7 terrific sites for free photos

Stunning visuals can attract eyeballs and make your content irresistible. Here are seven hubs for downloading gratis stock images.


High-quality photos are essential for content marketing and social media success.

Businesses skimp on visuals at their peril, as content with images have been found to garner 94 percent more views than plain text. Appealing visuals get clicks and make your message stick. Optimizing images also boosts your SEO, which can increase site traffic.

There’s no excuse to use bad photos anymore. The internet is rife with free image websites that use the creative commons zero license, indicating that ownership rights have been waived.

Here is a selection of handy websites that offer free, high-quality stock photos:

  • Unsplash adds 10 photos every 10 days, which you can access via an email subscription or through their website. To see what they offer, scroll down the home page and browse new photos, or search by collection, keywords or photographer name. Visit Unsplash’s photo license page for terms and conditions.
  • StockSnap images can be sorted by date, what’s trending, and number of views or downloads. The site has a large search area on the home page where you can filter pictures based on keywords or popular searches. You can also browse by recently added photos. Read StockSnap’s terms and conditions for more details about using its images.
  • Pixabay has more than 940,000 photos, vectors and art illustrations. You can browse by Editor’s Choice, photographers, videos, photos and cameras that took the photos. Pixabay has an advanced search function that helps you find your preferred orientation (horizontal or vertical), color or size. Here are Pixabay’s terms and conditions.
  • Pexels has a beautiful, big search bar on its home page that shows you popular searches. At the bottom of the home page, its “while you were away” section highlights popular photos. You can also browse by popular photos, popular searches and photographer leaderboard (users with the most downloads in the last 30 days). Pexels curates photos from Gratisography and Unsplash to simplify the search process. Read the site’s photo license page to learn more.
  • Gratisography lets you search by categories such as animals, nature and objects. You can also conduct a “magic auto search” to find the picture you have in mind. New photos are added to the site every week. You can review Gratisography’s use rules here.
  • Kaboompics is sorted by galleries. When you click an image, you get a button for related images and an option to download. You can also sort by featured images and photoshoots. If you subscribe to its email list, you can get a jump on the latest uploads. Kaboompics has a few restrictions about photo use, which you can see here.

What free image websites would you add to this list?

A version of this post first appeared on Knowledge Enthusiast.

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