Top 9 Free Stock Photography Sites

In a perfect world we would take all our own photos for our web site or blog.  However, with so many resources available it is not necessary to fork out the time or money for amazing photos. Outlined below are nine terrific sources of free and high-quality stock photography for you to use.

Top 9 Free Stock Photography Sites

In the review of the sites I have outlined whether you need to credit the owner of the image (attribution) and whether it’s easy to search images on the website.

When browsing these sites you will see the terms “Creative Commons Zero” (CC0) and also “attribution“.  Not sure what this means?  Here’s the definition by the Creative Commons organisation.

“The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”

This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.

Attribution simply means giving credit to the owner.

In any case, be sure to check each website’s license page for specific details.

Top 9 Free Stock Photography Sites

1. Pixabay

Here you can find over 640,000 free high-quality photos, illustrations, vector graphics and videos. It’s easy to find images you are looking for.  Membership is not required to download images.

Searchable? Yes. You can search by media type, category, orientation, size and colour.

Attribution? Not required. All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

10 Best Sources of Free Stock Photography

2. Pexels

Pexels was co-founded in 2014. Currently, they have over 10,000 free stock photos. Every month they add at least 1,500 new high-resolution photos.

They source their photos from their community of photographers as well as from sources like Unsplash, Gratisography, and many more.

Searchable? Yes, you can browse images by category or photographer.  You can also see which photographer has had the most downloads.

Attribution? Not required.

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

3. Unsplash

This is definitely one of my favourite free stock photography sites. If you subscribe to Unsplash they will send you 10 new photos every 10 days.  They have an amazing collection of landscape and travel shots as well as architectural delights.

Searchable? You can search the photos by category or collection.

Attribution? No, all photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

4. Death to the Stock Photo

Death to the Stock photo is a membership based photo library.  If you subscribe to the mailing list you will receive the latest photo pack of images once a month.

Searchable? No. You can browse the latest projects on their website.

Attribution? Not required.

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

5. StockSnap

This is a resource put together by Snappa – creators of a graphic design tool to assist you with your social media and content marketing. Hundreds of new images are added each week.

Searchable? Yes.  You can search photos by date, what’s trending, most views, downloads, and by favourites.

Attribution? Not required.

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

6. Picjumbo

Pic jumbo is a free stock photography site created by designer & photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013. To date, there have been over 3 million downloads of the images from his site.

Searchable? Yes.  You can search by categories and tags.

Attribution? Credit is not required but it is appreciated.  Photo redistribution is not allowed unless you pay for membership on Viktor’s site.

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

7. Life of Pix

The images available here are all donated by Leeroy, an ad agency in Montreal, and their network of photographers. All images are available for personal and commercial use. The photos are of high quality and the file size is quite large so you will need to re-size the images if you are using them for your blog or web site.

Searchable? Yes

Attribution? Not required.

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

8. Gratisography

Features high-resolution stock photography from Ryan McGuire.  These images can be used for personal and commercial projects. New images are added weekly to the site.

Ryan posts a range of images under the categories of whimsical, people, urban, animals, nature and objects.

Searchable? Yes, by category and keyword.

Attribution? Not required but appreciated.

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

9. Stokpic

Stokpic has high quality stock photography covering many categories including food and drinks, animals, backgrounds, architecture, nature, lifestyle, sports and fitness, and more.

Ed Gregory, who decided to share his unused photography that was just sitting on his hard-drive, created the site.

Searchable? Yes. You can search by category and keyword.

Attribution? Not required (but appreciated)

10 Amazingly Free Sources of Stock Photography

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So there you have nine amazingly free stock photography sites!

What are your favourite sites for sourcing free images? Let me know in the comments section below.

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22 thoughts

  1. This is brilliant thanks. The one I was using recently closed down so now I have some fresh sites to check out. Cheers

  2. Thanks for this list Blazenka, you made me discover Stockpic! For my WordPress themes demo sites, I often use Unsplash and Death to Stock photos.

  3. Hi, very informative article.
    Please also check out for thousands of unique public domain photos, all high-resolution and free to use for any purpose.We specialize in photos by location as we document cities, national parks, state parks, national landmarks, and more. We update with 20+ photos each week. Appreciate it if you could add us to your list of sites.

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