40 Best Free Stock Image Sites for Online Content
We’ve compiled an exhaustive (and freshly updated) list of stock photo resources you can use to find free stock images to build your brand. Whether you need first-rate stock images for commercial use or a blog post hero, you’ll find what you’re looking for right here.
We know your pain.
You’re looking for the right images for your online store, website, or social media feed. You don’t have time for product photography, so you’ve searched far and wide for free images to use but keep running into cheesy stock photos of people high-fiving in boardrooms or laughing into their salads.
The good news: there’s a huge variety of excellent free and paid stock photography websites for commercial use available online. You just have to know where to look.
40 best free stock photos sites for commercial use
Browse this list of stock photo sites below to find free images for your business or project:
Pixabay is a free stock website with over 2.2 million stock images, videos, and music clips available for download by the Pixabay community. It offers royalty-free photos from contributors, which anyone can manipulate and use without permission or any attribution to the artist.
Stock images on Pixabay cover a wide range of topics. All photos are released under the Pixabay license, which is similar to the Creative Commons CC0, but slightly more restrictive.
Unsplash is home to over 2.5 million beautiful stock photos shot by a global community of photographers. All images are free for whatever use you wish, and Unsplash adds new images to download every day. When you create a free account with this stock photography site you can collect photos and access them from your iPhone, iPad, or computer.
Pexels is a free stock image and video library licensed under the Pexels license, which is similar to the CC0 license. You can download, copy, distribute, and modify images licensed by Pexels. This stock image site has hundreds of thousands of images hand-picked from photos uploaded by the Pexels community. All photos are tagged, searchable, and can easily be found on the site’s discovery pages.
Shutterstock is a leading provider of licensed stock images, vectors, illustrations, and music for businesses and consumers around the world. It has a growing community of over one million creators and adds hundreds of thousands of creative assets every day.
To date, over one billion images, video clips, and music tracks have been downloaded on Shutterstock. It has a library of over 300 million free stock images, and customers in more than 150 countries.
5. Getty Images
Getty Images supplies stock images, editorial photography, video, and music from a library of over 200 million assets. Getty Images gears more toward corporations and creative professionals in advertising and media.
Most images are not free—you’ll have to pay for a license to use them. However, you can use some images for free with Getty’s Embed feature, which is only for non-commercial use. The kicker? The free images have the Getty Images watermark at the bottom and you can’t get rid of it.
The acclaimed graphic design tool Canva also offers free stock images on its site. The Canva library is home to millions of paid and free stock photos to download or use in the platform’s design editor. You can switch between images and colours without navigating between tabs.
iStock by Getty Images is another leading stock photography website. It offers millions of popular photos, illustrations, pieces of clip art, videos, and audio clips. It’s also known for paying contributors well. While you’ll have to pay a licensing fee for most assets, iStock does offer weekly free stock photos to download.
Freepik is a great free stock image site for creators seeking professional Photoshop templates and beautiful stock images. The site has over four million assets, from vectors to illustrations, also available for download. Attribution is required to use Freepik’s stock for commercial or personal use.
Picjumbo is a free stock photo website created in 2013 by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek. He started the site after all other photo sites rejected his work for “lack of quality.”
Today, picjumbo offers thousands of high-resolution images, plus social media elements and other design freebies. Images are easy to find and displayed as collections, so you can see the same image from different views and find the best free images for your project.
10. Life of Pix
Built by the Leeroy creative agency, Life of Pix offers true-to-life high-resolution stock images for download. It has thousands of stock photos, including everything from food and people to architecture and textures. The site regularly adds 10 new photos from a handpicked photographer of the week. All copyright-free images are available for commercial use, but some restrictions apply for distributors.
Depositphotos is a global marketplace for stock images, with over 202 million assets available for download. You can browse through thematic collections of free stock photography and media trusted by corporations including TripAdvisor, Forbes, and Subaru. Many photos are available for purchase, but the site offers over 69,000 high-quality images you can download for free.
12. ISO Republic
ISO Republic is an independent website that curates high-resolution, Creative Commons CC0–licensed photos and videos. It has an ever-expanding library, with over 6,000 creative photos, all free for personal and commercial use, no attribution required.
FreeImages provides over 380,000 royalty-free stock photos ready to share. You can license them to use for social media, ads, printed materials, websites, or any other project you’re working on. You can find photos for concepts like fashion, fitness, business, family, travel, and more, all free to download.
Gratisography is a free stock image website different from any other on this list, created by photographer Ryan McGuire. It offers humorous and whimsical images (think: Bigfoot in the forest with a mask on) you can use entirely for free, without any copyright restrictions. If you want to express your brand and make an impact on your viewers, photos from Gratisography are the way to go.
15. New Old Stock
Looking for free vintage photos for your project? Look no further than New Old Stock. While the stock photography site doesn’t actively add new images anymore, you can still browse and download old photos from Flickr Commons–listed institutions and public archives. You’ll find photos taken of everything from gold mining in New England to NASA in the ’70s and so much more.
Kaboompics is another popular free stock image site, with over 20,000 photos. It’s owned by one photographer/entrepreneur and has a stock photo license that covers both personal and commercial purposes without attribution (although it’s appreciated). The site search helps you find photos in over 1,500 collections, with advanced sorting options to find the best match. Kaboompics blog is also full of expert advice on marketing and design.
Freerange is a standard free stock image site with a big library of images ready to download. Photos are shot both in-house and submitted by contributors. The collections span topics like backgrounds and textures, animals and insects, technology, and vintage photos. New photos are added daily.
18. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is known for its premium stock photos and high price tag. But did you know it also offers a selection of free pics and videos? Browse curated photo collections of trending themes like Springtime, Nature, and Landscapes. Or check out its collection of free illustrations, templates, and 3D assets to use in your next personal or commercial project.
StockSnap.io is a free stock image site created by the same team behind graphic design tool Snappa. It offers hundreds of high-resolution photos, with more added every week. The search function is user-friendly and lets you sort by popularity, views, downloads, favourites, and more. The library is built by user submissions and reflects a trendy, modern style you can use for your projects, free from any copyright restrictions.
Stockvault showcases a big collection of over 138,000 photos on various topics. It crowdsources photos from creators around the world for you to download and use for free. The overall quality of the photos are excellent. The only drawback is that Stockvault has three different licenses, so make sure to check that you can use a specific photo for your intended purposes.
Foodiesfeed is the best free food photography stock photo site on the web. Search through more than 1,700 photos, with intuitive search functionality and tags that are incredibly easy to use. Foodiesfeed is perfect for any food-related website looking for trendy, high-quality photos, free for commercial use.
22. FOCA stock
Formerly known as MMT, FOCA stock offers a full archive of free for commercial use stock photos, with new photos added every single week. It has a big focus on nature stock photography and macro stock photography. The site is also incredibly easy to navigate and lets you sort by category, tags, colour, and orientation, so you can find what you’re looking for.
Vecteezy offers a free membership that gives you access to over 300 CC0 images. However, most of its images require you to buy a Pro membership. which starts at $9 per month. This membership will:
- Give you access to a catalogue of millions of photos
- Cover licenses to use photos for business purposes
- Make attribution unnecessary for any photos.
Morguefile is a free photo archive that has been compiled “for creatives, by creatives.” It’s one of the oldest stock photo archives out there and derives its name from what people in production would call an inactive file—used only for reference. It’s super easy to use and has a great catalogue of real everyday sorts of images that you can pull from.
Pikwizard is a completely free site that offers over a million royalty-free images. No attribution is required and it even offers free wallpapers and background images that can help make your website or blog stand out.
Reshot is another completely free stock photo archive. The great thing about this site is it even offers you the ability to download photos in SVG, PNG, or vector formats for free as well. This can save you time and headaches because you won’t have to worry about converting photos into specific formats, you can just download them already in the format you need.
If you’re looking for some professional-looking photos, freestocks.org is a good place for you to begin your search. Freestock’s catalogue has been created mainly by three photographers with full-time jobs who create the catalogue in their free time. So the offering might not be as large, but it’s completely free and each photo has clearly been taken by someone who understands lighting, editing, and composition.
Picography is a free stock photo site that’s small but offers up some great images. It’s easy to navigate and 8has a number of great categories that work for many different kinds of businesses. Although Picography doesn’t require attribution of the photos you use, it still has the title of the photo and the name of the photographer in the corner of each photo.
Skitterphoto is run by three Dutch photographers based in the Netherlands. It’s completely free and its photos require no attribution. And if you’re a budding photographer, it also accepts contributions from photographers wanting to add to the Skitterphoto catalog.
30. Little Visuals
LittleVisuals is a small collection of images that are completely free. Seven images are emailed to you in a zip file and you can download and use them in whatever way you want. The only downside is you can’t search the site for specific images. You only have access to the images on the homepage and whatever images are emailed to you.
31. Jay Mantri
Jay Mantri has a moody collection of photos to choose from. His site isn’t searchable, but Mantri does email you seven high quality images every Thursday. It’s completely free and you can use any and all of his images in whatever way you want.
Picspree is completely free to use, but it also offers high quality premium images that are available for purchase. No attribution is required for any photo downloaded off Picspree, and it offers articles and other resources for people looking to learn more about photography.
33. Styled Stock Society
Geared toward woman entrepreneurs, Styled Stock Society offers a bundle of 25 stock photos for free to download on its website. However, if you want access to its other 6,000 photos, templates, and guides, it’ll cost you $297 per year. Also, Styled Stock Society does not allow you to use its images to promote any styling- or photography-related services/items that are not Styled Stock Society.
LibreShot is a free stock photo archive run by Martin Vorel. All the photos are shot and uploaded by him and he requires no attribution or credit for use. LibreShot has a great collection of images to choose from in over 35 categories.
35. Good Stock Photos
Good Stock Photos offers all of its photos for free. The only thing it asks is that you keep the photos free. That means:
- Don’t sell the photos as they are
- Don’t claim the photos as your original work
- Don’t profit from the images by submitting them into a stock gallery and getting paid for that submission
36. Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos is a photo archive that offers stock photos geared toward being relevant for business and tech startups. The website is well organized, it’s easy to search for the photos you want, and best of all—all the photos are free.
Once you sign up for a free membership with Rgbstock, you get access to over 100,000 stock photos. You’re encouraged to use these photos for marketing purposes and for your social media and websites, but there are conditions.
The photos in Rgbstock’s catalogue are the property of the photographers. For example, you can’t slap an Rgbstock photo on a mug and sell the mug, but you can use an Rgbstock photo on a flier to sell a mug with your own original design on it.
38. Negative Space
Negative Space is a completely free stock photo archive. It has a limited catalog, but each photo is high quality. And with over 20 categories, Negative Space offers photos that are usable in a lot of different industries.
Icons8 has a great stock photo library called Moose. You have access to all of their photos for free as long as you don’t mind a low-resolution JPEG. If you want to be able to download Icons8 photos in a high-quality PNG format, you’ll have to pay $5 per photo or $13 per month (that gives you 50 photo downloads a month).
Rawpixel offers three tiers of membership. The free plan offers you unlimited downloads, as long as they’re from the free collection of Rawpixel’s archives. You can pay $3 per month for the Casual plan and have unlimited downloads to the entire catalogue (as long as it’s for personal use), and if you’re planning on using these photos for business, you can pay $6 per month for the Business plan.
Free image license types
Let’s look at the different terms and licenses that stock photography websites use:
- Royalty-free means you can use the asset without paying royalties or licensing fees.
- A Creative Commons license gives you the right to share, use, and build upon a copyrighted image.
- Attribution refers to giving appropriate credit to a creator’s work. It’s either required or not required when downloading a stock photo.
- Commercial use describes any activity in which you use assets for financial gain. Stock image sites may permit licensed photos for commercial purposes (like ads or editorial) or may not.
- Membership means you must register an account with the website to use its images. Some require a membership fee, while others are free.
Note: It’s always best to double-check the licensing terms for the stock photo resources listed below. We did our research when putting this list together, but licensing is subject to change and may differ depending on which stock photographers or stock libraries you purchase from. Some may require approval for commercial use, while others may be totally free to download and use.