Websites to Find Free Images for Your Business
Aug 20 2021|
Last Updated: August 20, 2021
Let’s face it. We’re becoming a visual-first world. From social media posts to blogs with attractive images, visuals are crucial for every marketing strategy.
However, we cannot expect to set up a photoshoot and snap a beautiful image every time we need it. This is where the free stock image websites come in handy. You only need to worry about the content you create and can use any stock image website to get some relatable and appealing images for free!
Sounds simple, isn’t it?
We’re going to make this even simpler! In this blog, we’re taking you through the various technicalities behind using the free images you find on the internet and use them legally (content is for information purposes only and not a legal advice) for your business promotions.
How Can You Know If the Images Are Free to Use?
First of all, we need to be clear that not all images you find online can be used for your business. Every image is bound by copyright and licensing that restricts the way you can use the images.
So, if you’re planning to use free images for your business, then you need to be clear about these licensing terms. Here are two specific cases when the images are free to use.
Images with Creative Commons License
When you find an image with a Creative Commons (CC) license, then it means that you can use that image for free. However, there are various subsets under the CC license that you need to be aware of.
Some of the CC licenses allow the image to be used publicly but:
● Only allows specific changes to be made.
● Doesn’t allow any changes to be made.
● Requires the image to be attributed to the original creator.
So before you use a free image with a CC license, make sure to look at the fine print and see the terms you need to follow.
Images in the Public Domain
All the images in the public domain are free to use. These are images that were previously copyrighted but had since then expired or been forfeited. Make sure to double-check if the images haven’t renewed the copyrights before using them.
Do I have to Include Attribution for All Free Images?
Attribution of the images to the original owner differs from image to image. While some owners make their images free to use for anyone, they require attribution. And there are some images that you can use without attributing them to the sources.
When you’re using free stock images, make sure to check the attribution terms.
Royalty vs. Royalty-Free: What’s the Difference?
If you’re wondering why we haven’t included royalty-free images in the previous list, then here’s your answer.
Royalty-free images don’t necessarily mean they’re free to use. Royalty-free means that you don’t have to pay the creator every time you use the image. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay at all.
Some royalty-free images require an upfront, one-time cost to be paid and then used multiple times by the same purchaser wherever they want. But you don’t need to pay the royalty fees or licensing fees every time you use the image.
However, images with royalty require you to pay every single time you’re using that image.
So the next time you see the mark royalty-free images, don’t just assume that they’re entirely free to use.
How Can I Use the Free Images?
There are two main categories of usage: commercial and non-commercial purposes.
By non-commercial, we mean the personal usage of images that aren’t published or placed in a position for the world to see.
Commercial images are those that you can publish online. It can be used in:
● Social media posts
● Website content
● Social media stories
There is also another category called ‘editorial content.’ This includes all types of print and news-related content, which is almost the opposite of advertisements.
The licensing of stock images may have restrictions about the usage for commercial or editorial purposes. Most free stock images allow non-commercial usage, while only a few allow for editorial usage. Make sure to read the complete list of terms and conditions of each licensing before you download and use any image.
24 Websites Where You Can Find Free Images for Your Business
Now that you’re clear on the licenses and terms to identify the free images, let’s dig into the websites where you can easily access them.
Note: We have done our due diligence in researching the type of licensing and other usage terms of images from each website. However, we urge you to double-check these terms before you use them.
Unsplash was started as a side project on Tumblr by listing the leftover images from in-house production. It soon grew in popularity quickly to become a free stock image website for various artists worldwide. Unsplash has over 2 million free stock images of the highest quality boasting beautiful aesthetics and eye-catching colours.
Unsplash allows the audience to download the images for free and use them as they wish. They have their own custom license, much like a Creative Commons license, and you can use the images without any attribution. You can read all about Unsplash license terms here.
Pixabay is one of the most popular stock image websites that has over 2.3 million images. Pixabay doesn’t just have real-life images but also graphical images shared by their artists.
This platform was crowdsourced by enthusiasts from around the internet to become one of the largest free stock image websites in the world. Canva acquired it in 2019 and it has only grown by volumes since then.
You can use the images on Pixabay for free without any attribution. You can also modify the images as you wish but can’t sell the same or altered images from Pixabay. You can read more about the Pixabay licensing terms here.
Pexels is a free stock photo aggregator that has hundreds of thousands of images. Pexel makes it easy to search for just the right image with tags and filters. What’s more, they have a video section and make it super-quick to get what you want.
All the photos in Pexels have Creative Commons Zero, which means you can use any of the images found on their website for your commercial purposes without any attribution. However, Pexels also includes other free images found on other stock image websites, which means you have to make sure that there’s no copyright or licensing infringement.
You can get more information about Pexel’s terms here.
Gratisography was started by Ryan McGuire, a graphics designer who offers his own images for free on the website. These images you find on Gratisography are pretty unlike other usual free stock images you can find and boast a novel twist to any usual shot.
While there are very limited images on the website, unlike the other popular sites, it’s pretty popular due to the unique angle of the pictures.
Ryan has his own licensing terms, which are quite similar to the Creative Commons Zero. You can use the images for your business, but some pictures may have intellectual rights and you may reach out to him to get it cleared.
Stocksnap.io has an exciting collection of free images, which is quite different from what you can find on other websites. They’re trendy, edgy and pleasing to look at and it doesn’t take a long time to find the perfect image you need.
It was founded by the developers of the graphic tool, Snappa. It has thousands of free stock images sorted by theme, popularity, views and more.
Stocksnap.io used the Creative Commons license Zero to use the images found on the website for free for commercial purposes. You can also edit and modify them as you wish. Here are Stocksnap.io’s licensing terms.
PicJumbo has thousands of free images on various popular themes like Abstract, Wallpapers, People, Food and Travelling. PicJumbo has images of people who purposefully hide their faces and most of the images are colourful and eye-catching.
All the photos on PicJumbo were shot by the photographer, Viktor Hanacek, who aims to provide high-resolution images with an artistic view.
PicJumbo has licensing under the Creative Commons. You can use the images for free for commercial purposes and can be used across various media forms without any attribution. But you cannot upload these images to any other free stock image websites.
Kaboompics is one of the few stock image websites with colour palettes. All of the images on the websites and aesthetically pleasing and attractive to use for business marketing. You can download the images from Kaboompics in different sizes.
For every image, you can find the related colour palette that you can download and use for your marketing collaterals. This makes it a very interesting choice to use the images in presentations, websites, and blogs and have a matching colour palette for a wholesome artful vibe.
You can use the images from Kaboompics without any attribution for free. You can also edit and modify the images as you need. You can find more details about the license terms here.
Burst was developed by Shopify as a free image platform for e-commerce businesses. There are several categories of photographs from Burst that can be used for several purposes — ranging from social media posts to website content.
If you’re running an e-commerce business or any other retail business, you can easily find thousands of images from Burst that you can use for marketing. There are also several generic images that can be used as background for social media content.
All of the images are free for commercial use without any need for attribution, following the CC license. You have the license terms mentioned along with each image which you can use to verify swiftly.
9. Free Images
Free images, as the name implies, is another free stock image website that offers a diverse collection of images. It has thousands and thousands of stock images uploaded by photographers from all over the world. From the basic categories of art to business-specific categories, you’ll find your pick of images on the website.
You can download the images from Free Images for free and use them for commercial as well as personal purposes. While you don’t need to attribute the source for normal usage of the images, you’ll need to attribute the artist’s name and Free Images when using the images for editorial purposes. You can learn more about the terms here.
PikWizard has thousands of images from various stock photographers, all of them free to use. PikWizard has high-quality images that you can use for free for your business promotions and marketing collateral.
PikWizard has its own licensing terms which don’t require any attributes but do not allow the images to be used for selling. You can read about it here.
PikWizard also offers quick image and video editing options that help you to visualize the images in the way you need before you finalize them.
Libreshot is the website you need if you’re looking for fine art photographs. It is developed by photographer Martin Vorel, who has a vast collection of stunning visuals, nuanced photographs and breathtaking shots.
Martin has covered a wide range of themes in his photographs, starting from nature to tech-based images. Libreshot is the best place to find free images if you’re looking for an artistic one with hidden meaning — something that pulls you in.
Martin also has a paid section for fine arts with minimalism used as wall hanging pieces.
Libreshot has the CC license with the public domain, which means you don’t have any restrictions to use the photos for your business.
12. ISO Republic
The ISO Republic has a variety of stock images on the most popular subjects. This website was started by Tom Eversley and is now run by a small team. You can find thousands of images on some of the common topics like nature, people, technology, animals, art, music, fashion, sport, fitness, food, landscape and business.
You can also get a good collection of abstract images that can be edited and used for commercial purposes.
All the images found on the ISO Republic come under the CC0 license, which allows you to use them for personal and commercial purposes without any attribution.
If you’re looking for some best free images for social media, then RawPixel is the website to go.
With aesthetic and stunning images that can be edited for social media, RawPixel is quickly becoming the one-stop place for social media managers to quickly find free images. You will need to sign up with a free account to download the images and there’s a limit of 100 images per user. RawPixel has both free and premium accounts that you can choose from.
The images found on RawPixel come under the public domain and there are thousands of images to choose from.
You can get detailed information about their licenses here.
Reshot is the best website when you’re looking for vector illustrations and icons. With a whole bundle of vectors, you can edit them and use them across your social media content, web copy, website design, and other online marketing purposes.
Many website designers have been using reshot to use images with the right colour palette for creating websites that look pleasing.
Apart from the vectors, Reshot also has over 25,000 stock images worthy of stopping the audience in tracks and making them take a peep.
Reshot images are free to use for non-commercial and commercial purposes without any attribution. You can modify and distribute the images as you wish.
FoodiesFeed is a dedicated website for finding free images related to food. From drool-worthy images of honey and sauces dripping to innovative images with food, this is the place to go if you’re looking for food images.
The images you find on FoodiesFeed are of high quality and some of them have been so popular and used by media companies over and over. This website was started by the food photographer Jakub Kapusnak and all the images you find are his creations. Jakub has made even the most mundane food items look appetizing with the right zing of actions and colour.
FoodiesFeed has the CC0 license, so you can download, edit and share the images on the internet for commercial purposes.
Remember seeing those images that are so simple yet so vivid that you stop in your tracks? That’s the way we would explain it to someone who asks us about Picography.
With such pleasant-looking images of the most mundane things with an artistic view, Picography boasts of a bundle of images that are worthy of becoming a part of any international brand’s marketing. The images are so elevated and attractive, depicting the normal things in life, making the website one of the fast-growing ones in the industry.
You can use the images found on Picography without any attribution for your business as it comes under the CC0 license.
17. Foca Stock
Foca Stock was started by Jeffrey Betts, who wanted to share the many images he took with the world. From images of nature to social media images, you can find a whole set of variations on the website.
Foca Stock also has a section for finding amazing videos that you can edit for your business purposes. It also has a new feature called Social Templates, with which you can edit and create social media posts and designs right there in the Foca Editor.
This feature elevates the usefulness of the website and makes it a perfect place to create social media posts. All the images you find on Foca come under the CC0 license. You can read the complete license terms here.
18. Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos, true to its name, has thousands of images of startups. It was started by the social media agency, Sculpt, which found a lack of images of people in startup settings.
This website is useful for B2B marketing, where you want to target other businesses by depicting the services you offer. From people in a startup huddled up in a meeting to images of scribblings on board, the website has captured different instances of how life in a startup is, in the most original way. You can use these images for your social promotions and also as a part of the website offerings.
All the images on the Startup Stock Photos are free to use and can be edited for commercial purposes with any attribution as a part of the CC0 license.
19. Life of Pix
Life of Pix has hundreds of thousands of images submitted by top photographers. You have various themes of images to pick from. It was started by a digital marketing agency in Canada, Leeroy, and has amassed a huge volume of high-resolution free stock images ranging from architecture to animals.
They also have another website dedicated to free videos called the Life of vids.
The photos in Life of Pix are from the public domain and you can therefore use them for commercial purposes. However, the website warns you against distributing them in a huge volume.
Freerange is a comprehensive website with a great library of stock photos. From images that you can use directly to backgrounds and textures that can be edited and used for marketing collateral and presentations, you have a wide range of options to choose from.
Freerange has two types of licenses for the images. First is the Equalicense, which is a little tighter than the CC0 license. Under Equalicense, you can download and use the images for commercial purposes without attribution. But you cannot sell or redistribute the images or use them in products that you sell.
In Freerange, you can also find some images that come under the CC0 license. Make sure to check the individual licenses of the images before you download and use them.
Superfamous hosts the photographs of the designer Folkert Gorter. It has several textured photographs of rocks and landscapes that you can edit and use as you see fit.
There’s also a separate section for gradient images that can be used as background material for marketing images.
All the images found in Superfamous come under the CC 3.0 license, which means while you can use the images for commercial purposes, you need to attribute them to the source.
Skitterphoto was started by photographers in the Netherlands in 2014. Now the site allows photographers from all over the world to list and include their websites for free.
Skitterphoto has thousands of free images in various popular themes of culture, art, nature, people, food, design, business, sports and technology. Since the collection has images from photographers from various walks of life, you can find a diverse set of images to choose from.
All of the images found in Skitterphoto come under the CC0 license. You can read more about the license details here.
Stockvault is one of the popular stock image websites with over 1,30,000 images. Stockvault has both free and paid images on the website consisting of real-life photos, vectors and illustrations.
Stockvault has made it easier to search for images by sorting them out by themes and sub-categories. The images are also grouped in collections of similar images of a particular subject, which can be used to pull multiple images to be used within the same web page, blog or presentation.
Stockvault has different licensing options for different images. You need to look at the individual image’s license before downloading them. That said, you can find lots of images with the Creative Commons license.
RGBStock was started over a decade ago and has over 100,000 images from multiple categories. It has collections of images from artists and photographers curated based on the themes.
They have their own custom license on the website that limits the usage of the images on products and about redistribution. You can use the image for online promotions and as printed material for personal reasons. But there are terms about prohibiting the usage of the images for sales. You can find complete information about the license here.
Using the right image can be the key to sending the right message to your customers. You can use any of these stock websites with free images for your business. Just be sure about the licensing rights and if you’re allowed to use the images for your specific purposes. And you will never ever be in a situation where you don’t have the right images for your promotions!