FREE STOCK PHOTOS FOR DOWNLOAD, NOT REALLY FREE FOR EVERYTHING
Digital artist, blogger, publisher or whichever, you probably need stock photos for your works. But as this world works, not every photo you find on the Internet is free. You might have heard of “copyright”, where you cannot publish the works without permission.
Then, there’s “copyleft” or creative commons. Which, allows you to use the works with some strings attached. But take note, you might still land in trouble even if it is a copyleft photo. You see, not all copyleft photos are “totally free”. Some of them comes free for personal use, but not for commercial use. You might even need to attribute the original photographer.
Yep, left or right, it’s a pain in the ass. Which is why I created this list. I have collected a list of website where you can download free photos for whatever use you want, and also some sites with not-so-free photos for your personal usage.
THE RULES IN A NUTSHELL
I figured it is good to put in this small section to explain more on the “copy” rules, so you don’t get haunted by these “lawful ghosts”. Laws around the world may differ, but in general, they should all point in the same direction.
- Copyright : The photographer holds all the rights to the photo produced. You can share as-it-is on the Internet, on social media, but you cannot publish it, edit it, nor use it in your works by any means… not until you have a written agreement and permission from the photographer.
- Creative Commons (CC) : This can be a little confusing, and there are a few “levels” to CC. Most of the CC works can be freely used in your own private projects, as long as you credit the original photographer. But sometimes, certain CC licensed photos are allowed for commercial projects, free and you just need to credit the photographer.
- Public Domain / Creative Commons Zero (CC0) : It’s public. Anyone can take the photo, share it, edit it, post it, publish it. Even for commercial purposes, don’t need to credit the photographer either.
In any of the above cases, you are not supposed to claim that you took the photo, nor sell the photo as-it-is… unless you have agreements with the photographer.
FREE STOCK IMAGES
1) Pixabay : One of my favorite websites, and has a community of contributing photographers. Do buy them some coffee from time-to-time if you have some spare change.
2) Pexels : Their tagline is “Best free stock photos in one place”, and yes they are. Pexels has a gallery of high quality stock photos, and they are totally free!
3) Freeimages.red : Has a huge collection of free photos! If you have an Adsense account, you can contribute and potentially make some money too.
4) Gratisography : Totally free images for personal or commercial projects. Has some pretty interesting portraits, and new pictures are added from time-to-time.
5) PicJumbo : This website has quite a huge collection of stock photos. Nicely categorized and tagged.
6) Travel Coffee Book : Contains a nice selection of travel photos all around the world. All the photos are released under CC0 (totally free). Lacking a search function, you have to scroll down to find what you want.
7) Foodies Feed : Love food? Need some food in your works? This is one website for you.
8) New Old Stock : A collection of vintage photographs, where all the images have no known copyright restrictions (I.E. public domain), use them to create some nostalgia.
9) Unsplash : Free CC0 high resolution images. They have a huge collection and 10 photos are added every 10 days.
10) Stokpic : Another website with free photos under the CC0 License. Neatly categorized, and 10 photos are added every 2 weeks.
11) MorgueFile : I know, this site sounds quite… morbid. But it still has a lot of decent photos for your works.
12) PngImg : A website with a ton of png images of all sorts of things. Yes, all the objects are already isolated, and you don’t have to do masking yourself. Use them in your works, but just don’t sell them as stock images.
13) Kaboompics : A decent collection of hi-resolution free-use images.
14) GoodFreePhotos : Has a good collection of travel photos, categorized by locations.
15) LibreShot : A decent collection of beautiful shots. Kind of like that muted feel.
16) StockSnap : Decent collection under the CC0 License, good search tools.
17) FancyCrave : Not massive, but a decent collection none-the-less. Quality stock images free of copyright restrictions.
18) Snapwire Snaps : A Tumblr blog with 7 new photos every week, all under cc0.
19) Jaymantri : A beautiful gallery by Jay Mantri, and yes, he released all his works under the Creative Common Zero License.
20) JeShoots : Offers some quality images under cc0. Does have a few premium images that might cost a bit.
21) Splitshire : A large collection of free images for personal or commercial projects, just don’t sell those free images.
22) Picography : A small collection of free free photos.
23) ISO Republic : High resolutions photos free to use for personal and commercial projects. Images are loaded by page or category.
25) Rawpixel : Registration is required, but has a sweet collection of free and model-released photos.
NOT-SO-FREE STOCK IMAGES
25) Magdeleine : A large collection of images. But be careful – not all of them are entirely free!
26) Nobacks : A site with isolated PNG images. Not all the images are totally free, but another one of my favorite websites for Photoshop stock needs.
27) PngImg : Another site with isloated PNG images. For your personal uses only.
PAID STOCK PHOTOS
I know this is a list about free photos, but if you are afraid that the laws will come haunt you some day, go buy commercial stock photos instead. Yep, that is the safest option where you legally own the rights to use the photo in your commercial works. Plus, trust me, a good stock photo is worth that few dollars.
I shall recommend Shutterstock. They have been around for a long time, and they have an insane amount of stock photos. Go ahead, click on the Shutterstock link above and feed us photographers! 😛
WHICH IS THE FAIREST?
So we have come to the end of this list. A moment of honorable mentions for my personal favorites – Pixabay, Pexels, PngImg, and Freeimages.red. But yep, anyone who gives free photos are good. Free that creativity! Now go make something awesome, and enjoy!