If you are blogging regularly or have your own website, you will need a source of quality stock images. When you go online to get images to use for your site, be sure to confirm that they are in the public domain or licensed for commercial use. In some instances, the photographer will want to be credited for his or her work on your post or site. This is a small price to pay for using the work. We’ve focused on resources available at no charge, but you can also find several websites that offer stock photos for a fee.
This site features millions of Creative Commons photos from Flickr. You have the option of searching by keyword and narrowing your search by “recent,” “relevance,” or “interestingness.” Be sure that the “commercial” box is ticked off when looking for images for blog posts or a website.
Stock.xchng allows you to search for images by keyword or category. This site has a large collection of high-quality photographs available. Most of the images are quite good quality. You will see availability and any special instructions about crediting the photographer before you download an image.
You’ll need to create a free account before you can download any of the over 100,000 images available at this site. All of them come with a royalty-free license so you can use them for blog posts or on your website. To date, there are over 386,000 photos available.
If you are looking for clip art, a vector image, or an icon instead of a photograph, Open Clip Art Library has an extensive collection of items. All of them are in the public domain, so you can use them as is, modify, or build on them however you choose. The clip art is organized in categories, collections and tags to make it easy for you to find exactly what you are looking for.
The search engine for free photos allows you to find images from the Library of Congress, NASA, and a number of other sources. Sign up for a free account to get access to over 20 million photos. Members can tag, rate, and comment on photos as well.
6. Free Pixels
With just over 5,500 images, this site doesn’t have a large collection to choose from, but if you are looking for nature, architecture, travel, or food and drink images, you may want to give it a try. There are 40 categories altogether bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to image sites.
If you are working on topics with a historical theme, consider Ancestry Images as a resource. It has over 27,000 prints, portraits and maps dating from the 17th century. Most of the offerings on this site are from the later part of the 18th century and the 19th century.
8. Morgue File
MorgueFile contains free reference images. You’ll need to register to use the site, but once your account is set up, you’ll be able to access high quality photos for downloading.
The most popular categories featured here are pictures of people and business pictures, but there are several other categories, including architecture, food and drink, nature, objects, sports and leisure, travel, and backgrounds as well.
10. Stock Vault
Search Stock Vault by categories (Animals, Nature, Objects, People, Seasonal, etc.) or by Newest Photos, Most Viewed, Featured, Most Love, or Most Downloaded) to find images to find stock images for your blog or website.
11. Creative Commons
Visit Creative Commons to get one-stop access to search for images on Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, Google Images, and Open Clip Art Library. Always check to confirm that the results are available for use under a Creative Commons license by clicking on the link provided.
Dreamstime has a selection of free photos to choose from, as well as a number of ones that require credits to download. There are generic categories to choose from, too.
13. FreeRange Stock
Membership on this site is free. Sign in to be able to download images and textures. All of them are at least 2400 x 1600 and can be used for “commercial or personal projects.”
Imagebase is a collection of photographs, most of which were taken by David Niblack. They can be freely used for “personal, commercial, non-profit, artistic, or creative purposes.” No login is required, and you are not required to give photo credits if you use the images.
The photos on this site are sorted by the basic colors they contain. It also has a search function where you can input basic keywords to find images. No signup is required to use it.
Burst offers free stock photos and royalty-free images for business use. Unlike most other stock photo websites that offer free photos for personal use, Burst offers free stock photos for business owners with zero restrictions on photos used for any commercial endeavor.
photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc
Deborah Crow says
One I didn’t see is Wikimedia Commons. There are tons of public domain pictures or pictures that you can use with minimal credit mentioning to the author.