14 Free Stock Photo Websites

Are you looking for free stock photos on the Internet? Good luck.

A huge portion of the stock photo market is owned by professional companies who charge $20 or more for a single photo. Even when you can find free stock photos, most are low resolution, watermarked, blurry and, at best, uninspired.

The good news is that we have alternatives. In this list you’ll find a few ways to access high-quality stock photos without any hassle or significant cost.

  1. Picjumbo

Picjumbo is my favorite: easy navigation and extremely high-resolution photos. This site has also a great collection of food shots, so if you’re running a restaurant or nutrition-themed startup, you might want to take a browse.

Searchable? Yes
Attribution required? No, for almost all images

  1. Pixabay

Pixabay is a web designer’s dream. It offers an easy-to-use search feature and brilliant images. Most of them don’t require any attribution at all.

Searchable? Yes
Attribution required? No, for almost all images

  1. MorgueFile

One of the simplest sites on this list, MorgueFile has a streamlined layout and curated list of photos. Its selection isn’t as large as that of some of the other sites on this list, but the photos included cover a wide range of topics, from wildlife to antiques.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

  1. IM Free

IM Creator requires attribution, but it’s well worth it. Besides offering an online website building tool, the site puts together premium-quality free photos which have the same, if not better, quality as those of paid sites.

Searchable? Yes
Attribution required? Yes

  1. Gratisography

Built by the talented artist and web designer Ryan McGuire, Gratisography collects some of the most evocative images on the web and requires no attribution.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

  1. Unsplash

Foggy rivers, faraway mountain ranges or battered signs in all their high-resolution glory: that’s what you find on Unsplash. Every 10 days this site adds 10 new royalty-free photos of astonishing attractive beautiful landscapes.
Searchable? No
Attribution required? Yes

  1. Superfamous

Dutch artist Folkert Gorter and his graphic-design peers at SuperFamous curate this collection of incredibly high-resolution images, perfect for use in website design or as desktop backgrounds.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? Yes

  1. FreeImages

One of the most exhaustive directories of open-source images is FreeImages. While most stock-photo sites focus on a small niche (usually landscape photography), FreeImages offers thousands of pictures from a diverse set of categories.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? Sometimes

  1. Little Visuals

Unlike most stock-photo sites, LittleVisuals has a handpicked approach and works on small-scale. Once you sign up for its email list, you’ll receive seven high-resolution pictures via a zip file every week.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

  1. New Old Stock

New Old Stock is a collection of antique photos, many taken by government agencies or discovered in estate sales.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

  1. Picography

Simpler than MorgueFile is Picography. It’s a gallery of random shots offered by professional photographers. This site is perfect for designers looking for evocative photos.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

  1. Getrefe

If you’re looking for architectural or landscape photos fast, GetRefe is what you need. Here you’ll find no frills, no categories, just beautiful, natural images taken by photographers traveling throughout Europe.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

  1. Jay Mantri

Named after its creator, Jay Mantri offers a collection of free, inspiring photos that’s updated every Thursday.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

  1. Public Domain Archive

At Public Domain Archive you find an expansive collection of eclectic vintage pictures, many with striking symmetry and muted colors.

Searchable? No
Attribution required? No

 

How can I stay out of copyright trouble?

When you do a Google Images search, in most cases the resulting photos are covered by photographers’ copyrights, which means that you’re not free to use them.

In order to keep yourself out of copyright troubles you need to locate websites that explicitly define the copyright license of each image. Here are two license types you’re likely to find on these sites:

Creative Commons zero means that you can use the photos in any way you’d like, without asking permission.

Creative Commons with attribution means that you can use the photo in any way you want, as long as you credit the creator of the photo.

Attribution is simple: If you include a photo on one of a web page, add text that cites the photographer (“Photo by John Smith”) and include a link to his or her site, if there’s one.

Be sure to check each website’s license page for specific details.

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Geoffrey Purkis

About Geoffrey Purkis

Geoffrey Purkis is the owner and creator of seattlewebsearch.com. He's a WordPress / Web developer, SEO and online marketer located in Seattle, WA. He is active on all of the major social networks and enjoys writing and teaching small business owners how to leverage the Internet to promote and grow their business.

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