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Are you looking for free, high-quality images to include with your content?
Visual content is an integral component of any website page or blog post.
Instead of relying on beautiful images that offer a direct correlation to the written content for the visitor, far too many authors and designers rely on people in suits sitting in meetings or shaking hands.
This approach does not give your website a unique voice.
Not only are many of these images tacky, but they can also cost a lot of money if you purchase licenses for each one that you’re using.
There is a better approach to use.
When you have access to free stock images for commercial use, then you can create a custom page or post that speaks directly to your visitors.
You will get to take advantage of the creativity that photographers and graphic designers post online every day.
New websites with stunning stock images are going live on the Internet every day.
Many of them allow you to use their content without charge.
If you are ready to improve the look of your website, then this guide to the sources of free photos will help you to locate and use the visual content needed to take your work to the next level.
What Are Free Stock Images?
Blog posts, landing pages, and all other forms of content receive double the traffic when you include corresponding images with each post.
For many, the problem is finding a free image to use with their content.
It is essential to remember that royalty-free stock photography is not the same as an item that’s 100% free.
If you use a royalty-free item, it means you do not need to pay any ongoing royalties to use the image within your content.
You might have to pay an upfront fee for a license to use the image, provide specific forms of accreditation, or follow other stipulations to use the picture.
Public domain images can be used in commercial projects and attribution is not needed for them, but if you have the information of the artist, giving credit where it is due gives your content an extra level of class.
The outgoing link also provides the artist with some link equity.
Rules to Follow with Free Stock Images
Some rules still apply to these free image websites that must be followed, even if you do not pay for the rights to the image up front.
Take personality rights into account.
Sometimes this is referred to as Model rights or Property rights. What it means is that if a person can be clearly identified in an image that you intend to use commercially, you will need a signed release.
There are several different licenses.
Some free photos have permission for use on a personal website. Others are allowed for commercial purposes. You must comply with the terms of the creator’s stipulations to use the image, even when it is royalty-free.
Image creators can add specific licensing terms that apply individually. If it’s possible it’s always best to check the profile page of the image creator to ensure that there are no specific terms outside of the standard license language that you must meet to stay in compliance.
Remember that copyrights automatically apply.
All images receive copyright protection from their moment of creation. Using an image without the permission of the creator violates the copyright of the picture. Changing an image or using it beyond the scope of the authorized license are actions that are considered copyright violations and can result in fines and penalties.
On many of these free stock photo sites, you will find specific information regarding the licensing structure of the image. As long as you comply with the license (and not use the image commercially without the model or property release), then you are generally safe to use it.
Avoid using an outdated image.
If you use stock images that are of poor quality or are not aging well, then these attributes will reduce the impact of your content. Search for photos that reflect your personality and brand to help create more interest in your page or post.
Download the correct size.
Although it makes sense to download a free stock image in the highest possible resolution, you must take into consideration how you’ll be using the photo on your site. You may need to adjust the size or quality to fit your needs.
Correct any errors with your images immediately.
You may receive a message about your use of a free stock image on your site. If you are accidentally infringing on the author’s rights or didn’t attribute it correctly, then that individual has the right to ask you to make changes to your use of their photo.
Attribution is an essential element of use in the world of shared images. It is easier to make the requested change instead of dealing with a DMCA takedown notice.
Key Points to Remember when Using Free Stock Images
When you review the attribution, licensing, or ownership details of a free stock image you want to use, it is essential to consider the source information before posting the photograph.
Authors sometimes update their image requirements.
The information provided here is as accurate as possible, but it is up to you to verify the accuracy of the content you post.
I cannot be held responsible for an inaccurate attribution that gets taken from this site instead of from the original source of the free stock image.
The current and future content of any links or websites included with this post is the responsibility of their creators, which means I am not responsible for any liability or damages that arise from your interaction with that content or from information relayed on this post.
If your preferred websites are not listed here, please feel free to let me know in the comments section, and I will consider including them in this post after review.
If you want to create any type of online graphic for social media, blogs, ads etc. try out Snappa.
One of the most popular websites where you will find copyright-free images published under Creative Commons Zero (close to 2 million royalty free stock photos). You can use them even for commercial purposes. FAQ
Image by James Pritchett
High-resolution photos, all licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means you can do whatever you want with them.
All photos on this site are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means you can copy, modify and ditribute them even for commercial purposes.
On this site you will find a lot of Creative Commons images. Thanks to PhotoPin adding images to your article is very easy – you just need to copy an HTML code and paste it in your blog post. FAQ
Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Royalty free stock photos. If you want to use an image for free you must publish an acknowledgement to FreeDigitalPhotos.net and the image creator on the same page where the image has been used. However if for some reasons you do not want to publish an acknowledgement then you must pay for the image.
This is a site created by a group of photographers and graphic artists. You will find there more than 100,000 free stock photos. If you want to upload or download images you must be a member. Membership is free! FAQ
Image by Ryan Mcguire
Free images that you can use for personal or commercial projects. All pictures are under Creative Commons Zero. License
On this site you will find around 27,000 images. They are either in the Public Domain or Creative Commons licensed, which means you can use them freely and for commercial purposes, but you must attribute the author. FAQ
All images on this site may be used for personal or commercial purposes without any restrictions or limitations. Attribution is not required, but is always appreciated. Terms and Conditions
Image by Ed Gregory
Free photos for personal and commercial use, all under Creative Commons Zero license. Attribution is appreciated, but not necessary. Frequently Asked Questions
Free images in different categories that you can use any way you wish (commercial use allowed). All photos are licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 so attribution to LibreShot.com is required.
Image by froggidonna
Free high resolution images for personal or commercial use. Attribution is not required, but is appreciated. morgueFile license
Image by Flash Alexander
High-quality, high-resolution images that you can use for free even commercially. While a credit is always appreciated, it is not required. FAQ
You can download all the pictures for free and use them for personal or commercial purposes. The photo gallery on bigfoto.com is big and constantly growing. Registration is not required. In return for free download bigfoto.com asks you to place a link to the bigfoto website on your own website. Copyright
#15. Little Visuals
Free pictures licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means you can use them anyway you want.
On a free account, there are about 100,000 free images, but when you subscribe to Canva for Work, you will have exclusive access to over 300,000 more free premium elements. Whether you are using free or paid elements, you do not need to give Canva credit or attribution when you publish your design. If you do though, it would be much appreciated. You are free to use your designs on blogs and other platforms. You may use your Canva designs for commercial blogs. To know more about using free elements on Canva, please click here.