Whether you're a new (or seasoned!) blogger or a entrepreneur with a limited marketing budget, having professional photography done for each campaign, webpage or blog isn't reasonable. That's why I've rounded up my favorite stock photo sites that offer great, high-quality images for free. Yep, that's right: great photos for zero dollars, no strings attached.
Pexels is an incredible resource for free stock photos for bloggers across the board. They have everything from desk flat lays with coffee, notebooks and Apple gear and office shots to open plains and livestock. You won't find corny, posed images on Pexels either. Feminine or masculine themes, holiday photos, food images and everything in between sums up their giant library. They even have a massive fitness section, which in my experience, is hard to come by in the free stock photo world!
Images are free for personal or commercial use and they even have a handy option to download different sizes of their photo, a feature that's especially great if you don't have access to Photoshop or time to spend resizing image after image.
No account is required to download photos, but if you do sign up, you'll receive 40 exclusive images you won't find on the website.
Here's a rundown of their license from their website:
It's hard to understand complex licenses that is why all photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.
• The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use.
• You can modify, copy and distribute the photos.
• All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So, attribution is not required.
• The only restriction is that identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive, unless they give their consent.
Unsplash has a similar aesthetic to Pexels but with a bit more limited library; however, it is a perfect resource for images with consistent style. Nearly any image you download from Unsplash will have the same look and feel in terms of how the image was shot and edited. You'll also find more images of people on Unsplash.
Unsplash's content has a distinct feel, yet offers vivid imagery and a wide range of subjects: lifestyle, fashion, food, offices, tech and outdoors are just a few of the most popular categories.
Like Pexels, an account isn't required to download photos, but by signing up, you'll receive 10 high-quality photos direct to your inbox each week.
Here's a look at Unsplash's licensing policy:
All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
While Creative Market isn't a free photo website, per se, they offer weekly freebies, which often include a pack of 20+ images with a different theme each week. And a major bonus: The weekly free goods from Creative Market include fonts, graphics, pre-made logos, Photoshop files and more!
Licensing policies depend on the week and artist, but most of the time they're 100% free for commercial or personal use. And don't forget to check out Creative Market's full library of images for more flexibility starting at as little at $2.
A fun little bonus from this site is the fact that you can sync the files directly to your Dropbox, which makes it easy to either backup your files, share them with clients or even save space on your laptop or computer!
Yes, it's called Barn Images. No, they don't have only images of barns. They have a good selection of free images, which you can search directly for a subject or browse the 16+ categories. Barn Images also has a blog with great resources, which also comes up in search terms.
One thing to keep in mind, you'll find more ads on this site than the others, but they're not too intrusive and often closely related to blogging and photography.
Barn Images also has Premium Photo Packs, which gives you access to a library of a dozen or more themed downloads with up to 110+ photos in each pack for a great price. If you're looking for a ton of styled photography images and have a small budget for photography, the photo packs might be for you!
Check out their licensing policy:
You are allowed to use all of the images published in Barn Images collections (both Free Images and Premium Packs) for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You can remix, tweak, and build upon your work, without asking for permission or attributing the photos. However, we would appreciate if you could place a link to our website, or spread the word in social media.
Wait, whaaaat? Yes, that's right. 835 Creative is in the process of creating a free stock photo library just for you! Each month, we're creating a photo pack of stock images perfect to promote your blog, Etsy shop or use on social media. We're talking about 10-20 images each month with a specific theme and photo style. You'll find flat-lay images, moody images, holiday images and more with room to pop into InDesign, Photoshop or Canva and add text, your logo and more... at no cost!
If you're signed up for the Resource Library, you'll get instant access each month, plus access to previous months' photo packs. Want December's free holiday-themed photo pack? Click here! And don't forget to visit the Resource Library to sign up for access to free templates, checklists and photos for your blog and website.
Looking for more recommendations for products and resources for your blog or website? Check out my top picks for online tools here!