15 websites offering free stock photos

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free stock photos

We present to you a list of 15 best free stock photos sites. Some of these sites sell photos and along with paid offer free stock photos. Such photos usually have Royalty Free license and called royalty free images. It means that you can download these photos free of charge but you can not sell or distribute them in any way. Also in our list you will find the sites offering only free photos, backgrounds, wallpapers, images. Before you download free photos we strongly recommend you to review the terms of use at each site.

Alamy

Alamy – one of the oldest Stock Photos site – contains the largest collection of stock photos. Free photos marked as RF (Royalty Free).

free stock photos

Bigstockphoto

Bigstockphoto contains a section "Royalty Free Photos". Photos in this section are available for free use and divided into categories.

free stock photos

Everystockphoto

Everystockphoto contains more than 3 million free photos from various sources. Free photos have a license: to Share and to Remix.

free stock photos

Corbis

Corbis offers an excellent collection of free stock photos. The site has user-friendly interface and is easy to search. Free photos are licensed – RF.

free stock fotos

Stock.XCHNG

User-friendly site with free pictures in big sizes. If you want to download photos in large size you have to register.

free stock photos

123rf

For downloading free photos from this site you need to register.

free stock fotos

ImageBase

ImageBase provides completely free photos for noncommercial and commercial use. All photos are classified under several categories.

free stock images

Stockvault

Stockvault is a good website with lots of free stock photos. All photos are available for downloading in large sizes without prior registration.

free stock photos

Freepixels

Freepixels contains many excellent free photos. All photos are in large size and free of charge.

free stock images

MorgueFile

Another site containing only free stock photos.

free stock fotos

Freerangestock

Regulary updated website with free photos. To download photos you have to pre-register on the site

free stock photos

PixelPerfectDigital

PixelPerfectDigital is a great collection of free photos. On the site you can also download free backgrounds, 3D rendered images, skies, etc.

free stock photos

FreeDigitalPhotos

FreeDigitalPhotos contains high quality photos. You can download these photos free of charge in small size (640 x 425 px). The photos in large sizes – are paid.

free stock images

Dreamstime

Dreamstime contains more than 6 million images available for free download. To download the photo you have to register.

free stock photos

Indisain

Indisain provides high quality free images and wallpapers. Requires registration.

free stock images

Also check the list of websites where you could find great wordpress themes.

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47 Comments
  1. Good article and discussion!

    Here’s a free option for blog and editorial pics: http://freephotocourse.com/free-images.html

    We have a small but nice and growing collection of free high-res pictures from our own photographers that can be used on blogs and websites to help illustrate articles and editorial text. We do not sell our photos, so they are actually “FREE”. Categories include nature, landscape, action, animals, beaches, aircraft, agriculture, cityscapes and more. They can be used for editorial use, but are NOT for commercial use (ie. advertising, packaging, printing, design, etc – read the terms carefully before use). We require that you include a photo credit and link back to our site when you use our images. Most of our pics are watermarked, but you can request a non-watermark image by email which we will consider depending on the use.

    Hope this is useful!

  2. Royalty-free doesn’t mean that images are free for use without payment! It usually means that image can be used *unlimited* times on various of your projects after you PURCHASED it once.
    (*) Usage rights of royalty-free images are often further limited in various ways based on license you will purchase, so you usually cannot really use them in unlimited ways. There are always some limitations that vary from agency to agency. Please carefully read terms of use in each agency before using ANY of their images! (Free of commercial.)

  3. We’d like to have http://www.SchoolPhotoProject.com included in this list as well. We are a free stock photo site that make good quality photos available, esp. for students and non-profit entities. Big photo files, up to 4000 pixels in size are available to download. New free photos are uploaded daily. Thank you!

  4. Joe

    Great repository page. Indeed, kingdom Free stock that the snapshot is licensed, and the licensee can utility it without giving additional recurring charges. It does not mean it’s free.

  5. Rickety Cricket

    Thanks for the info

  6. Brish

    Kozzi.com have a lots of free stock photos that can be downloaded easily. As they also provide vector images.

  7. Henry Rivers

    Alamy and 123rf were NOT free last time i checked.
    Dreamstime has a very impressive collection of free images and it’s all very professionally managed.
    Several websites also have free trials where you get free downloads try:
    http://www.ingimage.com/ & http://depositphotos.com/

  8. Corbis, alamy, bigstockphoto, 123rf are NOT free

    I would put Dreamstime higher in the list since it’s the only site where you have model-released free imagery, so way safer.

    Also, a very large database 300,000 free photos, partner with Dreamstime: http://www.stockfreeimages.com

  9. ela

    it is so very good

  10. Brandon

    Nice compilation. I’ve tried 123rf.com they’ve got variety and they’re cheap too. Definitely recommended.

  11. Siva

    Great list. You saved my efforts to compile one like this for me. Applauding your post!

  12. Jenifer

    + http://www.photl.com
    Awesome resourse, i use it almost for every my new project and so far have been satisfied with it, though use sxc.hu rather often also.

  13. Nicos

    Seems very useful, thanks.

    As for me, the best one seems to be sxc – the largest and with nice quality compared to others..

    Anyways, always read the license terms as they often make the image hard to use in your project.

    I am building a list of stock photo resources too – listing free and cheap ones mainly (got now more than 50 resources listed) –
    http://designbeginshere.com

    Another way to get free design content – to use the cc license and search flickr for images under that license..

  14. jatin

    Useful resources

  15. Just use Creative Commons-only search on Flickr ;)

  16. ed

    Is nobody else utterly disgusted that these are being advertised as free? Royalty Free DOES NOT mean they are free to anybody who wants them

  17. Jonas

    I use photovaco.com too. Right on the front page it says:

    “We provide free stock photos with high resolution for both personal and commercial projects. You can use our free photos in websites, video, TV production, forum, blogs, school projects and print medias including newspapers, magazine, books, CD covers. OK, let’s say, you can download, edit and use all photos anywhere and anyhow you like except for abuse.”

    Cant get much more clearer than that.

  18. srinin

    How free is ‘free’? Also many sites say ‘for personal use but not for commercial use’. If I use an image in an inhouse circulated free newsletter, wd it be ‘personal use’ or ‘commercial use’? What if I want to include the image in a marketing presentation about my company’s products and services?

  19. Saw Htoo

    Here is another one.

    http://www.photovaco.com

    High resolution photos for both personal and commercial projects without any restriction. All photos are completely free.

  20. I just spend half my lifetime reading this blog an dchecking up on the sites to see if the give away free photos, or just royalty free…

    I only found roaltyfree – I found no stock photos for free og charge… Did I miss something??

  21. Syutro

    Corbis never gives out anything for free. And royalty-free is entirely different thing. Please remove Corbis from this list, its misleading.

  22. Great resource page. Indeed, royalty Free means that the photo is licensed, and the licensee can use it without paying additional recurring charges. It does not mean it’s free.

  23. Erica

    umm, don’t you usually have to purchase the RF image and obtain a LICENSE before you can use it freely where you want??

  24. Nice post!! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Very useful listing for free photos. Thanks!

  26. Tom

    Dreamstime is Royalty Free so the free images can be used for your blog. And do check our Refferal Program. :) Thanks for including us.

  27. it is not really free to use.
    gotta read the licensing stuff.
    but nice list anyway.

  28. UKBoy

    Corbis doesn’t absolutely give away free photos. Royalty free means that once you buy it you can use it ad nauseam. As opposed to rights managed which is stipulated on a case by case basis (e.g. I need a pic for a week, to use in a full page advert in a magazine with UK-wide distribution). And they answer you back “ok it’s ВЈ1000″.
    Of course the really good pictures are rights managed.
    This means that you can have exclusivity on a shoot for example, if you want a picture to be used as part of your national campaign for your company, you’d be pissed off to see the same picture used to sell bog roll on a local newspaper. But it’s expensive to do so. I remember paying ВЈ15000 for a picture with exclusivity for 2 years, for any media.

  29. Jimmy Foo

    I can only advise everyone to carefully read the License Agreements of all services, before getting images from there.

    From Corbis License Agreement:

    18. Protection of Content: If use of Content is permitted on the Internet, or any other online or interactive media, You shall use Your best efforts to protect the Content to
    ensure that it cannot be copied.

    … which is impossible. If it shows in your browser, it is already copied. An no technical measure can prevent a user from getting it out of their browser’s cache or cutting it from a screenshot. Getty, which I was surprised to be missing in the list, has the same stupid restriction. It’s a real pity, because Corbis and Getty both have the most awesome search capabilities and material available.

    Whenever I need stock photos nowadys, I use Stockxchange. The licensing is reasonable and cheap.

  30. Awesome sites for designers and bloggers

  31. Bonzo

    I sell photos at most of those sites. Royalty Free DOES NOT mean free. It means that you do not have to pay a royalty to the photographer each time you use the image but you do have to pay a one time licensing fee. Some of those sites do offer free images though.

  32. NameMatthew

    Royalty free does not mean free of charge. It means free of extra Royalty charges dependant on use. Saying they are free is wrong, especially right next to the Corbis link, as Corbis is part of the Getty group who are very litigious. I think you really should edit your post immediately.

  33. For me the pictures are too expensive for corbis for stockfotos on the side

  34. Great resource for Stock Photos. Thanks!

  35. i have on basic question. can we use rf or cc or share or remix licensed images from these websites for commercial projects ?

  36. A great list, but royalty free does not necessarily mean free to use on your blog since that is a distribution. Read the terms of use very carefully.