Images are integral to great websites, blogs and digital content, and can even increase the reach of your social media posts. They can be used to break up text, grab attention, and add value.
However, copyright laws can be confusing and it is often difficult to take your own professional-looking images.
So to help you find the best free, high-quality stock images for your digital output, here is a list of some of our favourite resources which you are welcome to bookmark for future reference.
Pexels’ photos are completely free to use and require no image attribution. The site also tags their images, has a number of videos, and has search functionality, meaning it is very easy to find what you are looking for.
Another great resource which holds thousands of unique photos is Unsplash. These images are gifted from the ‘world's most generous community of photographers’ and 10 new photos are uploaded every 10 days.
All images released by Pixabay are free to use with no attribution required. The site has over 1 million free photos, vectors, videos, and illustrations, and is easy to navigate to find the image you want. You can also filter images by colour and minimum dimensions, meaning you only view the images that are appropriate to you.
StockSnap provides a large selection of interesting and versatile images and releases hundreds more on a daily basis. The photos are free from copyright restrictions (no attribution is required) and the site tracks the number of downloads, allowing you to identify the most popular photos on the site.
With new images added to the site daily, Picjumbo provides a huge variety of free photos including abstract, fashion, nature, technology and more.
6. Kaboom Pics
Kaboom Pics offers a wide variety of free high-quality stock photos including abstract, architecture, fashion, food, landscapes and more. However, while there are no formal attribution requirements, the designer does ask that you include photo credit when possible.
7. Life of Pix
Life of Pix and its video counterpart Life of Vids offer free high-resolution photos, videos, clips, and loops. The sites are updated weekly and both have no copyright restrictions.
8. Negative Space
Free stock photos are added to the Negative Space site every week, including categories from architecture to technology. You can also filter the gallery based on category and colour.
9. Death to Stock
Death to Stock offers authentic non-stock photos and videos for creative projects. Signing up to Death to Stock means you will receive photos delivered to your inbox every month. This is great for businesses, bloggers, and creatives.
10. ISO Republic
ISO Republic provides high-quality images for designers, developers, bloggers, marketers, and social media teams. ISO Republic also allows you to sign up to its email list and receive exclusive photos into your inbox.
Looking for a particular industry or feel?
FoodiesFeed - Free high-resolution food pictures.
Gratisography - High-resolution quirky and creative pictures.
MMT Stock - Mainly photos of workspaces and technology.
Burst (by Shopify) - Most pictures are themed around trending business niches.
Reshot - Images are hand-picked and non-stocky.
New Old Stock - A collection of vintage photos that are free of any known copyright restrictions.
StyledStock - Offers free feminine stock photography for female entrepreneurs.
Startup Stock Photos - Mainly free tech and workspace images.
Some final words
As you can see there is a fantastic range of stock photography resources for most industries. You don't have to rely on just one site or a handful of images, meaning you will often be able to find images that are appropriate for your business. Many of the larger sites mentioned, such as Pexels and Unsplash, also collate images from smaller resources like Picjumbo, displaying them in a single, easy to use platform.
However, if you are looking for a very specific subject the choice can sometimes be limited. For example, the search terms ‘mascot’ or ‘pest control’ yield very few relevant results. So depending on the use and importance of this photo, you may have to pay for an iStock image.
It is also worth noting that many of these sites are American-based, meaning it can sometimes be difficult to find images of generic items like money, flags and cities that are not of American origin.
Finally, many of the sources we have listed provide images that are free to use in any context, however, it is always good to do your own research in order to determine how the images you choose can be used.