If you’ve ever tried searching the internet for stock photos you’ve probably noticed some trends. Not only are stock photography websites like iStock or Shutterstock expensive, some photos come in a $20 apiece, but they are stale and uninspired. Not to mention, if you get caught using these photos without permission the fines are hefty. Don’t even mention Google where you have no idea if your’re allowed to use an image or not. So the problem remains that you need great photography for your website or blog, so what’s a person to do? Luckily for you there are a ton of great websites on the web that offer up great, high quality, FREE stock photos for personal and most times even commercial use. So, we’ve rounded up what we think are 10 of the best free stock websites the web has to offer. Not only are these stock photos free of attribution requirements they are available for you to use on your websites or blogs. Without further ado, here’s the list.
Our Top 10 Stock Photo Sources
We love Canva for creating marketing materials, but they also have other features like free stock photos.
Our personal favorite for many reasons. It provides, in our opinion, the highest quality shots on the internet. There are 10 new photos uploaded each day so this means the photos will be high quality and not randomly uploaded by visitors. You can do searches by category or even by color. No attribution is required on these images. They even recently launched a free stock videos website with the same free to use model. Free stock photos from www.pexels.com
Pixbay is really great if you want to search for an image with very specific parameters. It houses not only photos, but vector images and illustrations as well. The fine tuned search feature makes it easy to nail down the exact image you want. It sports over 400,000 images all free to use without any attribution. Free stock photos from www.pixabay.com
Picjumbo features a ton of really beautiful food related stock photos. It by no means ONLY offers food photos but it definitely has the most out of any other site on this list. While the search isn’t as refined as Pixabay, it is available. You can also search by category. Picjumbo also offers a premium package if you feel like paying to support them. It’s $6/month and provides you with over 30+ extra photos every month that aren’t published on the site for everyone else to use. Free stock photos from www.picjumbo.com
The thing we love about Stocksnap.io are all of the really fresh product photos. Computers, notebooks, office equipment, and cell phones all look beautiful. But don’t think that’s all they offer. Gorgeous landscape photos and action shots are also abundant here. You can sign up for their newsletter to receive photos in your email every so often. There is a basic search option and a really neat “trending” section where you can see what’s popular at the moment. Free stock photos from www.stocksnap.io
Ah Canva. The tool we have written about over and over and over again. But, did you know that Canva also has a large stock photo library? Yep, it’s true! While not all of the stock photos are free there is an entirely separate section where you can browse through their large free photo area. There’s a basic search function if you’re looking for something specific and categories along the side to drill down to find exactly what you’re looking for. The best part is the all of these photos are really high quality, something we’ve come to expect from Canva. Free stock photos from canva.com/photos.
This is definitely the quirkiest member on the list. You won’t find images like this anywhere else on the internet. We could spend the whole day just browsing through this collection of weird stock photos. You can’t search but categories are available. Seriously, trust us on this one, you’re going to want to see some of these images. Free stock from www.gratisography.com
Splitshire offers a great variety of photos. With the ability to browse by category you’ll easily find what you’re looking for. The site is set up more like a blog with large photos front and center prompting you to click through for more info. Another great feature is the ability to find stock photos. Free stock photos from www.splitshire.com
Life of Pix
Life of Pix offers up some of the more colorful free stock images on the internet. There is a large selection of categories from black and white to animals and cityscapes. They also offer stock videos here as well. It offers clips, footage videos and looping videos free to use. Free stock photos from www.lifeofpix.com
Freeimages.com’s selling point is the shear volume of photos it houses. This is because in a lot of cases there is more than one variation of each photo. These aren’t necessarily all as high quality as some of the other sites mentioned, though most are, but you are sure to find the exact thing your are looking for here. Especially with the uber advanced search options. Free stock photos from www.freeimages.com
You want landscapes? Unsplash has landscapes. Of course, they have some other things also but they specialize in beautiful landscape scenes. In fact, scenery in general is their strong suite. Free stock photos from www.unsplash.com
Negative Space is another great option, and one we enjoy a lot due to its great technology and design photos. It’s most popular categories include camera, iPhone, UX, code, macbook and web design. As a web development company you can see why we enjoy this one. Free stock photos from negativespace.co.
Bonus – Rawpixel
After receiving a recommendation about RawPixel in the comments of this post we felt it necessary to add this fantastic site to our list. Not only are the photos here high quality but they are arranged in such a way that is entirely different than the other sites. The photos here are grouped into “collections”. So on the home page you are displayed a group of about 10 or so images that are a part of a specific collection. Some of the collections include: Startup Company, After Hours Work, Faces of the World, Wanderlust and more. This makes it easy to find a bunch of stock photos you need around a certain theme. You can visit www.rawpixel.com see their photos.
While doing a simple Google search for images may be the easiest way to find photos, it also could be illegal depending on which images you use. Why not take the safe route and use one of these great websites, and find fantastic images while you’re at it.
Note: This post was originally published in October of 2015. We have updated the entries to include new sources and remove less relevant ones.