Photography has always been an integral part of design. Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing cheesy stock images of people in suits shaking hands. Not only are a lot of these stock photos tacky, but they cost a lot of money.
Thankfully, there’s been a growing number of websites with beautiful stock photography popping up all over the web. Best of all, they’re free!
In this post, we’ve curated a list of awesome websites for free stock photos.
Quick Note About Licenses
Many of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
However, some photos may require attribution. We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into our top picks for free stock photos.
StockSnap.io has a large selection of beautiful free stock photos and high resolution images. The site also has a very handy search feature making it easy to browse through the thousands of images available. In addition, the site tracks views and downloads so you can find the most popular photos available.
StockSnap adds hundreds of images on a daily basis and all photos are released under creative commons public domain – no attribution required.
Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through their discover pages.
Unsplash offers a large collection of free high-resolution photos and has become one of the best sources for stock images. The Unsplash team combs through new submissions and features the very best photos on their homepage. All photos are released for free under the Unsplash license.
Burst is a resource from Shopify that provides free stock photos for entrepreneurs. Some photos are licensed under Creative Commons CC0 while others fall under Shopify’s own photo license.
Burst was launched to help entrepreneurs make better products, websites, and marketing campaigns. Most of the pictures are original photos that were taken in-house and are themed around trending business niches — everything from DIY beard oil to Aliexpress LED sneakers. You can also find more general photographs as well.
Vecteezy has over a million free stock photos and a curation team that manually reviews every image submitted to the site. Their search is powerful – you can filter the images results by color, orientation, style, number of people, age of people, 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.
Pixabay offers a large collection of free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations. All photos are released under Creative Commons CC0.
Reshot is a massive library of handpicked free stock photos you won’t find elsewhere. Built for startups, freelancers & makers who are sick of tacky stock photos. Free to use commercially and editorially–no attribution required.
FoodiesFeed offers thousands of beautiful realistic free food pictures in high resolution. It’s the perfect stock photo site for food bloggers.
Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. New awesome pictures are added weekly and are free of copyright restrictions. All pictures are captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design.
Freestock offers a wide range of high quality photos all released under Creative Commons CC0.
Picography contains beautiful free stock photos submitted by Dave Meier and various other photographers. All photos are released under Creative Commons CC0.
Foca is a collection of high resolution photos provided by Jeffrey Betts. Jeffrey specializes in photos of workspaces and nature. All photos are released under Creative Commons CC0.
Picjumbo is a collection of totally free photos for your commercial & personal works. New photos are added daily from a wide variety of categories including abstract, fashion, nature, technology and much more.
Kaboom Pics offers a wide variety of high quality free stock photos including abstract, city/architecture, fashion, food, landscapes and more. Photos can be used for commercial purposes but cannot be sold or redistributed.
SkitterPhoto offers a wide variety of free stock photos and are released under Creative Commons CC0. All pictures are authentic and created by Skitterphoto’s owners.
Life of Pix is a resource created by the LEEROY creative agency offering free high-resolution photos with no copyright restrictions.
This mention comes with a bit of sad news. The owner of the site Nic passed away but his photos remain in his memory. All photos that have been posted were released under the creative commons license public domain dedication.
Vintage photos from the public archives free of known copyright restrictions.
7 new photos released every Thursday under the Creative Commons CC0 license. Jay Mantri posts some really nice photos with a variety of different themes.
Backed by Getty Images, Picspree provides a large selection of high quality stock photos completely royalty free. With easy searching and frictionless downloading Picspree is an excellent resource for small businesses and web professionals looking for high quality photos without the worry of licensing.
ISO Republic offers a broad range of photos; they add new images every day under for free under the CCO license.
StyleStock offers free feminine stock photography for every woman entrepreneur. The collection is totally free for your commercial & personal works.
As you can see, there’s a growing number of fantastic resources for stock photography. These websites have become a blessing for designers, marketers and bloggers. No need to rely on cheesy stock photos anymore!