive, click on a photo to view it in a lightbox and use the Download button to save it.
Usage restrictions: Adaptation of the work is encouraged by the Morguefile license. If you are using an image as-is, you should credit the original photographer.
5. Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons is a good source of photos on academic or educational topics.
How to download: Browse by topic or search, then when you find an image, click to download and view the size you want.
Usage restrictions: License terms are individual to the image, so read carefully. Read the Wikimedia statement on reusing media for full information.
6. Free Stock Photos.biz
Free Stock Photos.biz has photos from a variety of sources and clip art.
How to download: No registration required; search for a photo. When you find one, use the Download button to get the size you want.
Usage restrictions: Check the terms for each image, and also read the FAQ.
7. Split Shire
Split Shireis run by Italian photographer and web designer Daniel Nanescu.
How to download: Find the image from the list of categories and download it.
Usage restrictions: You cannot redistribute the images. You don’t have to attribute them, but it’s a kind gesture.
8. Free Range Stock
Free Range Stock has large images, at least 2400 x 1600px in size.
How to download: Register, log in, search, download. (Watch out for Shutterstock photos at the top.) You are encouraged to leave a comment and follow them on Twitter. Photographer credits are encouraged, but not required.
9. RGB Stock
RGB Stock has a wide selection of photos and backgrounds for personal and commercial use.
How to download: Register, log in, search, download. You are encouraged to leave a comment and follow them on Twitter. Photographer credits are encouraged, but not required.
Raumrothas gorgeous hi-res photographs licensed through Creative Commons.
How to download: Find a photo, click on the link when you hover over it which takes you to the Flickr page. Then you can download it.
Usage restrictions: Read the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. Attribution is shown in the caption below.
And for even more free stock photos, check out…
Stockphotos have compiled a brilliant list of free stock photo sites. What I like about their list is that it gives you an indication of the number and quality of pictures you’ll find, as well as the “license safety” – that is, any potential legal troubles you might fall foul of if you use images without checking the licensing carefully.
Canva’s blog has some more sites to find free images. Canva is a fantastic tool for creating graphic designs of various types (social media headers, business cards, flyers etc.) I created this infographic on the Web using Canva.
Pikwizard has a library of free stock images including many of people.
Hope you found this post useful. If you have know of any more places to find free stock photos for your website, please share them in the comments!
Another great article. I can see a very useful course coming out of these blogs
Kate Loving Shenk says
A wonderful resource! Thank you.
Heather Landry says
This is fantastic!! I love these, thank you so much for sharing.
I also appreciate the detailed information on different licensing practice of the sites, that is always an immense consideration for artists and designers needing an image for a photo-manipulation, texture, or reference. Above all you don’t want to end up shorting another artist or creative like yourself!
Love your post. I look forward to using these resources. Thanks
Charlotte Fleming says
There’s always Google images. If you do an Advanced Search and click on the bottom choice (Usage rights), then select Free to use or share, even commercially, you’ll get all the freely available images for the picture you want. Sometimes there aren’t many and Google’s idea of “relevant” isn’t always mine, but it’s still a useful tool.
Susan Wilkinson says
This is a really good tip – I get frustrated with the “free” sites because usually I can’t find what I want, or what I want isn’t free. I do subscribe to a service, but it’s always useful to have other sources, although like you say some of the search results are a bit odd!
Nicky Claydon says
Thanks for this great resource. I’m sure I will refer back to it often.
this is incredibly useful. thanks for the great share!!!
Brill! Always needing photos! I found another here!
Claire Brotherton says
Thank you everyone for your kind comments.
I didn’t know about Google Images Advanced Search, Charlotte – I just found the link here: http://www.google.co.uk/advanced_image_search.
Thanks Mel for Photopin, another excellent resource though the licensing looks complex. Another “read carefully”!
Susan Wilkinson says
The Getty images wordpress plugin can be useful. it’s not ideal because the images are embedded so can’t be shared on SM or used as the featured image, but there’s an enormous range of good quality free pictures.
Troy Wagstaff says
Thank you for this post on free stock images. A very nice service to provide fellow bloggers.
Good Free Photos says
Also check out http://www.goodfreephotos.com for thousands of unique public domain photos, especially travel photos. Appreciate it if you could add it to your list. Thanks.
Hello, great post also check out https://photostockeditor.com our project with free images.
Claire Brotherton says
Thank you, I hadn’t heard of that one. 🙂