Do you want to know where to get free stock images to complement your content?
If yes, this guide will show you the best sites to get free stock images.
Images are used for different purposes.
If you have a blog, you need quality images to create an engaging post.
That makes it very important to have a reliable source to get free quality images.
You might find it quite easy to visit Google and download some images and use them in your project.
That doesn’t mean Google images are free stock images.
Mind you, Google is not the right place to find free stock images.
Reason is that you can’t differentiate between what is free from what’s not among Google images.
However, you’ll be in trouble if you end up using a copyrighted image on your blog.
So, when you need free stock images, it’s better to look elsewhere.
Many websites are created for this purpose.
And to save you hours of head-scratching, searching the web, this guide would show you where to get free stock images for any kind of project you want to embark on.
But first thing foremost is to discuss what are stock images?
Also in this guide, we would treat the benefits of using stock images and how to use free stock images.
So, let’s get started.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- 1 What are stock images?
- 2 Benefits of using stock images
- 3 Best sites to get free stock images
- 3.1 #1. Pixabay
- 3.2 #2. Unsplash
- 3.3 #3. Flickr
- 3.4 #4. Gratisography
- 3.5 #5. Pexels
- 3.6 #6. Morguefile
- 3.7 #9. StockSnap
- 3.8 #10. Public Domain Pictures
- 3.9 #11. FreeImages
- 3.10 #12. Stockvault
- 3.11 #13. RGB Stock
- 3.12 #14. PhotoGen
- 3.13 #15. Death To The Stock Photo
- 3.14 #16. Public Domain Photos
- 3.15 #17. Picjumbo
- 3.16 #18. Rawpxel
- 3.17 #19. Pikwizard
- 3.18 #20. Reshot
- 3.19 #21. Burst
- 4 How to use free stock images
- 5 Conclusion
What are stock images?
Stock images are image resources or existing photos, vectors and illustrations created for public consumption.
They come in different sizes and can be downloaded with or without copyright for personal or commercial use.
Stock images can be used in creative designing, digital marketing, web designing, blogging, and general publishing.
As a matter of fact, you can’t do without working with images if you want to become a successful entrepreneur.
Take for instance, images or graphic illustration such as logos, backgrounds and icons are the first things people see when they come across your content.
This means that images can be processed in the mind faster than the text.
Therefore, an image is worth a thousand words. They capture the attention and interest of the readers from the very first moment they are sighted.
They can also serve as a memory booster.
Assuming a customer is fascinated to a brand because of its visual designs, his mind would be occupied with the visual representation of that brand.
Consequently, the product of that brand would be his preference when he gets to the market and sees other brands.
You can see that the use of an image in your content is not just because images are required SEO factors but because they are attention grabbers.
So, if you’re not a photographer, getting as many quality photos as you need can be challenging.
There are agencies which collect high quality images on their websites for public consumption.
And the kind of images – photos, illustrations and vector designs you found on those websites are referred to as stock images.
Using those websites would make you have access to a wide range of different categories of images which you can use to complement your projects.
Some of these agencies charge a little fee from users, while some don’t. The good news is this guide would show you sites for free stock photos.
With that in mind, you don’t have to pay for images again.
Benefits of using stock images
There are so many benefits of using stock images and the following are just a few of them:
Photography could be capital intensive if you were to start from scratch.
But with the use of stock images, you can have access to varieties of photos without being a photographer.
Thinking about the cost of getting a professional camera and the cost of travelling to places for great shots, it won’t be a bad idea to result in stock images.
Opting for stock image can also help you to save time.
If you need a picture and it’s already taken by another photographer with great perspective, you can take advantage of the existing one.
If shooting and designing an image from scratch would be time consuming, resulting in stock images can be the best decision you in your creative career.
You don’t need to travel miles to New York or Mumbai because you want to capture the city.
With stock images, you can lay your hands on several existing photos and pay the owners a token.
Some don’t even require a dime.
The system is an avenue for photographers and graphic designers to connect and find prospects online.
So, let’s look at the best sites to get free stock images.
Best sites to get free stock images
The following includes a collection of top 21 sites to get stock images for free.
This would guide you on how you can get any high-quality visual resource for your project without paying for it.
Pixabay is where to get free stock images for your kind of project.
The site has more than 1,000,000 free photos, vectors and illustrations through a simple search engine.
It has a quite good search bar where you can search by categories, by orientation (horizontal or vertical), by size and by colours.
Personally, this is one of my favourite stock image sites from which I source for most of my blog post’s feature images.
But because not all Pixabay’s images are available under the creative commons zero (CC0) license, you first need to check if the author would like to get credit or pay for using his image.
The point is there is an ultimate collection of free and premium images for commercial and personal use on Pixabay.
Surprisingly, Pixabay also has stock videos which you can use in your YouTube projects or social media campaigns.
Unsplash is a royalty-free stock images site with thousands of free high-resolution photos for any kind of project.
It has free high-resolution photos that are museum-worthy works.
In view of this, Unsplash is one of the best sites to get free stock images.
You’re going to like the site, even if you haven’t used it before.
If you need free stock images for your next project, visit the site for incredible quality and high-resolution photos of your choice.
Flickr is much more than a simple free image stock website.
It’s not only a repository of images where you’ll be able to download royalty-free photos, but also “the home of all your photos” (as advertised on the website).
You don’t need to register before you can download free images on Flickr.
But when you do, you’ll get up to 1000 GB of free storage for all your photos.
The site also allows you to access any of your photos from any of your devices through the storage facility.
You can also access these images from their apps for smartphones and tablets.
You will not need to carry any external memories to carry all your photos.
Put a keyword in the search bar and hallucinate with the results, you’ll get high-resolution images that do not go unnoticed.
Don’t forget to select the Creative Commons (CC0) license when using the search bar to find the images without copyright.
Gratisography is a new but essential site for free stock images you can use.
Although it’s relatively new and doesn’t have a wide range of photographs.
This site is undoubtedly one of my favourite free images stock sites.
I love Gratisography because it contains original photographs and illustrations with a very high resolution.
With this website, you can download free images without creating an account which is another benefit you need to consider.
Just type in the search bar, the kind of image you want or find the catch you need by the categories.
This website is the best if you are looking for original royalty-free photos for your website or social media posts.
Pexels is one of the best sites to get free stock images. I came to discover Pexel while I was doing my research on where to get free stock images.
This is an excellent online museum of free high-quality photographs.
With its royalty-free photographs, I hope you can find the best images you need here. All the free images on Pexels are beautiful and of very high quality.
Honestly, writing this post has already paid off with the discovery of this excellent high-resolution free image bank.
Morguefile is another site for free stock images, which you don’t want to miss.
On this site, you can download the best free high-resolution images of any category.
As one of the best places to get free stock images on the net, Morguefile has a unique collection of more than 13 million images you can bank on.
This is one of the free stock photo sites in the public domain that you can use without any copyright restrictions on your website or social media posts.
StockSnap has a good collection of high-quality images on various categories that you can download, use and modify according to your need.
#10. Public Domain Pictures
Another free image bank that you can use if you haven’t found the right image yet and want high-quality free images is PublicDomainPictures.
There are more than 327,000 free pictures of different categories on this site.
With more than 400,000 high-quality free images to download, FreeImages is one of the popular and largest free photo banks on the web.
This is because the site has been on the internet for many years.
The downside of this website is that you must register to download free images on it.
This is an amazing stock image website where you can find hundreds of thousands free photos that are ready to download without creating an account.
Once or twice, I have used StockVaul before. It has very good and high quality pictures.
The good thing about this web page is that it allows you to search for different categories of illustrations for both personal and commercial use.
#13. RGB Stock
RGB is another stunning royalty-free image bank having more than 100,000 images to download for free.
The downside of this website is that users are required to register and activate their accounts before they can download free images.
Although, the registration is not time-consuming. Within a minute, you should begin to enjoy the free collection of images on RGB Stock.
One of the best sites to get free stock images is PhotoGen.
It contains thousands of royalty-free photos to download and use for your projects without creating an account.
There are over 2000 royalty-free images available on this website.
You can just go there anytime and pick as many as you want.
#15. Death To The Stock Photo
To use this DeathToTheStockPhoto website for downloading stock images for free, you must subscribe.
The site is updated with 20 new photos every new month.
In each month, there is a certain amount of free photos you can download.
For this reason, you’d be required to subscribe before you can use this site.
#16. Public Domain Photos
PublicDomainPhotos has an awesome collection of more than 5000 images for free to download without creating an account.
Although this website doesn’t have a huge collection. But yet, you can find some useful images for your projects on this platform.
Picjumbo was created by a young photographer, Victor Hanacek in 2013.
By now more than 2,500,000 images have been downloaded on this site as one of the best sites to get stock images for free.
You can download free beautiful and professional images on this website without membership subscription.
Although, you can have access to extra 50 images on a monthly basis when you subscribe.
Rawpxel claims to be the home of creativity because it’s diverse in its collection.
You can download both free and premium images, ranging from photos, vectors, illustrations, PSDs on this site.
Pickwizard is more than an image bank. Basically, it offers free breathtaking images which you can download for free.
What makes this site different from others is its image editing tool.
This give you the great chance to edit an image on the site before downloading.
With this amazing tool, any image you download on Pickwizard can be readily available for use.
But unfortunately, the feature doesn’t work for free images. It’s ultimately reserved for premium users.
Reshot has an extensively image collection and a community of photographers and creative users.
You can get all kinds of stock images on this website for free.
The last but not the least of these top 21 best sites to get free stock images is Burst.
Burst is an amazing image resource powered by Shopify.
That makes images you get on Burst organized under either CC0 or Shopify’s photo license.
This website caters for your needs as an entrepreneur.
Their images include photos taken based what business niche trends online.
And that makes their images suitable for all kinds of products or services you market online using the digital marketing strategies.
How to use free stock images
Having identified where to get free stock images, the next thing is to know how to use them.
Since it’s within the scope of this guide to discuss the best sites to get free stock images, we won’t be talking about paid stock images at all.
So, how can you use free stock images without creating issues for yourself?
First of all, you need to know that free stock images are not copyrighted.
And because the images are free doesn’t mean the authors no longer own their copyright ownership.
You can copy, customize, and distribute any image you download on the sites for free stock images to achieve your goal without asking for the permission of the creator, even at a commercial level.
The best you could do to avoid legal issues as a result of using any free stock image, is to make sure you don’t download free images other than those distributed under these two licenses:
- Creative Common Zero (CC0) License: They are royalty-free with Creative Common Public Domain Licenses so you can use them for whatever you want.
- Those that you have permission to use either by writing to the author or mentioning the source of the image.
For this reason, you can’t use free stock images as your final products when they weren’t created by you.
Assuming you need a background image for your website, a free stock image would do with just a few modifications.
This would make room for optimization, giving the image the desirable size, best quality and less weight.
As long as you need images in your work, you need a reliable source for high quality stock images.
Our discussion on the best sites to get free stock images so far would be of great help to you.
Take advantage of the 21 free stock image websites listed above to find suitable images for your project.
They are the best sites to get free stock images.
If you have come this far, let me know in the comment, which royalty-free image websites you use.
You can also say something about the ones already listed in this article?
This article was coauthored by Ramesh Rawat who is the founder of Blogging Ask with more than 3 years of experience.