iStockphoto.com (by Getty Images) and Shutterstock.com are the most well-known paid stock photo sites. You can find pictures of virtually anything here — but at a hefty price. Also, many of the stock photos are just too, well, “stocky.” Think over-the-top typically pictures of absurdly happy people with unnaturally white teeth.
Beautiful, free images and photos that you can download and use for any project. Get it for free from one of these free stock photo websites!
Luckily, there are alternatives. We’ve compiled a list of 7 sites with free stock photos for your convenience:
Do whatever you want with their collection of over 300,000 beautiful, high-resolution images from more than 50,000 contributors. Unsplash doesn’t offer the sheer volume of choice as some paid sites, but the photos are top-quality and thousands are added every day. Chances are good that you’ll find something to work with on this free stock site.
This site has a very large database of high-quality images. It’s somewhat more oriented towards business and marketing than Unsplash, which is often helpful for content marketers and bloggers. Another big advantage of Pixabay is that they also offer free vectors and illustrations.
Gratisography has something else going on. They pride themselves on being the “world’s quirkiest collection of high-resolution free stock images.” They can’t compare with Unsplash in terms of quantity, but that’s not their aim. They excel at offering free photos that are unique and less “stocky” than what you see elsewhere. Only the most “interesting” submissions get curated on this site.
This site is also somewhat different. The photos are not curated and not as professionally produced as on Unsplash or Gratisography. You’ll find pictures of random people and everyday objects, kind of like your aunt Sally shared her Google Photos stream with you. Morguefile is not the place to find big header images, but if you need a simple free photo of a kid brushing his teeth, this is the free stock photos website for you.
Stockvault is another great source of free stock photos, wallpapers, and even textures. The collection is only about half the size of Unsplash, but it’s well-curated and has daily new additions. This site also has a good search engine and is well-organized for browsing by category.
We can’t do a post on free stock images without mentioning Pexels. Their vast, well-organized collection of free stock photos is one of the best curated on the internet. In addition, they have free stock videos! Pexels is the go-to image source for many bloggers.
Besides having a huge collection of unique stock images, Pikwazard also offers a design wizard that allows you to make basic edits like adding text overlays before downloading. While the basics are free, they also have paid version that’s a full-feature online image editing tool.
What about usage rights on free stock photos?
Nearly all images on these free stock sites have a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can copy, adapt or distribute the images — even for commercial purposes — without requiring author consent. In other words, do whatever you want with them!
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