Since human brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, good photos are critical for capturing attention and conveying your message. That’s why images are an important factor in your business.
However, finding free images to use for your plans can sometimes be quite challenging.
You can find many sites that allow free image downloads, but most come with terms and conditions such as not allowing use in commercial projects, or sometimes the images don’t have good quality.
Terms Used to Describe Images
An image appearing in a Google search doesn’t mean that it can be used freely for any purpose, you can’t just do a quick search and use any photo that comes up. All images are copyrighted, and you could be sued if you use them without permission.
Before discovering which awesome sites that offer you free images to use, let’s check out some of the terms used to describe a photo’s copyright status:
- “Royalty-Free” means that you may use the picture without paying any additional payments, known as royalties, which are dependent on how many times you use it, as long as you use it in an acceptable manner.
- “Commercial Use” indicates that the image can be utilized in the marketing and promotion of a product for economic advantage, either directly or indirectly.
- “Non-Commercial Use” implies that the image can be used for a variety of purposes, including artistic, educational, and personal endeavors. Some examples for this term include presentations, research papers, screensavers, etc.
- “Labeled for Reuse ” means that the image can be used for non-commercial purposes as defined in the license.
- “Labeled for Commercial Reuse” allows you to use the image commercially.
- “Free Stock Images” refers to images that may be downloaded and used for free. Many free stock image sites even enable you to use select photographs without crediting the artist (although credit is always appreciated).
10 stunning sites for free images to use in 2023
These terms about copyright are kinda confusing, right? Knowing your pain, we’ve made a list of 10 brilliant websites that provide free stock photos. These sites allow you to download images with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means they are free for both personal and commercial use.
Therefore, you can download, edit, and publish images without asking permission or providing a link to the source. However, where possible, attribution is still appreciated.
Unsplash is a well-known site for free stock photos. This wonderful source is a well-curated collection of over 3 million free stunning images with high-resolution donated by talented photographers.
All images are released free under the Unsplash License so you can download and use them for commercial or non-commercial purposes and Unsplash adds new images to download every day.
This stock photography site also has an app for IOS so as you create a free account you can now collect photos and access them from your iPhone, iPad, or computer.
This site has a massive database of high-quality images. Pixabay offers a huge collection of not just free images to use, but also videos, music, vectors, and art illustrations. It’s a little more business and marketing-oriented than Unsplash, which is frequently useful for content marketers and bloggers.
It offers royalty-free photos from contributors, which anyone can manipulate and use without permission or any attribution to the artist.
Pixabay stock images cover a wide range of subjects. Pixabay, like many other free stock photo sites, includes “sponsored” search results that link to assets for sale on iStock. While it can be complicated, once you get past the paid results, there are thousands of free options.
The vast majority of images on Pixabay are suitable for commercial use, but to avoid anything explicitly appearing in search results, you should check the Enable SafeSearch box before browsing.
Freepik is a great stock site to get free images to use for creators seeking professional Photoshop templates and beautiful stock images. The site has over 10 million graphic resources, from vectors to illustrations, that are available for download and can be used in any personal or professional design project.
Freepik’s search engine has powerful filters to help you find any type of resource, orientation, color, style, etc. Freepik users can download graphic resource formats compatible with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
Although Freepik offers a large range of stock images, they limit the number of stock you can download in a day. If you want to extend this limit, you will need to purchase one of their premium subscriptions.
In addition to providing images, drawings, and PSD, Freepik also has many other services for visual work.
Vecteezy has over a million free photos to use and a curation team that manually reviews every image submitted to the site. Their search is powerful – you can filter the image’s results by color, orientation, style, number of people, age of people, and more.
The site has a more robust search engine that allows you to filter photos by color, orientation, style, number of people, age of models, and more.
Vecteezy requires attribution but includes signed model and property releases for every free photo. This protects you (and your projects) from legal risks.
Another great royalty-free image website you would like to take a look at is Picjumbo. This website has collections of fantastic free photos for your commercial & personal works.
Moreover, new photos are added daily from a wide variety of categories including abstract, fashion, nature, technology, and much more.
Today, picjumbo offers thousands of high-resolution images, plus social media elements and other design freebies. Images are easy to find and displayed as collections, so you can see the same image from different views and find the best free images to use for your project.
Burst by Shopify
Burst is a Shopify-powered free stock photo website. This image library includes thousands of high-resolution images taken by a global community of photographers. Every week, new high-resolution photos are added.
If you’re a designer, blogger, or entrepreneur in need of beautiful stock photography, these public domain images are free to use for commercial or personal purposes.
The site has a search function that allows you to find images by keyword or popular category. Burst also has an interesting “business ideas” section. You can find free stock photos to download as well as business tips organized by niches, such as women’s fashion, art supplies, socks, and more.
Anyone is welcome to upload photos to Pexels, and the site’s curators will pick out the best shots to populate its searchable collection of public domain images. You can search for something specific, or browse by themes including pastimes, emotions, and locations.
Pexels is a particularly good choice for web or app designers, with an excellent set of device images that are ideal for displaying interface mockups.
Their vast, well-organized collection of free stock photos is one of the best curated on the internet and currently Pexels holds over 3 million free images to use. In addition, they have free stock videos as well.
Pexels is a free stock photo and video library licensed under the Pexels license, which is similar to the CC0 license. You can download, copy, distribute, and modify images licensed by Pexels.
Life of Pix
Life of Pix offers a wide selection of high-resolution photos with a special focus on the photographers themselves. Every week, the homepage highlights a new collection of images, showcasing the work of the Photographer of the Week.
Life of Pix even has a photographer directory that allows you to search photographers by name, view Instagram-like profile pages, and add them to your favorites.
All copyright-free images are available for commercial use, but some restrictions apply to distributors.
“No attribution, Just attitude”. Reshot is a community with a mission, not just a stock photo collection. They hope to provide a platform for emerging photographers to share their creativity with those in need. Their curated collections are extensive, beautiful, and completely free.
This stock site has over 40,000 SVG icons, 25,000 photos, and 1,500 vector illustrations, so you won’t have any trouble looking for the right free images to use.
Reshot is a massive collection of handpicked free stock photos that you won’t find anywhere else. Designed for startups, freelancers, and makers tired of tacky stock photos.
Unlike any other sites on this list, Gratisography is a free stock image created by photographer Ryan McGuire that brings you unexpected, colorful, unique, and creative photos and illustrations.
This site is ideal for creatives looking for stock photos that match their non-corporate or traditional branding. Gratisography doesn’t have as much content as some other free stock photo websites, but Ryan’s artistic eye compensates, and he adds new images every week.
Thanks to the Gratisography’s license, you can use any of their free high-resolution stock photos for the purpose that you plan. There are also numerous illustrations available.
Be careful when using images on the internet because if copyrighted, the act of simply “taking pictures” will become illegal. So, to avoid negatively affecting the website building as well as the company’s reputation, you should consider using the sources from the list.
Hope you can find some free images to use from these 10 sites, don’t forget to thank the authors of the photos and regularly update the policies of the websites!