Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
When you write a blog post or create content for Pinterest, Facebook, or some other social media, some photos are usually needed to accompany the text. If you aren’t a photographer yourself, you may use stock photos for this. But they can get expensive, especially if you are just starting out and not making much money from your online business.
Using the free stock photos is a great way how to add visuals to your online content without overpaying (because they are free). Here are some great places where you can get free stock photos that don’t suck. And by “Don’t suck” I mean that the photos are of good quality, and interesting, and there is a big library to choose from.
- Unsplash – great photos that can be used without attribution for free for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Use this if you are looking for a unique stock image.
- Pexels – my favorite stock photo site, the majority of stock photos on this blog are from here. There is a big choice, and you can use them however you want, attribution is not required.
- StockSnap – beautiful and free stock images in so many categories that make it easy to find the picture that illustrates the related text in the best way. These royalty-free images can be used on commercial projects as well.
- Pixabay – 2.4 million+ high-quality stock images, videos, and music. Similar to other places, free to use for you and your business. A free photo from this free stock photo site will have a creative commons cc0 license.
- ISO Republic – thousands of free videos and high-resolution images with a CC0 license.
- Picjumbo – free stock photography that you can use for personal projects and commercial purposes.
- Gratisography – a bit unusual high-quality photos that you are free to use however you want.
- Picography – great free images, many categories to choose from. Great for creative projects that require visual content.
- Foodiesfeed – stock photo website with more than 1,7k food-related photos that you can use as if you took them yourself.
- Public Domain Archive – beautiful images in great quality.
- Death to stock – unique photos, where 20 new photos are sent to your email each month. These are a bit unusual and you have to read the license terms and conditions carefully. I would use them on social media, but wouldn’t add them permanently on the blog.
- New Old Stock – really old photographs free of known copyright restrictions.
- Startup Stock Photos – a limited set of free photos but with the start-up/tech worker theme.
When you have your chosen photos ready, you can use a free photo editor online to adjust them for social media – add text, make collages, or remove the background, to get the best effect.
How to tell if a stock photo is free and you can use it legally?
You should look for photos that have Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. It means that the photo/video creator has waived their copyrights to the fullest extent by law.
So what can you do with images that have a CC0 license? You can:
- Use the photos for non-commercial or commercial purposes;
- No attribution to the author is required (but usually it’s appreciated);
- You can edit photos as you like.