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Stock images are in high demand 12 Best Sites to Get Royalty-Free Stock Photos 12 Best Sites to Get Royalty-Free Stock Photos Looking for royalty-free stock photos? We did some research and found the best websites with the greatest variety, quality, and freedom available. Read More these days, what with all the personal blogs and startup landing pages that make up such a large portion of the web. And while some stock sites are subscription-based, there are some out there that are royalty-free 12 Best Sites to Get Royalty-Free Stock Photos 12 Best Sites to Get Royalty-Free Stock Photos Looking for royalty-free stock photos? We did some research and found the best websites with the greatest variety, quality, and freedom available. Read More .

But free stock sites can have big flaws. Some of them have restrictive licenses that prevent you from making modifications, others don’t have good quality control so you really have to dig a while before you can find high-quality, high-resolution images.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get free stock images that are curated for quality and resolution? You can! Check out these following sites. You’ll never have to look anywhere else and you’ll never have to pay a cent again.

1. MorgueFile

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MorgueFile is home to thousands of free reference images. In terms of library size, it’s up there as one of the largest repositories on the web. The search engine could use improvements, but overall, MorgueFile is a great resource for general purpose images.

License: Custom. You are free to adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. You may not sell or redistribute images as is. You may not claim ownership of images. No attribution required.

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2. Pixabay

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Pixabay has some of the best stock images I’ve ever seen, even when compared to the handful of paid stock image sites I’ve used. And in addition to photos, you’ll also find illustrations and vector graphics. It’s a must-bookmark site — perhaps even better than MorgueFile.

License: CC0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

Note that you may see Shutterstock photos in some areas — these are sponsored and not free, so be careful that you aren’t deceived by them.

3. StockSnap

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StockSnap is an amazing repository, possibly even better than Pixabay because it has better image sorting filters. With hundreds of new photos added every week, StockSnap will never be stale. And did I mention the photos are absolutely gorgeous?

License: CC0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

4. Unsplash

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Unsplash adds 10 new photos every 10 days, and every image added is absolutely stunning. There’s no overall theme here, but the cool thing is that if you make anything using an image from Unsplash, they may feature you on the Made With Unsplash catalog.

License: CC0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

5. RaumRot

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Despite the strange name — it means “room red” in German — you’ll love this site if you hate how most stock sites have images that have that weird but distinctive “stock photo” look How Do Experts Take Stock Photographs That Sell? How Do Experts Take Stock Photographs That Sell? Shooting stock photos that can actually sell is a dream for many aspiring photographers. We ask a professional to give his tips. Read More to them. RaumRot aims to be the exact opposite of that: non-comformist and 100% free.

License: CC0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

6. Negative Space

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Negative Space is a great place to go if you want images that feel like traditional stock photos but aren’t as sterile and soulless. There are hundreds of selections across a dozen or so categories, and new images are added every week.

License: CC0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

7. Foodies Feed

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Foodies Feed is the premier spot for 100% free food photos. You’ll find everything from breakfast to desert, from beer to whisky, from bread to fish, and even interior shots of restaurants and eateries. Perfect for food blogs and food magazines.

License: Custom. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. You may not sell or redistribute images or sell them on other stock sites 12 Most Profitable Places to Sell Your Photos Online 12 Most Profitable Places to Sell Your Photos Online If you have photos that you want to sell, there are a number of websites that can help you. Here are 12 of the best. Read More . You may not claim ownership of images. No attribution required.

Note that you can get access to the Foodies Feed Dropbox folder for just $9, allowing you to easily download all 900+ images en masse.

8. SplitShire

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SplitShire is the work of a single photographer: Daniel Nanescu. His photos are sorted into a dozen categories, but you’ll rarely find two that are anything alike. Every image is unique and magazine-esque, and updates come at a rate of about one new image per day.

License: Custom. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

Note that you can download all of SplitShire’s photos as a single ZIP file for the very affordable price of $9.60.

9. Gratisography

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Gratisography is the work of a single photographer: Ryan McGuire. His shots have a very unique quality and polarizing style to them, meaning you’ll either love them or hate them without much middle ground. New images are added weekly.

License: Custom. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes, unless those purposes are pornographic, criminal, defamatory, or degrading. You may not sell or redistribute as stock photos. No attribution required but requested.

10. Life of Pix

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Life of Pix is a collection of works provided by the Advertising Agency in Montreal’s network of photographers. In the hundreds of photos available, most of them involve nature and cityscapes — a few are appropriate for business contexts, but most feel like “personal blog” material.

License: CC0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

11. IM Free

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IM Free is a curated collection of images sorted into a dozen different categories, but mainly useful for cityscape, nature, and people photos. As such, you’ll really love it if you’re involved with any kind of lifestyle magazine or blog. Otherwise, the pickings are slim.

License: CC-BY 2.0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. Attribution required.

12. Superfamous

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Superfamous is the work of a single photographer: Folkert Gorter. His photographs are nothing short of spectacular, mostly covering high-up landscape shots but not always. His style almost feels illustrated and abstract, perfect for magazines and posters.

License: CC-BY 3.0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. Attribution required.

13. FreeStocks

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FreeStocks is a small collection — only about one to two hundred photos in all — but they’re absolutely perfect for blogs, magazines, and even social media profile images. Very stylish and cozy.

License: CC0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required.

14. The Noun Project

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No photos here. Instead, The Noun Project is an initiative to create universal icons that can convey the concept of nouns without any language involved. They can come in handy when combined with photos from the aforementioned stock sites.

Images are available in PNG and SVG formats.

License: You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. No attribution required for CC0 images, attribution required for CC-BY 3.0 images.

15. Game Icons

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Like The Noun Project, Game Icons is a massive collection of abstract images that double as icons and avatars — except these are slightly more illustrative. Again, useful when combined with photos from the aforementioned stock sites.

Images are available in PNG and SVG formats. The site also has a built-in tool that lets you select any color for the icons at the time of download.

License: CC-BY 3.0. You are free to use and adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. Attribution required.

What Do You Use Stock Photos for?

Free high-resolution images are hard to come by, and when you do find them, they tend to be poorly composed, low quality, or otherwise boring. None of the sites above will disappoint in that regard. Never again will you need to pay for stock imagery.

Just to be safe, make sure you brush up on the Creative Commons license What Is Creative Commons, And Should You Use It? What Is Creative Commons, And Should You Use It? Creative Commons is a set of licenses which automatically give you permission to do various things, such as reuse and distribute the content. Let's find out more about it and how to use it. Read More that all of these sites use. Also, if these aren’t enough, supplement with these direct-to-email stock image services 5 Easy Ways To Grab Free High Resolution Stock Images With Your Email 5 Easy Ways To Grab Free High Resolution Stock Images With Your Email Finding a great photo isn't that hard. Using that perfect photo can also come without sweat and cost. The five sources here ease your hunt because you simply subscribe to them with an email. Read More . If you’re still unsatisfied, you may need to subscribe to a paid stock image site Shutterstock Labs: How to Find Perfect Stock Images and Videos Shutterstock Labs: How to Find Perfect Stock Images and Videos Shutterstock recently added several tools to help you find and edit the exact stock images and videos that you need. Here's our walkthrough of what to expect. Read More .

Now that you know where you can get amazing stock images for free, tell us what you’re going to use those images for. If you know of any other sites, drop us a comment down below!

  1. Bara Cross
    August 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Hi all,

    I run a similar project http://www.bara-art.com/. I share high quality photography for free. They are my photos, so I can assure you, that they are all high quality and attribution is not required (but very appreciated).

    I think that some of you can find it useful. Enjoy!

  2. rk
    May 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Good to know about sites other than shutterstock that I really don't like. Even when I searched for FREE images, their site showed up first (DB indexing) and I used to end up spending time looking at pics only to find out it was not free when it came to downloading.

    • Joel Lee
      May 27, 2016 at 1:33 am

      Yeah, Shutterstock images usually do show up on free stock image sites. Weird, huh? They're everywhere!

  3. Kelsey Tidwell
    May 7, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Excellent! Am I the only one who loses too much productive time just flipping through the pictures? :)

    Happy day!

    • Saikat Basu
      May 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Ha...ha. My sentiments exactly. I am even signed up to the "Death to the stock photo" newsletter bundle they send out.

    • Joel Lee
      May 13, 2016 at 11:41 pm

      No, you aren't the only one, Kelsey! I can easily get sucked into that myself. The same is true for wallpaper sites haha.

      • Kelsey Tidwell
        May 14, 2016 at 1:12 am

        Dang it...every time I think, "Hmmm, I believe I'll go find a new desktop background", I do this! I end up impulsively downloading 37 wallpapers because I guess I think they'll disappear or I'll never stumble across them again...after leaping down the rabbit hole and looking at scores of the things.

        Equivalent Android app phenomenon: Zedge :D

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