The growing trend of free stock photography websites.
Today there are dozens of websites with excellent cheap and free stock photographs. Some of the free stock picture sites feature hundreds of thousands of professionally produced images. In contrast, other professional photographers have moved their entire collection of images that used to sell on the large stock agencies for hundreds of dollars; they now sell for as little as $1.00. These cheap stock photos are professional, unique and have not been used hundreds of thousands of times like some free images have.
You may also be interested in Cheap Stock Photos.
I have revamped and updated my list of free stock photo sites for 2021 to include websites with quality fresh free, professionally produced stock images. Most of these photos are entirely free to use for commercial purposes.
I have moved Unsplash to the top of the list. The website has hundreds of thousands of free, professionally produced stock photos. The pictures come with high-resolution photographs and a medium-sized gallery. No attribution is required and is released for free under the license provided by Unsplash.
Burst offers free stock photos for websites and commercial use. The website is run by Shopify and includes thousands of professional produced photos.
3. Free Images
Free Images (formally called stock xchng) is a great site for free stock photos. The image selection at stock xchng is large and they also include a lightbox feature to save images. With a name like that, Free Images, of course, has to be fully free at stock xchng, which it is. Once you signed up for your free membership, you are free to browse from almost half million photos. You can find plenty of free stock images here, but you should not expect great quality. At least the site is searchable, though occasionally will ask you for attribution.
Pixabay is clearly one of the most impressive sources of stock images. About that membership: while you are not mandated to sign up with them per say, if you want to enjoy their site and images freely you kind of have to. It doesn’t take too long and once you did it, you don’t have to complete the Captcha challenge on every single download, which can be pretty grueling after a while.
A searchable site with no membership requirements but a rather small gallery, the photos are HQ though.
This is another wonderful site with a small but very potent gallery of free stock images for commercial use. Not all of their pics are HQ but most are, and you are not required to do anything in terms of obligations.
7. Image Base
The photos on Imagebase are free to use and are licensed under a Creative Commons license. Images are available in two high resolution (1600 x 1200 or 3072×2048) formats.
8. Image Finder
Another site that uses Flickr’s photos, Image Finder delivers a nice blend of convenience and quality. The size of the gallery is enormous (after all, you can search from Flickr’s database), but that also means it can be quite slow sometimes. No membership requirement.
ISO Republic provides high resolution pictures and there is no membership required. The size of the gallery could be bigger but no site can be perfect. It’s also a plus (for most) that there are no attribution requirements at all.
No membership or attribution required, and they have a sizable gallery of truly HQ photos. It is also searchable, although there is a twist. You have to use the search engine by looking for certain categories.
A stock site with a very creative name, StockPholio is under Creative Commons which means another site with Flickr interest. Their engine can be searched and no membership is required, so all in all, a quality option.
12. Stock Vault
Stock vault is a very classy, modern site with thousands of images and some Photoshop tutorials. With one of the largest databases around, Stockvault is clearly one of the better options you can find. Not only most of their images are high resolution, but their database is also searchable and there are no attribution requirements whatsoever
This is another site that comes with a small library of free stock images for commercial use but manages to compensate it with quality and a pretty free spirited system. You are not required to create an account but attributions are mandatory.
14. Ancestry Images
An old one but still useful for those odd needs like antique images specifically, Ancestry Images is the place to go. The concept is very interesting but we cannot say that it does not work. The fact that you browse their selection without signing up for a membership obviously does not hurt its popularity either. Currently, there are more than 30.000 photos in the stock and other than the attribution, you are free to use them.
15. Free Range Stock
Free range requires registration before you can download they have have a ton of free stock image. While there are no categories for browsing, it is a searchable site but is not the most popular around because of a couple of reasons. For starters, you can only use it if you have a membership, not to mention that attribution is also required. The size of the gallery is nothing to write home about either. Among the positives we can mention the abundance of high quality images you can choose from.
16. Life of Pix
Does this site have a small gallery? Yes. Is it searchable? No. There are upsides, however, like Life of Pix does not concern itself with copyright restrictions whatsoever. Anything you see you can use, without restrictions.
One of the largest online photo galleries with more than 200 million photos, it is only fair that we ask for a searchable engine. Foter delivered this and although attribution is required from those who want to use these high-resolution images, at least you don’t have to sign up.
Picography has a rather small gallery but you can search for all of their images, and there are no restrictions whatsoever. You can simply download anything you see.
Photober requires you to credit them for their photos, but in return, they give you plenty of freedom. You don’t have to register at their site and you can search for anything that comes to your mind.
20. Free Images UK
Freeimages offer more than 16,000 medium-resolution stock photos in 89 searchable galleries, as well as marketing tips, links, wallpapers, templates, and other goodies. Another one with the same roots, offering all of their images for free in return for a small favor, you giving credit to the photographer. The gallery is rather sizable and although not all of their pictures are available in high resolution, you will be able to find a lot of HQ photos in their selection.
Free stock photos from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Not really (small gallery), but at least you don’t have to create an account or attribute the original source when you want to use the photos. They also work only with HQ photos which is nice.
Photo Everywhere has free travel stock photos, especially from the UK, categorized by geographical region. Photo Everywhere’s niche are traveling photos, and they are very good at it. Their gallery contains 4,000+ images with most of them being HQ. You are required to give credit to the original creator (link back required), but you can save their stuff without having to register an account.
Pexels (great name, right?) is another site with quite a unique take on the stock photo landscape. They don’t have a whole lot of photos, to put it mildly, but what they do have is a very intriguing business philosophy. See, not every ordinary photo can make it to Pexels. They hand-pick their stuff, only selecting magazine quality photographs both from a quality and a style standpoint. You may not find a whole lot of pictures on their site (precisely 1600 at the moment), but those photos will be quality.
Free Stock Photos has over 15,000 free stock photos for download, nicely grouped into a bunch of categories.
25. Foodies Feed
From the name you probably already figured out that we are dealing with another genre specific site of free stock images for commercial use. At Foodies Feed you can find all kind of mouth-watering free stock images about foods, courtesy of Jakub Kapusnak. You can not only search the site but you are not required to sign up for membership either. While attribution is also not mandatory, the original creator requests it from everybody which is only fair of course.
RGBStock reminds me of my favorite pay-for-stock site. Same nice pop-ups when you hover over an image, same clean design. The only difference is: Every picture and free stock photos you can find on this site is free in every way imaginable. You are not required to credit the photo’s original source, nor you have to register. The high-resolution stock contains north of 100,000 images.
27. Pic Jumbo
Free stock images from Viktor Hanacek’s site offers you a fairly big collection of photos, a lot of them coming from the young man himself. You can search for specific photos as well, and you can do that without creating an account. It has one of the largest galleries for a site that can be associated with a single photographer, although to be frank, he is not the only artist at work. If you want, you can also request weekly photos sent in an e-mail message.
28. Designers Pics
Another website by a single photographer of free stock images for commercial use, DesignerPics celebrates the work of Jeshu John. It has a similar system to free stock photos at Cupcake in a way that you are free to use the pictures and you don’t have to give credit to the original artist if you don’t want to. You are also free to edit the images. The obvious downside is the size of the stock, but unlike Cupcake, DesignersPics is actually searchable which is a huge positive (even though most of the time you will not find free stock images you want unless it’s something really generic).
29. Pickup Image
Free public domain images, how does this sound? Not bad, right? And in return, they don’t really ask for a whole lot of things. You don’t have to create an account nor credit them to get free stock images, all you have to do is simply visit their site. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
Well, I hope you find this list of free stock images for commercial use helpful.
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