If you’re a blogger, captivating images are essential for bringing attention to your website and writing. If you have some interesting artistic photos of your own, that’s great. When you don’t have what you need for a particular story, consider a free stock photo website. Here are some to start with.

  • Epicantus.tumbler.com – “As Visual & UX designer and Lean Startup coach I create a lot of landing pages and prototypes to collect feedback and test various business ideas, so I know how important it is to make things FAST yet still beautiful (yes, we all believe in low fidelity prototypes but people still prefer beautiful things :)). Finding images that carry the right message usually takes hours, therefore every photo I make in my spare time will appear here for you. All of them are free for personal & commercial use. Please email me if you have any special requests or would like to contribute. By Daria
  • FreeStocks.org – “All photos on freestocks.org are free and licensed under CC0 (Creative Commons Zero). You can copy, modify and use them both in personal and commercial projects. However, you can not sell the photos themselves. Please do not redistribute our photos on other free stock photos websites without our permission. Instead of doing that, you can use a thumbnail photo and simply put a link referring to our single photo page, for example: http://freestocks.org/photo/tie/. Remember to respect registered trademarks, intellectual and private property. It is in your best interest to use the photos in a lawful way. If you’d like to support us, you might consider donating.” (source)
  • Gratisography.com – “Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. Click on an image to download the high-resolution version. New awesome pictures added weekly! All pictures were photographed by Ryan McGuire and free of copyright restrictions.”
  • IMCreator.com/free – “A curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.”
  • JayMantri.com – A photographer offering all his photos under the CC0 license making them free even for commercial use, dedicated to the public domain.
  • Kaboompics.com – great searchable collection
  • LifeOfPics.com – “Free high-resolution photos, no copyright restrictions. Images for personal commercial use. New photos added weekly. All images are donated to the public domain. Hand-made with love by Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal and its network of photographers.”
  • MMTStock.com – Creative Commons License, free for commercial use
  • NegativeSpace.com – “All the photos and raw files on this website are distributed under the CC0 creative commons license. That means that you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission or give attibution.”
  • NOS.twnsnd.com – “Vintage photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions.”
  • PicJumbo.com – Some free photos, but membership is encouraged for advanced site features.
  • Picography.co – “Free hi-resolution photos. Use them however you like.”
  • Pexels.com – “Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through our discover pages.”
  • Pixabay.com – “You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist. However, depicted content may still be protected by trademarks, publicity or privacy rights.”
  • SnapwireSnaps.tumblr.com – “7 free beautiful photos every 7 days. License and commission photos from 200,000 of the world’s most talented photographers.”
  • SplitShire.com – “Two years ago I created SplitShire with the simple aim of giving life to photographs that would have gone into oblivion without any utility. In the course of almost ten years of photography I have accumulated many files, thousands, who were in the hard disk gathering dust. So I began to upload the first 100 high-resolution photos that you can freely download and use for personal an commercial purposes. Now these photographs which were previously living in the darkest corners of the hard drive, live on websites like The Huffington Post, CNN, Books Covers, Magazines and thousands of websites/blogs. I want to personally thank you for stopping by my site SplitShire, where I share all of my personal shots to the public for free. It might sound like I’m a little crazy, but anyone who has ever done any graphic design work, which is what I also do, knows it is so hard to find great pictures. So far since the time of this writing we have had over 600,000 downloads, and over 6,000,000 page views. That just makes me feel great in so many ways.” (source)
  • StockSnap.io – “StockSnap is the best place on the internet to find beautiful free stock photos. We select nothing but the highest quality, highest resolution pictures and add them to our database on a daily basis. This is not your typical crappy stock photo site. All photos uploaded to the site are released under Creative Commons – CC0 and do not require attribution. No more hassle trying to figure out whether you can use photos for commercial use and whether you need to provide attribution. We curate the best stock photos from around the web and we also upload photos from select photographers within our network. The end result is a bad ass repository of beautiful stock photography. We’re very grateful for all the photographers who are nice enough to share their work for free. To pay our respects, we identify the author of each photograph and link back to their profile. Our long term vision is to create an amazing community of photographers that want to share their work with the world.”
  • Unsplash.com – Great photo collections all under the Unsplash License: “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.”
  • WikiMedia – A variety of crowd sourced images.

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Photo Credit: The photo at the top of this page is by Greg Johnson.

Thanks to Makur for the contribution of Pexels and Pixabay to the list above.