We all want to find free images for blog posts, social media posts, slideshows, presentations, and other content/projects. Don’t just go to Google Images. The likelihood that you’ll choose copyrighted material is high.
Instead of infringing on someone’s copyright, find your free images at one of the sites I’ve listed here. We’ve investigated every site on this list to make sure there really IS a way to download images for free for use on your blog or website, but there is a lot of variance as to other ways you can use them.
Unless the image is in the public domain, you can bet there are rules of some kind. Some of these sites offer images licensed under Creative Commons. Others have their own license terms.
Be sure to investigate what you can and cannot do with the images from each site.
Then, after you’ve downloaded your images and before you upload them to your site, optimize images first!
Download this list in a handy PDF!
We update this list on a regular basis, and you’ll get the updates, too.
Ready? Here you go…
Ancestry Images – Over 31,000 old and antique prints. A cool collection of antique images, maps, and other photo stock in the public domain. Great for historians and local history research.
Barn Images – You are allowed to use any of the free images published in Barnimages collections for commercial and non-commercial purposes. However, the image copyright is still the property of its author. You cannot resell our photographs as prints, as photo stock (whether free or paid) or redistribute them anywhere else. You cannot claim the images as your own as well.
BigFoto –Free download of all the pictures in their massive and constantly growing photo gallery. You can use these images just as you wish for personal or commercial purposes and there are no watermarks or complicated rules. Simply put a link to the site on your site OR like their Facebook page OR follow them on Twitter. Simple.
Clker.com – A free database of public domain clip art and images you can use for anything you like. You can also create vectorized image using Clker’s free tool. (You have to create an account to use the tool, but no account is required to download clipart or images.)
Creative Commons – Find content you can share, use and remix. Please note that search.creativecommons.org is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. CC has no control over the results that are returned. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link.
CupCake – All photos are licensed under the Creative Commons license CC0, which means that you are free to use the images without any costs. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission.
Death to the Stock Photo – Free monthly photos for all your creative needs. For commercial use, your blog posts, social accounts and mockups. Registration is required. A premium membership is also available which provides and extra pack of images each month, as well as access to all of their images.
DesignerPics– This is an initiative to provide free photographs to all who are in need. This is an ongoing project that adds new pictures every month. All of these photographs are captured by Jeshu John and you can use them for your personal and commercial works absolutely free. Attribution not necessary.
Dreamstime.com – One of the largest photo sharing sites in the world with over 7,000 free images. A great place to start your search for free photos. Keep in mind that they also have many paid images. Registration is required.
EveryStockPhoto.com – Over 25 million free photos in this creative commons search engine. These come from many sources and are license-specific. You can view a photo’s license by clicking on the license icon, below and left of photos. Membership is free and allows you to rate, tag, collect and comment on photos.
FlatIcons.net – A free flat icon maker. You can create your own royalty free flat icons for your web-projects within seconds! Just choose an icon shape out of 2,500+ available and customize it to your needs to download the free flat icon as png. No login required.
FOCA Stock – The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
FoodiesFeed– All photos published on Foodiesfeed are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CCO) license which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes.
FreeImages.com – 388,087 free photos and illustrations as of this article. You can use these in digital format on websites, blog posts, social media, advertisements, film and television productions, web and mobile applications, in printed materials such as magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, product packaging, for decorative use in your home, office or any public place, or for personal use. You cannot use them on products for resale. See their terms for more specifics about that.
FreeMediaGoo.com – These are free stock photos and backgrounds for you to use. Simply explore and find a powerful photograph you like, and start downloading your colorful royalty free graphic images. Free for both unlimited commercial and private use. No login or attribution required.
FromOldBooks.org – Over 3,500 free images from old rare antique and vintage books. You have to go through a few clicks, but you can eventually get to the place to download the image for free and without a watermark.
Gratisography.com – Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. Click on an image to download the high-resolution version. New awesome pictures added weekly. All pictures were photographed by Ryan McGuire and are free of copyright restrictions. (Note: If you’re searching for quirky…bet you’ll find something useful here.)
NASA on The Commons Follow – More than just incredible images of space, you can also find images of historical moments involving presidents, aerial images of NASA facilities and much more. No attribution or login required.
HubSpot – Marketing blog HubSpot provides 550+ free stock photos to use for your marketing. These are free downloads that you can use in any marketing campaign you choose. (Note: Read the blog post…it’s a cautionary tale for all of us!)
Imagefree.com – This collection of free images was started in 2010 by a pair of Icelandic photographers. They are constantly taking photos, and encouraging contributors to put their photos on the site as well for creative commons usage. Attribution is required, and you must register a free account to download images.
LiberShot – Features works of photographer Martin Vorel released under public domain.
Life of Pix – Free high-resolution photos, no copyright restrictions. Images for personal commercial use. New images added weekly. All images are donated to the public domain. Hand-made with love by Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal and its network of photographers.
Little Visuals – 7 Hi-Res Images zipped and emailed to you every week. You are free to use them any way you want. Note: There is an announcement on the homepage about the site owner had died and their hope to resume providing new images. The images on this site are gorgeous and you can download them directly.
Magdeline – Very easy to browse resource for free photographs. It offers both public domain and images that require attribution, so make sure that the image you are downloading is marked under public domain.
morgueFile – Another solid free image site. All images are free and require no attribution.
NegativeSpace.co – For personal or commercial use, all of their CC0 licensed images are completely free to use.
New Old Stock – This is similar to Ancestry Images, but is a Tumblr blog with new images of old photo stock posted regularly.
Pexels.com – all photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose. The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos, all without asking for permission or setting a link to the source, meaning attribution is not required. This is one of my favorite free image sites because the pictures are great and they offer multiple download sizes.
Picjumbo – Totally free images for your personal and commercial works. No attribution required and you don’t have to log in to download. Premium membership is available.
Pick Up Image – They claim to have the largest collection of free photos. Whether that’s true, or not, you can download, copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
Pixabay – Your source for royalty free stock photos and copyright free vector graphics. You can use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications. (Note: the first row on many of the pages are images from paid sites, so watch where you click.)
pikwizard.com – It’s a free stock photo website, unlike most stock photo sites, they have a lot of pictures of people. Can’t believe that they’re such a well-kept secret, but I can understand why!
Public Domain Pictures – The pictures are free for you to use and you should feel good about doing so. If you intend to use an image you find here for commercial use, please be aware that some photos do require a model or property release. Pictures featuring products should be used with care.
Reusable Art – A collection of more than 3000 vintage drawings, illustrations, and artworks. All works displayed on the website are under public domain.
Skitterphoto – A collection of CC0 Licensed images. The site features works of their own photographers so you will find less used and unique photographs.
Splitshire – Daniel Nanescu, an Italian graphic designer, created this free stock photography site. He provides high-quality photos from shoots he does in Italy. If you want a wider selection of photos, you can join his membership for a ridiculously low $20 per year. (Note: I love his philosophy – check it out on the About page.)
Stock Vault – Over 60,000 images including a wide array of texture images you can use. Textures are great backgrounds for quotes and websites. You can download images directly, but if you subscribe to their free weekly newsletter, they’ll send you fresh stock photos & inspiration. Sweet!
StockSnap.io – Hundreds of high-resolution images added weekly. All photos are free from copyright restrictions. No attribution required. You can subscribe to have photos emailed to you each week.
Unsplash – Subscribe to receive 10 new photos every 10 days, or download directly from the site. All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
Wikimedia – One of the largest creative commons directories on the internet with 24,494,843 free usable media files. This is the place where professionals go when they want commercial images without worrying about copyright restrictions.