You’re looking for the right images for your online store, website, or social media feed. You don’t have time for product photography, so you’ve searched far and wide for free images to use, but keep running into cheesy stock photos of people high-fiving in boardrooms or laughing into their salads.
The good news: There’s a huge variety of excellent free and paid stock photography websites for commercial use available online. You just have to know where to look.
Whether you need first-rate stock images for commercial use or a blog post hero, you’ll find the best free stock images to build your brand right here.
Free image license types
Let’s look at the different terms and licenses that stock photography websites use:
- Royalty free means you can use the asset without paying royalties or licensing fees.
- A Creative Commons license gives you the right to share, use, and build upon a copyrighted image.
- Attribution refers to giving appropriate credit to a creator’s work. It’s either required or not required when downloading a stock photo.
- Commercial use describes any activity in which you use assets for financial gain. Stock image sites may permit licensed photos for commercial purposes (like ads or editorial) or may not.
- Membership means you must register an account with the website to use its images. Some require a membership fee, while others are free.
📸 Note: It’s always best to double check the licensing terms for the stock photo resources listed below. Licensing is subject to change and may differ depending on which stock photographers or stock libraries you purchase from. Some may require approval for commercial use, while others may be totally free to download and use.
36 best free stock photo websites
Browse this list of stock photos site below to find free images for your business or project:
- Burst by Shopify
- Getty Images
- Life of Pix
- ISO Republic
- New Old Stock
- Adobe Stock
- FOCA Stock
- Little Visuals
- Jay Mantri
- Startup Stock Photos
- Negative Space
1. Burst by Shopify
Burst is a free stock photo site powered by Shopify. Our image library includes thousands of high-resolution images taken by a global community of photographers. New high-definition photos are added every week. These public domain images are free to use for commercial or personal use, whether you’re a designer, blogger, or entrepreneur who needs beautiful stock photography.
The site has a search feature where you can find images by keyword or popular category. Another neat feature of Burst is its “business ideas” section. Here, you can find the best free stock photos to download, and business tips broken down by niche, including women’s fashion, art supplies, socks, and more.
Pixabay is a free stock website with more than 4.2 million stock images, videos, and music clips available for download from the Pixabay community. It offers royalty-free photos from contributors, which anyone can manipulate and use without permission or any attribution to the artist.
Unsplash is home to millions of beautiful stock photos shot by a global community of photographers. All images are free for whatever use you wish, and Unsplash adds new images to download every day. When you create a free account with this stock photography site you can collect photos and access them from your iPhone, iPad, or computer.
Pexels is a free stock image and video library licensed under the Pexels license, which is similar to the CC0 license. You can download, copy, distribute, and modify images licensed by Pexels. This stock image site has hundreds of thousands of images hand-picked from photos uploaded by the Pexels community. All photos are tagged, searchable, and can easily be found on the site’s discovery pages.
Shutterstock is a leading provider of licensed stock images, vectors, illustrations, and music for businesses and consumers around the world. It has a growing community of more than one million creators and adds hundreds of thousands of creative assets every day.
To date, over one billion images, video clips, and music tracks have been downloaded on Shutterstock. It has a library of over 300 million free stock images, and customers in more than 150 countries.
6. Getty Images
Getty Images supplies stock images, editorial photography, video, and music from a library of over 200 million assets. Getty Images gears more toward corporations and creative professionals in advertising and media.
Most images are not free—you’ll have to pay for a license to use them. However, you can use some images for free with Getty’s Embed feature, which is only for non-commercial use. The kicker? The free images have the Getty Images watermark at the bottom, and you can’t get rid of it.
The acclaimed graphic design tool Canva also offers free stock images on its site. The Canva library is home to millions of paid and free stock photos to download or use in the platform’s design editor. You can switch between images and colors without navigating between tabs. Note that you’ll need to make a Canva account in order to access these photos.
iStock by Getty Images is another leading stock photography website. It offers millions of popular photos, illustrations, pieces of clip art, videos, and audio clips. It’s also known for paying contributors well. While you’ll have to pay a licensing fee for most assets, iStock does offer free weekly stock photos to download.
Read more: Picture Perfect: 15 Best Free Photo Editors
Freepik is a great free stock image site for creators seeking professional Photoshop templates and beautiful stock images. The site has more than four million assets, from vectors to illustrations, also available for download. Attribution is required to use Freepik’s stock for commercial or personal use.
Picjumbo is a free stock photo website created in 2013 by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek. He started the site after all other photo sites rejected his work for “lack of quality.”
Today, picjumbo offers thousands of high-resolution images, plus social media elements and other design freebies. Images are easy to find and displayed as collections, so you can see the same image from different views and find the best free images for your project.
11. Life of Pix
Built by the Leeroy creative agency, Life of Pix offers true-to-life high-resolution stock images for download. It has thousands of stock photos, including everything from food and people to architecture and textures. The site regularly adds 10 new photos from a handpicked photographer of the week. All copyright-free images are available for commercial use, but some restrictions apply for distributors.
Depositphotos is a global marketplace for stock images, with over 202 million assets available for download. You can browse through thematic collections of free stock photography and media trusted by corporations including TripAdvisor, Forbes, and Subaru. Many photos are available for purchase, but the site offers over 69,000 high-quality images you can download for free.
13. ISO Republic
ISO Republic is an independent website that curates high-resolution, Creative Commons CC0–licensed photos and videos. It has an ever-expanding library, with more than 6,000 creative photos, all free for personal and commercial use, no attribution required.
FreeImages provides morethan 380,000 royalty-free stock photos ready to share. You can license them to use for social media, ads, printed materials, websites, or any other project you’re working on. You can find photos for concepts like fashion, fitness, business, family, travel, and more, all free to download.
Gratisography is a free stock image website different from any other on this list, created by photographer Ryan McGuire. It offers humorous and whimsical images (think: Bigfoot in the forest with a mask on) you can use entirely for free, without any copyright restrictions. If you want to express your brand and make an impact on your viewers, photos from Gratisography are the way to go.
16. New Old Stock
Looking for free vintage photos for your project? Look no further than New Old Stock. While the stock photography site doesn’t actively add new images anymore, you can still browse and download old photos from Flickr Commons–listed institutions and public archives. You’ll find photos taken of everything from gold mining in New England to NASA in the ’70s and so much more.
Kaboompics is another popular free stock image site, with more than 20,000 photos. It’s owned by one photographer/entrepreneur and has a stock photo license that covers both personal and commercial purposes without attribution (although it’s appreciated). The site search helps you find photos in over 1,500 collections, with advanced sorting options to find the best match. Kaboompics blog is also full of expert advice on marketing and design.
Freerange is a standard free stock image site with a big library of images ready to download. Photos are shot both in house and submitted by contributors. The collections span topics like backgrounds and textures, animals and insects, technology, and vintage photos. New photos are added daily.
19. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is known for its premium stock photos and high price tag. But did you know it also offers a selection of free pics and videos? Browse curated photo collections of trending themes like Springtime, Nature, and Landscapes. Or check out its collection of free illustrations, templates, and 3D assets to use in your next personal or commercial project.
StockSnap.io is a free stock image site created by the same team behind graphic design tool Snappa. It offers hundreds of high-resolution photos, with more added every week. The search function is user friendly and lets you sort by popularity, views, downloads, favorites, and more. The library is built by user submissions and reflects a trendy, modern style you can use for your projects, free from any copyright restrictions.
Stockvault showcases a big collection of more than 138,000 photos on various topics. It crowdsources photos from creators around the world for you to download and use for free. The overall quality of photos are excellent. The only drawback is that Stockvault has three different licenses, so make sure to check that you can use a specific photo for your intended purposes.
Foodiesfeed is the best free food photography stock photo site on the web. Search through more than 1,700 photos, with intuitive search functionality and tags that are incredibly easy to use. Foodiesfeed is perfect for any food-related website looking for trendy, high-quality photos, free for commercial use.
23. FOCA Stock
Formerly known as MMT, FOCA Stock offers a full archive of free for commercial use stock photos, with new photos added every single week. It has a big focus on nature stock photography and macro stock photography. The site is also incredibly easy to navigate and lets you sort by category, tags, color, and orientation, so you can find what you’re looking for.
MorgueFile is a free photo archive that has been compiled for creatives, by creatives. It’s one of the oldest stock photo archives out there and derives its name from what people in production would call an inactive file—used only for reference. It’s super easy to use and has a great catalog of real everyday sorts of images that you can pull from.
Pikwizard is a completely free site that offers over a million royalty-free images. No attribution is required, and it even offers free wallpapers and background images that can help make your website or blog stand out.
Reshot is another completely free stock photo archive. The great thing about this site is it even offers you the ability to download photos in SVG, PNG, or vector formats for free as well. This can save you time and headaches because you won’t have to worry about converting photos into specific formats, you can just download them already in the format you need.
If you’re looking for some professional quality photos, freestocks.org is a good place to begin your search. Freestock’s catalog has been created mainly by three photographers with full-time jobs who create the catalog in their free time. So the offering might not be as large, but it’s completely free, and each photo has clearly been taken by someone who understands lighting, editing, and composition.
Picography is a free stock photo site that’s small but offers up some great images. It’s easy to navigate and has a number of great categories that work for many different kinds of businesses. Although Picography doesn’t require attribution of the photos you use, it still has the title of the photo and the name of the photographer in the corner of each photo.
Skitterphoto is run by three Dutch photographers based in the Netherlands. It’s free and its photos require no attribution. And if you’re a budding photographer, it also accepts contributions from photographers wanting to add to the Skitterphoto catalog.
30. Little Visuals
Little Visuals is a small collection of completely free stock photos. Seven images are emailed to you in a ZIP file and you can download and use them in whatever way you want. The only downside is you can’t search the site for specific images. You only have access to the images on the homepage and whatever images are sent to you.
31. Jay Mantri
Jay Mantri has a moody collection of photos to choose from. His site isn’t searchable, but he does email users seven high-quality images every Thursday. It’s completely free, and you can use any and all of his images in whatever way you want.
Picspree is completely free to use, but it also offers high-quality premium images that are available for purchase. No attribution is required for any photo downloaded off Picspree, and it offers articles and other resources for people looking to learn more about photography.
LibreShot is a free stock photo archive run by Martin Vorel. All the photos are shot and uploaded by him and he requires no attribution or credit for use. LibreShot has a great collection of images to choose from in more than 35 categories.
34. Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos is a photo archive that offers stock photos geared toward being relevant for business and tech startups. The website is well organized, it’s easy to search for the photos you want, and, best of all, all the photos are free.
Once you sign up for a free membership with Rgbstock, you get access to more than 100,000 stock photos. You’re encouraged to use these photos for marketing purposes and for your social media and websites, but there are conditions.
The photos in Rgbstock’s catalog are the property of the photographers. For example: you can’t slap an Rgbstock photo on a mug and sell the mug, but you can use an Rgbstock photo on a flier to sell a mug with your own original design on it.
36. Negative Space
Negative Space is a completely free stock photo archive. It has a limited catalog, but each photo is high quality. And with over 20 categories, Negative Space offers photos that are usable in a lot of different industries.
Using free images for your website
Now that you’ve taken a look at the best places online to get free high-quality images, it’s time to build the best ecommerce website for your business. With all of these stunning stock photos at your fingertips, your creative juices are no doubt flowing.
So, whether you’re using the images for a blog post, a website, your store, a Facebook ad, a presentation, or whatever else life throws at you, you’re all set.
Ready to create your business? Start your free trial of Shopify—no credit card required.
Free stock photo sites FAQ
What is the best free stock image site?
Burst is a free stock photo site powered by Shopify. All photos are free for commercial use, with no attribution required.
Where can I get totally free images?
- Burst by Shopify
- Getty Images
Are free stock photos really free?
Yes. But the photographer of a stock image must make their work available for licensing, then you can obtain it through a Creative Commons license.