When you need the perfect image for your site and don’t have the time, budget, or expertise to create your own, you may need to use a stock photo. While you can pay for stock photos, there are plenty of free options that have beautiful images in a nearly any category you can think of.
Be sure to avoid using photos that you find when you perform a Google Images search. These photos aren’t necessarily the ones that you’re free to use however you wish. If you’re looking for photos to use for a design and wish to avoid copyright disputes, you need to locate websites that explicitly define the copyright license of each image.
In this post, we’ve curated a list of 30 best websites with amazing free stock photos that you can use for your personal and commercial web projects. We’ve also included information on licensing and attribution where available.
Unsplash offers a large collection of high-resolution images, gifted by a generous community of photographers. It has easily become one the best sources for free stock photos. The site’s team combs through new submissions and features 10 high quality photos every 10 days.
Under Unsplash’s license, you can copy, modify, download, and distribute any of its images for free, even for commercial purposes. You don’t need to ask permission from or provide attribution to the artist.
2. Death to Stock
Death to Stock delivers a photo pack of 10 photos within a specific category to your inbox each month. The site offers a variety of options to use for your blog posts or social media.
All images are edited and refined by an in-house team. If you have extra budget to spend, Death to Stock also offers a Premium membership for $15/month or $144/year. Death to Stock uses its own license, which you can read here.
Freestocks is a growing stock photo website, created by a small team of 3 photographers with regular jobs. It provides a wide range of free, high quality photos, spanning across several categories, such as people, nature, fashion, and more. If you’re looking for professional, natural-looking photos, Freestocks is a good place to start.
Gratisography is an unusual free stock photo website, created by photographer Ryan McGuire. It offers a wide collection of royalty-free, quirky images. The site adds new stock photos weekly, released under its own license.
Created in 2013 by photographer Viktor Hanacek, Picjumbo is a free stock photo website that offers a varied collection of images. The site adds new photos daily from a wide variety of categories such as business, technology, nature, and more. Picjumbo also offers unique paid packages for bloggers, designers, and agencies.
StockSnap is large free stock photo website with a wide selection of high resolution images that are being added on a daily basis. The search function is user friendly and lets you sort by popularity, downloads, and more. All photos are absolutely free to use, for any purpose whatsoever without attribution.
SkitterPhoto is a free stock photo website launched in 2014 by amateur photographers with day jobs from Groningen and Drenthe in the Netherlands. The site provides a large variety of images for personal or commercial use, searchable by keyword or category.
8. Negative Space
Negative Space is a modestly-sized free stock photo archive with a limited catalog of high quality images. It provides 20 new stock photos every week. You can easily sort the photos by color, category, and copy space. All photos on Negative Space are completely free of copyright restrictions.
Burst is a free stock photo platform, powered by Shopify. Its image library includes thousands of high-resolution, royalty-free images, contributed by a global community of photographers. Images are added weekly and they are completely free to use for personal or commercial purposes.
Kaboompics is another popular free stock photo site, with over 20,000 high quality images in a variety of categories such as architecture, fashion, food, landscapes, and more. All photos on Kaboompics are free for personal and commercial use but they can’t be sold or redistributed. To learn more, refer to its license page.
Picography is a small free stock photo website that contains beautiful free stock photos submitted by Dave Meier and other photographers. You can use any of the photos however and wherever you like.
12. Little Visuals
Little Visuals’ owner, Nic, passed away, but his photos remain online in his memory. All of his photos are free from copyright restrictions.
13. New Old Stock
New Old Stock is a unique free stock photo archive that contains vintage images from public archives, curated by Cole Townsend. Photos on New Old Stock are free of known copyright restrictions. However, you’ll want to read up on the rights and usage before you use them for commercial projects.
FoodiesFeed is the perfect free stock photo website for food bloggers. It provides thousands of beautiful and authentic free food images, shared by food photographers from all around the world. The site is incredibly easy to use, with its intuitive search functionality and tags.
15. Jay Mantri
Jay Mantri offers a small but beautiful collection of free stock photos in a variety of themes and categories. His photos are released under the CC0 license, meaning you can use them however you like.
16. Life of Pix
Life of Pix provides free high-resolution photos with no copyright restrictions, contributed by Montreal-based Leeroy Creative Agency and its network of photographers. The site adds new photos weekly and features photo galleries for categories such as city, people, urban, and more. All images are available for commercial use, but some restrictions apply for distributors.
FreeImages offers thousands of free photos from a diverse set of categories. You do not need to include a photo credit for commercial use, but if you’re using content for editorial purposes, you have to provide attribution adjacent to the content. To learn more, refer to its license page.
Pixabay is a large free stock website with over 2.2 million images, videos, and music clips available for download. The site’s layout is clean and intuitive, making it easy to navigate your way through its large repository of photos released under its own license, which is similar to the CC0 license.
19. Public Domain Archive
Public Domain Archive releases free vintage and modern stock photos every week. Just as its name suggests, the site sources free images from the public domain. All photos on the Public Domain Archive do not require attribution.
Freerange is a fairly large free stock photo archive that contains a collection of high quality photos from both in-house photographers and a growing community of external contributors. You can find photos through search in categories such as editorial and news, business, and more.
Most of the photos on Freerange are under Equalicense. You can use them for nearly any purpose without attribution, but you can’t sell, redistribute, or relicense them.
Founded in Germany in 2014, Pexels is a popular platform for high quality stock photos and videos. All photos are released under its own license. New photos are added daily, carefully handpicked from a variety of image sources to ensure that you’re getting only the best of the best. All of them are nicely tagged, searchable, and easy to discover through the site’s explore page.
22. Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos offers free stock photos for startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers, designers, publishers, and more. While the name is specific to startups, there are plenty of options to use no matter what industry you’re operating within.
23. ISO Republic
ISO Republic is an independent free stock photo website with an ever-expanding library of over 7,000 high-resolution photos, all completely free for personal and commercial use. Its growing collection of images spans across various categories such as food/beverage, urban, textures, and people.
SplitShire is a private collection of free stock photos and videos for personal and commercial use. The site has various categories such as still life, nature, technology, fashion, and automotive. All photos on SplitShire are released under its own license.
Based in the UK, Rawpixel is one of the world’s biggest creators of stock imagery and design resources. It provides high-quality free and premium creative resources for everyone. Although the site offers a large and varied collection of images, you may only download 5 photos per day (under the free tier).
Stockvault is a free stock photo community where photographers and artists share their photos and artwork. It has a large collection of over 140,000 free stock images with no copyright restrictions. However, it has 3 different licenses, so make sure to check that you can use a particular photo for your intended purposes.
PikWizard has a stunning library of over 1 million stock photos and videos across a broad range of subjects, all royalty-free and safe for commercial use, with no attribution required. The quality is impressive and there are lots of natural-looking photos of people.
Founded by Michael Connors in 1996, MorgueFile is a free stock photo archive for creatives, by creatives. These photos have been contributed by a wide range of creatives from around the world, ranging from amateur photo hobbyists to professionals. All photos are free for you to download and use in your work, be it commercial or not.
Freepik serves more than 75 million users each month, from over 200 markets throughout the world. The site allows you to find carefully curated free stock photos, vectors, illustrations, icons, and fonts. Although Freepik’s photos are free, attribution is required for personal or commercial use.
Vecteezy is an online marketplace where users can license stock photos, vectors, and videos from artists. However, free files have usage limitations, and you’re required to attribute Vecteezy in your work. To learn more, refer to its license page.
Attribution and Licenses Explained
For all the sites on this list, the license is relatively easy to find. Typically, there’s a description of the license on the page or a link to a description.
Here are two license types you’re likely to find on these sites:
Creative Commons CC0
Creative Commons CC0 means that you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the photo, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
Creative Commons with Attribution
Creative Commons with attribution means that you can use the photo in any way you want, but you must give appropriate credit to the creator of the photo.
Attribution is simple. If you include a photo on a web page, add a simple text that cites the photographer (“Photo by Jane Smith”) and be sure to include a link to his or her site, if there’s one.
Although we have provided license information where possible, be sure to check each website’s license page for specific details. Ultimately, you’re responsible for verifying that the image’s license is legitimate and that your use of the image complies with its terms.