I’ve been there, scouring the web for images that a – look nice and b – aren’t going to land you in hot water for copyright infringement. I used to hate this task and dreaded it when the time came to find free images that would make my posts look great.
I did some research and found some amazing sites that offer professional-quality free images. There are some stunning free images available and if you look in the right places (like this post right here) you won’t worry again in the future.
You should always check that the images you’re using are classed as Creative Commons Zero (CCO) i.e. they are available for you to use in any manner you wish (obviously, appropriately).
I’m a big advocate of Canva and the Canva app because you can do so much with it. You can create ebook covers, design social media banners, and even posters if the need arises.
When you first start using Canva you are given the option to choose what type of design you want, after that, it’s pretty much up to you what you do with it. You can even create an image/header that is specific to your size needs, you don’t have to stick to the presets.
Canva does have a premium service which allows you to access more templates, images, and borders etc but there is a great selection on offer with the free version and definitely worth using. You can get Canva here.
Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock photos is chock full of stylish photos from a variety of different locations including office shots (like the one above) and skylines from New York. The only downside that I have found is the lack of a ‘search’ function. This may just be via tablet as I used an iPad but it’s still worth checking out. The pictures are clean and crisp.
Put simply, Picjumbo is awesome. They have a huge library of clean and stylish images form a range of categories that include; architecture (see above, Golden Gate Bridge), technology, abstract, and love, to name a few.
As with most stock sites, there is a premium package with Picjumbo but honestly, the free library they have is fantastic and you’ll more than get by with that.
Unsplash is another free photo site that has a ton of free photos that include some of the most beautiful shots. I mean, look at the balloons-on-skyline photo above, gorgeous!
I tried their search function and used the term ‘blog’ and do you know how many free photos the search returned? Over 23,000!! That in itself is a reason to visit the site. From what I’ve found on Unsplash, everything is free, I didn’t find a place to donate to the photographer. Unsplash is undoubtedly one of the best (if not the best) sites to visit for stunning free photos to make your post sparkle. Visit Unsplash here.
If you’ve visited my site in the last month then you’ll notice a distinct difference in the main images that I’ve used. That’s all thanks to Pexels. I’ve found that Pexels offer some of the most gorgeous images available and they’re just so sharp!
Pexels offers a wide range of photos that are totally free for you. They do give the option of donating to the photographer. Or, you can tweet and share their picture. I really like that option as it allows you to give back at no cost whilst still helping the photographer. If that’s something you want to do then go for it, after all, their images are fantastic. You can find Pexels here.
Pixabay is a site that claims to have over 1.4 million free photos available for you to use. Not only that, they also offer free illustrations, free vectors, and free 4K videos that are absolutely breathtaking. Don’t believe me, check this video out.
Pixabay also gives you the option to donate to the photographer/illustrator/videographer via the ‘Coffee’ button which I think is a really cool touch. Check Pixabay out here.
Freerange is a site that uses both in-house photographers and submissions from other external sources. When using the website you need to login to download a full-size image which means registering etc first. If you’re doing your image search on the fly and are in a bit of a rush then this may be a bit of a roadblock and you might want quicker results. With that in mind, a few of the other sites on this list may better serve your needs. But if you’ve got time on your hands and want to have a look through lots of beautifully shot photos, registering with Freerange will definitely be worth your time. Find Freerange here.
Compared to the sites we have already looked at, Fancy Crave works a little differently; they use ‘photo packs’ as opposed to individually categorised images. The image I’ve used above is from their ‘Kathmandu, Nepal’ pack, and I’ve got to say, I’m massively impressed.
Fancy Crave is run by Igor Ovsyannykov, a guy who started off by giving away 2 free photos from every location he travelled to. According to his ‘About’ page, he started this in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, and Japan.
There is a premium option available and it will cost you $9.99 per month for access to ‘unlimited stock photos that can’t be found elsewhere’.
The one downside may be that the categories are really specific and the homepage has a lot of photos on it already. However, there is no search function so if you want to see what other images they have then the ‘Load More’ button on the site will become your best friend. Check out Fancy Crave here.
Life of Pix
Life of Pix has a host of images that you can use to bring life to your blog posts or articles and they come in a range of different categories. Life of Pix also has a cool ‘Photographer of the Week’ feature and you can check out some of the best work on the site.
You can also choose to follow certain photographers and so you don’t have to constantly search through the site when you can access your faves and dive straight into their work. That’s great for when you’re blogging in a rush! I mean, aren’t we all?!
Check out Life of Pix here
The Stocksnap.io website is built for browsing. It gives you suggested searches based on the most popular on the site. And on the homepage, you can scroll down and see the ‘Recently added’ images. This is a great timesaver as you don’t have to scroll through a load of photos that you’ve already seen.
The ‘Trending’ part of the website is awesome as it shows you what other people are looking at and what they’re using. By checking these images out you can see what’s popular and use that to choose something similar but not the same as everyone else, a sort of following the crowd while also doing your own thing. Access snapstock.io here.
By using the images on these sites can make sure you stay on the right side of copyrighting law whilst ensuring your posts look stunning!