Photography always plays a key role in every website design. They’re in charge of illustrating the site content, grabbing user attention, and delivering your message. It’s evident that the human brain processes image 60K times faster than text.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional photographer or graphic designer to create images for your online store, website, and social media feed. There are various excellent free stock photo sites providing you with drop-dead gorgeous images. And of course, they’re completely free.
To save your research time, we’ve sorted out the list and will look at the top 7 free stock photo sites to download images.
- Considerations Before Using Free Images
- #1 Pixabay
- #2 Pexels
- #3 Unsplash
- #4 Adobe Stock Free Collection
- #5 Vecteezy
- #6 FoodiesFeed
- #7 Gratisography
Considerations Before Using Free Images
Not every photo on free stocks can be used for commercial purposes. Read their descriptions to ensure that you don’t violate the copyright law when re-uploading them on your site. Some photo sites even note under their images as “commercial use allowed,” or “commercial use and modifications allowed.”
There are a few terms and conditions of photo sites that you should keep in mind, including Creative Commons, Public Domain, and Royalty Free.
- Creative Commons – The name of a nonprofit organization and international network authorizing users to share creative works, so others can use them legally. It comes with 6 standard Creative Commons licenses giving you different permission to use images.
- Public Domain – Refer to creative works that no longer belong to specific people or organizations. Their copyrights have expired or become forfeited.
- Royalty Free – Images marked as Royalty-free are not completely free. You’re required to pay one time to own the image forever. Once making a payment, you can use them anywhere at any time you want.
We’ve gone through popular terms for stock images. Now let’s check out the top 7 sites to download and use photos without having to pay a penny.
Pixabay, without a doubt, would be the first option coming into mind in terms of free stock images. It brings you photos, vectors, and art illustrations, even videos of certain topics.
There are over 2.6 million visual items available on this site. Photos are released under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, so you can freely add attribution and make changes to them. It has more than a million public domain images there too.
Pixabay is especially preferable by users thanks to its outstanding landscape photography inventory. Nature is described gorgeously in its images.
The downloading process is simple. Once finding the desired image, you can choose the resolution and then complete a Captcha to successfully download it. It’s possible for you to skip the Captcha by signing up for an account on Pixabay.
A minus of Pixabay is that the image quality isn’t high and consistent.
Created by twin brothers Bruno and Ingo Joseph, Pexels offers a great place for everyone to upload photos and videos. You can pick your choice from hundreds of thousands of images for personal purposes. Although the number of photos is fewer than Pixabay, the image quality is undeniable.
It’s effortless to search photos on Pexels via the discover page. In the Popular search content section, images are grouped by categories making it easy for you to dig for your favorite topic. You’re also able to browse by themes such as pastimes, emotions, and locations.
Photos on this free stock are licensed under its own rules to clearly clarify what users should and mustn’t do with their images. It allows you to modify images and video attribution or give credit to the photographers. Remember, you can’t sell the original images.
Another big name of free stock photo sites is Unsplash, powered by skilled photographers from all over the world. It comes with a huge collection of free and high-quality photos, with more than 2.5 million pleasing images.
The search tool at the top of the homepage lends you a helping hand in finding a picture quickly. Out of the box, you can spark inspiration from collections grouped by users, such as Current Events, Wallpapers, 3D Renders, Architecture, and tons more. Creating your own collections has never been easier once you sign up for an account.
Besides, they develop an Unsplash iOS app to help you discover stock pictures right on your iPad or iPhone.
Similar to Pexels, Unsplash obtains a license letting you use the images for free. The team goes through every new submission, ensuring that it delivers the best pictures to users.
#4 Adobe Stock Free Collection
At Adobe, you can download photos, vectors, illustrations, templates, and videos courtesy without having to pay anything. It made more than 70K free stock images in 2020. However, it requires a free Adobe account to download pictures.
The stock empowers you to apply multiple filters at a time. In this way, you can exactly reach for the most relevant works for your project. You also have the ability to upload a picture to look for similar ones. Incredible, right?
Contributors never expect payment from other free stock photo sites, except some donate from users. In Adobe, they get paid for their photos which is worth appreciating.
You can sign up for a premium account to access more quality and editorial-style stock photos and videos.
It’s worth checking Vecteezy, a powerful vector art, stock photos, and stock videos. Unlike other image sources that focus on photography and pictures, Vecteezy yields nice vector images. Website builders and designers can seek a lot of ideas via this photo site.
Several reasons can motivate you to download images from Vecteezy. First and foremost, it supports sorting photos by different filters, from color, orientation, style to the number of people, and even the age of models. Plus, the site always ensures its free works of art are safe to use via signed model and property releases. So there should be no concern about legal risks.
One of the best things about Vecteezy is that the team manually looks over individual photos their users upload to make sure they meet the quality standard.
Bear in mind that many Vecteezy images require a Pro membership plan to download, costing $9 monthly.
Do you run a cuisine-related website? FoodiesFeed is definitely something you need to make your site more focused on. This stock puts forward thousands of exclusively eye-catching culinary photos. Images are both owned by food photographer Jakub Kapusnak and submitted by users.
Food categories at the top of the home page encourage you to search through the best relevant images as easy as pie.
Ryan McGuire, a skillful and talented photographer or graphic designer, created Gratisography to promote a free community for people to download images. Although there are not a lot of images there compared to other stock photo sites, Gratisography stands out from the crowd thanks to Ryan’s creative eye.
Gratisography brings forth both photos and vectors divided into different categories, including Animals, Fashion, Nature, Business, etc. It adds new humorous and whimsical images to the stock weekly. You can use its high-resolution images and illustrations for any purpose (both personal and commercial).
What is Your Favorite Free Stock Photo Site?
Free stock photo sites benefit you in various ways. Not only can you get and re-use them for free, but they also help draw inspiration to brainstorm your own images.
There’s a growing number of wonderful resources to download photography. Each specializes in one or a few photo types or niches. Pixabay best delivers landscape pictures while Vecteezy concentrates on vector images. FoodiesFeed impresses users with its tasty-looking food photos.
Have you ever used free images from one of these sources? Share with us your experience in the comment section below.
In case you earn money from your own photos (as photographers or designers), it’s necessary to protect them from unauthorized actions. Learn how to secure your images on your WordPress site now.