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August 20, 2015

5 Free Stock Image Sites Worth Using

Need to find high-quality photos but have a limited budget? We have curated a list of our favorite places to find free photos licensed under Creative Commons Zero (meaning you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free without asking permission).

Here are five free stock image sites to explore:

  1. Unsplash
    This site is a little bit like walking into a beautiful photo gallery—except you can pluck things right off the walls. There’s something for everyone. My favorite component is the blog that shares what others have done with the images.
    Search feature? No.
    Require attribution? No.

  2. Gratisography
    If you want something a little quirky, off the wall and different from the usual stock photos, this is your site. I find myself here to inspire our creative imaginations in addition to searching for photos.
    Search feature? No, but categorizes images by topic.
    Require attribution? No.

  3. PicJumbo
    Another site with a little bit of everything—but unlike Unsplash, it has a search feature and categorizes photos by type.
    Search feature? Yes.
    Require attribution? No.

  4. FreeImages
    Think of FreeImages as the search engine of stock photos. Search for free or paid photos in a variety of categories.
    Search feature? Yes.
    Require attribution? Sometimes.

  5. Pexels
    Similar to FreeImages, Pexels is another free photo site search engine that allows you to find just what you are looking for. One of the best aspects of this site is that you can see what is most popular.
    Search feature? Yes.
    Require attribution? No.

The caveats:

  1. These photo libraries are smaller than paid stock sites. If you know exactly what you are looking for, you may need to rely on a paid site.

  2. Many of these sites lack the same search capabilities as paid sites. Make sure you have time to search around or create your own library with photos that catch your attention.

  3. Be sure to read each site’s unique rules. Some require you to attribute the source while others do not.

  4. Keep in mind that you can only post the photos to social networks if you edit them or use them as part of a design. Examples include a graphic to promote your blog or a photo that’s part of your website design.

While these image sites are some of our favorites, there are plenty more. Have other sites you’d suggest? Tweet us at @JayrayAdsPR.