14 Best Free Stock Photo Websites

Are you looking for the perfect photo to use on your social media account or on your next blog post? While it’s great to take original photos, sometimes there is a need to use stock photography. So how do you find the the best free stock photo?

Fortunately, there are over 100 websites on the internet with free stock photography. We have looked through all of them (so you don’t have to) and have compiled our list of the 14 best free stock photo websites. Most of the images found on these sites are free of copyright restrictions (and most do not need attribution).

Criteria

Why only 14 sites? We used specific criteria when selecting the best free stock photo websites:

  • Large selection
  • Non-intrusive ads & upsells
  • Unique
  • Easily searched

 

This is our go to list for blogging, website and social media images. Enjoy!

The 14 Best Free Stock Photo Websites

1. Pixabay (RECOMMENDED)

With over 980,000 of the best free stock photo images, vectors and illustrations, Pixabay is one of the largest free photo databases on the internet.
With over 980,000 stock photos, vectors and illustrations, Pixabay is one of the largest free photo databases on the internet. Enjoy it while it lasts.

All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. No attribution required.

Tips:

  • Ignore the first row of sponsored images in the search results.
  • Use the filters to narrow down your search.
  • Use StockMagic to get a free tiny app that lives in your menu bar and gives you quick access to Pixabay’s large image database

2. Stocksnap.io

Made by Snappa, Stocksnap offers thousands of high resolution images that can be used for all of your stock photo needs.

Made by Snappa, Stocksnap offers thousands of high resolution images that can be used for all of your stock photo needs.

Creative Commons CC0.

Tips

  • The site tracks image views and downloads so you can filter by popularity.
  • You can subscribe to their email list to be the first to see the new photos they add every day.

3. Unsplash

One of the most well known and best free stock photo websites on the internet.

One of the more well known free stock photo sites, Unsplash offers a great collection of images.

Free, do whatever you want, high resolution photos.

Tips

  • Utilize their New and Collections to browse various sets of images.
  • Like a photo by pressing the Heart icon under it.
  • Find similar images by clicking on the photographer’s name and seeing their other images.

4. Burst by Shopify

Burst is a great resource to download free photos to fuel your next project.

Creative Commons CC0.

Tips

  • Although there are no search filters, you can see what tags were used on the image and find similar type images that way.
  • Browsing the Popular collections tab is a quick way to identify whether the type of image you’re looking for is popular on the site.
  • The Business ideas is intended to inspire you to open a Shopify store.

5. Pexels

Discover beautiful pictures in many different categories. They have a leaderboard which shows the most downloaded photographers that contribute to the site.

Creative Commons CC0.

Tips

  • The Popular Photos, Popular Searches and Leaderboard are great ways to look through their photos beyond the typical search.
  • Under Browse, they have a search by color option which is pretty cool.
  • There are a number of extensions in the Tools section that allow you to integrate with Mac, Windows, Chrome, Photoshop, MS Office and more.

6. ISO Republic

ISO Republic provides free stock photos in categories like Architecture, Food/Drink, Nature, People, Urban, Technology, Textures and more. Founded in 2014 by Tom Eversley, a designer and photographer from England, and the main contributor to this website.

The images provided by ISO Republic are free to use for personal and commercial projects, see their terms page for details.

Tips

  • If you’re using an image that contains products from well-known brands or for commercial usage, double-check the terms to make sure your use is covered.
  • The search feature in the top right corner works well for finding what you need.

7. Visual Hunt (RECOMMENDED)

Photo via Visualhunt.com.

Search over 354 million creative common high quality stock photos.

Most images are Creative Commons CC0. Some require dedication.

Tips

  • Use the filters on the search to specify the license type and arrange your results.
  • Click the color buttons under the search bar to search by colors.

8. Libre Stock

LibreStock allows you to search 47 of the best free stock photo websites in one place and the be re-directed to the appropriate site to download images. It is a meta search engine that scans and indexes many stock photo websites.

Creative Commons CC0.

Tips

  • You can filter the websites that are searched.

9. Image Finder

Search over 35,000 high quality free stock photos from various websites.

Creative Commons.

Tips

  • Many images that appear in the search results are watermarked and are from websites like Shutterstock where you must purchase the image.
  • When you find a free stock image you like, click the Download Original Image to be re-directed to the source site and get the highest resolution image available.

10. Startup Stock Photos

Free photos for startups, bloggers, publishers, websites, designers and everyone else. They have a limited number of images, but a lot in the startup niche.

Creative Commons CC0.

Tips

  • Unfortunately there is no easy way to search the images on this site, it requires pressing Load more to see more images.

11. The Stocks

Provides a handy sidebar to search all kind of stock imagery from various sites. You can even search videos, audio, icons, mockups, fonts and colors.

The license varies from site to site.

Tips

  • To see a list of available stock photo websites, choose Photos on the left sidebar. then either browse the images or select a specific database.
  • If you find yourself searching between several sites, this may be a quick way for you to switch between them.
  • Explore the other categories to find other great types of freebies.

12. Flickr

Search Flickr’s huge database of images to find the best free stock photo.

Every image has a difference license but it’s easy to filter on the type of license you need.

Tips

  • Under the Any License choose No Known copyright restrictions or whichever license works for your usage.
  • You can use the filters to filter by color, orientation, depth of field, date, size, and more.

13. Kaboom Pics

A fresh and unique stock image library.

License is listed under each image, most say “Free for Personal & Commercial.”

Tips

  • You can download images at whatever width resolution you want.
  • You can search by complimentary colors and categories.
  • Check the number of downloads, views, and how old the image is to find something new and fresh.

14. Pic Jumbo

Great collection of free stock photos by Viktor Hanacek based Czech Republic

License seems to be free for commercial use except for SaaS apps (like website builders).

Tips

  • You can see the Shutter, Aperature, ISO and Focal Length of most images
  • You can browse by Latest, Category or Keyword search.

Think We Missed One?

Do you have a favorite free stock photo website you use that did not make the list? Leave a comment below with the URL and any tips you have for using the site.

John Falke

John Falke (aka Johnny Flash) is a church communications expert from Washington D.C. He founded Open Resources in 2008, which has been utilized by churches from 150 countries, and the Amplified Impact church communication training program. Over the course of a decade he helped his church grow from 500 to 2500 in weekly attendance. He speaks regularly at conferences, authored the Photoshop For Ministry seminar series and has written articles for several major magazines.

Recent Posts
  • Eve Mckenzie
    • Thanks Eve! Looks like a great collection of images that I have not seen elsewhere.

  • Hi @disqus_r4UI3R08t9:disqus,

    Love the content! Check out rawpixel.com as well. You will definitely enjoy the site :). No ads, unique and can be easily searched.
    Cheers. Tip.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/00f901d624ba9fd884ac8529f8c7434ce6c2d8026b2355682c6e65feba47a583.png

  • Jennifer C Rawpixel

    Hi Johnny,

    Awesome post, really useful!

    Have you heard about rawpixel? You’ve probably seen our images all over the place. We’re the leading stock photo contributor in the world. We’ve just launched our website http://www.rawpixel.com, where we give away the best free design resources out there. We’d be stoked if you could add us to this list.

    Looking forward to you joining our community of creatives.

    BE INSPIRED. BE RAW.

    /Jen

  • John Newsome

    Thanks for the help here. On Pixabay is there any way to filter out the nudity? Not trying to be prudish, but I do not want to see it.

    • Great question John. If you are logged into your free Pixabay account and go to: https://pixabay.com/en/service/faq/ – scroll down a little bit and there should be a checkbox for “Enable SafeSearch” – this should take care of that for you.

      • John Newsome

        Thank you.