You might be the most amazing social media manager in the world, with an impeccable social strategy and a well-honed posting schedule, but that doesn’t mean you know how to take a photo. Maybe you should go for free photos instead.

It’s good! We don’t blame you! We cannot all be good at everything. (For example: even Grammy winner Michael Bublé doesn’t know how to eat corn like a normal human.)

Even if you’ve studied how to take great Instagram photos, sometimes it’s best to leave the images to the professionals. This is where free photos come in.

And luckily for you, the internet is full of awesome royalty-free and royalty-free photos, waiting for the opportunity to dazzle your fans.

In fact, we’ve managed to put together 38 (thirty-eight!) Of the best free photo websites to share with you. So if you’re looking for commercial use photos that don’t cost a dime but make your social feeds look like a million bucks, read on.

How to know if an archive photo is free to use

Before you go shopping (or … whatever it is called when what you buy is completely free), it’s important to understand how to tell if an archive photo is free to use.

If you accidentally share something that does not give you commercial rights, it is possible that you are violating copyright law, which could have serious consequences for your brand, or even for you personally.

And unfortunately, “I didn’t know” will not work as a legal defense.

Therefore, look for clear descriptions on the image bank’s website that say “commercial use allowed”, “commercial use and modifications allowed”, or “no known copyright restrictions”.

Anything licensed under a Creative Commons or public domain license is also fair play.

And now for the good: free photo resources on social media that will wow your followers and get those likes through.

Quick Note About Licenses

Many of these photographs are free of copyright restrictions or have a Creative Commons license, dedicated to the public domain. This means that you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission.

However, some photos may require attribution. We have done our best to identify which license they are licensed with, but we still recommend that you do your own research and determine how these images can be used.

With that done, let’s dive into our best free photo picks.

List Of Free Stock Photos Sites

1. Adobe Stock Free Collection

Top quality stock photos, illustrations, templates and more

  • Photos. videos and illustrations
  • Excellent quality throughout
  • Photographers are paid

In October 2020, Adobe made more than 70,000 photos, videos, illustrations, and designs freely available for personal, commercial, and creative use. Their goal, according to a blog post, is “to make the means of creation accessible to everyone.”

Photos are always of high quality and artists are paid for their contributions. There is a great selection of filters you can use to find exactly the right stock photo, and you can even upload an existing image to find similar images.

Most photos are covered by Adobe’s standard license terms, which are very permissive and only prevent you from distributing the files themselves, creating products where the value is associated with the photo itself (such as a photo printed on a poster ) and transfer the license. to more than one employer or client. However, it is always worth checking before uploading a photo, as there may be exceptions.

2. Unsplash

Stunning pictures from pro and semi-pro photographers

  • Consistently high quality
  • Handy search tool
  • Mobile app available

Unsplash offers a large collection of free high-resolution photos and has become one of the best sources for stock images. The Unsplash team reviews new submissions and features the best photos on their home page. All photos are published for free under the Unsplash license.

Beautiful editorial-style photos are everywhere here. Photographers upload their content in hopes of catching someone’s eye for future paid work. Meanwhile, budget and no-budget brands can benefit from the plethora of stylish shots. Not sure what to look for? Browse outstanding collections such as “Athletics”, “Travel” or “Technology” for inspiration.

3. Pixabay

The biggest collection of free stock photos and illustrations online

  • Huge collection of images
  • Offers illustrations and photos
  • Quality is variable

Pixabay is packed with over a million public domain images, not just photos, but illustrations, vector graphics, and even a handful of videos. His selection of landscape photography is particularly strong, and the editor’s choice is worth checking out if he doesn’t have something specific in mind.

Once you’ve found a suitable free photo, choose a suitable resolution (print projects will need a much higher resolution than online projects) and fill out a Captcha to download the file. You can remove Captcha by creating a free account.

The vast majority of images on Pixabay are safe for work, but to prevent anything significant from showing up in search results, be sure to check the Enable SafeSearch box before browsing.

The photo quality is not as high as Unsplash, but if you can’t find the free photo you need, Pixabay can help.

4. Gratisography

Fun and surreal photos that offer a breath of fresh air

  • Consistently high quality photos
  • Fun, unusual images
  • Relatively small selection

Freeography is really the driving force behind fashion here. Download any of your free high-resolution photos for whatever use you want, with a “peace of mind” license. There are also many illustrations available.

Gratisography offers free high-resolution images that you can use in your personal and commercial projects. Stunning new images are added weekly and are not subject to any copyright restrictions. All images are captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design.

5. Pexels

Free public domain stock photos from around the world

  • Photos arranged by theme
  • Offers UI mockups for designers
  • Some photos are limited use

Pexels provides free, high-quality photos under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are well tagged, searchable and easy to discover thanks to their discovery pages.

Anyone can upload photos to Pexels, and the site’s curators will choose the best shots to complete their collection of searchable public domain images. You can search for something specific or explore topics like hobbies, emotions, and places.

Pexels is a particularly good choice for website or app designers, with an excellent set of device images ideal for displaying interface mockups. Some images are almost tacky from a stock photo (difficult to illustrate ideas explained with scrabble tiles, for example), but the vast majority are creative and original.

Pexels has a category dedicated to space photography, which looks amazing, but keep in mind that some of the material is from NASA, one of the organizations whose images should only be used in specific contexts.

6. Pikwizard

A great resource if you need natural photos of people.

  • No awkward, cheesy poses
  • Online photo editor available
  • Photos under different licenses

The quality is impressive and, unusual for a free stock photography site, there are plenty of photos of people in natural poses. Nothing cheesy here.

The selection of urban photographs is also impressive. If you need a stunning cityscape, PikWizard is a great place to look.

If you want to get creative without leaving your browser, PikWizard provides links to an online photo editor. Most of the tools and templates here are premium designs, but none cost more than a few dollars.

PikWizard photos are offered under two licenses: Free and CC0. A CC0 license means that the photographer has given up his copyright, but a free license means that he retains the copyright, but has given permission to use his work without payment. The full license is explained in more detail. No credit is required for the photographer, but is appreciated if possible.

7. SplitShire

Free Commercial-Like Images in Trendy Style

Photographer Daniel Nanesou is the creator of SplitShire, a website where he displays a thousand highly professional and artistic photos from his personal archive, covering various hot topics, that you can download and use for free in your work.

Custom license, similar to Creative Commons Zero (CC0) – Free usage for commercial purposes with a sensitive use clause. You’re not allowed to no resell images as-they’re-downloaded (you must alter the image for reselling purposes)

From a legal point of view, SplitShire photos are very safe – they are created by a professional photographer (who knows how the licenses work), they are offered under their own custom license, and since they know they are the copyright owners , has a direct way of addressing other rights. terms. A complete offering in free images.


As you can see, there is a growing number of great resources for stock photography. These websites have become a boon for designers, marketers, and bloggers. Stop relying on outdated stock photos!

Where can I get stock photos for free?

Pixabay. Pixabay offers a large collection of free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations. All photos are released under Creative Commons CC0.

Can you use stock images for free?

 A big and resounding NO. The photographer or author of a stock photo makes it available for licensing, meaning you can pay a fee to get the right to use it in your designs legally.

Is stock a photo?

Stock images are generic photos, illustrations and icons created without a particular project in mind. They are then licensed, usually for a fee, to individuals or organizations for use in marketing materials, websites, packaging, book covers and more.

Can you use pictures from the Internet without permission?

Royalty free images can still result in copyright infringement penalties, if their found to be on your site illegally. Public Domain: Images in the public domain can be used without restriction for any purpose.

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