10 of the Best Places to Find Free Stock Images

Reading time: 5 minutes.
“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
– Dorothea Lange


[toc]With all of the free-to-use photos out there now, you rarely need to spend the extra money to find a photo.

When I first started blogging, Flickr was the place to go. Almost the only place to go if you wanted Creative Commons photos.

Other sites slowly started popping up and now there are tons – with new ones entering the mix all the time.

Last week, I showed you how to use Canva to edit your photos, and if you signed up for the free e-course at the bottom of the post, I showed you where to find Canva’s free-to-use images.

Below are a few of the sites I use personally, and at the bottom of the post if the ultimate list of sites I have found.

You’ll notice that some sites are searchable, meaning you can input a keyword to find similar photos, but  some of them aren’t.

I’m a fan of the searchable ones because of sheer convenience, but if you don’t know exactly what you need, there’s nothing wrong with browsing for inspiration.

Please remember when using photos from one of these sites, they all have the right to their own rules and how they allow their photos to be distributed.

Remember to read their current download instructions and terms of use (they are subject to change) in order to avoid copyright infringement.

In no particular order… Enjoy!


1. Pixabay


Pixabay Homepage


Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: No


Pixabay has a HUGE library of free to use photos.

Seriously, unreal.

They don’t even give you rinky-dink sizes either.

Choose from small, medium, large and original size (if it is bigger than large).

You can like, share and favorite (if you create a free account) the photos. There’s also a convenient search feature so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

Once you click on the photo, the panel in the right sidebar tells you the photographer and how many images they have, and you can give them a monetary donation by clicking on the coffee button.

It also shows you the terms of use. For the one below, it’s free for commercial use – which means you can use it for your business, and no attribution is required – that means you don’t have to mention where you got it from.


Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 2.56.34 PM

Easy as pie.

Actually, pie is not very easy. Especially making those lattice-top deals from scratch.

Unless they just mean eating it. Then, that’s easy.


2. Gratisography

Gratisography Homepage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: No


If you are looking for something different and completely off the wall, you’ll want to explore Gratisography.

Seriously, even if you don’t use anything from this site, it’s fun just to look.

Check out the whimsical category for some really interesting pics. Like this one …

portapotty bear

I find myself smiling often when I scroll through this site.

He really should charge for these, they’re amazing.

All photography is shot by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design, and no attribution is required (although always appreciated). Just click the photo and it’s an instant download. From what I can tell, he uploads a couple new photos weekly.

He has also teamed up with Shutterstock and if you can’t find the photos you want on this site, use the code GRATIS to redeem a discount on your Shutterstock photos.



3. Unsplash

Unsplash Homepage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: No


I love using Unsplash for gorgeous, unique, landscape photos.

Unsplash adds 10 new photos, every 10 days and you can subscribe to get them delivered directly to your inbox.

No attribution required and completely free to use for commercial use.

There is a search function, and don’t miss the awesome collections tab for your inspiration.

Collections like ‘Pink Spaces‘, ‘Typography‘ and ‘It’s Business Time‘, pull together photos of similar themes, making it a little less daunting to weed through the massive amount of photos on the site.


4. Public Domain Archive

PD Homepage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: No


Public Domain Archive provides new images weekly, includes photo categories and a search function.

All you have to do is click on the photo you want and press download.

You’ll get the largest size available for that image (they’re pretty large).

There’s a premium membership for $10/month which allows you to bulk download the whole digital archive.

Premium members also get access to more high-resolution photos and ad-free browsing.

5. Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri Homepage

Searchable: No     Attribution required: No

Jay Mantri photos are nice for when you need a great background image.

You need something for the background that won’t compete with your message, but is also beautiful.

Free to use and no attribution needed. New photos are added weekly.

6. Free Images

Free Images Homespage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: Varies


Free Images is seriously like the holy grail of digital photography.

It’s searchable, which is a good thing because there’s probably nothing you can’t find on this site.

My advice – when you know what you want and you have a keyword in mind, just hop on over here and search first.

Take note, the images at the top are iStock photos. They are premium paid images and will be watermarked. Scroll down a bit for the free images.

Be sure to check each image licensing, they do differ based on the photo.

7. Picjumbo

Picjumbo Homepage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: No

With a very good array of categorized photos, Picjumbo is likely to become a favorite place to stop.

Collections from business to abstract show that there are a wide range of possibilities and it’s worth noting that they have a great collection of work photos.

They offer a premium membership with access to more collections and unlimited downloads for $10 or $19/month.

8. Photo Everywhere

PhotoEverywhere Homepage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: Yes

If you are looking specifically for travel photos, then Photo Everywhere is your go-to.

You can search this site and they even give you destination options including Fiji, San Francisco, the Caribbean, and tons more.

This site is gold for travel bloggers.

You can use all photos freely, but make sure to give attribution to the site creator.

9. Pexels

Pexels Homepage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: No


Pexels has a fabulous collection of photography as well.

Easily searchable with suggested categories, this site is a cinch to navigate.

You can choose the size you want to download and even specify a custom size.

All photos are under a CC0 license (Creative Commons Zero), so free to use with no attribution.


10. StockSnap.io

StockSnap Homepage

Searchable: Yes     Attribution required: No


StockSnap.io curates some really great photos.

Landscape, work, people, etc. and you can search the massive library.

No attribution required.

Bonus #1 – The Stocks

If you have no desire of going to each site to figure out which one you like best, The Stocks curates many sites in one place. Some of my favorites listed here plus a few others.


Bonus #2 – Zoommy App

Yep, you guessed it, there’s an app for that!  Zoommy App is an app that offers tons (over 25,000 to be exact) of photos sourced with a CC0 license.

Available for Windows, iOS, and Linux for $3.99 each.


Bonus #3 – The Ultimate List (47 websites!) + Free Download

With all these options, I would say find 2-3 favorite websites and stick with them. Ease of use, style, attributions, whatever you prefer, find a couple and go with them.

If you begin to look at a lot of these sites, you’ll start to see some familiar photos pop up.

My solution to that is to use the sites that have original photography (like Gratisography), or choose pictures deeper in the search, not from the first couple of pages.

When you find something you like, just gr. You don’t want to spend days looking at photos – you want to be creating content!

With all of that said, I could have gone on all day, there are so many great sites to mention.

Below you’ll find a large list of the sites that I couldn’t mention up top, and I’ve created a free download (yes it’s free, you don’t even have to get on my email list), that gives you the whole list to peruse at your own leisure.

Tell me in the comments if you’ve got a favorite site that’s not here, and I’ll update my master list!

[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]Check out this ULTIMATE list of FREE stock image sites! via @mirandamerten #solopreneur[/Tweet]

Searchable + No attribution

Searchable + Attribution Needed

No Search + No Attribution

No Search + Attribution Needed

*On multiple lists for different attribution


Click the Picture to Download the Complete List

Download the ULTIMATE list of free image sites. via mirandamerten.com


About Attributions and Licenses

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.

Don’t forget, you can always take your own photos or purchase from sites like Shutterstock and not have to worry about attribution & copyright at all!

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