For making any popular website or web page we need quality content but at the same time we need relevant image for the article or content. Without a image a website cant be completed, it is required to make it more attractive. You can easily get images online but you have to take care of copyright issue. You can not use all the images, because of the copyright usage.
As a digital agency, we know the pain of finding stock libraries filled with cheesy smiles and sub-par image quality. After all, our designers go through this rumble almost every day. But first, let’s address the elephant in the room, no one really likes stock images. In an ideal world, we all want high-quality photoshoots, done right. But several businesses rarely have the time or the resources for it.
From a content creation perspective, we try to help our clients with quality communication, with stock photos as our only weapon of choice. Yes, quality content is possible with stock photos, you just need to know where to find them, and how to use it.
10 Best Websites for Free Stock Photos
The good news is that there are now several sites that offer high-quality free images, vectors, PSDs and icons. There’s a huge variety of attribution-free resources for use in commercial and personal projects. They can be modified and can be used in both digital and print. So, here is a list of resources to upgrade your stock library without burning your budgets.
Pixabay is amongst the most popular websites for free stock resources, created and shared by a talented pool of content contributors. The site offers over a million+ high-quality images (and high-resolution), vectors, illustrations, and videos.
Pixabay does not mention if their images are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). They follow a “simplified” license model, the broad terms being:
- All their content is available for free and can be used for commercial and non-commercial projects, in both digital and print.
- No attribution is required. It’s purely optional. They do have a blanket “what is not allowed clause” that generally outlines unethical use.
Bonus Feature: A Pixabay membership opens up a 30-day free trial to Adobe Stock images.
Pexels has a clean & simple user interface with powerful search and tagging, making it easier to find stock photos and videos. Similar to Pixabay, the platforms also support a simplified and royalty-free license model for attribution-free use in commercial and non-commercial projects.
Pro Tip: There’s a lot more “fresh” content on Pexels. Since many stock image platforms don’t always have exclusive resources. There are chances you might find a few “fresh fruits” ripe for the picking.
Unsplash offers a wide variety of photos (yes, only photos), and their photos are truly unique. They’ve found a way to partner with the largest community of professional photographers, offering users non-ubiquitous content. They are a premium choice in the stock photography industry. And, the content on Unsplash is viral with over a million downloads a month.
Unsplash is known for a lot of brand, business, and product photography. They also partnered with several big brands like Google, BuzzFeed, Harley-Davidson, Trello, and Squarespace to name a few.
The Edge: Their simplified license model goes a step further, they also give users an irrevocable and non-exclusive worldwide copyright to download, modify, copy, distribute, & use photos for free.
Picjumbo is known for their wide variety of editorial photos, making it a great choice to build presentations and corporate portfolios. From fashion and lifestyle to landscape and street photography, their collection extends across a variety of themes. The website automatically starts suggesting images related to recent search history, making it easier to find similar photos.
The USP: The platform stands out because all their photos are captured and licensed by award winning photographer Viktor Hanacek; as a part of his extensive travels and projects. So, you can rest assured that all photos on the site are legit!
StockSnap has a rigorous selection process for accepting photographs, based on several criteria. They look for photos with good colour sense, have unique visualisation and different lighting techniques. The site also prioritises user experience, by categorizing images based on user trends and popularity. All of their images are licensed under CC0, making them free to use without any attribution.
The Edge: All their photos are tagged on the basis of type of content, mood and feelings which helps you sorting images according to your need.
6. Travel Coffee Book
If you are looking for specific locations, places, cityscapes and picturesque landscapes, Travel Coffee Book may have a few hidden treasures that you can explore. They accept travel photos (and travel moments) from photographers around the world; making sure to update their collection every 10 days. All their images are licensed under CC0 and can be used commercially without any restrictions.
From fashion & fitness to nature & technology, Burst is known for their wide range of product images, making their images a perfect choice for eCommerce businesses. The website is owned by a popular eCommerce CMS, Shopify.
While few of their photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero and the rest can be used freely for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
Bonus Feature – The search tool has a few additional features that elevates the user experience. Apart from search suggestions, it also gives additional category suggestions. Giving you a “long rope”, especially if you are unclear about the type of visualisation you need.
Negative Space is a platform that is dedicated to depth of field photography. These photos are often used by businesses to focus the attention of their customers to specific areas of a photo. They also have a range of abstract photos which can make your website more aesthetically appealing.
The layout and user interface of the website is intuitive and user friendly which lets you find photos as per your needs. All their photos can be commercially used as they are licensed under creative commons zero.
Pro-Tip – They allow you to sort photos by color and can deliver their newly released photos to your mailbox for free if you register with them.
The platform curates food and food-related photographs, segregated into popular categories like healthy, vegan, fresh, etc. They maintain a photo blog by the name Food Magazine, with regular features of photos and their contributors. Popular amongst users, they’ve been mentioned on several platforms like Forbes, Buzzfeed, Lifehacker, Designmodo, etc. All their images are unrestricted and can be used for personal and commercial use.
Pikwizard has a clean and simple user interface. While they have an exhaustive list of themes and categories, they specialise in images of people. So, if you are looking for headshots and portraits, they might have something to your liking. All their images are copyright free and can be used commercially without any attribution.
Area of Strength – The website has an inbuilt graphic design tool named Designwizard that lets you add additional graphics to your selected photos. They also proudly claim to have a collection of 20,000 exclusive photos and videos about people, which you can’t find anywhere else!
Despite license claims, we strongly suggest that you read the specific terms and conditions before you start using free stock images. It’s always recommended that you look for the CC0 license, as it’s possibly your best bet to avoid copyright issues. If you are still unsure, it’s a good idea to attribute the image to the creator or the source.
If you know any such great resource, please share that with us in our comments section.