How to Find & Use Free Image Stock Photos — The Ultimate Guide

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Looking for free image stock photos?  … Images that you can use without fear of copyright infringement?

 

Free Image Stock Photos for Websites and Blogs

 

Need free photo images for your website or blog?

This guide will help you find the best free image stock photos, vectors, clip-art and the like, and how to attribute properly if required – some of the best free image photos on the web!

We all know Content is King in the world of blogging and attaining a high ranking in Google, but how your content is displayed in the way of graphics can have a big effect on influencing and keeping your visitor on your site.

When and if I see nothing but a long stretch of “words” with no pleasing or related “visuals”, or if the images are poor quality, I usually move on – that’s just me, but I’m pretty confident most do the same.  (Of course, you don’t want to go “overboard” either).

Below you will find a list of websites that should help you quite a bit.
… I know they have me!
All of the photos and images in this article are FREE.

© copyrighted material
Remember to give proper credit if required.  You DO NOT want to use an image at all on your site, if you don’t intend to give proper attribution when necessary – it could get you in “deep kimchi”! (big trouble)

I will be adding to this page as I find more resources and information – so keep tuned!

… and please Share if you like this content!
I’d also appreciate your comments! (bottom of page)

 

High Resolution Images (High-Res)
Stock Photos
Vintage or “Antique” Graphics and Photos
Illustrations
Picture Quotes
Patterns and Textures


Creative Commons Licenses
Flickr
Public Domain Images

 

 

High-Res Photos

Free Web Photography

Remember to resize your images for fast load times.

 

IMPORTANT

When downloading images, they will most likely be in a very large format.  Unless you’re using them as backgrounds you’ll want to resize them so they don’t cause unnecessary load time.

 

 

 


Unsplash
These are large, high resolution images. Ideal for designing and using in headers etc.
10 new photos every 10 days.
There are some really nice photographs here!

Getrefe
Free photos for personal and commercial use.  Not to many, but worth a look.

Gratisography
Professional photographer’s private collection – free to use with no copyright restrictions.

LittleVisuals
You can sign up to get 7 hi-res images zipped up in your inbox every 7 days if you are so inclined – or just download what you like.  Use them any way you want.

Wefunction
Not a large selection, but not too bad – definitely worth a look and free to use any way you want.

Superfamous
Collection of hi-res photography by Folkert Gorter.  Mostly landscape and close-up (some of the best in my opinion) photography.
Available under the conditions of a Creative Commons Attribution License. This means that you can use the work for your own purposes — including commercial use — as long as credit is provided.

Death to the Stockphoto
10 free images every month to your e-mail inbox. (currently e-mail only unfortunately)

 

 

Stock Photos

cathedral

Make your images relevant to your topic.

 

 

IMPORTANT

Try to make your images as relevant to your topic as possible – if it doesn’t make sense, don’t use it.

 

 

 

 

All of the sites listed below offer free stock photos and images.

picjumbo
What a find – nice high quality stock photos, and one on my favorites!
This one is a must.

morgueFile
Another website with a great selection of photos for free.  Quality stock photos submitted by photographers and artists.

Photo Pin
A free stock photo search engine – Search millions of Creative Commons photos from Flickr.  Be sure to check the Creative Commons License.

stockphotosforfree.com
Easy to search by category and type.

Dotspin
Crowd sourced photography available under Creative Commons.
Proper attribution must be given.

openphoto
A photographer submitted resource of free-to-use photos.

Pixabay
Free photos, vectors and illustrations in a searchable library.

unprofound
Cool photos. Search by color.

freeimages
Lots of photos.

500px – Creative Commons Section

Photober
Free photos, sorted by category.

RGBStock
Decent stock photo finder. Includes plenty of natural settings.

NASA
Nasa’s image library contains copyright free historical and scientific images.

Getty Images – embedded attribution
50 million embeddable images

 

 

Vintage Photos and Images

Vintage and Antique Images

Vintage Images – check in the Public Domain!

 

 

 

IMPORTANT

Focusing on the past can often  impart great emotion on the reader – use them to your advantage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love vintage photography!
The nice thing about these is that most of the old images are free of copyright restrictions and in the public domain.

New Old Stock
Vintage photos from the Public Archives.
One of my favorite places!

Vintage Printable
Large collection of some really nice vintage images – all in the Public Domain.
Broken up into categories for easy viewing and searching.

Library of Congress – on Flickr
Great historical collection of images – love this one!

Search Wikipedia’s photo collection
Searching wikimedia.org is a lot of fun; and there is a ton of images.

US History Images
A sorted collection of images from both the Public Domain and the Smithsonian Institute (some terms of use with SI)

 

 

Illustrations and Clip-Art

Illustrations and Clip-Art

 

 

IMPORTANT

Everything doesn’t have to be a photo – many illustrations, clip-art and vectors can be just as useful, sometimes more.  There are many website owners who will use these more than anything else!  Be Creative!

 

 

 

Sometimes an illustration, clip-art or the like can be just as, if not more effective in getting across your message and making your point.

OpenClipArt
Free clip art and vectors.

wpclipart
Some graphics are a little dated, but still a great place to check out.

publicdomainvectors.org
Public domain vectors and illustrations – one of my favorite places to browse.

pdclipart.org
More public domain clip art.

 

Picture Quotes and Graphic Generators

Quotes as Images

Images as Quotes can be Very Effective!

 

 

 

IMPORTANT

Try to make it different – try to make it eye catching!
Humor works well too, but relate it in some way to your topic.

 

 

 

 

Increase your social sharing on sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr with the use of picture quotes.

Quozio
A simple picture quote maker, with 28 templates.

Curated Quotes
Really high quality and beautiful designed picture quotes – free to use with citation or attribution.

Pinstamatic
This is a great free picture quote maker – makes sharing on Pinterest “sweet” and easy!

Recite This
Create picture quotes using 42 different backgrounds, upload directly to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr.

Quotes by Pro Writing Aid
Simple quote generator.

 

 

Patterns and Textures

You won’t use these as images in of themselves of course, but they would make great backgrounds for your website , blog or such things as infographics etc.

The Pattern Library
There are some really interesting backgrounds here – I can see myself using a few of these myself!

 

 


 

Flickr

Many people offer up their images on Flickr using the Creative Commons.  There are millions of photos that can be used with proper attribution.
Don’t miss searching this site! … but Remember to attribute as specified in the CC License!
(see above for Creative Commons Licenses, what they mean and how to use them)

 

Creative Commons Licenses

 

Creative Commons

 

… these are important to know when using images and graphics from the Creative Commons.  You will come upon many great sources to use, and it’s necessary to give proper credit as listed in the License.

 

 

Attribution
CC BY

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution-ShareAlike
CC BY-SA

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution-NoDerivatives 
CC BY-ND

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution-NonCommercial
CC BY-NC

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
CC BY-NC-ND

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

 

 

The Public Domain

Free to use without attribution
Public Domain Dedication

Public Domain Images

Public Domain Images are plentiful, and Free!

 

 

 “The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”

 

 

Wikipedia – Public Domain Image Resources
If you scroll down the page you will find a very large number of different sources!

Public Domain Pictures
Site offers a lot of images – intermixed with “paid” options so select carefully.

Public-Domain-Images
Arranged by category and search

U.S. Government Photos and Images
Most are in the Public Domain, but check each agency’s terms as far as acknowledgements.

Public Domain Archive
One of my favorites!
High-resolution free public domain images. A must see!

National Digital Library – U.S. Fish and Wildlife

National Gallery of Art – NGA Images
Awesome, if you can use art images. This is a great site and easy to navigate.

Picdrome
Very nice site – clean crisp and easy to find what you’re looking for.

PDPoster
… same as above. Easy to search and categorized.

 

 

IMPORTANT

Before you race off to use  these images remember …
There are many different licenses for using the photos featured above; be sure to check and double-check, but if you’re unsure  just give credit. Many of them don’t require any attribution at all, but it’s always worth checking to be safe.

 

Free Photo Images & Free Image Stock Photos
Please Share if you like this content!

I’d also appreciate your comments – Thanks

2016-11-19T08:44:03+00:00December 27th, 2014|Building a Website, Images and Video|40 Comments

About the Author:

Thanks for stopping by!I've been online since the late 1980's. I remember my first computer was an Apple IIGS ... hahaha, those were the days!... now I help people to create a successful affiliate business of their own; allowing for more time freedom and financial security. There's nothing more rewarding than working for yourself!

40 Comments

  1. Dusty June 10, 2015 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this great resource. I have been searching for something like this for a long time !

    • Joanne June 12, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

      Hi Dusty!

      Thanks!
      I hope you find this Free Photo Images resource useful! You should be able to find almost anything using these image sites.

  2. Angel June 9, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Dear Joanne,

    I am so glad I found your website. 🙂 It has really helped me to narrow down the places I can look for images that I can use in my own website and have no fear of Copyright Infringement issues. 🙂 Thanks for showing a brief description for each. It helped me to do process of elimination with cycling through the many recommendations of image websites you showcased here on this article you wrote. 🙂

    Thanking you,
    ~Angel

    • Joanne June 12, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Hi Angela!
      … thanks for stopping by, and your nice words.

      Free image stock photos are out there! … you just have to know where to look.
      Since I hate paying for anything I can find for free, these are good options. Of course there may be times where you just can’t find exactly what you want and you will have to buy, these resources should take care of most of your needs.

  3. Claudia June 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Awesome resourceful article! Thank you for taking the time to put this extensive list together for us! I find it very useful! I’m a newbie that wants to do everything right and it’s not easy to figure things out. I find this topic of images copyright a little bit challenging. For example, I’m preparing to write my first review of a product off of Amazon and I still haven’t figured out how to correctly obtain the product image to reproduce it on my website. I did sign up with Amazon Associates, but they say you cannot just copy the image off their website and post in on your site. If you can enlighten me on this matter I’ll be forever grateful! Best regards,

    • Joanne June 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Claudia !!!

      … thanks for stopping by, and kind remarks.
      I hope you can make good use of all the free image stock photos.

      As far as Amazon goes, if you log in, hit help (on left side of page under Customer Support) and click on Graphics. They list several ways to get the images you need and want.

      Hope it helped!

  4. Larry May 16, 2015 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Hi, Joanna.
    Long time no see!!
    Thanks for sharing this over the top, way to go, way to be there, information!!

    I’ve been adding my own pics using my camera and Google images.
    This list, your work, gives me options to work from.

    Can you recommend what size of pics to use and the pixel size as well??

    Another problem I’m having with pics is the size when I want to use it as a feature pic. There is always white space on either side of the pic or to one side.

    Good to see you again.

    Larry

    • Joanne May 28, 2015 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Larry!
      … good to hear from you again!

      Thanks! I hope this list will serve you well – it has me. I would be very careful using Google images – make doubly sure you have the correct permissions to use them.
      When I upload images I usually use between 600px-800px wide. If your website focuses on images, such as a photography or art site etc., that would be different of course, and your images may be a bit larger to show detail.
      … but you do want to optimize as best you can.

      There’s a great article on optimizing your site (including images) called “How to Dramatically Speed Up Your Website”. It’s a really useful post and I suggest you give it a quick read.

      Let me know how you make out!

  5. Lauren May 6, 2015 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I’ve used some of these websites time and time again — I’m so happy to have more to choose from!! Thank you for the comprehensive list. I was referred to your site after asking just this question, and I’ve bookmarked you. Thank you thank you!

    • Joanne May 6, 2015 at 11:04 pm - Reply

      Hello Lauren

      … thanks so much! – I’m glad you like and can use that information.
      Tons of free images out there. I’ll be adding more quality sites as time goes on.

  6. Gan May 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Wow.. Thank you for the overwhelming tips on where I can get images. I have been having trouble getting images that are free to use, I have bookmarked your page and I will definitely be coming again in the near future.

    Gan

    • Joanne May 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Gan!

      Yeah – there’s a bunch of them out there – it’s just knowing where to look!
      … I like FREE!

  7. Christa March 24, 2015 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Joanne,
    Since being a member of Wealthy Affiliate I have been making a list of resources for locating free images for my site and eventually sites, but you have resources here that are new to me!
    Thank you so very much for sharing these resources with us!
    And for sharing the information about the sites and the licenses!
    Christa 🙂

    • Joanne March 26, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Christa!
      … and thanks for stopping by.

      Yeah – there are all kinds of places to find free images if you know where to look.
      When I can’t find what I want I use Dollar Photo.
      I’m glad you’re a part of Wealthy Affiliate; in my opinion it’s just about the best affiliate community on the web!

  8. VickiB February 10, 2015 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Thanks Joanne
    …searching for the perfect image is a time consuming job for me – this info should help enormously!

    • Joanne February 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Vicki!

      Yeah – I like free when I can get it, but I also want quality!
      Really glad I could help.

  9. Jeff January 26, 2015 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Joanne,

    Thank you … extensive list. Thanks for sharing.

    Jeff

    • Joanne January 26, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Jeff!

      Your welcome! … I hope it makes life a little easier for you!
      There are a lot of free images if you know where to look.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Seth January 15, 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Wow this is a GREAT list! I will bookmark you because I am going to need this! Thank you!

    • Joanne January 18, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Seth!

      I use to be forever trying to find free images to use for my sites.
      … I’m very selective too which made it harder, so I decided to group them together for this post.
      Enjoy!
      … and thank you

  11. Ty Jord January 13, 2015 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Wow Joanne,

    This simply amazing what you’ve put together here, really detailed and very well organized. I have bookmarked your site and I know I’ll find a lot of use for with the building up of my site.

    Thanks so much for sharing, best wishes.
    Ty

    • Joanne January 18, 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      Thank Ty!
      … I hope it’s useful to you – I tried to put the best I could find out there into this article.
      I love saving money!
      Take Care

  12. Scott Newkirk January 4, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Joanne,
    This is a really awesome list of places to get free images. This is very helpful and I will definitely be sharing this with other people so they know where to get free images for their website as well.

    I never knew there were so many places to acquire free images, but you have clearly provided us with some high quality places here. Thanks for sharing this with everyone and keep up the great work.

    Cheers,
    Scott

    • Joanne January 6, 2015 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Hi Scott
      … glad you stopped by!

      Yeah, there are quite a few out there and it did take quite some time to find, but definitely worth the effort. There are “loads” of places to find free stock photo images that actually pass my quality test – this cuts down the search time a little.
      There are a few rare instances when I do need to purchase, then I use Dollar Photo Club (excellent photos for the best price I could find) – but other than that I use ALL FREE IMAGES!

      Joanne

  13. Peter January 2, 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply

    What a terrific list Joanne! Must have been a lot of work putting this together. Bookmarked for future reference.
    Thanks, Peter

    • Joanne January 2, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks Peter!
      … yes, it did take awhile – but well worth it! A penny saved is a penny earned after all.
      Glad you stopped by.

  14. Robert December 29, 2014 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Wow! Thanks for this resource directory for images Joanne! A very comprehensive review and one I will use. Some of the image resources you list here I already use, but I see others I want to try. Bookmarked this page. Thanks!

    • Joanne December 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Robert!

      … and thanks!
      It took awhile compiling and reviewing these,
      … but my hope is it will cut down on people’s frustration and time in finding some really good images.

      Take Care – and thanks for stopping by!
      Joanne

  15. James December 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Joanne, thank you for putting this list together! I’ve been having a little trouble trying to get decent pics for my site. This will help a lot of us at WA! (: Peace…James

    • Joanne December 29, 2014 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Hi James

      I’m glad you like what’s presented here – it will hopefully help a lot of people, and at least make this process of obtaining photos and images a little easier.
      Thanks for dropping by James – take care!

      Joanne

  16. Rob Hemphill December 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    This is a labor of love with this useful resource on finding images, well done.

    There are loads of image sites that I have never heard or come across before. I will definitely bookmark this for later, thanks!

    Rob

    • Joanne December 29, 2014 at 8:59 am - Reply

      Thanks Rob!

      I’m pretty picky when it comes to photos and images, so yes, it did take a while but was well worth it.
      I’m pleased that this will help make everyone’s search a little easier – and the $$$ we can save too!

      Take care Rob – come back again!
      Joanne

  17. Neil December 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Hey, Joanne

    I must admit I’ve been taking a few images from Google which I may just have to replace now after reading your awesome post on finding free images. I enjoyed this post that much, I’ve just bookmarked it for future reference.

    Many Thanks!

    Neil

    • Joanne December 29, 2014 at 8:30 am - Reply

      Hi Neil!

      … thanks for your comment!
      When I started this research, I really didn’t think I would find that many quality free image sites – but was pleasantly surprised. Google can still be good, but you have to be extremely careful to check for proper attribution – it’s a little tricky. I will be blogging about that topic as well.

      Thanks again Neil!

  18. Debbie December 28, 2014 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Here is a free photo site I use. They are photos of the country of Panama, but there are a lot of good generic photos of beaches, boats, etc.

    http://panamastockphotos.com/

    • Joanne December 28, 2014 at 11:54 am - Reply

      I’m happy to pass this along – Thanks so much!
      I know it will help others as well.
      … take care Debbie!

  19. Debbie December 28, 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Your article is a great find for me and is now bookmarked for regular returns! I am always looking for new photos. Thank you so much for sharing the info.

    • Joanne December 28, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Thanks Debbie!
      … and your welcome.
      It took a while to get together, but I think there are some terrific images we can all use – and for FREE!
      I appreciate the feedback

  20. Ken December 28, 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

    A lot of useful information for bloggers and website designers.

    • Joanne December 28, 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

      Thanks Ken!
      It took a lot of “scouring”, but I think it will prove helpful for a lot of people looking for free images.

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