Why should you use images on your social media?
We all know we should be using images on blog posts, but why?
Images make the post more appealing and also helps with the blog’s traffic and search ranking (via the image’s alt tags).
Also, if you use visual media on your other social media it can have the following benefits:
Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.
Snapchat users share 9,000 photos per second. (Source: Hubspot)
So, gone are the days when just text posts were enough. We live in a visual age and that is only to increase.
But, where can you get royalty free images that you can use for whatever you heart desires? I scoured the net and collated a list of sites that offer you not only great quality images, but they cost nothing to download.
50 sites that offer you royalty free, stock free images.
1. Negative Space is a community of photographers offering free high quality photos. To quote Negative Space, the sole purpose of creating the site is “…to give photographers a platform whereby they can share their photography with the world.” Also, if you want to take your online skills a bit further, be sure to have a look at Negative Space’s other network of sites, such as 1stWebDesigner and Free Photoshop and Sketch UI Templates
2. Death to Stock Photo The unique thing with Death to Stock photo is that you don’t download single free images, you download packs (via zip files). There is both a free and subscription based service. If you subscribe you can have access to over 2,000 exclusive photos plus more each month.
3. Picjumbo Viktor Hanacek started Picjumbo after stock photo websites rejected his photos. Then he decided to start selling his own photos on his own site. After that Viktor decided to start offering his photos for free at a rate of one photo a day. Now, you can download all of his work through Picjumbo. There is a Premium option which allows you to access exclusive content via Dropbox. Plus, each photo allows you to have “Test Drive” to see how it’s going to look as a website background. Great work, Viktor. You’re a star.
4. Stokpic Stokpic was started by Ed Gregory who decided he would give his photos away for free. You can browse the photos either by the Latest 100, Favorites, or via the 15 categories on offer (there are even subcategories that make it easier to find the picture that is going to add some sparkle to your project!)
5. Kaboompics Kaboompics offers a great range of photos from Karen who takes the photos and runs the site as a “one woman show”. Huge thanks to her for generosity! Also make sure to check out the Photoshoots option.
6. Startup Stock Photos provides a small range of nice quality photos.
7. Freerangestock Freerangestock provide their images from two sources: in-house and their community of photographers. You can help the photographers earn money by clicking an ad next to their name.
8. Libreshot Run by Martin Vorel, Libreshot shares his beautiful photos and his beautiful heart for sharing the content for nothing! Thanks Martin, we appreciate your selflessness!
9. FancyCrave In Fancycraves’s own words, the site “collaborates with independent photographers to deliver stunning, emotionally-driven photos fit for any project.” There is a premium option that allows you to access exclusive sets.
10. Unsplash Unsplash offers a nice range of photos that you can do what your heart desires with. They do request, though it’s optional, that you provide attribution back to the respective photographer as a way of thanks and also recognition for the kindness of allowing us to use their pictures for zero dollars! There’s is also an option to “Join Free” and access just under 410,000 other photos.
11. Stocksnap Stocksnap chooses photos from submissions and selects only the best. You can also join the site which gives you the benefit of favouriting photos so you don’t need to be concerned about downloading all the photos you love all at once.
12. Splitshire I love what Splitshire says their mission is: ” Helping you to be awesome out there with great content. Even though there are only 917 photos on the site, don’t mistake quantity for quality! Also there is a handful of videos you can also use.
13. Lifeofpix Life of Pix is a collaborative work from a network of photographers and offers astounding images in high resolution.
14. Pexels Adding 3,000 photos per month to their already vast stock of photos, you will be spilled for choice when looking for the next photo for your blog, website, apps, or whatever! Plus you can download free videos at Pexels Videos
15. 160 Free Business Themed Stock Photos If you are wanting solely business themed stock photos, then you’ll find some here. Just provide your name and email and a link to the photos will be emailed through to you. Then just download the zip files and voila!
16. Gratisography Created by the whimsical artist, Ryan McGuire, Gratisography offers 7 categories of photos to choose from. His photos are truly unique!
17. Jaymantri Jaymantri’s photos are gorgeous. They are organised by date, so you need to scroll through them all to find the one that you think will complement the content you’re creating.
18. ISO Republic Run by a tiny group of contributors, ISO Republic have published 3,000 images. If you use the images, though it’s not necessary, they would appreciate it if you give the site a shout out in blog posts by linking back to the site.
19. New Old Stock If you are after old photos from the public archives, then this site is a definite must visit. Cole Townsend has collated the images from the public domain. He did the work and you get the benefit of some nice vintage photos.
20. Pixabay Pixabay is one of the more well known websites that offer free images. But there are videos too! With over 1.3 million photos and videos to choose from, its not hard to see why Pixabay is a favourite.
21. Burst Burst offers thousands of high quality photos for you to do as you wish with them. Also, make sure you check out their “Start a Business” section. It has some great advice.
22. Foodiesfeed If you are a Foodie, then this is the site to go to for any photo that is foodie related. Started by Jakub Kapusnak, this is a must site for any foodie writer or blogger.
23. Freestocks.org Freestocks.org has a handful of categories that offer a great range of stunning photos. You can find photos either by using the search option, browse each category or click on the “Popular Tags” on the right hand side of the site.
24. Picography Picography has a great stock of gorgeous photos. There are a total of 18 pages of images to choose from. Also, you can either use their search bar or click on the tags at the bottom of the page.
25. MMT MMT was started by Jeffery Betts who wanted to give back to the online community by offering his photos for free. If you want to see what is new on the site, then stop by the blog. Also, click on the “Filters” option and have a play, it’s heaps of fun and clever.
26. Skitterphoto Skitterphoto was started in 2014 by a couple of amateur photographers who had a hard time finding quality free photos. You can either use the search box to find the image you’re seeking or use the “Browse” feature to scroll through All photos, Featured, or Admin picks.
27. Little Visuals There’s a tragic story behind Little Visuals. It’s creator posed away in 2013 through S.A.D.S ( Sudden Adult death Syndrome). There are 5 pages of gorgeous photos you can download free. Also, Nic’s family ask, as a sign of appreciation for using the photos, if you could make a donation to the Hand on Heart Charity.
28. IM FREE IM FREE provides a nice curated collection of beautiful images. If you are wanting to create a website, then check out the “Templates” category.
29. http://epicantus.tumblr.com Daria is a Visual and UX designer who decided to provide some of here work for free. Her reason for doing so is “I create a lot of landing pages and prototypes to collect feedback and test various business ideas, so I know how important it is to make things FAST yet still beautiful (yes, we all believe in low fidelity prototypes but people still prefer beautiful things :)).Finding images that carry the right message usually takes hours, therefore every photo I make in my spare time will appear here for you. All of them are free for personal & commercial use.” Thanks Daria, we appreciate it.
30. Shot Stash Shot Stash has new photos available every day, so it’s definitely worth it to go and have a look at what’s new amongst the beautiful photos they give you for free.
31. Styled Stock If you are looking to add a feminine touch to your project, then go Styled Stock is the site for you. All the photos are feminine in style and you can even search by colour!
32. Magdeleine Magedeline offers a nice range of photos with a rustic feel to them. You can search via the 8 categories, by CC0/Attribution Required, or by the dominant colours of the photo. All photos have been hand picked, so you know you’re going to get nothing but the best.
33. Foter Foter provide you with 335 million photos to choose from so you’ll truly be spoiled for choice when you stop by here.
34. Finda.photo finda.photo is more of an aggregator from other sites, but it has a range of 10,000 photos. You can search/browse by keyword or colour.
35. Flickr Flickr has a brilliant range of truly astounding quality photo (tens of billions according to the site!). The only thing is you have to sign up first before you can access the stock.
36. Freeimages Freeimages has just over 390,000 photos that you can browse through (some options are “Free Photos”, “Photographer”, “Camera”, and “Lightbox”). You can also seach by categories or tags. The front page is spilt in two halves, the top half are free images, at he bottom of the page are iStock Premium photos that require payment before you can use them.
37. public domain archive Public Domain Archive has an impressive arrange of images ranging from modern to vintage. If you don’t want to download the images one-by-one, become a premium member and you can bulk download them plus have access to to exclusive high resolution photos every month.
38. Superfamous Studios The photos on Superfamous fall under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license which means that, even though you can use the photos for free, you have to provide attribution for the what you use. There is no way to search for a particular image, so you just have to scroll through to find the one you’re after. To download the image, you need to right click on it and choose “Save Image”.
39. Every Stock Photo Every Stock Photo is merely a search engine that allows you to search through 29,368, 215 photos. You can become a member of the site for free which will allow you to tag, collect and comment on the photos. However you can still search and download the photos without a membership.
40. rgbstock rgbstock provides you with over 100,000 photos once you register (which is free, or you can use your Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or Hotmail account to register). When you choose a photo, you can also see what other images the artist has provided for rgbstock and can read their bio.
41. Stockvault Stockvault consists of a community of 95,000 designers and photographers who offer you with an astounding array of images. Not only photos, you have access to textures and clip art. There is a Premium option which gives you the ability to access videos, music and more. Also, publishers to the site can earn money through people donating to them and via Google AdSense.
42. Realisticshots Started by Henry Reyes who loves to design and provide things for free, Realisticshots carries a range of beautiful quality pictures in 5 categories with 7 new photos added every week.
43. Bucketlistly If you are a travel writer or have a project that requires travel photography then go no further than Bucketlistly. The site offers over 5000 travel photos that can be filtered by clicking on the location hashtag under the world map found on the site or by choosing the relevant highlighted country on the map.
44. Morguefile Morguefile has been around since 1996 with its aim being to provide professionals and teachers access to free images. There is a “Go for Pro” option which cost $25 a year and allows you to enhance and add filters to the images, access to older image packs and more. Also, for the budding photographer, Morguefile’s “Classroom” will teach you how to get more out of your photography.
45. Splashbase Splashbase is an aggregation site that obtains its photos via other free stock photo sites. There are photos and videos that you can use. Note that the videos fall under the CC3 license, which means that though they are free to use, you must provide Attribution back to the relevant artist/photographer.
46. Cupcake Cupcake was founded by Jonas, a 30 year old living in Sweden. There are 44 photos on the site and are simply gorgeous.
47. DesignersPics Designerpics is the work from he team at Corporate Designers. There are 10 different categories (Architecture, Business, Concepts, Food & drinks, Nature, People, Technology, Things, Uncategorised, and Wild life). The quality of the images is amazing.
48. Storyblocks Okay, so Storyblocks doesn’t let you use their images for free. It is different than the other sites in this list in that it requires a monthly subscription.(there is also a couple of options for annual subscriptions) to access its 400,000 photos. Also, it allows you to access 115,000 HD videos and 110,000 audio tracks. The whole concept of Storyblocks is to use all three types of media to create your “story”. So I included it in this list as it provides you with absolutely everything you need for your next project.
49. Getrefe Getrefe offers a good range of images for free. However, you need to signup as the images are put into your “Shopping cart” and then you can download them after you have completed your “Purchase”. If you want to sell your photos, Getrefe has an option for you to do so. Just have a look under the “Start Selling” tab and read the conditions.
50. Imagebase Started by David Niblack, who got his first taste of photography back in his college days, Imagebase gives you a vast array of unique photos that are all copyright free (which is the reason David started the site in the first place…to give people access to photos without fear of copyright infringement!). Thanks, David.
One final word about using stock free images.
Even though most of the images in this list fall under the CC0 license which means anyone is free to use the photos in anyway they like without needing to provide attribution, please read the license/requirements of each site carefully.
Some require attribution back (after all the photographers have spent time in allowing us to use their picture, so a “shout out” is the least we can do to thank them). Sometimes images and videos may come under the CC 3.0 license.
Also, as common sense dictates, you can not use any image for anything that is illegal, causes offence, is pornographic or anything else that is evil! (Again, read each license/About/FAQ page carefully).