Photography is an integral part of making your blog or website look the best it can.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have access to aesthetically pleasing authentic images. In fact, like many web designers until recently we had to settle for those tacky stock photos featuring awkward poses and cheesy smiles.
Thankfully the inter webs has stepped up and stock photography is taking some big steps to right the past wrongs. In recent years there have been a growing number of top quality stock photography sites, and best of all…they are free!
So, glasses on, coffee brewed, roll up your sleeves and get ready to discover some incredible free stock photography through our guide to the top 15 best free stock image sites – and the best paid one for good measure.
The founders of StockSnap created this stock image site to solve the frustration of finding the right images for your project. They generously provide many more categories than most free sites offer and add new authentic images on a weekly basis.
With such an abundance of awesome images, it can be easy to get distracted! But to help you to concentrate, they have provided a handy search feature so it’s easy to browse through.
All these images are free to use under a simple CC0 license that let you do anything you want with the photos, with no attribution.
2. Death to Stock
Death to Stock founders, Allie and David noticed that it was extremely challenging for bloggers, businesses and creative’s to find high-quality stock photos. They made it their mission to resource artistic tools for your projects.
Their focus is on quality, not quantity as they offer a free email bundle package. Simply sign up with your email address and enjoy a batch of 10 high-quality photos per month. And it’s all free!
They also offer two premium options, if you’ve got a bit of extra budget to spend. The paid membership gives you access to over 2000 images.
Death to Stock has its own personal license which you can check on their webpage.
Moose is a relatively new player in the free stock photo space and they bring something quite unique – a large library of images from the bizarre to the beautiful that has been perfectly crafted to work together.
Created by the team behind Icons8, the Moose library includes a wide range of clean, minimalist and creative images that are unique to the service. A standard light has been used across the whole library which gives a consistent style and quality, making them great to use.
All images are packaged in a single 940mb file and the use of them requires a simple Creative Commons Attribution link to say thanks. The images and all the Icons8 files can also be licensed for around $19.90 per month.
Unsplash has become one of the best stock sites for free digital photos. The team only feature the best for their homepage. The site has a huge library of over 300,000 images, with new hand-picked photos being uploaded every day.
If you’re looking for cheesy photos, you won’t find them here. With a powerful search bar, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need.
All photos are free under their own Unsplash license. Users have the freedom to modify, copy, distribute and use all photos without attribution or permission.
From food to fashion to decor to landscapes, Kaboompics has it all. With a powerful search engine, it’s easy to find exactly what you need.
Kamboompics was created by a one-woman army – Karolina from Poland. She is a photographer, and graphic and website designer who created the site for everything you need to create fabulous content. A unique feature is that every photo on the site has a colour palette with free graphics to download.
Her constantly growing database features photos of the highest quality. Users have the freedom to use the photos in any way they’d like, commercial or non-commercial. The only requirement is that you include a photo credit with a link back to the site so that the website can expand and grow.
6. Fancy Crave
Fancy Crave photos are free of any copyright restrictions. But they are not generic in any way!
These awesome images are created by independent photographers. Fancy Crave collaborates with these talented photographers and uploads two new fresh photos per day for free.
You can use this website to create impressive logos or funky designs, even if you’re on a slim budget. They also offer premium packages for access to over 800 high-quality images.
All they ask is that you never advertise the images as your own, and give attribution when possible. Check out their license page for the finer details.
7. ISO Republic
The ISO Republic provides free marketing images and stock photos for creative professionals. More and more CC0 licensed images are uploaded week by week. You can sign up for their newsletter to receive the latest images direct to your inbox.
The ISO Republic is an independent website that is managed by a small team of contributors. The team’s mission is to provide the best images in the highest quality.
With a simple list of categories and a convenient search bar finding that perfect click is easier than ever.
Pexels mission is to help designers, writers, programmers, and artists around the world to get access to a variety of beautiful photos in creating their amazing products. The founders call this mission “Empowering Creators”.
With over 40,000 free digital photos that are individually tagged and easily discoverable through the search bar, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
All their published pictures are licensed under CC0 and are hand-picked for their authentic look.
9. New Old Stock
If you can’t resist a good old black and white photo, you’ve come to the right place. New Old Stock features an abundance of vintage photos from public archives.
The team collects antique and old vintage images housed under the public domain and puts them all in one convenient place.
Most images are free of any known copyright restrictions and can be used commercially. But make sure to read the fine print of the original provider’s terms of service, just in case.
10. Life of Pix
You won’t find anything generic here, they only feature the best of the best! You’ll be able to find a wide variety of trendy marketing images that can spice up your dull blog posts. And funky videos too!
Both sites are also amazingly free and have no copyright restrictions.
11. Jay Mantri
The motto for Jay Mantri is “Free pics. Do anything. Make Magic.”
The founder, Jay releases 7 new photos every Thursday. Many of the photos feature nature and the great outdoors. Though the snaps are in high resolution, many have a grainy nostalgic feel.
His professional photos are showcased in an impressive gallery. You can spend hours browsing through the stunning images in chronological posting order.
All his images are under the CC0 license, which means you can use them for anything you want.
Ryan McGuire, a whimsical visual artist, created this Stock image site to add some quirky images to the web.
New awesome images are added weekly. All snaps are free of all copyright restrictions for your personal or commercial use.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary for your project, Gratisography will have the right eye-popping image for you. With categories such as nature, animals, whimsical and urban you’ll definitely find that statement photo.
13. Foodies Feed
With social media taking the world by storm, foodies are on the rise!
Foodies Feed is a treasure trove of stock photos for food bloggers and anyone needing food content for their project. The diverse site offers thousands of realistic, tasty-looking images in high resolution.
Jakub Kapusnak initially started this site as a side project, but it grew into a fully themed stock site. Food photographers from around the world contribute their photos to the site using the CC0 license. There is also a premium package available in three different tiers for serious foodies!
Out of all free photo sites, Pixabay probably has the largest image library.
They have a ton of quality photos, vectors and illustrations that are all under the CC0 license. The site is clean and easy to navigate. The search bar even has a filter that lets you refine your search even further, which is really helpful as there are over 780k images to choose from!
No matter what you’re working on, Pixabay will have something for you. They even have a video library!
Burst is a free digital photos site created and powered by Shopify. Their vast library includes thousands of top quality images collected from around the world. Although images are directed towards use in their Shopify online stores, images are free to be used anywhere you want.
Their aim is to provide free awesome images for designers, developers, bloggers and more. These high-resolution images are far from boring, and can majorly improve your generic-looking webpage or blog.
All of their images are free for commercial use, with no attribution required. But a photo credit or link back to the photographer’s profile would be appreciated.
Best Paid Stock Site: Stocksy
Ok, we said we’d cover all free stock sites so just for good measure we’re going to include our favourite go to paid stock image site – Stocksy.
Every artist, photo and video is hand-picked by the Stocksy team to ensure the quality is consistently high. And seriously, the quality is incredible and about as far from cheesy stock as it’s possible to get. From creative craft flatlays through to stunning portraits the Stocksy standards are high. What’s more their licensing looks after the artist – and who doesn’t like looking after great artists!
We do whatever we can to try and fit at least one Stocksy image into most of our projects, especially when our client might not have the budget for a photographer but still wants quality.
Best Free Stock Image Sites
As you can see, the options for high-quality, free stock images are limitless. By using any of our top 15 best free stock image sites, you’re sure to find awesome images for your project. It’s worth noting that Flickr can also be a great resource just keep an eye on the rights license filters. Always make sure to check the fine print so that you are legally free to use the images you choose!
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