Absolutely free stock photo websites
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The web is awash with stock photo websites. Some are low-quality submit-your-own sites such as photo monolith Flickr, others cater for niche markets such as travel or macro photography.
Most charge per download.
We have rooted out some hidden gems that offer absolutely free stock photos.
Photos free for personal and commercial use
Sifting through the small print to work out which sites offer 100% free, no-strings attached photos for personal AND commercial use is hard work. To save you time, we’ve collated this list of the best absolutely free stock photo websites.
All images are free for personal and commercial use.
Absolutely free stock photo websites
A large gallery of average-quality photos free for personal and commercial use.
Professional photographers can create their own profile on RGB to offer giveaway photos – a nice way to generate publicity.
Arty and slightly minimalistic photos, Unsplash is my favourite on this list. It is ideal for creating a blog that stands out.
All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes. Link backs are appreciated – and given the quality on offer, this is more than fair.
Don’t let the name put you off – this is one of the web’s biggest and most popular free stock image archives. Morgue File aims to provide image reference material for illustrators, designers, teachers and other creatives. Careful – some photos do carry conditions such as link back or photographer credit.
Browsing is tedious, quality is mediocre but the site is useful for the sheer depth and variety of images. Struggling to find a free image of particular object – you’ll likely find it here..
Wikimedia Commons is massive media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media.
Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license. There is an enormous selection of images but quality is often poor.
If you’re looking for flawless images to use on your blog, this is NOT the site for you.
What “FreeImages” lack for in quality they make up for in sheer variety of photos they have on there site. Need a point-and-click photo of a rare tropical fruit from South America?… you’ll probably find it here!
Photopin is a free image search engine. Search millions of Creative Commons photos and add them to your blog posts easily.
A promising site with thousands of free stock images, clipart, textures, graphics and 3D-renders.
Beautiful stock photos in high resolution.
All photos fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license (so you can copy, modify, distribute and use commercially without asking permission!)
Pixabay is a growing image share website / social network with some pretty good images. Registration is required.
Photographers can create an account and load up their own photos and receive shares and feedback, much like 500px, but far easier to get published.
A small but high quality collection of tastefully shot photos that are refreshingly different from your standard stock photos.
All photos are completely free and high resolution.
Surprise! Foodies Feed give away free food pictures.
Cookery websites, healthy lifestyle blogs – this is the stock gallery for you.
The best paid image archives
Widely used by news agencies and big business, these sites charge per image download:
Fine art paid image galleries
The “budding” photographer that I am (term to be taken very loosely), I would like to point out two more websites that only offer very high quality, stunning images.
Social networks for images
StumbleUpon will require you to specify your interests, hit the “Stumble” button and upvote pages you like. The more you Stumble, content will become increasingly customized to your taste.
Pinterest allows your to pin your favourite images to “boards”. This is a great way to prepare material for future blogs.
Free image editing software
Need help editing your images?