Whether you’re developing a website, writing an article or simply need some flair for your social media announcements, stock photos are useful.
For a source of high-quality, specialized images, we’ve identified the best free stock photo websites.
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Top 5 best free stock photos websites
If you’re on the search for a source of stock images, we’ve got you covered. These are the best websites that provide high-quality stock photography, completely free of charge.
Unsplash offers a selection of free photos on a variety of topics, for any industry.
Whether you’re looking for images of animals, fashion or nature, the site has something for you.
With over 1 million hand-selected photos, Unsplash holds one of the largest collections of free high-resolution images.
The site allows you to sign-up, explore, and follow the profiles of its contributors. You can also become a contributor yourself.
The Unsplash license falls under Creative Commons. This means anyone can download and use their images for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.
All of the photos in the Unsplash library are perfect for web design. In fact, the Zyro Website Builder offers access to the Unsplash library.
With a large assortment of free stock photos and videos, Pexels is popular among bloggers, social media managers, and web designers.
The well-curated library includes free photos taken by both amateurs and professionals. You are sure to find something to fit your needs.
Every photo or video that Pexels provides is free to use and modify. Their images fall under the Creative Commons license.
Gratisography offers a broad selection of categories, as well as a variety of quirky collections to pick from.
The choice of images to download is rather modest compared to other stock image websites. However, Gratisography prides itself on its unique and unconventional photographs.
As with most free image distributors, the site employs the Creative Commons license. So you can download and modify the photographs as you need.
Pixabay takes its place among the best websites for stock images, as it is free and offers a large and varied collection of both photos and videos.
With its selection of vector art and illustrations, the site is ideal for both commercial and personal use, blogging, social media projects, or articles.
Anything you download from Pixabay is completely free to modify, distribute and use. However, images might still be protected by trademarks or other rights.
Another large distributor of free stock photos is Morguefile. This site offers collections of images, as well as a browser to view content from popular paid photo sites, such as Shutterstock or Getty.
One unique feature of Morguefile is the option to request a particular theme, subject or item to be photographed and added to the database.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the site will help you out.
Morguefile’s pictures fall under the Creative Commons license. You’re always free to make something new out of them.
What is a stock photo?
A regular photo might be something taken to share with friends, or as self-expression. Such photos lack quality control, which usually makes them unusable for businesses.
Stock photos, however, are taken to be sold and used for content for articles, videos or visual design.
A system is in place for stock photos – they must be clean, of good quality and feature varied topics. The same model might pose as a person of many occupations and in different scenarios.
There are three main types of stock photo licenses:
- Rights Managed – this kind of license indicates that a person can purchase one-time rights for a picture or collection.
- The rights do not necessarily mean you can do whatever you want with the images forever. Additional rights might need to be purchased to allow modifications or distribution.
- Royalty-Free – such a license allows a customer to use the content for free, or make a one-time payment.
- You can acquire the rights to use the image however many times you wish, usually for an unlimited amount of time.
- Public Domain – if an image is in the public domain, it is free to use and exempt from any copyright claims.
- This kind of license applies to the website’s we’ve looked at in this article.
Why should you use free stock photos?
Using free stock photos saves money, gets instant results, and gives you access to a wide variety of content.
By visiting a stock image website, you no longer have to worry about the search for the perfect model, backdrop or equipment for the photoshoot.
Whether you’re working on posters, announcements, articles, web design or social media posts, you can find a stock photo to use.
Sometimes it’s more efficient to pick and choose between already existing options rather than make something yourself.
Free stock photos recap
With the wide availability of free stock photo galleries, you’ve got a good chance of finding something that perfectly fits your needs and doesn’t cost anything.
Free stock photo websites we recommended include:
- Unsplash – a collection of over 1 million free photos. Everything found here is perfect for web design purposes and of exceptional quality.
- Pexels – their assortment of curated stock images is a solution for any blogger or designer.
- Gratisography – a weird and quirky approach to stock photos provides us with an interesting but modest selection of images.
- Pixabay – ranging from photography to videos, vectors, and illustrations, this site has everything you need to create something stunning of your own.
- Morguefile – allows a user to request photographs in a specific theme.
If you know of any other websites for free high-resolution stock images, let us know.