44 Free Stock Photo Sources Providing Quality Images for Personal & Commercial Use

Finding a good, free stock photo can be a pain. How many times have you come across a website that offered lots of images for free download, but the lion’s share of the content was hardly worthy of attention? Forget about low-res amateur pictures and costly files. Today we offer for your consideration 44 free stock photos sources, which can be used for personal or commercial purposes.

High-quality visual content is the solid foundation of a competitive web resource. But finding the right images and stock photos can be more time-consuming than it may appear. Of course, we can always take photos by ourselves, hire professional photographers or buy a license at a stock image site. There are a variety of online resources that provide stock photos for public use, but most of them are either of inferior quality or old enough that photos were relegated to a public domain. You will not find any of the aforementioned stuff on this list. Here are the top 30 places from where you can download quality images for free.

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Indigo - Photo & Video Portfolio Multipurpose HTML Website Template

Indigo - Photo & Video Portfolio Multipurpose HTML Website Template

Demo | Download | Hosting

Indigo is an original and unique website template for photographers. Creative design and multi-functionality contribute to your success and further development. When you buy an Indigo template, you get the following:

  • more than 10 different galleries
  • 12 homepage options;
  • fresh and stylish design;
  • support of social networks;
  • icons in free access;
  • Google web fonts;
  • creatively created contact form;
  • 24-hour online support;
  • using parallax, and a variety of animations;
  • more than 50 HTML pages.

All these features and bonuses will help you create the perfect website and attract customers. Easy-to-use and easy-to-edit templates are designed for you. And with the optimal aspect ratio to use the site can be any smartphone. Do not waste time and make the right choice!

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IM Creator offers photos on different topics, from all around the world. Free for personal and commercial purposes, any picture can be found via advanced search.

imcreator

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MorgueFile is well-known as one of the oldest and richest online image repositories. The website requires no membership. Any file can be found via live search or by tag. To download an image, simply click it and download from the same screen.

morguefile

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Along with offering a wide selection of quality free photos, Pixabay boasts a rich selection of free vectors and free drawings. All files can be used in personal and commercial projects.

Pixabay has tons of free high-quality stock images and graphics. Unlike Unsplash and Pexels, Pixabay’s selection of images is more generic and to the point. Images are not as creative as Unsplash or as unique as Pexels.

Pixabay may come off as being a bit drab in comparison to other stock image websites. However, their massive selection of more than 1 million stock images will give you more options when searching for basic images to fill up a web page.

Unsplash fell short on when the search phrase ‘engineer’ was entered on their website. Pexels did better, producing great useable images related to the engineer search phrase. Pixabay, on the other hand, delivered around 6000 results related to the ‘engineer’ search phrase.

You can also filter search results by selecting the type of image you are looking for (vectors, illustrations, videos).

License:

  • Creative Commons Zero

Best For:

  • Web designers
  • Content creators that need images or illustrations for social media
  • Bloggers and writers
  • Professionals such as lawyers or doctors seeking stock images for their website or other marketing purposes

pixabay

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Public Domain Pictures is a repository for free pictures by amateur photographers. If you download files for commercial purposes, double check the disclaimer since some pictures may require a property release.

publicdomainpictures

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Raumrot offers a selection of hand-picked and high-resolution photos in different styles and on various topics including Business, Food & Drink, Mountain, Nature, Seasonal, Sport, and more. You can use their files for personal or commercial purposes. Take note that some rights are reserved.

raumrot

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Funny, quality and made with love, images on Gratisography can bring a breath of fresh air into any design project. All pictures were taken by photographer Ryan McGuire. The gallery is updated weekly.

gratisography

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Getrefe is mostly tech- and nature-centric. By filtering the archive by date and post type, you can easily find the necessary visuals in a matter of clicks.

getrefe

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Stockvault boasts a truly impressive gallery. With over 50,000 files, their gallery includes photos, textures, objects, and renders.

stockvault

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Magdeleine is a free photo repository that was made super-easy to search. If you visit the website, you can find a filter allowing you to search not only by category but also by colors and license. Simply put, here you can find free images taken by different photographers from all around the web.

magdeleine

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To download free quality images from Rgbstock, you need to create a free account with just one click. If you are keen on photography, you can upload your own gallery there. Experienced staff will carefully examine each file either leaving it on the site or rejecting it. By doing this, only high-quality photos are exposed in public.

rgbstock

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By subscribing to Death to the Stock Photo, you will receive an email with a new gallery of free high-resolution photos every month. All files are free to be used in personal and commercial purposes, on blogs, in social media, etc.

deathtothestockphoto

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If you need a collection of retro style images for any of your works, then you are welcome to nos.twnsnd.co.

twnsnd

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On Compfight you can search through Flickr’s galleries using Flickr API. The platform was tailored for the efficient location of images for blogs, inspiration and research.

compfight

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FreeMediaGoo is a rich repository for quality free stock photo backgrounds and images that developers can use in print, TV, Internet or other projects.

freemediagoo

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As the name implies, publicdomainarchive.com is a hub for all high quality public domain images that its founder Matt has ever come across on the web.

publicdomainarchive

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iStockPhoto provides photos, illustrations, video, audio and editorial files, all available for free download. To get access to the weekly updated gallery, you need to be registered first.

istockphoto

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Developed by Viktor Hanácek back in 2013, PicJumbo boasts a rich selection of high-quality images for personal and commercial use. For easier navigation, categories menu and tag cloud were organized in a side menu. You can follow updates right on the site or have them emailed weekly.

Picjumbo is a great free resource of free stock images taken by Viktor Hanacek, a photographer, and online entrepreneur. He’s managed to capture tons of high-quality and unique images that he distributes for free on his website.

Picjumbo also features a design section with resources such as Photoshop templates. If you like Victor’s work, you can become a premium member and receive exclusive images monthly from him.

It’s Truly inspiring how a single photographer can build such an extensive resource of stock images and templates.

Best For:

  • Web designers
  • Content creators that need images or illustrations for social media
  • Bloggers and writers that want to make their articles stand out with unique images

picjumbo

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Daniel Nanescu is a founder of SplitShire. Being a photographer himself, Daniel shares free stock photos that can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. High-quality images on Abstract, Animals, Nature, Automotive, People, Street life, and many other categories can be found on his site.

splitshire

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The Pattern Library shares a valuable collection of patterns provided by talented designers from all over the world.

thepatternlibrary

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Jay Mantri shares 7 new high-quality photos every Thursday. All photos are free to use in any way you wish. The style of photos varies, so you will surely find something to your liking in the gallery.

Jay Mantri

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Pickup Image offers a valuable collection of free public domain images, all of which can be downloaded and modified without asking permission.

pickupimage

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PhotoPin helps bloggers find free quality images on any topic by using advanced search. What’s more, you can filter files by commercial and non-commercial, depending on the end user’s requirements.

photopin

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On Unsplash you can find new photos every 10 days. This is a blog-style stock photo source that allows you to submit your own photos for public use.

Unsplash is the go-to website for elegant free stock images. If you are looking for pictures that are stylish and unique, Unsplash can be your main source for this.

You won’t find too many generic images of people in suits working hard in boardrooms, instead, you will come across unique images of young entrepreneurs in casual wear planning the launch of their new startup.

Unsplash is also a great source for desktop and mobile wallpapers. If you are a creator that wants to display a computer screen in the background of your latest video, you can find a fancy minimalistic wallpaper that will have your followers begging for the link to that wallpaper.

Unsplash also features images in portrait mode, which are ideal for mobile devices such as smartphones. Photos that are published on Unsplash fall under Creative Commons Zero, meaning that users are free to use, copy, modify, or distribute images without permission or attribution.

Best For:

  • Web designers
  • Graphic designers and artists looking to manipulate fancy images
  • Content creators that need images for social media
  • Video producers that need images to display in their video
  • Bloggers and writers

unsplash

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Function is a web design blog that shares valuable resources and inspiration along with tips on where to find free photos on the web. In addition, you can find here several volumes of free images provided by @liammckay.

wefunction

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123rf is a great repository for royalty free photos. The gallery features romantic, grunge, sensual, fashion, beach, antique, and many other collections of free stuff for your consideration.

123rf

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If you don’t know where to find history-related free images, go to Ancestry Images. The website features more than 31K free images of old and antique prints, maps, portraits, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

ancestryimages

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CreativeCommons.Photos is a website featuring a vast choice of free public domain images. Filterable gallery and advanced search make it easier to find images on a certain topic.

creativecommons

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Foodie’s Feed is a personal project of Jakub Kapusnak, a food photographer form Prague who shares free food images for bloggers, web devs and designers. Both personal and commercial use allowed.

foodiesfeed

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Foter has all the images you may need. The library includes over 220 million free stock photos for any online media. The images are mostly taken from Flickr, so attribution is required.

foter

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Life of Pix provides free high-resolution photos with no copyright restrictions. The gallery is updated every week. Images can be used for any project of yours, either personal or commercial.

lifeofpix

Dreamstime

Dreamstime offers one of the biggest collections of free visuals on the web.

This is the must go-for photo stock for everyone searching for high-quality photos, video footage, illustrations, vectors, and even audio. There are more than 79 million of stock images stored. In addition to the free pics, they charge $0.20 for download of certain stock photos that are available in their collection. It's easy to come across the necessary pieces of data thanks to the advanced search form and handy filters.

Dreamstime

Kaboompics

Kaboompics is a service created by one photographer.

Karolina takes all the photos that are available on the page. Service, apart from great, free, high-quality photos, has several unique features: Instead of one, there is always a series of photos taken from different angles and perspectives, so you can choose the photo you enjoy the most. Every photograph has a color palette next to it. Each color has its code ascribed to it. You can download the color palette and graphics for free. The site is usable, featuring the advanced search form for the quicker and easier browsing if the photos from different categories. You can always subscribe to their newsletter to receive bonus content (like exclusive photo bundles).

Kaboompics

Moose photos

Moose photos is a photo library created by Icons8 team. Photos are made in one style, with the same light and angle, so they are easily mixed in one design.

If thousands of photos are not enough to express your ideas, you can create your own realistic or absurd images (from models, objects, and backgrounds of Moose stock) using a free tool called Photo Creator.

Moose photos


RFclipart

RFclipart is a vector-only stock agency, founded in 2010 by two friends and business partners.

The clientele is spread across the globe in 136 countries. They offer vector images in EPS for sale at very reasonable prices, helping graphic designers from all over the world to save their precious time while they are busy with their own ideas.

RFclipart

Jeshoots

Jeshoots includes a collection of free stock photos that you can use literally everywhere.

The founder of JESHOOTS.com Jan Vasek is a big fan of all the things connected with web design. So, he delivers high-quality stock photos and PSD mockups that webmasters and entrepreneurs can use on their own web project at no cost. The categories of freebies include everything starting from nature and ending up with the virtual reality technologies.

Jeshoots

Old Book Illustrations

Old Book Illustrations is a constantly growing database of pictures scanned from books and magazines published between the 18th and the early 20th century.

All of these pictures are provided free of charge and without any usage restriction, as they are in the public domain in most countries. They pursue healthy eclecticism in the content that's made available and include illustrations from novels, children's books, reference books on plants, animals, medicine, and more. The site offers various resolutions of clean, restored illustrations, as well as full-resolution raw scan images.

Old Book Illustrations

Foodiesfeed

Foodiesfeed is a resource of free naturally looking food photos that will be of the great use of food bloggers.

The pictures are shared by the food photographers from all around the world. The images are provided under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. The ultimate goal of Foodiesfeed is making the food-related web more beautiful and appealing. They share high-quality stock images in order to make your personal or business site look appetizing and more luring to the true gourmets.

Foodiesfeed

Publicdomainvectors

Publicdomainvectors offers copyright-free vector images in popular .eps, .svg, .ai and .cdr formats.

You can edit, distribute and use the images for unlimited commercial purposes without asking permission. Additionally, there are two open source tools available on site, SVG editor where you can edit vectors in SVG format, and SVG generator, a useful tool for generating random vectors.

Publicdomainvectors

Everypixel

Everypixel is a stock image search engine powered by A.I. with price comparison option.

It gives you access to 222 million images and becomes the first search tool that covers all stock photos across the web. It crawls through the repositories of all 51 free, microstock and premium stock image websites, and allows users to search through a massive database of stock photos in seconds. Everypixel was created to make stock image search handy. It gives you the high level of control while searching. Search engine filters for a keyword, a color, an orientation (horizontal/vertical) and author depending on what you need.

Everypixel

Libreshot

Libreshot offer a rich selection of images for blogs and websites.

Both personal and commercial use is allowed. In order to make it easier for you to find the necessary pieces of visual content, the collection of free images is divided into several categories. These include business, architecture, nature, close-up, people, and technology. The photos can be used online and offline, without the need to mention the authors.

Libreshot

Barnimages

Barnimages was launched by 2 photographers from Latvia in 2006.

All images that you can find in their collection are absolutely free of charge. If you wish, you can contribute some cash to support the website. New images are being added on the daily basis. The gallery includes only realistic images that have nothing in common with stock photos (in the way that we got used to understanding it).

Barnimages

Pexels

Pexels

Source: Pexels

Pexels has a solid offering of free stock images that are carefully curated. Pexels offers a good blend of stylish and regular stock images (with the occasional vector image).

You won’t find as many visually pleasing images on Pexels as you would on Unsplash. However, the website can be seen as an all in one source for free stock images.

If you are looking for more specific images, like a picture of an ‘engineer’, you will most likely find what you are looking for on Pexels, as apposed to Unsplash’s obscure selection of engineer images.

Best For:

  • Web designers
  • Content creators that need images for social media
  • Bloggers and writers

Getty Images

Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Getty Images is one of the earliest online stock image resource that goes as far back as 1995. The website has millions of images just waiting for you to purchase. But with all the free stock images available on Unsplash and Pexels, why would you consider Getty Images?

Well, the Getty Images platform has a vast selection of images of celebrities, personalities, and locations. Things you won’t really find on other websites for free.

If you go to the Getty Images website and search for ‘Bill Gates’ you will find thousands of images of him, even the infamous mug shot of him right after he got caught speeding. However, purchasing images regularly from Getty Images can be a really expensive affair.

Best For:

  • Reporters and advertising agencies
  • Social media managers and content creators
  • Bloggers and writers of new publications and information websites

What Are Stock Images?

“Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses.''

According to Wikipedia

What Are Stock Images?

Source: Unsplash

If you are a designer or creator, you should have come across the words ‘stock images’ when searching for pictures to add in your Video thumbnail or your website. Stock images are high-quality photos that you can use in your personal or commercial projects. It can also be used to market video content or a brand’s product or service.

There are existing images that are created by designers or photographers and are made available to the public through an agency (usually a stock image website). In most cases, if you wish to acquire the rights to download and use these stock images, you will have to pay a fee to acquire the right to use the images on your website or project.

When you purchase a stock image, the income from that purchase is distributed to the agency and the artist that produced the image. Buying professional stock images helps photographers and designers to earn a living from their passion.

You don’t always have to pay for high-quality images and designs, as there are plenty of websites that offer free stock images. This free stock image service allows creators to make a name for themselves by distributing their work for free. Some free stock image websites earn revenue by displaying ads on the website.


Why Use Stock Images?

If you are a web designer, one of the fastest and best ways of making a website look professional is by adding high-quality images. Images on a website allows readers to consume information faster than reading text on a website.

Why Use Stock Images?

Source: Venngage Infographic and Graph Maker

Brands are always trying to produce better content to get the most out of their social media strategy. Stock images can save brands time and money by being easily accessible and available to be used commercially. It beats having to go out and take your own pictures.

If you have an online business, it's crucial that you make use of images and other visual content on your website. The stats speak for themselves:

  • Content with images, such as articles and web pages, receive 94% more views than content without any visuals
  • Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media
  • Visual content is processed 60000 times faster than text
  • 90% of information that is sent to the brain is visual

90% of information that is sent to the brain is visual

Source: Ethos3


Why Not Use Just Any Image You Find on the Internet?

It might seem easier to just search for the exact images you are looking for on Google, then download and use as you please on your website. However, all photos on the internet have their own set of usage rules.

Violating these rules by using unauthorized images on your website can lead to fines payable to the owner of the image. You can even end up in the middle of a nasty lawsuit.

If you still want to go this route, you will have to obtain permission from the owners of every random image you use on your website, or just wing it and hope nothing happens. You might get away at first, but as your website becomes more popular, someone will notice that you are using uncleared images on your website.

Using images that you don’t have the rights for on your website is unprofessional. You can easily jeopardize the website and the brand that is attached to it.

“A picture tells a thousand words”. This saying couldn’t be truer as pictures are a universal language that can tell an entire story to anyone in a matter of seconds. Images are a powerful medium of communication that drives modern websites and social media profiles.

With just the right selection of images, you can deliver a strong message to your followers, leads, and customers. However, copyright laws restrict us from using just any images we find on the internet for personal or commercial use.

So how do you take advantage of this powerful communication tool? How do you populate your website with gorgeous images?

The answer is with stock images (of course, duh).


Bookmark this list of free stock photo sites if you enjoyed it. Are there any other cool resources we should have mentioned on this chart? You’re welcome to share your thoughts with us below this post.

Happy hunting!


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Katherine Crayon

copywriter reporting on tech news and all aspects of the web design industry. Anyone looking for more inspirational posts, tips and advice or simply the latest industry news, meet her in person on Quora and Twitter.

3 responses to “44 Free Stock Photo Sources Providing Quality Images for Personal & Commercial Use”

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  2. ps lv seo a3 says:

    My Stock Photos
    Finding high-quality, free to use images is a major battle every blog writer fights. Great imagery is a crucial piece of a great blog article. The next entry on our list of the best blogging tools – My Stock Photos – helps you do just that – find amazing, high-quality stock images. Free of charge.
    You really can’t beat free. Just don’t go overboard on adding tons of random pictures to your posts now that you have access to them. Make sure they’re all relevant and add value.

  3. pslvseoa7 says:

    Pexels is a free stock photography website.
    It wasn’t until last year that I learned about this site (thanks to a reader), and I’m so glad I did.
    I absolutely love Pexels. It’s the only website I use when I need free stock images for my blog posts.
    I think this could actually be one of the most useful websites for bloggers. Especially in a time where visuals are a must for your blog content.
    Images on Pexels are free for personal and commercial use. They can be modified, distributed, and do not require attribution.
    If you’re looking for more websites that offer free images, check out my post Where to Find Free Images for Your Blog.

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