Websites for Free Stock Images

Get Great Stock Images for Free from These 12 Websites

You need great images on your website and other marketing materials to help tell your story. You can try to take create your own images, but that takes a lot of time and equipment. Sometimes you need to use stock images, instead. Stock images can be expensive, but there are ways to find great free ones.

It’s tempting to just do a Google Image search and download images that fit your brand, but you don’t know any details about the copyright licenses on those images. If the image creator finds out that you’re using their image, you could be fined a lot of money. If your business can’t afford to buy stock images, it definitely can’t afford the fines. It’s better to just play it safe.

When you’re looking for free stock images, look for websites that explicitly define the copyright licenses of their images. You want to look for images that are in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license (or something similar).

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licenses are public copyright licenses that allow you to download and distribute an image that would otherwise be a copyrighted work.

There are six types of Creative Commons licenses, so pay attention to which one applies to individual images.

  1. Attribution: You can use the image any way you like, even commercially. You must give credit to the creator of the image, even if you change the image in any way. It’s easy to include attribution – just add text under the image on your website that says, “Photo by Jane Doe.” If the creator has a website, include a link to that.
  2. Attribution-ShareAlike: You can use the image any way you like, even commercially, if you give credit to the creator of the image. If you copy or change the image in anyway, you must license your image under the same terms as the original image.
  3. Attribution-NoDerivs: You can use the image commercially or non-commercially, if you give credit to the creator of the image and do not change the image in any way.
  4. Attribution-NonCommercial: You cannot use the image commercially. You must give credit to the creator of the image, even if you change the image in any way.
  5. Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike: You cannot use the image commercially. If you copy or change the image in anyway, you must license your image under the same terms as the original image.
  6. Attritubtion-NonCommercial-NoDerives: You cannot use the image commercially or change it in any way. You must also give credit to the creator of the image.

Creative Commons also allows works to be licensed under an “All Rights Granted” space. You can use the image any way you like, even commercially, without asking for permission or attributing the image to the creator. This license essentially puts the image in the public domain.

12 Websites for Free Stock Images

  1. Albumarium
  2. Every Stock Photo
  3. Flickr
  4. Free Images
  5. Image*After
  6. Morgue File
  7. New Old Stock
  8. Pixabay
  9. Public Domain Archive
  10. Start-up Stock Photos
  11. Stocksnap
  12. Unsplash