Finding a high quality stock photo for free used to be quite the chore -- there were very few options available, and the inventory that was available was marginal quality at best.
Oh, how the times have changed. Now, there are so many free stock image websites that it can be overwhelming, to a degree. Here are seven of my favorite websites for free high quality stock images.
Currently, Pixabay is the first website I visit when I need a free stock photo. With more than 420,000 images to select from, there is a good chance this inventory will satisfy your needs.
There are no confusing image licenses to worry about. You can use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form -- and this includes for both personal and commercial use.
Unsplash is a great source of very artsy images to use for your blogs and digital projects. You can search the inventory on the website as well as subscribe to receive 10 new images every 10 days, delivered straight to your inbox.
All of the images that are submitted and published on Unsplash fall under under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means you can use the image for any personal or commercial use. You are allowed to alter, copy and distribute the images without any credit to Unsplash or the photographer -- although it’s always a nice gesture to give credit where credit is due.
All images found on StockSnap are free from copyright restrictions and they don’t require attribution. Hundreds of new images are added weekly and you can view them according to date uploaded and the number of views received. There is also a stream of trending photos that gives you instant access to the most popular images on the site.
Just like Unsplash above, StockSnap images fall under the CC0 license, enabling you to use the images as you wish. According to the website, StockSnap’s long-term goal is to create a community of photographers that seek to share their art with the world.
Flickr has always been a reliable source of free images, and it still is to this day. It’s important that you understand what Creative Commons license is attached to the image you are using -- there are eight different license categories and not all images on Flickr can be used the same way.
The images in the Free Use Photos section are available for anyone, and you aren’t required to give credit to the creator. Flickr users that post images to this group are allowing their use.
Pexels adds 10 new high quality images to its collection of free stock photos every day, which currently sits at more than 2,700. With a minimum of 70 new images added every week, the Pexels library should increase by approximately 3,600 images each year.
The Pexels team hand-picks all of the images from other free image sources, including previously mentioned Unsplash. Every photo is high quality and falls under the Creative Commons Zero license, allowing unrestricted use.
6. Death to the Stock Photo
With an unforgettable name, Death to the Stock Photo is one of the most popular free image resources. It has two options: a free plan that delivers a fresh pack of images to your inbox monthly and a paid version that, for $15 per month, gives you full access to the entire library of stock images in addition to a premium-only package of images every month.
7. Snapwire Snaps
Snapwire Snaps is another option that delivers free images to your inbox, adding to your supply every seven days with seven new offerings. If you are a Tumblr user you can follow Snapwire Snaps and never miss a new photo.
With a little over a year's worth of images, this isn’t the largest online database of free stock images, but it’s definitely one worth adding to your bookmarks. These are some of the more creative images you will find for free and attached to a Creative Commons Zero license.
Where do you get your free stock images? Share your favorite website in the comments section below.