Good images are a key part of creating a great website. But finding images to use can sometimes be difficult. Your options are to take the photos yourself, buy images from a photographer or image site, or find free images available for use. That’s what we’re going to look at here today.
There are a variety of places where you can find free photos available for public use. Most of these images are licensed under Creative Commons (just make sure you attribute correctly) or are old enough for the photos to be returned to the public domain. (This happens after the copyright on an image expires.)
So here is an overview of 18 places where you can find great free stock images. Good hunt!
Free images for public and commercial use
FreePhotos.cc is a free resource where you can find Creative Commons photos for your website or print projects. Search for any topic using the search box (eg “Dogs”, “Flowers”, etc.), browse the results and download. You can mention the photographer if you wish, as a sign of respect for the work.
FreePhotos.cc uses the APIs of a few photo providers and collects images in one place for easy preview and download.
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Raumrot specializes in free, hand selected stock photos which can be used for personal or commercial projects. The images on the site are all available in high resolution formats. Images can be used according to the Creative Commons license of each photo and must be displayed according to these rules.
What’s great about the site is the way it’s organized. You can search for images by category and the selection of images is nice. The photos are modern and vary in composition and scope.
“Free (do whatever you want) photos in high resolution.” It’s the responsibility of Unsplash, a blog-style photo site that lets you submit your own images for public use. The site is refreshed with 10 new photos every 10 days, so there is almost always something new to choose from.
The photos on this site include plenty of landscapes to choose from, many with great lighting and almost Instagram-style effects. The site is also fun to watch. Each photo also includes a link to the photographer if you want to know more about a certain photo.
With plenty of options ranging from high-resolution landscapes to detailed, detailed building plans, Little Visuals has a little something for a variety of projects. Follow the site and upload photos individually or subscribe and receive seven new images in your inbox every week.
This site is fairly new, with only a few months under its belt, but the images are crisp and clean. Each image is free to use thanks to the dedication of the Creative Commons public domain, so none of the images have any applicable copyrights.
Ryan McGuire of Belle Design has a fun site where he uploads new free photos every week. Images can be used for personal or commercial projects and each image includes a high resolution version.
The site has a definite vibe, with a variety of super fun images.
Refe Free Mobile Photos
This site has a variety of images – mainly objects and landscapes – with a twist. Each image was taken using a mobile device. With a nice selection to choose from, these free images can work well for digital projects, but many photos might not be large enough to print.
The images in Free Refe Mobile Photos have a highly usable character. Lots of photos capture the everyday and can work in a variety of projects.
Jay Mantri posts seven new photos to his site every week, which you can freely use as you see fit. And he wants you “to do magic” with them.
Although the style of the photos on the site varies, many of them have a rather funky feel to them, including a series of photos featuring common objects and sunglasses.
MyStock.photos is a curated list of beautiful, professionally made free stock photos that can be used for personal and commercial projects. The images in this collection are fresh and real.
Magdeleine is another site with a handpicked selection of images grouped together to make them easy to find. You can search by topic, mood, or color, so if you have an idea of what you need, this is a great place to start.
The image choices are quite amazing and make it feel crowded. Most of the images are in color, but there is also a large selection of black and white photographs.
From beautiful deserts to simple garden vegetables, Foodie’s Feed has images of almost every edible item you can imagine. The site uploads five (or more) new high-resolution photos per week and multiple image collections of a single plug are included. (That’s a great bonus.)
All of the images showcase the food in a way that looks delicious – something that isn’t as easy as it looks. The site is supported by donations through the PayPal button.
Picography is another blog-style site filled with high-resolution photos that can be used however you see fit. You can also submit photos to be included in the gallery. Each photo comes with a credit link to the photographer if you want to know more.
What sets this site apart from many others is the inclusion of more faces and event photography. From color racing images to people jumping into a swimming pool, this collection of images is quite active and engaging.
Im Free is one of the newer sites for free images and actually includes more than just photos. You can also find templates, buttons, icons and more. Stock images are well organized and grouped by category.
The images available for download are crisp and have many applications in your projects. Some categories – such as sports and fitness and black and white images – are rather extensive.
dead at the Stock Photo
It might not have a name you’d expect, but Death to the Stock Photo offers new stock photos every month for personal and commercial use. Subscribe to the mailing list and photos are organized and delivered to your inbox. (The full license for these free images can be found on the site.)
The images in this collection are crisp and real. The bundle you get when you sign up is also filled with goodies for digital projects.
New old stock
New Old Stock features classic images from the public archives that are copyright free. Some of the images have always been in the public domain and others have entered the public domain due to their age.
What you get here varies from old school ads to images. Some come with brief descriptions and most include high resolution files. If nothing else, this porn site is fun to browse.
Superfamous is the Los Angeles-based studio of Dutch interaction designer Folkert Gorter. As part of his avid promotion of creative work, he has made many of his high resolution images available under a creative commons attribution license, for personal and commercial use with credit.
Most of the images are from nature and are wider angle shots. Rocks and stone seem to be of particular interest.
Public domain archive
The public domain archive is a collection of non-copyrighted images that are free to use. With new uploads weekly, there are always new images to sort through in a variety of categories. Many images on this site are selected from other sites on this list.
The type and style of images on this site vary widely. Some are new and modern, while many others are fairly old images. You can also submit your own images to use.
Picjumbo is a collection of images, including photos and illustrations, available for personal or commercial use. There are plenty of images to choose from and many also offer more premium (paid) packages or versions.
The images are of high quality and cover a variety of scenes and subjects.
The amazing pattern library
While this site is not for stock photos, it contains a… well… an incredible number of patterns and textures that would be perfect for design projects. From bold to simple, it’s a texture here for almost any background.
If you need artwork for your projects, but not free stock photos, we recommend checking out our free artwork storefront.
The design options here are quite wide and downloading high resolution files only takes one click.