Stock images are the important part of content marketing and digital marketing generally. In fact, wonderful stock photos increase the number of clicks (CTR).
However, the small problem is that buying stock images at professional services cost a lot.
Here, I’ll show you 13 websites where you can download amazing stock photos and use them even for commercial purposes.
Before we start talking about stock sites, let me say: I’m not a legal advisor and you MUST carefully check if these photos are REALLY under Creative Commons Zero license because who knows will someone decide to change terms of service?
So, let’s see which sites are the best.
Pixabay is the first place where I search stock images since there are more than 880,000 free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations.
All images on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Create Commons CC0. In other words, you can use them for anything you like.
Furthermore, you don’t need to link to the source - everything is allowed. Stock images are divided into 20 categories:
You can be 100% sure that you’ll find everything that you’re searching for at Pixabay.
Pexels is another great site with lots of free stock images. Specifically, there are more than 25,000 stock photos.
Guys at Pexels say that they add at least 3,000 new high-resolution photos every month. The photo above shows some photos that you can download if you search for marketing related photos.
As for the license, all photos on Pexels are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, so you can use photos for any personal and commercial purpose.
The only restriction is that you can’t use photos where identifiable people may appear in bad light, or in a way that they may find offensive.
For example, you can’t write about business fraud and attach the photo of the man who stands in the office.
That way, he would appear as a criminal.
Honestly, I don’t know how many photos you can find at StockSnap, but what I know is that the photos are high-quality.
You can see above which photos are actually related to the marketing phrase. Anyway, the license is the same as in the two previous cases.
All photos fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license which mean you can do whatever you wish with the photos, and all without asking for permission.
What I really like at StockSnap is that you can see how many times the specific photo has been downloaded. For example, the photo below has been downloaded only 40 times.
What do you think about this photo? It looks wonderful, doesn’t it? All the photos here are stunning.
At Unsplash, there are more than 170,200 photos from the 31,200 photographers.
However, you can find only photos (no illustrations) that are made by photographers. They say that you can download free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.
Simply said, you can use it in your commercial projects.
Anyway, one interesting feature that this site offers is API which means that you can add photos in your apps dynamically.
There are more than 141.2M requests made by developer every single month. For example, you can add beautiful landscape photos in the background of your app.
Here’s how MeisterTask does it.
I don’t know if they use Unsplash API or some other service, but you’ve got the point.
Over 389,738 free photos and illustrations make this site promising and potential source of images.
Photos you download on this site you can use:
You can use these photos for commercial purpose, but you’re not the owner of the content (photos) downloaded on this site.
Also, you don’t need to include a photo credit for commercial use only if you don’t use content for editorial purposes. Otherwise, you must include the credit.
Picjumbo is a free stock photo site created by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013.
There’s an interesting story behind this site. It was actually the paid website for like two days.
However, Viktor had no money for promoting the site so he decided to make it as a free site.
This appeared as a great idea because now the site has more than 600,000 visits every month, according to SimilarWeb.
Furthermore, there are more than 4.7 million downloads since 3rd November, 2013 which is the day when the site has started.
You can use all the photos in commercial purposes, but the only what’s not allowed is redistribution.
Redistribution means selling or resharing the images to download or use them in B2C or B2B apps.
Gratisography is the site where you can download photos by Ryan McGuire.
As for terms, the photos are not under Creative Commons Zero license, but they say that all the photos are under similar terms (as CC Z0).
Gratisography says that you can use the photos for your personal and commercial projects as well, but you’re not allowed to resell, or redistribute implying that you’re a photographer.
Also, Ryan doesn’t require any attribution but he says that he would appreciate that.
Anyway, I couldn’t find the exact number of photos that you can find here, but as I can see, there are really a lot of them.
For example, if you search for Business you’ll find even some funny photos.
Negative Space is the site full of beautiful free high-resolution photos that you can use for any project you would like.
The goal of this site is to give photographers a platform where they can share their photography with the world.
So, you might be interested if you’re a photographer too. Photos are divided into 14 categories:
All the photos are licensed like other photos here - under Creative Commons Zero license.
Now, if you click on Technology category, here are some photos you may see:
As you can see, there are no illustrations on this site which means that if you’re looking for illustrations, then this site isn’t for you.
SkitterPhoto is unquestionably a great place for downloading stock photos for your email marketing campaigns.
Honestly, I don’t know the exact number of available photos, but I’m pretty sure that you should find something for you.
Just like the sites above, this site also uses Creative Commons Zero license which is great. Here’s the list of categories where you can find photos:
If this isn’t enough, let’s move on and check out FoodiesFeed.
This site is only for those who work in the food industry since you can find download only food photos.
There are so many categories and so many types of foods and drinks. For example, you can even download exotic cuisine.
All the photos are NOT licensed under Creative Commons, but the author allows you to use it anywhere you want, for both personal and commercial purposes.
The only condition the author had is selling and reselling anywhere which is forbidden. The photos were taken with Nikon D5200 with 35mm f/1.8G so you don’t need to worry about the quality.
Templates, themes, apps, websites, presentations, logos, wallpapers are just a few ways that you can use the photos downloaded at this site.
Death to the Stock is a bit different since there’s no way to browse the photos. The only thing you can do is to enter your email and you’ll get free monthly photos right in your inbox.
This site doesn’t use Creative Commons Zero license, but you can photos on your website, in print, or on any other medium.
Furthermore, you can’t claim the photos as your own, but you’re not required in giving attribution.
Also, you can’t use the photos in connection hate speech or anything else that might represent Death to the Stock or subject of the photo in a bad light.
While the previous site doesn’t have categories nor option to browse the images, on Free Range that’s not a case.
You can enter keywords and search for desired photos, or you can browse the categories. New photos are adding each day and you can do whatever you wish with them.
Adding a credit would be appreciable, but not necessary at all. What’s cool is that they got an API so you can easily integrate beautiful photos within your app.
All the photos are either digitally photographed on Canon DSLR cameras or they are a high resolution (4000 dpi) Nikon scan of an original 35mm slide.
LibreShot is the large collection of free images for commercial use and you don’t need to indicate the author because all the photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero license.
However, the author doesn’t allow mass downloading photos and its usage in similar sites. Also, you mustn’t use LibreShot server resources.
Simply said, you need to download the photos and upload it to your own server.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find illustrations on this site and sometimes I like to add illustrations as featured photos. Anyway, the photos they publish are awesome.
If you like vector photos and illustrations generally, then this site will be amazing for you.
The photos are divided into 20 categories which have subcategories. For example, there’s a category
Business which has the following subcategories:
The Business category has a total of 2,452 results (images). In other categories you can also find thousands of photos.
Now, if you want to find an illustration related to digital marketing, here are potential images.
As you can see, there are lots of images, and generally elements that you can take.
StockVault is a community of photographers who share their photos with the world free of charge.
Specifically, the community has more than 93,000 members who uploaded more than 100,000 free photos.
All the photos are high resolutions, but you need to be careful when you download the photos on this site and here’s why.
As I said, photos are free of charge which means that you can use the photos on your personal blog (that even has ads), but you are not allowed to use photos on your company website.
So, if you’re a blogger then you can use photos from this site, even you’re allowed to use them in tutorials, but in that case, you’ll need to link it back.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these stock sites. I’m sorry if I was I bit boring because I was repeating myself with Creative Commons license, but I couldn’t avoid that since that matters a lot.
Again, I’m not a legal advisor and you need to check license whenever you download the photo because what if these sites change terms of service?
I know that there are extremely low chances for that but.. I’ve found Pixabay as the most useful stock photos and almost every photo on this blog comes from that site.