No matter how much time and effort you’ve put into learning how to shoot good Instagram pictures, there are moments when you should just let the pros handle the photography. This is where stock photos come in.
Fortunately, there is an increasing number of websites with great stock pictures cropping up all over the internet. The best part? They’re free!
Here is a list of online resources and websites to help you find free stock images for your posts on social media, blogs, or other marketing channels.
See the full list of free stock photo websites for free
Top free stock photo websites
StockSnap is a professional stock photos bank that provides the highest-quality and highest-resolution pictures. Their database is updated on a daily basis and allows to discover outstanding photographers as the website shares their names with a link to their site on their photos. All photos on the site are released under Creative Commons (CC0), which means they don’t need to be attributed. Users can use their powerful search engine and choose among various categories to refine their research and find photos quickly.
Pexels is a free photo and video library that assists creatives in bringing their ideas and stories to life. By using the platform, users can access stunning photos and videos, which are sourced from a worldwide network of talented creators and are totally free to use. The hand-selected designs are searchable in 28 languages to make them more accessible, with that, it allows to select among many categories to refine the search. The Pexel’s API offers businesses to give their consumers an access to the whole Pexels library without having to leave their app or website.
Unsplash is a market-leading visual community that gives users access to over 2 million free high-resolution images that are hand-picked to show only the best. Their image database assists users in creating presentations, artwork, mockups, and more. It offers features such as searchable tags based on popular search results, and the company has partnered with well-known websites such as Buzzfeed, Squarespace, and Trello being powered by their API.
Burst is a Shopify-powered free stock photography platform for businesses and individuals. Users are free to edit, crop, or otherwise modify these images in any way they see suitable to best fit their projects. Because this database’s purpose is to serve as many individuals as possible, all of their images are royalty-free and require no attribution. Burst’s main features include open Creative Commons licensing terms, 2 download options, access to a big visual design community, and more.
Vecteezy is a vector editing program that allows users to download, edit, customize, or create vector designs from the ground up. It gives users access to a database of stock photos, video, and vector images. All content is free to download, but there are some limitations, therefore a monthly fee is required to use all of its features. Vecteezy competes with huge stock photo sites by catering to customers on a tighter budget, such as freelance graphic designers, enterprises, SMEs, and start-ups.
Pixabay is a thriving creative community that shares copyright-free images and videos. All of the content is licensed under Creative Commons (CC0), which means you can use it for commercial purposes without seeking permission or giving credit to the artist. This tool is quite simple to use. To get targeted results, simply enter a keyword and the type of resource you’re looking for on their search engine. The results of the search can then be refined based on size, orientation, popularity, or color.
Reshot is a huge library of handpicked free stock photos with the goal of uniting creators through the free exchange of the best visual content in the world. It has been built for startups, freelancers, and creators by allowing access to stock photos that are free to use commercially and editorially with no attribution. Reshot has features including one-click stock image downloads, a simple search tool, various free image packs, and a comprehensive custom license.
It’s clear from this list that there are many excellent photo stock resources. Designers, marketers, and bloggers alike have reaped the benefits of these platforms. You no longer have to rely on bland stock images!
Things to know about free stock photo websites
Many of these photos are either free of copyright limitations or released under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication. This implies that you are free to copy, change, and distribute without permission, including for commercial reasons.
Some photos, however, may need attribution. As a result, we urge you to conduct your investigation and evaluate how you can utilize these photographs. On the stock photo website, look for unambiguous specifications such as “commercial usage allowed,” “commercial use and modifications allowed,” or “no known copyright restrictions.”
How come you can’t just look for a picture you like on the web and post it? Because photos belong to their creators, publishing one without their permission may be a copyright violation. You may be hit with a fine in the worst-case scenario and even go to jail. Of course, you’ll first receive a notice asking you to remove the photographs, but you’ll lose time and effort deleting them—on top of the time and effort you lost collecting them the first time.
On the other hand, some creators are pleased to let others use their work. To allow others to exploit their work freely, the Creative Commons Foundation provides a variety of licenses for authors to choose from. It’s not a one-way street: some licenses permit only personal use, but commercial usage is permitted under others. Depending on the license, you may or may not be required to provide credit where credit is due. For example, specific images can be adapted or modified, while others must remain in their original form. Make careful you read the small print and adhere to the Creative Commons conditions when using a Creative Commons-licensed picture.
No, using stock images will not harm your SEO rankings. Making a page more relevant by strategically using stock photos is possible, but this has to be done carefully. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the image correctly depict the topic?
- Is the image suitable for a featured snippet?
- Is the image a factor in converting visitors?