46 Best Free Stock Photography Sites For Creators

Whether you’re a graphic designer, blogger, or a maker, stock photos help us create content that connects with our audiences.  Think about it. Who wants to look at endless blocks of text with no breaks or color? Definitely not most people. Photos help make your content look inviting and more engaging. Perhaps you’re putting together a collage, art project, a book, or a book cover… it doesn’t matter. Stock photos can help bring cohesion to your ideas. Here are the best free stock photography sites available to creators:

best free stock photography sites

Image by Becca Clark from Pixabay

What is Stock Photography?

Stock photos are photos of exceptional quality made with broad purpose to help show certain concepts (generally, for commercial purposes). For instance, a wedding photo or a family photo may only have relevance to the portrait’s subjects, but because stock photos represent ideas, they can be used in lots of different scenarios by wide audiences.

best free stock photography sites

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay

For instance, a carefully-staged photo of money, or a person holding a notebook can represent the concept of money or wealth, and the person holding a notebook could be working or brainstorming towards something. Showing these concepts can add real power to your content and help your audience connect. Ultimately, effective content motivates your audience to continue reading with curiosity, and photos help to convey meaning and purpose.

best free stock photography sites

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

What is Public Domain?

According to current copyright laws, “Works that are in the public domain may be used freely, without obtaining permission from or compensating the copyright owner.” Most commonly, that includes older works that have aged out of being eligible for copyright any longer, but living or recently-deceased creators can define how their work is used. Some artists choose to make their work available under the public domain or a Creative Commons License.

What is a Creative Commons License?

There are six different types of Creative Commons Licenses that allow creators to share their work, but with certain limitations as defined by the license.

Some of those may be under a CC Zero license to forbidding certain types of commercial uses or derivative usage. Not all Creative Commons licenses are created equal. Be sure to check the creative commons license agreement before using it in a project.

What is Royalty-free Photography?

Royalties are a fee paid to the artist for each sale of a photograph or sale of their work. Royalty-free images mean stock photo sites pay the royalties to the photographer and users are only responsible for buying a license for a certain type of the work’s usage once for a flat fee.

Best Free Stock Photography Sites:

  1. Burst (by Shopify)
  2. Fancy Crave
  3. Foca
  4. FoodiesFeed
  5. Free Food Photos
  6. Freepik
  7. Freerange
  8. FreeStocks.org
  9. Getrefe
  10. Good Stock Photos
  11. GRALLIM.com
  12. Gratisography
  13. IM Free
  14. ISO Republic
  15. Jay Mantri
  16. Kaboom Pics
  17. Libreshot
  18. Life of Pix
  19. Little Visuals
  20. Megapixl
  21. MorgueFile
  22. Moose Stock Photos
  23. Negative Space
  24. New Old Stock
  25. Pexels
  26. Picjumbo
  27. Picography
  28. PicSpree
  29. PikWizard
  30. Pixabay
  31. Public Domain Archive
  32. Rawpixel
  33. Reshot
  34. RgbStock
  35. Scatter Jar
  36. SkitterPhoto
  37. Snapographic
  38. Snapwire Snaps
  39. SplitShire
  40. Startup Stock Photos
  41. StockSnap.io
  42. Stokpic
  43. StockVault
  44. StyledStock
  45. Travel Coffee Book
  46. Unsplash

License Usage

Yes, these are indeed some of the best free stock photography sites around, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t usage rules. Especially if you’re using a stock image for a product or for-profit project, make sure you check the distribution license. Some may require attribution or have a limited license that is only royalty-free up to a certain number of copies or impressions. Make sure your usage matches the license or you could find yourself receiving a cease and desist, or worse, a lawsuit. Honor the art of other creators- we’re all in this together.

Go out there and create some beautiful art!