There’s one question we get asked quite often: Where can you find free, good quality images that are cleared to use for your blog posts or social media content?
Nearly every image created in the last 30 years is still protected by copyright—a protection that gives virtually every author the exclusive right to use or reproduce their work. But you can find a public domain photo, use a Creative Commons image that might need attribution or even create your own image from scratch.
What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
There are various types of Creative Commons licenses that range from allowing any type of use with no attribution to allowing only certain uses and no changes.
What is public domain?
Works in the public domain are those whose copyrights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Finding something on the internet does not mean it is in the public domain.
These terms will come up often as we discuss free photo sources. Read over the terms and conditions of each site you try so you know exactly when and what type of attribution is required.
Pixabay offers copyright-free, cost-free images published under Creative Commons. You can copy, modify, distribute and use the images, even for commercial purposes. No registration is required.
StockSnap.io is a stock photo sharing website where photographers, designers and students can share their photographs, graphics and image files with each other for free and use them for personal and non-commercial design work. No registration is required.
PicJumbo offers a variety of free photos for any kind of use—free of charge with no registration required. Although there’s no search function, categories will help you find your way.
Unsplash offers a large collection of free high-resolution photos and has become one the best sources for stock images. The Unsplash team combs through new submissions and features 10 high quality photos every 10 days. All photos on Unsplash are released under the creative commons public domain license.
Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. New awesome pictures are added weekly and are free of copyright restrictions. All pictures are captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design.
There’s a growing number of fantastic resources for stock photography. These websites have become a blessing for designers, marketers and bloggers. No need to rely on cheesy stock photos anymore!