Millions of new images are uploaded every day to stock photo sites and other image resources. Most of them are protected by a variety of copyright restrictions and licensing options. But content creators looking for high-quality images can still find thousands of photos, videos, and other visual content that’s entirely free and safe to use for commercial and non-commercial projects of all kinds.
Licensing and Attribution: the Basics
Before using any images you find online, it’s important to know the basics of online licensing and usage restrictions, including:
- Creative Commons Licensing, which gives permission to use creative work
- Royalty-free, which means you don’t have to pay the creator a royalty every time you use the image
- Public domain, which includes images that are freely available because their copyright no longer applies.
- Attribution, which requires a credit to the original image source.
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Here’s a list of more than 20 resources for copyright and royalty-free photographs, vector illustrations, and other visual content for all your posts and pages.
Pixabay offers free photographs, illustrations, and vector graphics for unlimited use.
Unsplash offers free photographs and other images under their own licensing.
Pexels offers free photographs for commercial use under its own licensing.
Free Images provides free photos and illustrations for all uses under its own licensing.
Stocksnap offers free photos for all uses under Creative Commons licensing.
This stock photo site offers high-quality free photographs, as well as paid stock images from Adobe.
TONL’s unique stock photo site features royalty-free images of people of color and indigenous people.
Flickr hosts images of all kinds with a variety of Creative Commons licensing options.
This photo-sharing site offers many free images for any use without attribution.
The Gender Spectrum Collection features free images of trans and non-binary individuals under a Creative Commons license.
Disability:IN offers free images of people with disabilities in a variety of settings.
This stock photo site offers a collection of royalty-free stock photos, vector illustrations, and videos.
iStock is primarily a site for paid images, but it offers weekly free stock files with every membership.
New Old Stock offers free vintage photographs from public archives, free of copyright and other restrictions.
Death to Stock offers unlimited use of its unique images with a subscription to the site.
Photoability features royalty free images of individuals with disabilities in a range of lifestyle and travel settings. Buy individually or in subscription packages.
Disability Images offers images of people with disabilities for purchase under a variety of licensing and image credit options.
Free Digital Photos offers high-quality stock images of all kinds for free use on any website.
Powered by Shopify, Burst offers free high-resolution stock photos for all uses.
More Free Image Sources
You may also be able to find free images on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, but you’ll need to check carefully for any usage restrictions on individual images you want to use.
Images send a powerful message—and these resources have the powerful visuals you need, free for use in any project you have in mind.
Further reading and resources: