15 Top Resources For Free Stock Graphics & Photos
It’s always important to remember that just because something is online, it doesn’t always mean it can be used without copyright. Check the terms of usage carefully for each resource to determine how it can be used. Some resources allow for commercial use, while others are under copyright and available for personal use only. Here’s a quick list of the types of usage you may find:
Public Domain– A public domain work (Creative Commons Zero) is freely available and has no copyright restrictions on usage, including commercially. Read more about public domain in different countries.
Creative Commons – In 2001 this American non-profit started issuing free licenses to help people share their work in a clear manner. See some of the different licenses you’ll come upon, some of which require attribution to the original source or exclude the work from use in commercial products.
The 5 questions you need to answer before downloading and using free stock photos
- Is the license current?
- Is your use of the image commercial?
- If so, are releases needed and have they been collected?
- Are there any copyright issues?
- Are there items in the photo protected by trademark law?
Note: It’s always best to double check the licensing for each stock photo resource below. We did our research when putting this list together, but licensing is subject to change and may differ by photographer. Some may require approval for commercial use, while others may be totally free to download and use.
So now let the list begin… in no particular order.
They offer almost one million free photos from subjects as diverse as fresh asparagus and mountain goats to stunning city-scapes and portraits. All photos on the site are completely free and you are not required to credit the source in any way.
Pixabay is one of the best resources for grabbing awesome photos in a short amount of time. Great filter results as well.
Over 3,000 new stock photos added every month with well over 40,000 already available.
Absolutely massive collection of artistic stock images for you to explore. From mountains to music, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Looking for nature, abstract and technology photography? Pexels is perfect for personal or commercial use.
When you scroll through their site, you see only one photo at a time, which can be less overwhelming. They also have a search feature so that you can find specific subjects. If you don’t find what you are looking for on Pixabay, Unsplash may have just what you need.
Easily one of the top sources of gorgeous, high-resolution free photos.
Hundreds of lifestyle photographs available for commercial use.
Variety is the spice of life! City, cultural, hospitality, people, scenery, street—you’ll find it here.
Sort the stock photography based on dominant colors, category, tags, etc.
Easy to navigate system with palette and camera specs.
Beautiful, high contrast photographs free for commercial use (as long as you provide attribution).
This site is amazing for everything food related. While some of the photos can be downloaded and used for free, this site also offers something called Foodiesfeed premium. After paying a one-time fee, you have access to hundreds more photos, conveniently organized by type of food, holiday, or country of origin. If you regularly write about topics related to food, cooking, or restaurant dining, Foodiesfeed provides high quality images to pair with your posts.
A full archive of free for commercial use stock photos with new photos added every single week.
Heavy focus on nature stock photography and macro stock photography.
Incredibly easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for. Sort by category, tags, colors and orientation.
You can search for photos based on simple categories and all photos are free with no attribution required. Their photos also have more of a unique, local feel than some of the other stock photography sites. If you need a specific image, but don’t want it to look like a professional photographer staged the shot, this could be a great site to use.
Beautiful, high-resolution stock images for startups, bloggers, designers and developers.
Perfect stock photos for a tech-related website. Plenty of laptop-, desk- and office-related shots. 100% royalty free images for commercial use.
10. FOODIE FACTOR
From alcohol to healthy snacks to candy, Foodie Factor already has over 1,000 food-related stock photos to choose from.
You can choose to have the newest photos sent directly to your inbox.
All stock images are free for commercial use.
11. BURST BY SHOPIFY
From delicious-looking sushi to adorable newborn puppies, skitterphoto offers an impressive variety of public domain images. They offer a range of quality, from amateur to professional looking photographs. You are also able to see how many times each photo has been viewed and downloaded, so you have any idea how many other sites are using that photo. This feature is useful if you want to find a photo that will make your site more unique.
Contributors to the site include graphic designers and other artists as well as photographers. As a result, the site has a higher ratio of graphics and abstract art than the other sites mentioned. The site does require you to register, but registration is completely free. Rgbstock is a great resource for blogs that need a lot of graphics or abstract images, in addition to more typical stock photography.
The photos on this site are conveniently categorized and the site lets you filter results further by popularity, rating, and date. Most photos are available for free download at moderate sizes. Under the “professional photos” section, the site features photos from other stock photography websites, so you can easily access a broad range of photos all from one place.
If you are looking for specific historical images, ancestry images is a great place to start. This site is different than the others mentioned so far, because it does not include general stock photography. Instead, the site focuses on highly specific historical documents like antique maps and decorative prints. If you need an image of an engraving from the mid 1800s or a 300-year-old map of China, ancestry images is the place to go!
And last but defiantly not least - Our very own Blue Penguin Graphics Freebies collection...