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32 Best Sites for Free Stock Photos – The Secret List!

We all love free stock photos. Finding a site with the perfect royalty free images your project needs and for free is like finding gold. But it does take some mining.

A great free stock photo site isn’t just the one that has more photos, or even the one with the better photos… but the one that has safer photos.

Today we put our stock photography expertise to work to bring you this big list with the absolute best free stock image sites to get cool and safe, completely free stock photos!

Unsplash - Free Stock Photos

Table of Contents

1. Unsplash – Free & Cool

Unsplash offers over 1.5 million high quality amazing free stock photos with a cool, artsy vibe that screams Instagram image worthiness.

License Info: The Unsplash License that grants free use in commercial projects with no attribution required. It does forbid image download compiling though.
Love
  • The artsy & super trendy library
  • Useful search tool
Meh
  • It’s entirely crowdsourced with the quality variations that entails
10Expert Score
Awesome

Unsplash is run by design pros. It has a sleek site, valuable images and a custom license that makes up for the open-to-all submission policy.

Library size
9
Library quality
9
License Safety
10
Pixabay - Free Stock Photos

2. Pixabay – Highly Functional Site

Pixabay is a clear example of neat German engineering applied to free stock photography. The site hosts over 1.8 million good free stock photos plus videos, vectors, and even music files.

License Info: Custom Pixabay License that covers free use in commercial projects digital or print, with no attribution required. They add a sensitive use clause and restrict redistribution and resale.
Love
  • The high quality images
  • That videos and music are also available
Meh
  • The library is built on user submissions which affects the overall legibility
10Expert Score
Awesome

Pixabay reviews all submissions, which increases the value and legal safety of their image collections.

Library size
9.5
Library quality
8.5
License safety
10
PikWizard

3. PikWizard – Commercial-Ready & Pro Style

PikWizard is Wavebreak Media’s free stock photo site and the expert touch of pro photographers and videographers is everywhere. They offer over 1 million stock images and also stock videos with great commercial appeal.

License Info: The own PikWizard License enabling free usage for commercial purposes. Terms include a sensitive use clause and restrict all resale uses.
Love
  • All content is submitted by professional contributors
  • Cool on-page image editing with DesignWizard
Meh
  • The library could use a bit more of an artistic edge
10Expert Score
Awesome

PikWizard is as pro as it gets, and for free. A very safe place to find photos that are ready to jump into your ad's layout

Library size
8.5
Library quality
9
License safety
10
Pexels

4. Pexels – Free Trendy Photos with an Edge

Pexels is a free stock photo site that offers a large collection with hundreds of thousands of free high-resolution photos, some submitted directly and some aggregated from other sites. Pictures are trendy and super-relevant, with a nice artistic edge that makes the difference.

License info: They have a Custom License that allows free use of a photograph in print and digital, commercial projects. It has a sensitive use clause and also forbids reselling the images as-is, redistribution, and endorsement.
Love
  • Super current commercial photos with a touch of art
  • Sister site for free videos
Meh
  • The user submissions and aggregator factor isn’t the safest of methods
10Expert Score
Awesome

Pexels is great resource in terms of photo quality and variety, and their custom license adds more legal safety.

Library size
9
Library quality
9
License safety
10
Gratisography

5. Gratisography – Whimsical Free Images

Gratisography is the brainchild of an experimental artist and photographer Ryan McGuire, and the image collection reflects it. It’s the place to find a crazy, out-of-the-box free image.

License Info: Custom Peace of Mind License that permits almost all commercial uses, no attribution required. Adds a sensitive use clause and restricts redistribution and claiming authorship. Also includes a disclaimer on trademarks and other intellectual property that is up to the user to clear before using the photos.
Love
  • Fun-loving style
  • Unique photos that fit great in social media posts
Meh
  • It’s a small collection, which limits your creative options
9Expert Score
Great

Gratisography is very original at core and the fact all images are owned by the site owner himself make it very trustworthy.

Library size
6
Library quality
9
License safety
9
Splitshire

6. Splitshire – Trendy Photos for Commercial Use

Splitshire features over 1000 professional images, all courtesy of professional photographer Daniel Nanesou. They’re commercial-ready, cover various popular themes, and the pro factor is definitely there.

License Info: A Custom License that says images are free to use for commercial purposes. It adds a sensitive use clause and forbids reselling images as they are — you must alter them before using them.
Love
  • Super trendy images
  • Perfect for websites, adverts, blog post, artistic projects…
Meh
  • It’s a very modest collection in terms of size, with the limitations that implies
9Expert Score
Great

Splitshire is a valuable free photo site for commercial-oriented projects. Legally speaking it's very safe as images and license are developed by a photographer.

Library size
6
Library quality
9
License safety
9
Picspree - Free Professional Images

7. Picspree – Free Professional Images for Every Occasion

Picspree is backed by the renowned Getty Images –experts in royalty free images–, and it shows. The website offers thousands of super high quality and commercially valuable photos in all relevant genres, with the Getty Images trust stamp.

License Info: It’s a Custom License. It gives you perpetual, worldwide, unlimited, and unrestricted use of images, with no attribution required. However, it warns of the need to clear extra rights when applicable.
Love
  • Superb selection of images
  • Ready to use in commercial projects
Meh
  • Not a lot of photos of people. It makes sense for legal safety but it is creatively limiting
9Expert Score
Great

Picspree is partnered with one of the most renowned names in stock photography, with the legal safety that comes with it, and their images are par to any paid site.

Library size
7
Library quality
9
License safety
9
StockVault

8. StockVault – Technically On-Spot Images for Free

StockVault aims at providing high quality images, not just in terms of aesthetics but also regarding technical aspects. And they do, they have over 110,000 of them, all ready to download and use in your work.

License info: There are three licensing options: 1. Commercial license that enables free use for commercial purposes 2. Non-commercial license that means images are free for personal and editorial use only3. Creative Commons Zero (CC0) that grants free use for commercial projects with no attribution required
Love
  • The place to find a technically perfect image
  • Big library to choose from
Meh
  • Not all images are available for commercial use
8Expert Score
Very Good

StockVault has a large library of ready-to-use pictures, and the custom licensing is the safest of all the options they have.

Library size
8
Library quality
8
License safety
8
Rgbstock

9. Rgbstock – Free Stock Images from Artists for Artists

Rgbstock is run by a team of photographers and graphic artists led by Jay Simmons. The site hosts well over 100,000 free quality stock photos that have been vetted for quality and are available for free download.

License info: It’s a Custom License that lets you use the images for free for commercial intentions but has a sensitive use clause and a disclaimer for additional intellectual rights to be cleared when necessary.
Love
  • Rich, professional library
  • They enable direct messaging with image authors to discuss additional rights needed
Meh
  • The images aren’t as fresh and modern as one could wish
8Expert Score
Very Good

RGBStock is very good if you don't need the artistic type of free stock images. It is a fast and easy to use website and we love that it is run by photographers.

Library size
8
Library quality
6
License safety
9
Burst

10. Burst – Free Photos for E-Commerce

Burst is a free stock images offered by Shopify. Their thousands of photos are sourced from both commissioned photographers and user submissions. They are intended for e-commerce storefronts but good to use in anything from social media and blogs to websites and ads.

License info: There are two licensing options: 1. Custom License granting free use of images for commercial intent (including products for resale) with no attribution needed. It restricts image compiling and has a sensitive use clause. 2. Creative Commons Zero (CC0) means free usage for commercial purposes without attribution.
Love
  • Highly commercial imagery with authentic, trendy style
  • Perfect for e-shops
Meh
  • The two licenses are near identical which adds unnecessary confusion for users
8Expert Score
Very Good

Burst is ideal for online businesses and it's backed by a leading company in the space. Their images are made for commercial use so there's the implication that they are legally verified.

Library size
7
Library quality
8
License safety
8
Rawpixel

11. Rawpixel – Authentic and Free Pictures

Rawpixel has both free and premium (paid) photos available. The free collection counts with thousands of images in the trendy authentic style that sells today. Images are available for all but it’s limited to 100 downloads per user and per month.

License info: It uses a Custom License that lets you use images for commercial purposes for free, including a sensitive use clause and forbidding resale of images
Love
  • Super trendy, Facebook and Instagram-bound images
Meh
  • Premium and free libraries share one search tool, so you must remember to enable the “free” filter in results
8Expert Score
Very Good

Rawpixel is actually a proper royalty-free stock photo agency and they know their biz. Their free photos are very safe for that reason.

Library size
7
Library quality
8
License safety
9
Kaboompics

12. Kaboompics – Free Photos Ready for Instagram

Kaboompics is the work of photographer and designer  Karolina Grabowska, who shot and owns all the over 8,000 images available for free on her site. Her collection has a strong feminine vibe, with a lot of nature and outdoors concepts, and compositions that are made to beautify any Instagram account.

License info: This is a Custom License that enables free use of the photos for commercial purposes, including products for resale as long as the image is altered first. Terms that come with a sensitive use clause restrict redistribution. A disclaimer about additional intellectual rights that may apply is also present.
Love
  • The images scream “social media” and appear to be pulled from a top Instagramer’s feed
  • The site is highly functional with cool photoshoot galleries and a color palette filter
Meh
  • There is an overrepresentation of some topics while other relevant themes are absent
8Expert Score
Very Good

Kaboompics is a dream come true for those after a new image for social media. The custom licensing directly from the image author makes it also legally reliable.

Library size
7
Library quality
8
License safety
9
Good Stock Photos
Good Stock Photos

13. Good Stock Photos – Editorial-Like Free Images

Good Stock Photos has a very transparent name. It offers over 1,000 stock photos for free, all by designer/marketer Steve Ma. These are images ok’d for commercial use, but they have a strong editorial feel about them.

License info: Images are under a Custom License for free use in commercial projects. Only restrictions are resale of images as they are (without alterations), uncredited compiling, and/or redistribution.
Love
  • The photos show an interesting mix of styles and perspectives
  • Great source of images for blog posts and blogging in general
Meh
  • Not all images are useful for commercial-oriented designs
7Expert Score
Good

Good Stock Photos is a goldmine for bloggers and marketers might find suitable images too. The custom license adds to the legibility of photos.

Library size
5
Library quality
7
License safety
9
Styled Stock

14. Styled Stock – Free Feminine Stock Photos

Styled Stock is a very small collection of around 100 images with a clear feminine, modern, and minimalist aesthetic. There is not a lot of info about the site owners, but all the images are available for free download.

License info: It’s a Custom License which terms state you can use the photos for free for commercial purposes and with no attribution required. It also specifies authors retain copyright.
Love
  • The niche concept of clean, girly photos that is ideal for women-oriented projects
  • Advanced features like the color filter
Meh
  • It’s a super small collection and there isn’t any info about who owns it
7Expert Score
Good

Styled Stock is perfect for those designing with women in mind. The custom license is safer than others, but we take some points for the lack of background info on the site and who owns it

Library size
4
Library quality
8
License safety
8
Libreshot

15. Libreshot – Free Fine Art Photography

Libreshot is the work of photographer and SEO expert Martin Vorel that offers thousands of his fine art photographs free to download and use.

License info: It’s a Creative Commons Public Domain license, meaning there are pretty much no copyright restrictions
Love
  • It’s one of the few sites that offers fine art photography for free
Meh
  • Many images aren’t commercially valuable and there are no photos of people
7Expert Score
Good

Libreshot is unique in its offer of fine art photography. The Creative Commons license isn't the safest but with all photos being owned by the same person it's not so bad.

Library size
7
Library quality
7
License safety
7
Picjumbo

16. Picjumbo – Free Images from Pro Stock Photog

Picjumbo is where tock photographer Viktor Hanacek shares over 2,000 of his professional stock images for free. His expert eye is visible in the commercial-ready style and the way people is portrayed without recognizable features.

License info: Creative Commons CC0 License that is free to use for commercial projects but he adds a warning about due diligence when using brands and trademarked subjects
Love
  • How obvious it is the images are made by someone who knows stock photography
Meh
  • It can be way too commercial, it could use an artistic edge
7Expert Score
Good

Picjumbo is the work of a pro stock photographer and it shows. We forgive CC0 license because all images are his. Should the library be bigger, it'd be a 10.

Library size
6
Library quality
8
License safety
7
FOCA Stock

17. FOCA Stock – Free Photos and Templates

FOCA Stock features thousands of free photographs and templates by designer and photographer Jeffrey Betts. Images of nature and workspaces are predominant in this highly curated library.

License info: Images are under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, covering free usage for commercial purposes without attribution required.
Love
  • High-end imagery and curation
  • Bonus free videos and free image editor
Meh
  • Lack of photos of people
7Expert Score
Good

MMT Stock has its own forte themes and great image quality, and steps legal safety up a gear by offering images owned by the website's runner.

Life of Pix - Free, Curated Artsy Photos

18. Life of Pix – Free, Curated Artsy Photos

Life of Pix is run by digital marketing agency LEEROY and hosts hundreds of thousands of photographer-submitted and carefully curated images that are artistic, high quality, and free for all.

License info: Images are under the Public Domain, thus have no copyright and are free to use in any way. However, the site forbids mass distribution of their content
Love
  • The artsy vibe of the images
  • Great level of curation
  • There is a sister site with free videos
Meh
  • Photographer donations to Public Domain can be murky waters, you still need to verify which rights have they waived
7Expert Score
Good

Life of Pix is the place to go for commercial photos with an artistic twist. Public Domain images have no copyright so they're safer than other options, but it's up to you to verify them anyway

Library size
9
Library quality
8
License safety
6
Stocksnap.io

19. Stocksnap.io – Free Images, Current Style

Stocksnap.io is developed by the same team behind Snappa editor. It offers tens of thousands very trendy photos in high resolution, submitted by users.

License info: They use Creative Commons Zero (CC0) which means free usage for commercial purposes without attribution required.
Love
  • How fresh and current images are, ideal for social media
Meh
  • The mix of crowdsourcing photos and CC0 licensing isn’t the safest
7Expert Score
Good

Stocksnap.io is a great fit for social media images, but you have to make sure all rights are cleared before using their photos.

Library size
8
Library quality
8
License safety
6
Reshot

20. Reshot –  Authentic Free Stock Photos

Reshot is run by stock photo agency Twenty20 and hosts thousands of free stock images submitted by users, the gross of them being Twent20 contributors. The library has the strong, mobile-photography-influenced authenticity feel of their parent agency.

License info: It’s a Custom License that permits free use in commercial projects but points the need to get consent from models and trademarked items owners before using their likeness commercially.
Love
  • Super current images, ready to jump onto social media
Meh
  • The license is ambiguous, both permitting and warning about commercial use
7Expert Score
Good

Reshot is very valuable when it comes to photography but when it comes to legal safety in commercial use, it leaves it up to you to clear the necessary rights.

Library size
6
Library quality
8
License safety
6
Freestocks.org

21. Freestocks – Artsy Images for Free

Freestocks.org is a project run by three photographers, who offer a small collection of stock photos with a great artsy vibe. All images are shot by them and two other photographer friends.

License info: They use CC0 license to provide free use of images in commercial projects, no attribution required.
Love
  • They offer artistic takes on popular and commercially valuable topics
Meh
  • It’s a limited collection and the CC0 license is not the best
7Expert Score
Good

Freestocks has photos that fit great in modern-day advertising. Their licensing model isn't the best but as the image authors are licensing themselves it's a tad safer.

Library size
6
Library quality
8
License safety
6
startup stock photos

22. Startup Stock Photos – Trendy & Free Business Photos

Startup Stock Photos has a transparent name. It has a small collection of free images on the topic of startups with diversity at the core. Owned by social media marketing agency Sculpt, most of the photos are by three in-house artists.

License info: Photos are under Creative Commons Zero (CC0, thus free to use in commercial projects
Love
  • Photos on a very relevant niche topic
Meh
  • Very basic site, with no search engine
7Expert Score
Good

Startup Stock Photos satisfies a very specific need in images. While CC0 isn't our favorite, the in-house production factor makes it better.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
7
iso republic

23. ISO Republic – Free Images in Popular Themes

ISO Republic is run by photographer Tom Eversley and provides thousands of high-res, free stock images in most of the top sought-after topics.

License info: It works with Creative Commons Zero (CC0) which means free usage for commercial purposes without attribution required.
Love
  • The mix of traditional and trendy stock photography
Meh
  • CC0 license and user submissions is a bad legal combination
6Expert Score
Alright

ISO Republic has a rich library for most designers, but you must be punctilious about the licensing.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
5
fancy crave

24. Fancy Crave – Free Photo Bundles

Fancy Crave is owned by commercial photographer Igor Ovsyannykov. It has thousands of pictures by himself and contributing photographers. It’s a curated catalog that offers themed photo bundles.

License info: All photos are under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) but adding a sensitive use clause and a disclaimer about the need to clear additional rights for commercial use.
Love
  • The themed photo packs are a great time saver
Meh
  • CC0 licensing and user submissions, with its legal loopholes
6Expert Score
Alright

Fancy Crave is very useful to find inspiration or get a bunch of free photos with the same topic. But you have to be careful when using them commercially.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
5
foodies feed

25. Foodies Feed – Free Images of Food

Foodies Feed belongs to food photographer Jakub Kapusnak and like the name gives away, offers thousands of food-related photos, some by himself and some submitted by users.

License info: They have Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license – Free usage for commercial purposes
Love
  • Very rich selection of food photos
Meh
  • CC0 license and user submissions mix. And the site has lots of ads
6Expert Score
Alright

Foodies Feed is perfect for foodies everywhere, but if you're using the photos commercially, make sure to verify the rights are cleared properly.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
5
freerange

26. Freerange – Free Stock Photos, Lots of Themes

Freerange tries to honor its name with thousands of free stock photos in all popular categories. Some images are in-house produced and some are submitted by users.

License info: There are two licensing options: 1. Equalicense – Free use for commercial purposes, forbidding resale and mass distribution2. CC0 – Free use for commercial purposes, no attribution required.
Love
  • Varied galleries and categories
Meh
  • Not many high-res images
  • Not a lot of info about site runners
6Expert Score
Alright

Freerange is a decent offer in free stock photos, the in-house pictures are obviously safer. But they use CC0 license and have lots of photos of people, so you must watch it before using them commercially.

Library size
6
Library quality
6
License safety
5
skitterphoto

27. Skitterphoto – Eclectic Free Photo Site

Skitterphoto is run by amateur photographers and offers all kinds of photographs for free, thousands of them. It’s a very eclectic selection sourced from site runners as well as user submissions.

License info: They use CC0 license, making the photos free o use commercially without crediting the author.
Love
  • Interesting mix of commercial and artsy photos
  • They have copyright guidelines for user submissions
Meh
  • CC0 + user-submitted content, not the safest
6Expert Score
Alright

Skitterphoto has valuable images. Site runners' photos are safer but hard to identify in the collection. So you have to be on top of the legals.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
5
negative space

28. Negative Space – Current & High Quality Shots

Negative Space counts with a small collection of free images in various themes and styles. Photos are user-submitted and carefully reviewed to ensure quality.

License info: It’s Creative Commons Zero granting free usage for commercial projects
Love
  • Great quality thanks to a good review process
Meh
  • CC0 license and photos are not reviewed for legal status
6Expert Score
Alright

Negative Space is valuable image-wise, but legally speaking you need to verify everything before using photos commercially.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
5
Picography

29. Picography – High-Res Photos for Free Download

Picography offers a small pool of around 1,000 photographs in high resolution, sourced from photographers’ submissions and free to download and use.

License info: The photos are under Creative Commons Zero granting free usage in commercial work
Love
  • The pro-level style and quality of the images
Meh
  • It’s a CC0-based site with virtually no info on who’s behind it
6Expert Score
Alright

While Picography has very good images, the lack of any background info mixed with CC0 licensing isn't a good combination, legally.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
6
sp layout newoldstock

30. New Old Stock – Free Vintage & Historic Photos

New Old Stock is a Tumblr site offering around 1,500 historic and vintage images curated by product designer Cole Townsend. These are pulled from Flickr Commons listed institutions and free to all.

License info: These images are under Public Domain due to no known copyright. But they’re under Flickr Commons terms and not all are allowed for commercial use, plus some require a link back.
Love
  • Historically relevant images in a curated collection
Meh
  • Image quality is inconsistent and you have to check permitted uses individually
6Expert Score
Alright

New Old Stock is super useful for projects needing historic and vintage photos but the constant need to verify permissions is tedious.

Library size
6
Library quality
6
License safety
6
Little Visuals

31. Little Visuals – A Tribute of Free Images

Little Visuals was a love project by photographer Nic Jackson, who passed away years ago. His family kept his collection of little under 100 images free for everyone to use, as a tribute to his memory.

License info: It’s a CC0 license for free use in commercial work
Love
  • It’s a reel of timeless photos, some are even trendy many years after being shot
Meh
  • It’s a super small collection and licensed under CC0
6Expert Score
Alright

We love the moving reasons behind Little Visuals and the quality of the images, but legally it isn't the best for commercial projects.

Library size
6
Library quality
7
License safety
6
Moose Stock

32. Moose Stock Photos & Photo Collage Editor

Moose Stock Photos is a cool concept that offers free photo cutouts that you can arrange to create your own “custom stock photo” using their free photo creator tool.

License info: There are two licensing options: 1. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND 3.0) that allows commercial use for free but requires to include a link back to their website, and works only for PNG/JPEG files. 2. A paid Custom License that lets you access to PSD files.
Love
  • The innovative photo collage concept
Meh
  • Image collection is limited and the free license demands attribution
6Expert Score
Interesting

Moose Stock Photos is one offer to explore if you want to customize your photo composition for free, but the licensing isn't the safest.

Library size
6
Library quality
6
License safety
6

Design Better and Safer with Free Stock Photos

We hope this list helps you find the perfect match in a free stock photo site, that not only has the ideal royalty-free stock photos for your needs but also gives you the right legal coverage for your business’ sake.

See you next time!

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