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85 Free Stock Photography Sites That Don't Suck

July 01, 2016 0 Comments

How do you find images for your content (blogs, social media, ebooks, ads, etc.)? Do you run a quick Google image search, click "save image as", and then recycle the pictures in your own content?

Stop!

Don't learn your lesson the hard way. Using copyright protected images in any content that you are creating can lead to major financial consequences. Avoid getting hit with hefty fines by:

  • Ensuring that your visual content gets sourced appropriately.
  • Understanding the different types of Creative Commons licenses and how to correctly use them.

Of course you can always err on the side of caution and pay for bland stock photos, but why do that when plenty of artists out there feel your pain, and are willing to offer their works for free?

To help you get started, we've compiled a list of 85 free stock photography sites (that don't suck). We've alphabetized them for your convenience:

1. 123RF


Copyright: bedolaga, pstedrak, denis83 / 123RF Stock Photo

123RF offers a large inventory of premium high-quality content as well as a constantly updated selection of free stock images at lower resolutions (72dpi). Availability changes often so check back frequently if you can't find what you're looking for at first.

Search: Yes
Quality: Low-res (Pay for hi-res)
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: Yes

2.) Albumarium

Diverse stock library with images for personal and commercial use. Be sure to check copyright privileges before use.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

3.) Ancestry Images


Unique library of high-quality antique prints. Images are free for personal use.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

4.) Artoutline


Artoutline offers a very long list of categories. Most are raw photos without post production licensed under Creative Commons Zero.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

5.) Barn Images

Don’t let the name fool you--Barn Images provides way more than pictures of barns. Ironically, with more than 1,000 photos available in their collections, Barn Images don’t have any actual images of barns.

You are allowed to use all of the images published in Barn Images collections (both Free Images and Premium Packs) for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

6.) Bigfoto

BigFoto offers images from all categories to its users. The quality is mixed, but you can find gems if you’re willing to dig around. As for copyright, Bigfoto requests a link back to their site, but be sure to check the ownership of each photo because they are mostly personal works from various photographers.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies (check each photo)

7.) (CG)Textures.com

Formerly CGTextures.com, Textures.com offers free pictures of all sorts of material. Pictures range from fabrics, wood, metal, bricks, plastic, and more. Although textures is their specialty, they also offer many other images.

You can login to download up to 15 small to medium images per day. They also offer memberships to those who would like purchase more options.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: Varies (depends on image usage)

8.) Cupcake

These images have been offered to the public domain. This means no attribution unless you want to.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: No

9.) Death to the Stock Photo

Death to the Stock Photo is a membership-based stock photo library. After signing up, you’ll receive a photo pack immediately.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: No

10.) DesignersPics.com


DesignerPics is an assortment of photos free of copyright. Attribution is requested but not required.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

11.) Epicantus

Scroll through Epicantus for beautiful imagery of everyday life. Images are free to use without attribution. You can also request specific photos.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

12.) FancyCrave

FancyCrave is a free stock photo site created by designer & photographer Igor Ovsyannykov. He publishes two hi-res photos daily that you can use for your personal and commercial projects without copyright restrictions

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

13.) FindA.Photo

One of their best features is the ability to search by color so you can get images that are color related. Most images are public domain, but make sure to check the license before downloading.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

14.) Flickr

Flickr (pronounced "flicker") is an image and video hosting website and web services suite. Flickr hosts photos under all types of licenses, but you have the option of filtering for only the licenses you want within the search function.

Search: Yes
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies (check individual photos)
Quality: Mix

15.) FoodiesFeed

FoodiesFeed is a collection of high quality food images that are fully available for free download.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies (check individual photos)

16.) Foodshot

All photos on Foodshot are collected and curated purely from sites where photos are distributed for free use. You may copy, modify, and use images on Foodshot without asking for permission or giving attribution, personally or for commercial use.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

17.) Foter


Photo credit: brownpau, Cydcor, jacme3 via Foter.com / CC BY

Home to over 220 million free Creative Commons images from many online sources (mainly Flickr). Attribution varies by photo so make sure you double check.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

18.) Free Images

FreeImages.com/cristina cascais, Anne-Sophie Réaud, fishingfox fishingfox

Free Images has an impressive library of stock images, but it requires a soul crushing sign up process before you can download the images.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: Yes

19.) Free Nature Stock

As its name hints, Free Nature Stock is a library of stock nature photos for you to use however you want.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

20.) Free Stock Image Point

Free Stock Image Point offers free, original images with no copyright restrictions. Categories offered are Landscape, City, Animals, Architecture, and Flowers.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

21.) Freeimages.red

Freeimages.red offers a collection of public domain images (free to use). The site is in German, but can be easily translated by your browser.

Search: Yes
High Resolution: Yes
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: No

22.) Freerange Stock

Freerange Stock provides quality stock photos to registered users for both commercial and personal uses. For free.

Search: Yes
Quality: High-res
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: Not required, but requested

23.) freestock.ca

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond, Eve Livesey, Nicolas Raymond via freestock.ca/CC BY 3.0

freestock.ca offers a wide variety of free images but attribution is required.

Search: Yes
Quality: High-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

24.) FreeStockPhotos.biz

All images on this site are completely free to download and use as long as abide by the Image License and Usage Terms listed on the photo download page.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies (check image's download page)

25.) Good Free Photos

Good Free Photos offers public domain photos--lots of original images from travel around the world.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

26.) Gratisography

Offered free from photographer Ryan McGuire. Although attribution isn’t required, it is appreciated.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

27.) HiResStock

Images here are all free for personal and commercial use though attribution is greatly appreciated.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Greatly Appreciated

28.) IM Free

Free photos gathered from around the web--they're free for personal and commercial use.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: Varies

29.) Imagebase.net

Imagebase.net is a collection of photos, mostly taken by David Niblack, that can be freely used for personal, commercial, non-profit, artistic, or creative purposes with no attribution required.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

30.) ISO Republic

ISO Republic offers both free and premium high quality photos.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

31.) Jay Mantri

Every Thursday, Jay Mantri shares seven new high quality photos. Use the images in whatever way you’d like, without attribution.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

32.) JÉSHOOTS

Jeshoots doesn’t require attribution for its wide collection of free photos.

Search: Within categories
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

33.) KaboomPics

KaboomPics is a small inventory of high quality images. Attribution is not required, but greatly appreciated.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Requested

34.) Kave Wall

Photo by Kave Wall CC BY 2.5

Stock photos offered by graphic design agency. Full resolution images are available for purchase.

Search: No
Quality: Low-res (Purchase hi-res)
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

35.) Life of Pix

Images are donated from Canadian firm Leeroy Advertising Agency with no copyright restrictions.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

36.) Little Visuals

Sadly, the founder of Little Visuals has passed, but his family has chosen to keep the website up as well as all images. The images offered here are all free under Public Domain.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

37.) Lock and Stock Photos

Free images for your personal and commercial use.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

38.) Magdeleine

Free images curated from around the web. Magdeleine also has a great search feature--you search by keyword, color, category, or license. Not all images on Magdeleine are attribution free so be careful.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies

39.) MarblePics

Free high-res images with most not requiring attribution, but please double check all download page descriptions.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies

40.) MMT

Released to public domain, MMT offers many nature images.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

41.) Morguefile

Large inventory of images with great search functionality--you can click the image and download from the same screen.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Required if you do not edit/alter the image.

42.) Moveast

Find free, stunning photography of the eastern world.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

43.) Negative Space

Negative Space offers a large variety of photos offered to the public domain. Their search function also has a great color filter.

Search: Yes
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No
Quality: Hi-res

44.) New Old Stock

New Old Stock is a vintage repository with quirky, old school images.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

45.) notaselfie

Collection of everyday images offered for free.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

46.) pdpics

pdpics is a wide repository of free public domain images. Although it is public domain, pdpics does request a link and credit.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Requested

47.) Pexels

Pexels offers curated images from a variety of sources. 30 new images are added to its inventory on a weekly basis.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No, but double check on download page

48.) Photo Collections

Mostly nature photos offered under public domain.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

49.) Photober

Free Image via Photober.com

Photober offers free photos for personal and commercial use, but they do request credit.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

50.) Photoeverywhere

Search for travel stock photos using the map or search bar. The images are high resolution, but if you require higher resolution (or no attribution), you will have to pay.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

51.) Photogen

Photogen provides free high-res stock photos that require no attribution (though appreciated).

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

52.) picjumbo

picjumbo is a huge collection of high-res images for personal and commercial use. You can also sign up for images delivered directly to your inbox.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

53.) Pickle Jar

Hi-res everyday images of India given to public domain.

Search: By tag
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

54.) Pickupimage

Pickupimage offers members free public domain images. No attribution is necessary, but be sure to check the individual images.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: No

55.) Picnshot

The owner of Picnshot uploads his original work free for your personal or commercial use. You can download them one bye one, or the entire lot for $3.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

56.) Picography

Picography is a simple gallery of beautiful images.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

57.) Pixabay

Pixabay is one of the best resources for stock photos. Membership is not required, but signing up means not having to deal with the annoying captcha code every time you download. Most images do not require attribution, but always check.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies

58.) Public Domain Photos

All images and clipart on this site are public domain. You may use them for any purpose including commercial, but some photos contain logos and products so you need to be careful.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies

59.) Public Domain Archive

This public domain image repository contains both vintage and modern images.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: No

60.) RaumRot

Photo Credit: Markus Spiske / raumrot.com

Curated and high quality, the photos you’ll find on Raumrot are some of the best free images available online.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

61.) Realistic Shots

Get 7 new lifestyle-esque photos emailed to you every week. All photos published on Realistic Shots are free for you to copy, modify, and use, even for commercial purposes. Attribution is not required, but appreciated.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

62.) re:splashed

re:splashed is a hack for Unsplash. It provides enhanced functionalities like search and speed for images on Unsplash.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

63.) RGBStock.com

Images found on RGBStock are 100% free for any use, including commercial. Free registration is required to download high resolution images.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: Yes
Attribution Required: No, but check

64.) RichAndWild

Relying on contributions made by multiple artists, RichAndWild offers a sample library, but they function as a biweekly subscription of new original images.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No but subscription required for biweekly pics
Attribution Required: No

65.) Skitterphoto

Skitterphoto offers free, high quality images for you to use however you’d like.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

66.) Snapwire Snaps

Snapwire Snaps releases seven free photos every seven days to the public domain.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

67.) SplitShire

Photographer Daniel Nanescu shares his photos from for personal or commercial use.

Search: Yes
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No
Quality: Hi-res

68.) Startup Stock Photos

Aptly named, Startup Stock Photos offers images of startups.

Search: No
Quality: Low-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

69.) Stockified

Newer to the scene, they currently offer more images of India with a minor focus on other categories.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

70.) Stockmile

All free images offered on the site are under Creative Commons Zero. Please pay attention, not all images in the free section are model- and property released.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

71.) StockPhotos.io

StockPhotos.io acts more like a Pinterest board, aggregating stock photos in a "pin" style. It offers both Creative Commons and public domain images for free.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies

72.) StockSnap

Stock Snap curates the best stock photos from around the web and from their photographer network. All photos uploaded to the site are released under Creative Commons-CCO and do not require attribution. To make life easier, Stock Snap also allows you to filter your image search results by date, popularity, and views.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

73.) Stockvault

Stockvault is an expansive library of over 50,000 images, renders, objects, and textures. Whether you're browsing or searching, ignore the first set of photos--they all link to shutterstock.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

74.) stokpik

Stokpic is one of the best resources for free high resolution images that are not on any other image repository.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

75.) StreetWill

Free vintage photos to use any way you want.

Search: Yes
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No
Quality: Hi-re

76.) Sunipix

Because some images offered on Sunipix were immensely time-consuming to capture, and sometimes in extreme weather, Sunipix images remain protected by copyright so that they are not misused. However, they've granted the public permission to use them (just make sure you check their terms for proper use).

Search: Yes, but clunky
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

77.) Sunni-Side-Up Productions

With an inventory that seems to include a little bit of everything, Sunni-Side-Up Productions tags every image with a quirky title. They have many categories, but a large inventory of photos within each.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

78.) Superfamous

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, you are free to use the high resolution images found on Superfamous as long as you provide credit.

Search: By category
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Yes

79.) ThePhotoBay

7 new photos every 7 days straight to your inbox. You can use the however you like.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: Email subscription service
Attribution Required: No

80.) travel coffee book

True to its name, travel coffee book features images worthy of a coffee book.

Search: No
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

81.) Unrestricted Stock

Small collection of free images in various formats including hand-drawn, photography, PSD, and vectors--all for free unrestricted use.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

82.) Unsplash

Unsplash is a large inventory of beautiful, high resolution images. The photos are free for personal and commercial use, and require no attribution.

Search: No
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

83.) UPICM

UPICM is a small library with images you won't find elsewhere. UPICM also offers premium stock images for a fee as well as a buyout option.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

84.) Viintage

Get thousands of free public domain images of vintage art and design.

Search: Yes
Quality: Hi-res
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: No

85.) Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons provides creative common and public domain images. Be sure to check whether attribution is required.

Search: Yes
Quality: Mixed
Membership Required: No
Attribution Required: Varies

Disclaimer: We've listed these sites based on their claims that all content is free for reuse or redistribution, but it is your responsibility to confirm and conform to proper licensing and copyright regulations. If you're not sure, ask!

Did we miss any? Let us know!

Ngan Ton
San Francisco, CA Website
Tech enthusiast, cat lover, bookworm, and Content Marketing Manager at GearLaunch