If a picture is worth a thousand words, then having a good stock photo website on hand is crucial for any digital marketer.
That’s because stock photos are a great way to:
- Boost engagement
- Liven up a blog or social media post
- Build your business’s brand
But marketers should be careful. not to infringe on anyone’s copyright Always respect the creative works and rights of others. If not, you risk serious consequences, such as big fines and even having your website taken down.
One great way to avoid this is to use a free stock photo site. Stock photo sites collect images from artists and photographers who have given permission for anyone to use them.
That’s why we put together this collection of free stock photo resources and websites that you can use to grow your brand.
9 resources for free stock photos
Every image site in the list below falls under Creative Commons. That means you can use them and don’t need to worry about getting sued.
- Unsplash is a fantastic free stock photo resource that contains more than 850,000 high-resolution images. Each photo is sourced from the website’s talented community of photographers and media creators.
- Also, the images are arguably better than any paid stock photo service you’ll find. With businesses like Squarespace, Invision, and Medium leveraging their free stock photos, you will be in good company.
- Gratisography is one of the most interesting of the free stock photo sites due to the quirky style of photographer Ryan McGuire who captures everything from people making goofy faces to airborne cats.
- All of the photos are high-resolution and royalty-free—ready for your use wherever you please. The photos are organized by categories—animals, nature, objects, people, urban, and whimsical. And new ones are added every week, which McGuire shares on twitter and. Facebook
3. IM Free
- IM Free is a “curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.” The royalty-free stock photos are organized by categories such as technology, education, and nature.
- But stock photos aren’t the only things you’ll find on the site. There’s also free templates, icons, button makers, and more.
- Pixabay offers nearly half a million free images and videos for both personal and commercial use. All images on the site are royalty-free and covered under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means they can be modified and used commercially online and in print.
- Pexels is another fantastic website offering hundreds of thousands of free stock photos drawing from a community of photographers and digital creatives. The website also aggregates photos from other websites such as Gratisography, LIttle Visuals, and Pixabay to get you the most high-quality photos out there.
6. Burst by Shopify
In an effort to combat the issue of diversity and inclusion within media and marketing, Shopify held internal photo shoots to create high quality images of a diverse group of ethnicities and genders in the workplace. That collection is now open and free for personal and commercial use on a new stock photo site called Burst.
- Fun fact: Hootsuite made a special collection of stock photos in collaboration with Burst, too.
- With more than 5 million downloads since it launched in 2013, Picjumbo is a popular free resource for social media images. Users can click through the different categories of over 2,000 free high resolution photos, or download a pack that includes all images and three Photoshop mockups (in exchange for a donation of $15 or more.)
Created in 1996, Morguefile is easily one of the oldest free stock photo sites on this list. While the images are free to use, the website asks that photo owners are credited. It’s a great resource for free social media images that can be used as backgrounds for text-based graphics.
Reshot boasts the “largest catalog of high-quality free stock photos that you won’t find anywhere else.” They source their photos from a community of very talented photographers whom they have partnered with to give you the very best image assets for any web needs.
- You can even download curated theme photo packs such as “Active Lifestyle” and “Everyday Technology.”
- Stockvault hosts over 35,000 royalty-free images, graphics, and designs from photographers, designers, and students around the world. As long as you stay on the “Free Stock Photos” rather than the “Premium Stock Photos” tab, you have access to a huge library of photos to use on social media.