Free stock photos for commercial use, like REAL FREE, without paying any royalty is it possible? The short answer is YES!
In this blog post, I will reveal my favorite free resource + 20 other resources for free stock photos.
If you are running a website or a WordPress blog, the chances are that you often need stock images.
In the past, I used to subscribe to different stock photo sites, but it added up – it is not unusual that a blog post would contain 2-3 images, so it was easy to blow up $50+ every month.
The problem with free images online is that they do not always remain free.
You have probably tried to search Google for stock images and tried to sort the results for images you can download and use for commercial purposes.
The problem with the royalty-free images you find on Google might not remain to be free.
If the owner changes the license, you might face a legal claim for using images online without permission – even they were originally posted under a creative commons license.
My switch to free stock photos
Of course, I have occasionally used photos from Pixabay, but those free images often did not really fit my purpose.
For social media use or as wallpapers, yes, but since I write mainly about SEO and online marketing, I needed free images for commercial use.
Those free stock photos were quite stunning, and there was plenty that could be used for both business and social media.
On Medium, there is a built-in feature, so you can search and add a photo directly into your post, so I started to wonder if there was somewhere to do the same on a WordPress blog.
I was lucky! It turned out that there was already a plugin called: Instant Images – One Click Unsplash Uploads. THANKS!
It is completely free to download and use, and it taps right into millions of free high-resolution stock photos you can use right in your blog post!.
Unsplash is a gold mine, and they host millions of both low and high res photos you can download and use for any purpose you might have.
So if you need some stunning backgrounds for your desktop wallpapers or intriguing images to spice up your social media posts, you probably find it on Unsplash.
OK, so we got the free images for our business, then what is the problem?
The next problem that usually appears on a WordPress blog is image adjustments and resizing.
You are probably fully aware that uploading a giant image is not exactly mobile-friendly, and let’s face it, it is all about page load speed.
So just because you have access to a bunch of stunning free stock photos, you still need to optimize your pictures.
Once again, I was saved by a WordPress plugin – this time Shortpixel. Several plugins work together and take care of your entire image optimization (Saas service).
- Easy to use
- No File Size Limit
- Uses API key
- Lossless, Glossy, and Lossy optimization mode
- Automatic & Bulk optimization
- PHP Compression tools
- WordPress plugin(s)
Oh, I almost forgot! The 20 additional resources for free images!
If you still need additional free images, here are the 20 resources where you can download free images but first:
A final quick note about licenses
A number of these photographs are without copyright constraints or accredited under creative commons public domain name commitment.
This implies you can copy, modify, distribute, and do the work, even for business use, without asking permission.
However, some images might need acknowledgment, and we still advise you to do your own research and figure out how these images can be used.
StockSnap.io has a big selection of gorgeous, totally free stock pictures and high-resolution photos. The site also has a practical search attribute making it easy to check out the thousands of images offered. The website tracks views and also downloads so you can discover the most popular photos available.
StockSnap includes hundreds of images daily, and all pictures are launched under the innovative commons public domain name– no acknowledgment needed.
Pexels supplies high quality and completely totally free stock pictures accredited under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable, and also easy to find through their discover pages.
Burst is a resource from Shopify that supplies complimentary stock images for entrepreneurs. Some pictures are certified under Creative Commons CC0, while others fall under Shopify’s own picture license. (Remember to check it)
Burst was launched to help business owners make better items, sites, and marketing campaigns. Most of the pictures are initial images taken in-house and are themed around trending niches. You can likewise find more basic photographs as well.
Reshot is a huge library of handpicked, totally free stock photos you will not discover elsewhere. Constructed for freelancers, makers & startups who are ill of tacky stock pictures. Free to utilize commercially and editorially with no attribution required.
Pixabay offers a large collection of totally free stock images, vectors, and art illustrations. All pictures are released under Creative Commons CC0. There is a free plugin for importing Pixabay photos in your blog posts if you are using WordPress.
FoodiesFeed provides thousands of lovely realistic free food photos in high resolution. It’s the best stock photo site for food bloggers. So if you are into food, Foodisfeed is the place to go!
Gratisography offers totally free high-resolution images you can use on your business and personal tasks. New amazing images are added weekly and are without copyright restrictions. Ryan McGuire of Bells Design captures all images. You are not finding thousands upon thousands of pictures here, but the images’ quality is good and worth checking out.
Freestocks uses a wide variety of top quality photos. All launched under Creative Commons CC0. The site only has a few categories and is a bit cluttered to search on.
Picography consists of beautiful free High-Resolution stock images submitted by Dave Meier and different other professional photographers. All photos are launched under Creative Commons CC0. There are several categories to choose from. Worth a visit!.
Focastock is a collection of high-resolution photos, videos, and social templates offered by Jeffrey Betts. Jeffrey specializes in photos of workspaces and nature. All images are launched under Creative Commons CC0. Try to check out some of the collections on the site.
Picjumbo is a huge collection of free high-resolution photos for your individual & commercial projects. New pictures are included daily from various categories, including winter, abstract, style, animals,iPhone Wallpapers, nature, innovation, food, and much more. These are stunning images that are worth checking out.
Kaboom Pics uses various high-quality free stock photos consisting of abstract, city/architecture, lifestyle, nature, food & drink, urban, people and technology, things, animals, business and office, beauty and fashion, home decor, travel, interior and healthcare. Photos can be utilized for business use, but pay attention that you cannot sell any of the photos.
SkitterPhoto uses a wide array of complimentary stock pictures and is released under Creative Commons CC0. All pictures are genuine and created by the owners of Skitterphoto. There are a lot of different categories to choose from.
Life of Pix is a resource created by the LEEROY agency using totally free high-resolution photos without any copyright restrictions. They have a cool feature where they feature a new photographer every week. You can choose between plenty of categories and absolutely stunning pictures.
Little Visuals This site has a sad disclaimer – the founder of the site Nick Jackson passed away in 2013, and it is his family that have ensured that all of the images will remain available and free for commercial use. So no new pictures are being added, but the available ones are very nice.
New Old Stock This site only has Vintage photos (Black and white and color) from the public archives without known copyright limitations. So if you need photos from the good old days, it is worth a visit!.
Jay Mantri This site is more like a photoblog with 7 brand-new photos launched every Thursday under the Creative Commons CC0 license. Jay Mantri publishes some really nice photos with a range of different themes, and it interesting to follow his work even the site is a bit “all over the place.”
Picspree provides a wide choice of high-quality stock images totally royalty-free. With easy searching and smooth downloading, Picspree is an outstanding resource for small companies and web experts searching for high-quality pictures without worrying about licensing.
There are plenty of categories like nature and landscape, food and drink, travel destinations, business and finance, and much more. Getty images back Picspree.
ISO Republic uses a wide variety of thousands of pictures; they add new images every day free of charge under the CCO license. Choose between a lot of categories.
StyleStock offers complimentary womanly stock photography for female business owners. The collection is completely complimentary for your commercial & individual works. It is indeed a niche site, but you might find it worth checking out.
Questions and answers about the use of images
Q: Are stock images copyright free?
A: That depends on which license they are under. If the images are licensed Creative commons, they are free to be used and modified.
Q: Can stock images be used commercially?
A: Once again, it depends on the license. If the images are licensed Creative commons, they are free to be used and modified.
Q: Which images are copyright free?
A: If you want to make sure you can use them, make sure they are licensed under the creative commons license
Q: Are Pinterest images free for commercial use?
A: Pinterest images can be dangerous to use – You never know if the person who pinned an image is the legal owner!.
Conclusion about free stock photos for commercial use
Hopefully, you are now armed with enough free resources to satisfy your need for stock photos for your site or blog.
My favorite is still Unsplash, but you should check out the other sites’ offers depending on your niche.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter if a site offers 1000, 100.000, or 1.9 million images – it is usually down to what you need!.
And remember, once you have found a nice image – remember to optimize it! I’m sure you will love to give Shortpixel a try!
Oh, and remember to SEO optimize your images!
All the best!