It is common knowledge that images form an important part of any web page. Plus, when it comes to finding good images, you might be required to sign up for premium subscriptions to photo libraries.
However, that should not always be the case. There are various great places and resources wherein you can find superb and high quality free stock photos for use in your personal as well as commercial projects. In this post, we have put together 10 of the best sites for free stock photos. So without wasting time, let’s get started with the list!
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Pixabay is one of the largest collections of free photos on the internet. Ranging from a wide array of offerings, such as photos, clipart, illustrations and vector graphics, Pixabay offers something for everyone.
The collection of stock photos at Pixabay is rather huge with over 930,000 images in the repository. New images are added regularly and everything on Pixabay comes with a Creative Commons CC0 license — you are free to use the stock photos for commercial reasons as well, and no attribution is required.
Considering the fact that Pixabay is a gigantic collection of images and other visual media, finding the photo that you need will require a good deal of searching. However, if there is a specific niche that you need a photo for, Pixabay should be the first place to look at — it even has dedicated photo categories for Religion, Monuments and Emotions!
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No discussion on stock photos can be complete without mentioning Unsplash. It offers high-resolution stock photos with negligible restrictions. You can use the images in your personal and commercial projects alike.
It is worth noting that Unsplash is to stock photography what Medium is to blogging. You can expect carefully crafted and versatile collections of images on Unsplash. However, if you are looking for generic photos for your personal blog posts or something more in terms of “illustrations” as opposed to photos, Unsplash is probably not the best place for it (pretty much like Medium is ideal for longform blog posts, but not for Tumblr-style microblogging).
That said, Unsplash is the de facto standard for photos related to nature or city life, etc.
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Magdeleine is a curated site with photos and works of various photographers. New photos are added regularly, and the images are sorted in terms of categories and tags.
However, you should note that not all images on Magdeleine are Creative Commons Zero or CC0. In other words, several images on Magdeleine are not purely in the public domain — you can expect other Creative Commons licenses as well, including ones that require attribution or those that permit usage in non-commercial projects only.
Therefore, Magdeleine is pretty much like Flickr in this regard minus the “All Rights Reserved” license. That said, the license is displayed prominently on each stock photo, so you won’t have a hard time searching for CC0 on the site.
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Pexels offers Creative Commons Zero images across a range of categories. Pexels also has a videos’ section wherein you can find royalty-free stock videos.
Pexels is more of a community of photographers. There are Leaderboards, Photographer rankings, as well as reviews and ratings for submissions. In essence, Pexels is a place where you will find not just great stock photos, but also talented photographers.
The library is updated at a great pace with numerous new images added daily.
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StockSnap.io is a relatively less populated, but steadily increasing, collection of stock photos with a CC0 license. The website’s interface is rather direct and the image collection is a decent-sized one.
However, StockSnap.io can use better arrangement of its photos. There are search terms that you can make use of, but that’s all! There are no default categories per se — you can browse via latest, trending, view count, etc. but nothing else. Thus, you are mostly at the mercy of the search bar when looking for a specific type of photo, say “pineapple seller at the beach”.
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LIbreShot has an impressive collection of stock photos. What’s more impressive is that it is mostly the work of a single person. All images on LibreShot come with a CC0 license.
LibreShot’s USP is that it offers certain specific genre of images in bulk. For example, Flowers is a category in itself, alongside Nature. There is a separate category for Macro Photography too. Furthermore, LibreShot has one particular section of stock photos that not many stock photography websites can boast of: Mongolia.
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7. Realistic Shots
Realistic Shots offers high resolution stock photos for both personal and commercial use. All images come with a CC0 license, though the creators do hope you will use the images to make “something creative”.
Realistic Shots is a good collection of stock photography, but it is nowhere near as populated as Pixabay or Unsplash. The primary focus on photos on Realistic Shots seems to be on technology and people — there is more city life than nature, but you can be sure to find a good number of beach photos and landscapes.
Realistic Shots offers one new photo per day, so you can be sure that library is ever-growing.
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Fancycrave posts two new images per day with a Creative Commons Zero license. The photos are pretty diverse, ranging from architecture and social life to animal life and nature. There is also a category for quotes.
Fancycrave also regularly publishes Photo Packs, or collections of photos based on a specific niche or theme. All in all, Fancycrave is a decent site for anyone looking for royalty-free photos. That said, the interface is not the easiest to navigate and you will mostly have to rely on the search bar.
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Kaboompics is another great site for royalty-free photography and other stock images meant for both your personal and business projects. Most of the images are based around city life, architecture, people, startups, etc.
Kaboompics is a worthy website for free stock photos, but its layout can leave most people confused. The organization is pretty much like a personal blog or tumblog, wherein you scroll down to browse through one post at a time. Naturally, this does not seem ideal for a photos’ repository. However, the quality of stock photos on Kaboompics is surely worth the trouble of navigating through its pages.
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FindA.Photo is not really a stock image library. Instead, it is a search engine for stock photos and other public domain pictures that you can use in your projects.
But it does not function like a pure search engine either. Rather, it searches through its own collection of free images, which in turn is often built from images found across different stock photography websites.
The search functionality is impressive. You can browse through categories or collections, or even search by means of color or search term. FindA.Photo is a good starting point if you are in need of a specific type of imagery but do not wish to search through multiple sites — for example, you can search for “bokeh photography” on Unsplash, Realistic Shots and various other stock photo sites using FindA.Photo itself.
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Over To You
So there you have it, ten of the best websites where you can find absolutely free stock photos. Got any other site that we missed? Share it in the comments below!
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Additional Resources you might be interested in: The 27 Best Free Stock Photo Sites in 2019
This is a great list Sufyan, thanks for putting it together. I saw you didn’t have https://gratisography.com/ mentioned on the list. Personally, it’s one of my favorites. It’s not as large as Pexels or an Unsplash, but they have a lot of funny and weird stock photos I haven’t seen on other sites. If you do make any updates or additions to the list in the future, I think this site would be great to add for readers of the site.
Thanks for sharing all these links. That’s a great help to us. Most of the time I use free stock photos as they are great and you can get a great amount of photos free from there.
???? Thank you for the list! ⚡ At https://123PhotoFree.com we have thousands of free photos under Creative Commons licence (CC0) with 7 social sites dimensions (for Facebook, Twitter and more)…
I personally love Pixabay, great quality photos and you can find practically anything on there!
Yes, it is a great site.
thank you for your list! I think you may also like https://avopix.com as a source of free stock photos (public domain, commercial use, no attribution required). We have more than 124 000 free photos, direct download, favorites, etc. What do you think about it?
Martin from Avopix.com
It is an interesting site. Thanks for sharing.
Hi, very informative article.
Please also check out https://www.goodfreephotos.com for thousands of unique public domain photos, all high-resolution and free to use for any purpose.We specialize in photos by location as we document cities, national parks, state parks, national landmarks, and more. We update with 20+ photos each week. Appreciate it if you could add us to your list of sites.
Thanks for the link, it looks really interesting. We’ll consider it for the next post on the subject.
Nice list 🙂 Try also http://monisphoto.com/
Glad you like it. Thanks for the link.