16 Places to Find the Best Free Stock Photos

Good images are a key part of putting together 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 stock image site or to find images that are free and available for use. That’s what we are going to look at here today.

There are a variety of places where you can find free photos that are available for public use. Most of these images fall under a creative commons license (just make sure you attribute properly) or are old enough that the photos have returned to the public domain. (This happens once the copyright on an image expires.)

So here’s a look at 16 places where you can find great stock images at no cost. Happy hunting!

Free Images for Public and Commercial Use

Raumrot

Free Stock Images

Raumrot specializes in free, hand-selected stock photos that can be used for personal or commercial projects. Images on the site are all available in high-resolution formats. Images are available for use based on each individual photo’s creative commons license and should be displayed according to those rules.

What’s nice about the site is how it is organized. You can search for images by category and the selection of images is nice. Photos modern and vary in composition and scope.

Unsplash

Free Photos for Commercial Use

“Free (do whatever you want) hi-resolution photos.” That’s the onus for Unsplash a blog-style photo site that allows you to submit your own images for public use. The site refreshes with 10 new photos every 10 days, so there’s almost always something new to choose from.

The photos on this site include a lot of landscapes to choose from, many with exceptional lighting and almost Instagram-style effects. The site is also just fun to look at. Every photo also includes a link to the photographer if you want to learn more about a certain photo.

Little Visuals

Little Visuals Images

With plenty of options from high-resolution landscapes to tight, detail shots from buildings, Little Visuals has a little something for a variety of projects. Follow the site and download photos individually or register and get seven new images sent to your inbox every week.

This site is pretty new, with just a few months under its belt, but the images are sharp and crisp. Each image is free to use thanks to creative commons public domain dedication, so none of the images have applicable copyrights.

Gratisography

Gratisography

Ryan McGuire of Belle Design has a fun site where he upload new free-to-use photos every week. The images can be used for personal or commercial projects and every image includes a high-resolution version.

The site has a definite vibe to it, with a variety of super-fun images.

Free Refe Mobile Photos

Free Refe Mobile Photos

This site has a variety of images – mostly of 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 of the photos might not be big enough to use for print.

The images from Free Refe Mobile Photos have a highly usable nature to them. Many of the photos capture the everyday and can work in a variety of projects.

Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri posts seven new photos to his site each week that are free to use in any way you please. And he wants you to “make magic” with them.

While the style of photos on the site vary, many of them have a rather funky feel, including a series of photos featuring common objects and sunglasses.

Magdeleine

Magdeleine

Magdeleine is another site with a selection of hand-picked images grouped to make them easy to find. You can search by subject, 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 feature a world-feel. Many of the images are color but there is a large selection of black and white photography as well.

Foodie’s Feed

Foodie’s Feed

From beautiful deserts to simple garden veggies, Foodie’s Feed has images of almost any edible item you can imagine. The site uploads five (or more) new high-resolution photos per week and collections of multiple images from a single take are included. (This is a great bonus.)

All of the images showcase food in a way that looks delicious – something that is not as easy as it sounds. The site is supported by donations via PayPal button.

This post is also available in: Spanish

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Carrie Cousins has more than 10 years experience in the communications industry, including writing for print and online publications, and design and editing. You can connect with her on Twitter @carriecousins and Google+.

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13 Comments
  1. Hidden Depth Jul 30, 4:38 pm

    Thanks for the mention for Picography.co guys!
    Delighted you found our photos useful

    Reply
    +15
  2. Liz Tompkins Jul 30, 6:41 pm

    Cannot thank you enough for this incredible article. I’ve been on the hunt for such places on a project and didn’t know about many of these great sources.

    Reply
    +12
  3. Foodie's Feed Jul 30, 6:59 pm

    Thanks a million for finding my pictures on foodiesfeed.com useful and mentioning my website as a resource in this article. I can’t say how much I appreciate it! :-) You all are welcome to visit Foodie’s Feed and download as many pictures you want.

    Reply
    +6
  4. Tomas Jul 30, 9:38 pm

    Thank you Carrie for including Refe to the list. Highly appreciated!

    Reply
    +5
  5. Mike Jul 30, 10:20 pm

    Wow some fantastic sites here. Great list Carrie.

    Reply
    0
  6. Heidi Pungartnik Jul 31, 12:41 pm

    Great list, shared! I would add SplitShire, Pixabay, and StartupStockPhotos.

    Reply
    +11
  7. Darrell Aug 5, 1:03 am

    Glad to find this list of great photo sites. Thanks a bunch Carrie a very nice job.

    Reply
    0
  8. Aaron Oct 24, 10:51 pm

    This is my new favorite bookmark! So many image sites with awesome pics. Love it.

    Reply
    0
  9. Elena Nov 22, 6:56 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    Thank you very much for this helpful resource. I’m a website owner and this article helped me to find many mroe great photos.

    My personal faves are Unsplash and OpenFotos – because the also have a lot of food pics.

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    0
  10. Marcus Gates Jan 21, 7:48 am

    Wow… great list. I would also add http://realisticshots.com. Really great source of nice high-res photos.

    Reply
    +2
  11. Bob Mar 28, 12:36 am

    Hi,
    Please also take a look at http://www.goodfreephotos.com for thousands of unique public domain photos. Appreciate it if you could add it to your list. Thanks.

    Reply
    0
  12. Igor Ovsyannykov Mar 31, 1:49 pm

    Great article Carrie!

    Shameless plug – I started http://fancycrave.com/ a few months ago. It’s a collection of completely free stock photos all taken and edited by me. It’s basically a collection of images from my travels around South East Asia. I hope these photos will help designers and creative alike.

    Keep up the great work. Designmodo always releases high quality content!

    Reply
    +1
  13. Luis Apr 15, 11:57 pm

    Hello Carrie,

    Another source of nice free stock photography is http://negativespace.co, we post 20 photos each monday, You can search photos and sort them by category, colors and copy space position.

    The photos are distributed without any copyright restriction under CC0 and finally we join the raw file with each photo we post so you can play with it.

    Reply
    0

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