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Need Free Images? Check out These Top Free Image Sites

Free image sites, also referred to as free stock photo sites, are abundant, with new options seemingly cropping up yearly. With all the options and the complex licensing, how does one know which are the top free image sites to rely on? This post will help you understand what licensing means and which to rely on for your image needs.

You can use free images without paying royalties or licenses to the creator. They are free for commercial use, and you don’t have to give credit to the image creator when using them in your blog posts or social media posts.

However, there is a catch – you can’t download and use these images commercially without adhering to the terms of use. Most free images have Creative Commons licenses attached to them. These licenses tell you how you can use the images (for example, whether you can edit them) and whether you need to give attribution.

Let's learn more about image licensing and review the 15 top free image sites from which you can download free images for your blog posts.

What are free images?

Free images are high-resolution graphics, photos, and visuals that can be downloaded from the internet at no cost. They are often used in personal and commercial projects like blog posts, graphic design, email campaigns, social media, and more for free or with minimal attribution requirements.

Common categories of free images include business photos, backgrounds, wallpapers, vectors, nature, landscapes, travel, and abstract photos.

The rise of free image sites and free images is two-part. One, sites like Getty Images and Adobe typically charge fees that small businesses, freelancers, and bloggers do not want to pay.

These sites have loosened some of their usage costs over the years, but free image sites have largely replaced them as the main source for smaller companies to leverage in content.

While free images may not cost any money, they may still be subject to copyright restrictions on usage. Some sites offer a smaller selection of images for free, and then you must pay for a subscription to access additional images.

The free image websites on this list all share one thing in common. You can find thousands of images that can be used for personal and commercial purposes without requiring attribution (although it is a nice thing to do).

They can be a great source of inspiration and creativity for photo enthusiasts of all levels.

What types of image licenses should I look for?

The terms of an image license vary, but it is important to understand them before using images for commercial purposes. While some images are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication, others are commercial and allow using images for financial gain.

For commercial use, images must be marked with a copyright notice and include a valid license type statement such as ‘royalty-free’ or ‘free of charge.' Always double-check the licensing terms to ensure that you are complying with them.

Additionally, the terms of an image license may include terms like attribution, which refers to giving appropriate credit to the creator's work. This can help to ensure ownership of images and protect creative works.

Let's examine the three most common licensing types you'll want to look for and what each means for your image use.

Public Domain

Public domain images are images whose copyrights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. These images work in the public domain and can be widely shared, used, and built upon.

Various public domain images, including Creative Commons Zero license images, give you the right to share, use, and build upon a copyrighted image. These free images can be used for commercial purposes with very few conditions.

All public domain images released under a CC0 license are copyright and royalty-free and can be used without restrictions.

The only restriction a public domain image has is that you are not allowed to sell or rebrand it as your own without making significant changes. Basically, don't try and profit from it.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License types for free image sites

Creative Commons licenses allow photographers to control and revoke their ownership rights. It is important to carefully read the fine print of Creative Commons licenses, as some exclude commercial use and require attribution to the creator.

For example, the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license requires that the creator be credited and that non-commercial usage be permitted. The Zero license in Creative Commons allows creators to “donate” their images to the public, with no rights reserved.

This allows users to download images free of charge with no attribution back to the creator needed. Under copyright law, photographers automatically receive ownership and copyright protection over their images.

Creative Commons simplifies the copyright process by allowing users to download images free of charge with or without attribution back to the source, depending on the license.

It is essential for photographers to understand Creative Commons licenses and take advantage of them to protect their intellectual property and promote transparency in their work.

Rights Managed or Royalty-Free License

Rights-managed and royalty-free images are both free of cost, but there are key differences between the two. With royalty-free images, there is no payment of royalties or licensing fees. However, rights-managed images have specific licenses for a limited time and may only be used for the specified purpose.

Royalty-free images are free of restrictions, whereas rights-managed images come with restrictions on use. This can complicate deciding which image type to use in a project.

When looking for royalty-free stock images for your projects, you will likely steer clear of either unless you decide to purchase a membership to a site like Getty, Adobe Stock, or 123RF. There are many other stock photo sites to choose from if you need high-resolution photographs.

Copyright Free License

The websites we've outlined as the top free image sites provide access to images that follow the CC0 license. The CC0-licensed images allow people to modify, edit and use them freely without copyright repercussions.

However, it's important to double-check the terms of any stock photo resource you use. Be safe and read the fine print.

15 Top Free Image Sites

Free Image Sites - represented by green trees under white sky during daytime

Free image sites are a great source of photos, backgrounds, graphical elements, and vector images. Some free photo sites also offer video, audio, animated gifs, and other types of visual content.

The diversity of what you can source for on most free image sites has helped many online artists and those needing visual assets to partner in a more open-source marketplace.

Each of these free photo websites offers a wide variety of high-quality images and graphics for free use with a Creative Commons license or their own hybrid open licenses.

Finding the best free photo site is worth exploring all the options. And don't feel you can use only one. Use all of them if they fit your visual needs.

1. Pexels

Pexels home page

Pexels is a free stock photo site with a massive image library. They have a free stock image site with over 3 million photos listed, and all of the photos are free for commercial and personal use under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

This means that attribution is not required, and users can download, copy, and use the images free of charge. Additionally, Pexels offers free videos as well.

Pexels sample images
Pexels sample images

The images on Pexels are organized into categories such as design, nature, technology, food, and more, making it easy for users to search for images that suit their needs.

The site also provides color and image orientation filters, allowing users to find high-quality images quickly and easily.

Overall, Pexels is a great resource for quality free stock images.

Image licensing: Pexels license (CC0)

Link to view licensing information: https://www.pexels.com/license/

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: No

2. Unsplash

Unsplash home page

Unsplash is a popular photo site with a large library of high-quality images. It allows users to download free images in various formats and sizes. Unsplash images are free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes without attribution.

All images on Unsplash are free to download and use, but users must agree to the site's terms before downloading them.

Unsplash has multiple plugins and native apps that make it easy for users to search, browse, and download photos from their platform of choice.

Unsplash sample images
Unsplash sample images

Additionally, Unsplash has a desktop wallpaper app that allows users to customize their desktop background with high-quality images from the site.

Unsplash images can be used on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram without any restrictions or attribution required.

Overall, Unsplash is an ideal free photo site for anyone looking for quality images for their projects or blog posts.

Image licensing: Unsplash License (CC0)

Link to view licensing information: https://unsplash.com/license

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: Yes

3. Pixabay

Picjumbo home page

Pixabay is a free stock photo website providing over 2.7 million stock images, videos, sound effects, and music clips. It was built by contributors who donate royalty-free photos that anyone can manipulate and use without permission or attribution.

Since its launch in 2010, Pixabay has become one of the most extensive and reliable free stock photo communities online. The site covers a wide range of topics, with images released under the Pixabay license, similar to the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Pixabay sample images
Pixabay sample images

As a free resource for finding high-quality photos, Pixabay is a great choice for any public or commercial project looking for unique visuals. Pixabay is a hugely valuable resource for professional and casual users looking for high-quality images for their projects.

Whether creating a blog post, designing a logo, or editing a photo album, Pixabay has you covered with an endless supply of quality photos.

Image licensing: Pixabay License (CC0)

Link to view licensing information: https://pixabay.com/service/license/

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: No

4. Picjumbo

Picjumbo is a free stock photo website that offers high-resolution images for commercial and personal use. Designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek created the site in 2013. It features thousands of high-quality images, social media elements, and other design freebies.

Picjumbo is a free collection of photos for commercial and personal use. It started when other image sites rejected Viktor’s photos as being low quality.

The site has grown to become wildly popular and supported by the community. You can sign up for emails, and Viktor will send you new, free pics to download every couple of weeks.

Picjumbo sample images
Picjumbo sample images

Picjumbo images have been downloaded more than two and a half million times and are widely used in blog posts, articles, and other publications.

Picjumbo users can search for and find free stock images and photos based on different categories, such as nature, architecture, food, technology, fashion, and more.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

Link to view licensing information: https://picjumbo.com/faq-and-terms/

Can submit photos: No

Paid membership available: Yes

5. Burst by Shopify

Burst by Shopify home page

Burst is a free stock photo platform offering thousands of free images for publication, websites, and social media. The site provides royalty-free images and business-oriented photos in 28 different categories, so you can easily find the perfect photo to fit your needs.

With Burst, you get high-quality photos in various themes and genres, from beautiful stock photography to photos of food and people to action shots.

Burst sample images
Burst sample images

You also get original photos taken by a global community of photographers. Most of the pictures on Burst are themed around popular business niches such as photography and illustration.

Burst provides tips on turning your online business ideas into reality and showing off your company's best work. With Burst, you can easily find the perfect photo for your project.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license for some and Licensed content for others

Link to view licensing information: https://burst.shopify.com/legal/terms

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: No

6. Freepik

Freepik home page

Freepik is a free graphic resource site offering users various images, illustrations, and vectors. The company behind Freepik also owns Flaticon and Slidesgo.

The images are free for commercial purposes and can be found on social media platforms and online articles. Some free images on the site include backgrounds, logos, icons, and stock photography.

Freepik sample images
Freepik sample images

Free users can access thousands of images from the site without signing up for a subscription. The site has categories to help users search for images by category or type. Enough free assets are available on the site to satisfy most, but a paid subscription opens access to many more high-quality files.

Freepik is an excellent resource for graphic designers looking for free stock photos and images to use in their work.

Image licensing: Multiple licenses depending on use and membership

Link to view licensing information: https://www.freepikcompany.com/legal

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: Yes

7. Life of Pix

Life of Pix home page

Life of Pix is a free website created by LEEROY, a creative agency based in Montreal, Quebec. It is regularly updated with high-quality photos from a handpicked photographer each week.

The site has a great balance of artsy photo shots and standard stock images, allowing photographers to search for the perfect image quickly and easily.

Photographers can manage their Life of Pix profile to show their best work and have access to free stock images and pricing information.

Life of Pix sample image
Life of Pix sample image

It's free to use Life of Pix and an excellent way for photographers to find free images to showcase their work and get exposure. Whether you are a freelance photographer looking for brand-new photos or an agency looking for high-quality stock images for your social media accounts, Life of Pix is a great place to find them.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license up to 10 images

Link to view licensing information: https://www.lifeofpix.com/about/

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: No

8. Gratisography

Gratisography home page

Gratisography is a free stock photo website that provides high-resolution images under the Creative Commons Zero license. All images on Gratisography are taken by experienced photographer Ryan McGuire, who boasts of having the “quirkiest collection of free high-resolution pictures.”

The images on Gratisography feature a unique and captivating collection of high-resolution photos with a surreal and humorous touch. Whether you are looking for interesting or different imagery, Gratisography has you covered.

Gratisography sample images
Gratisography sample images

Gratisography is great for anyone looking for out-of-the-box images to use in your blog or social media profiles. Whether crafting a blog post about fashion trends or posting photos of your family on Facebook, Gratisography can help you find creative and engaging photos completely free of charge.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

Link to view licensing information: https://gratisography.com/license/

Can submit photos: No

Paid membership available: No

9. StockSnap.io

StockSnap home page

StockSnap.io is a free stock photo site offering high-quality creative images. Its unique search bar and function allow users to search by keyword or collection, allowing them to find the images they are looking for easily. The site has many high-quality photos, adding new images weekly.

The free nature of StockSnap.io makes it an ideal platform for finding all types of images that can be used across your projects. It also has a vibrant community that keeps growing as more people use the site to share their work.

StockSnap sample images
StockSnap sample images

The site features trendy, modern images and has a library built by user submissions, making it a one-stop shop for quality stock photos and graphics.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

Link to view licensing information: https://stocksnap.io/license

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: No

10. Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock home page

Startup Stock Photos is a free photo archive that provides stock photos specifically geared toward business and tech startups. All photos are available without attribution, making it easy to find the perfect photo for your next project.

The site offers a variety of images depicting individuals and teams working in the tech sector. The collection is small compared to other options on this list, but if you are looking for office-related or tech-related photos, this is a site to frequent.

Startup Stock sample images
Startup Stock sample images

You can search for images by keyword or category to find what you're looking for quickly and easily. Overall, Startup Stock Photos is a free resource that can help you find great-looking images in business and tech.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

Link to view licensing information: https://startupstockphotos.com/faq/

Can submit photos: Yes (contact them)

Paid membership available: No

11. Vecteezy

Vecteezy home page

Vecteezy is a free image site that offers high-quality stock photos, graphics, and videos for commercial use. It features a search feature where users can filter images by color, orientation, and other criteria to find the perfect photo for their project.

Vecteezy requires users to provide attribution for images downloaded from the site. This protects users from legal risks and allows them to download free bundles of images.

The site’s curation team manually reviews all submitted images before posting them. This ensures that the community posts only quality content.

Vecteezy sample images and graphics
Vecteezy sample images and graphics

Vecteezy has one of the most extensive libraries of vector graphics available. If you've chosen to use graphics on your website, like Web Tools Advisor, instead of images, Vecteezy is one of the best options.

With a Vecteezy paid membership, which doesn't cost much, you can access many free bundles that free users do not, including wallpapers, backgrounds, font libraries, etc.

Vecteezy also has an image editor and graphic design tool to allow you to change some of the graphics before you download.

Image licensing: Limited use license and other licensing depending on use and membership

Link to view licensing information: https://www.vecteezy.com/licensing-agreement

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: Yes

12. Morguefile

Morguefile home page

Morguefile is a free image platform with over 400,000 stock photos, videos, vectors, and templates for personal and commercial use only. The site was founded with the goal of providing high-quality images to creative professionals and students under the mantra, “for creatives, by creatives.”

It features amateur and professional images taken from around the world, allowing users to find photos that suit their needs. Morguefile images can be used in their original state as long as the artist is credited. Users must abide by the terms of use and download restrictions to use images from this site.

Morguefile sample images
Morguefile sample images

Morguefile also offers an app to allow photographers to challenge themselves with photo assignments. They ask that others upload their photos to pay it back if you've used a Morguefile photo.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license w/ an attribution caveat

Link to view licensing information: https://morguefile.com/license

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: No

13. Canva

Canva home page

Canva is a free online design tool that can be used to create almost any visual you may need for online and offline applications. It can be a great resource for free images and boasts one of the largest image and vector libraries available, even for free users.

You can use Canva to add text overlays, filter photos and tweak the transparency or vibrancy of photos. It also offers photo editing and text overlay features to help you create visual content quickly and easily.

Canva sample categories
Canva sample categories

Besides free images, Canva has templates and design elements that allow you to create visuals quickly and easily. Canva is one of the platforms on this list worth purchasing a membership for if you have a business blog or strong social media needs.

Whether you are creating a blog post, graphic, or social media post, Canva has all the tools you need to create stunning visuals in no time.

You can read our complete Canva review to learn more about the best uses for Canva.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license for most content

Link to view licensing information: https://www.canva.com/policies/content-license-agreement/

Can submit photos: No

Paid membership available: Yes

14. FoodiesFeed

FoodiesFeed home page

FoodiesFeed is a free stock photo site with over 1,800 photos for food-related websites. It offers detailed, realistic images perfect for blogs about food, health and wellness, and nutrition. FoodiesFeed photos can easily be modified to fit any blog theme or niche. Whether you're looking for high-resolution images of foods in different shapes and sizes or photos of fresh ingredients at their peak quality, FoodiesFeed will surely have what you're looking for.

FoodiesFeed sample images
FoodiesFeed sample images

Commercial use of photos on FoodiesFeed is allowed with no attribution requirements. You can also customize the photo to make it unique to your blog. It's easy to use and has many options for editing and styling your images before saving them to your blog.

Image licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

Link to view licensing information: https://www.foodiesfeed.com/license/

Can submit photos: Yes

Paid membership available: No

15. Kaboompics

Kaboompics home page

Kaboompics is a free stock photo site with over 20,000 high-quality photos available to download free of charge. The site includes photos across 14 categories and various themes: lifestyle, business, urban, travel, food, healthcare, nature, and technology. It also has a search feature that lets you easily find images matching your search terms.

Besides, Kaboompics has a blog that shares useful photography-related information, such as tips and tricks on how to use stock photos effectively. It is a useful resource for budding photographers and visual media enthusiasts.

Kaboompics sample images
Kaboompics sample images

Kaboompics offers other unique features, making it a popular choice for stock photo users. You get free access to photoshoots of some of the featured photos free of charge under the Kaboompics License. This makes using perfect stock photo images in your work easier without requiring attribution.

Kaboompics is a free and reliable source of high-quality images for commercial and personal projects.

Image licensing: Kaboompics License (CC0)

Link to view licensing information: https://kaboompics.com/page/license-and-faq

Can submit photos: No

Paid membership available: No

Free Image Sites Wrap-up

Several free stock photo websites offer high-quality images and allow you to use them for commercial purposes. These sites have a range of images, including vectors, logos, and illustrations. Some even have video, audio, sound effects, animations, etc.

If you are looking for royalty-free images or just want to get your hands on some free photos, these sites should do the trick! Remember to check out their terms of use before using any images for commercial purposes. But other than that, they’re free to use. Happy searching!

Have a free image site that you swear by? Let us know in the comments, and we'll add it to the list.

Need Free Images? Check out These Top Free Image Sites

Ben Adams

Ben Adams is an online entrepreneur with over 20 years of digital marketing experience in SEO, content marketing, analytics, email marketing, e-commerce, and other strategies. He enjoys consulting and helping businesses and entrepreneurs succeed by using technology and tools to power their online presence and growth. He also enjoys writing, photography, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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