free photos

10 Useful Websites to Get Stock Photographs for Free

Videos and pictures get lot more shares on social media than regular blog posts. If your company maintains an active blog, a photograph can make your post more interesting. As they say, “A picture can speak a thousand words.”

However, it is important to be careful while downloading pictures from the internet. There’re several stories about lawyers suing people for thousands of dollars for using an image that barely costs $10. Copyright infringement penalties are quite high and it is important to know enough about them to avoid paying huge penalties.

It is estimated that more than 90 per cent of photographs on the internet are not attributed properly.

Some of the popular image license types are royalty free, rights managed, and creative commons. Royalty free is when the licensee pays a onetime fee and has unlimited usage of the images as per the license agreement. Royalty free images cannot be used for free, a fee needs to be paid for usage of the images.

Rightly managed images usually have a lot of restrictions on where, when and how they can be used which is defined in the rights agreement.

Creative commons is a license where the artist allows the licensee to use his work for free under certain conditions. Some creative common licenses allow the licensee to use the artist’s work only for non-commercial use, while there are others that allow the licensee to use them even for non-commercial use with proper credit to the creator of the original work.

There’s also a CC0 license that allows the creator to give up all his rights and put his image up in the public domain, that allows anyone to use it anyway they want without requiring any attribution.

We’ve compiled a list of sites that allow you to download pictures for free; however, some of them might require attribution.


They find free images from all over the internet and put them all up in one place. Most of their images are licensed as creative commons or are in the public domain. The good part about this site is that images can be embedded directly from their website, which can be a real time saver.


A lot of old photographs whose copyrights have expired are now in the public domain. adds images to their database every week. The images are free to use for personal or commercial use. If you’re looking for old vintage photographs, this might be the site to explore.


The website claims to add 10 new images every 10 days. All images are licensed under creative commons zero which means that they can be used for commercial purposes, even without providing attribution. The site is simplistic, and easy to search.


With over 200 million photographs, one can search for images and filter them based on the type of license. There are a lot of beautiful images of different sizes. Even the larger images are free to use.

#5 Pixabay

The site has images from the public domain and also photos uploaded by users. Along with free photos, the site also has illustrations, free videos and even vector graphics.

#6 Gratisography

A colorful website made by Bells Design, it has several images that can be used for both personal and commercial use. The site has several images that are modern and hip. If you’re looking for pictures that are modern and hip, this is probably the place to go. Their search features need a lot of work though. If you have a little bit of patience and are looking for pictures that are hip and colorful, this is the place to go.


A beautifully laid out site, it has a very similar design to pinterest. It mostly pulls up images from several different websites. The site is well organized into categories that makes it more userfriendly than other sites on this list.


A site that is very minimalistic, it doesn’t seem to have as many photographs as the other sites on this list. However, the site is easy to navigate and can save the user a lot of time. The website claims to add 2 new photographs every day. 


Another site that is easy to navigate, most of the images on this site seem to be clicked by people who are pretty imaginative. Definitely scores high on creativity and imagination.  If you’re looking for images that are a bit offbeat, this is where you need to go.


Created by Leeroy advertising agency in Montreal and their network of photographers, the site claims that all their images are donated to public domain, and there are no copyright restrictions to use their images. They can be used for personal and commercial use.  Most images on this site seem to be of high quality.

Using free photographs without violating any copyright laws can save you a lot of money, especially during the early stages of your business where every penny counts. These 10 sites might help you in finding pictures that suit your needs.