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copyright free imagesStock photography is all over the place on the Web. If you’re looking for an image of just about anything, you’re bound to find that professional, high-quality photo from various online distributors and agencies, like Getty Images, Corbis, iStockphoto, or Shutterstock.

However, the downside is that all those photos are going to cost you. It’s important to understand the term “royalty-free” (RF) for those websites. RF images are not in the public domain, nor are they free to use without purchasing a license.

Luckily, there are plenty of websites for copyright free images that won’t require you to dig into your pockets.  Here’s 5 of them.

Freerange

Once you register for a free membership at Freerange, thousands of high-resolution stock photos will be at your fingertips at no cost. All of the website’s images can be used for personal or commercial projects.

copyright free images

For photographers, Freerange also offers Google AdSense revenue sharing when you contribute. Check out this list The Top 8 Websites To Sell Your Stock Pictures The Top 8 Websites To Sell Your Stock Pictures Read More for more of the top websites to sell your stock photos.

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Stockvault

With over 13,000 free copyright free photos, Stockvault connects designers and photographers. The photo sharing website offers all of its images for absolutely free personal or non-commercial use.

stockvault

Check out more about Stockvault in MakeUseOf’s Directory.

FreeDigitalPhotos

FreeDigitalPhotos neatly organizes its thousands of photos into easy-to-find categories and sub-categories. Every image is available for free download but if you want a larger version or a high-resolution version, they’re priced at $5 and $10, respectively.

stock.xchng

SXC.hu has over 400,000 photos to choose from by more than 30,000 photographers. The website maintains that all images are free, but you must abide by its image license agreement.

Some of the site’s artists may also need to be notified about using some copyright free images, and in most cases, you’ll need to give credit to them.

Flickr

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, you may want to actually try Flickr. The popular image hosting website has millions of images from its users who have offered their work under a Creative Commons (CC) License 3 Tips For Getting More Out Of Creative Commons 3 Tips For Getting More Out Of Creative Commons Read More . All you have to do is simply pay close attention to the type of licenses each image falls under to use it appropriately.

Keep in mind that Flickr photos offered under the CC Attribution License requires you to give credit to the photographer.

Want more? MakeUseOf’s Directory of Apps Dir Dir Read More has got details on MorgueFile, yet another website database for free high-resolution digital stock photos. If you’re still having trouble looking, try out PicFindr, a stock photography search engine.

If you know of any other good sites for copyright free images, let us know in the comments.

  1. stockword
    September 2, 2016 at 7:16 am

    stockword.net
    100000 free "signs" images

  2. Hemantkumar
    August 15, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Hey John...!!
    Thanks for this awesome info, you have made it really easy to understand. I'm sure it will help out lots of people looking for free stock photos sites.

    Thank You :)

  3. Anna Phipps
    June 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Theres also Pixabay

  4. Giorgio
    November 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    ...and here is my "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike" photo site: http://fotodispalle.com

  5. Pablo Calvog
    November 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Great Post!! In http://bookgraphy.com/free-images you can download thousands of high quality free photos, available for personal and commercial use with model an property releases.

    • tony
      August 31, 2016 at 7:40 am

      This is not free

    • John
      September 1, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Tony!
      Please, check it again. ALL this images are FREE!! And are thousands!!
      Click on the images and you will see it.

  6. Sketch Jar
    September 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I am started a personal project called http://www.sketchjar.com using CC0 rules.

    • Mihir Patkar
      September 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

      This is actually really cool! Are you hand-picking the photos every day?

      But I don't see high-res versions of the photos. Since it's CC0, I assume there is no attribution needed for these?

    • Sketch Jar
      September 16, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Yes Mihir ..that is correct . Bit by bit we would like make it a big success :)

  7. Amine Belkapi
    August 2, 2015 at 1:56 am

    I use http://www.bitpine.com its fast and has tons of cc0 and public domain photos and designs

  8. freeimagebay
    May 4, 2015 at 11:49 am

    http://freeimagebay.com is a great place to find free images without copyright restrictions and no registration requirements. New images are added daily.

  9. John Deevy
    March 17, 2015 at 2:04 am

    For completely free photos for personal and commercial use with no attribution required check out http://www.upicm.com Great images and most are not available elsewhere.

  10. Tobias
    February 11, 2015 at 8:51 am

    http://creativecommons.photos is olso a great website for find creative commons photos. The images are licensed under Public Domain license, so they are free for use.

  11. ?ooper
    December 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Here are the most recent:

    d92240e2ef4fe7fe18c8b088639001393eb02082
    e236913c355cc3d5b772197f4e5b9630b53cb204
    0befca400b56b17c975369b60e39c95981f5e517

  12. ?ooper
    December 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Invitations to quickly understand. Here are the most recent:

    7646012a4f1eb853f5f6699b0b42f365e598fb00
    d7d9a53db659e7d8ffe0c4b27d100a1426d84c6d

  13. ?ooper
    December 10, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Free photostocks – it’s good. But they definitely lose paid. Shutterstock istokphoto and – apart from the competition. However, all this is expensive. But there is one site that helps all who wish to download at a substantial discount from pay photostocks. This site is called shopdiz.biz. Several times used the services of the site – everything honestly.However, registration on this site – only for an invite. Here are three free invitation:

    946fdb8b7a5ee846cf94ec455b4092ac45de0ae7
    d458147465c935cfcd423abf95630d722c53db05
    706326f64ca49aeca3ecd024eded80b7dbb7f98c

  14. Michael Garmahis
    January 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    My version of Top 10 Free Stock Photos Sites

  15. dissertation
    December 20, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Excellent web site the great work don keep it up

  16. Sacha
    December 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Number 6:
    other free quality photo on niffylux
    http://www.niffylux.com

  17. AllOurStock
    October 29, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Plug here, but I really think you’ll like this one. It’s a completely 100% free stock photo, design and vector website.

    Our site, allourstock.com is not spammy, it’s built around a nice, easy-to-use functional layout with easy drag-and-drop interface, and has a lot more planned for the future. Currently we have about 500 images but we have a database of over 7000 yet to be added and growing everyday. I personally shoot photos myself and create custom designs as well. All are available for person OR commercial use, most of which do not require attribution.

    check us out on twitter as well, http://www.twitter.com/AllOurStock

  18. G.A.L.E.S.L.
    September 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    (BTW the above and below comments are just about reuse permission, I haven't yet had time to check the quality and variety of the photos themselves)

    Some of the sites mentioned in the comments:

    Morguefile - NOT copyright-free actually, but a very permissive license, so I'm pretty sure I can use their stock. Allows commercial use, no crediting required. Looks like I might be using Freerange and Morguefile.

    Photovaco - minimal info on their site, basically just this from their front page:

    We provide free stock photos with high resolution for both personal and commercial projects. You can use our free photos in websites, video, TV production, forum, blogs, school projects and print medias including newspapers, magazine, books, CD covers. OK, let's say, you can download, edit and use all photos anywhere and anyhow you like except for abuse.

    Fotolia - as original poster said, you have to pay. Yes, the prices are probably reasonable for many people, but I would have to pay out of my own pocket, which rules it out for me.

  19. G.A.L.E.S.L.
    September 10, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I create online exercises for use through an LMS, for a private university that charges tuition. So I appreciate sites with photos that allow commercial use, and thanks for these links.

    Some comments upon further investigation of these sites.

    Freerange - NOT copyright-free actually, but a very permissive license, so I'm pretty sure I can use their stock. From their license page:

    License Summary: You can do nearly anything with the images, commercial or not. Just don't redistribute them - this means don't host the images or repackage them, just post a link and let others download them, just as you did.

    {i.e. you can't make your own clone of freerange, imo}

    Stockvault - NOT copyright-free actually, CC BY-NC-SA license. Poison for my situation: no commercial use (e.g. private university that charges tuition), viral Share Alike clause.

    Freedigitalphotos - NOT copyright-free actually, but a fairly permissive license, so I can use their stock if I provide a credit and hyperlink to their website.

    Stock.xchng - NOT copyright-free actually, but with somewhat permissive licenses. I've used their stuff before, thinking all I had to do was credit Stock.xchng. But upon further research it seems a little more complicated than that. First, photos are covered by a variety of restrictions; most of them are "Standard restrictions", which are the ones I used. But some have more restrictions: be careful.
    Secondly, the usage summary seems to indicate I have to credit each individual artist (not the site) AND notify them too. That would a *real* pain for me.

    Flickr CC content - NOT copyright-free actually, but with a variety of Creative Commons licenses. Of the 5 licenses there, the ony one I'm sure I can use is the CC Attribution License (BY). And that requires me to credit each individual artist per their requirements. A pain.

    In short, none of these sites are offering truly copyright-free photos (i.e. public domain). But they all offer copyrighted photos with a license allowing some re-use if you comply with certain conditions.
    For me, the "free-est" is Freerange (commercial use, no crediting required) and I think I'll be using it in future.
    Next comes Freedigitalphoto, which requires a credit & link just to the site.
    Flickr & stock.xchng offer some possibilities but frankly the requirement to credit each individual artist (or even notify them!) means I won't bother.
    And Stockvault is out of the question for me: not only no commerical use, but also the viral "Share Alike" factor that means the exercises I make that include such a photo also become CC BY-NC-SA. My employers would not be happy with that!

    Please note I'm not an expert, so my understanding may be wrong. And please note that I have specific needs; yours may differ, so a license that's bad for me might be good for you.

  20. Saw Htoo
    August 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    For free photos, check out

    http://www.photovaco.com

    All photos are high resolution and absolutely free to use for both personal and commercial projects.

  21. Online Cash
    July 30, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Its a great collection of lovely photographs available online. I always look for some useful photos for my website, now you made my task easier by providing these websites.

  22. Yvette Francino
    July 29, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Great list! I've been looking for this! Thanks!

  23. UPrinting
    July 29, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Cool! Thanks for sharing these sites. After all, no one wants to be accused of being a photo thief... if there's such thing!
    Have you heard of http://www.sxc.hu?

  24. Tim Lenahan
    July 29, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Is Morguefile.com down for the count?

  25. Andy Commons
    July 27, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I enjoy http://www.fotolia.com. Not free, but $1 - $3 for photos I can legally use in my websites.

    • Aristarkhos
      July 29, 2009 at 5:47 am

      I agree with Andy. Fotolia suits those who are willing to pay a very nominal amount for their images. Legal and economical. The image gallery is very good too.

  26. Tim Lenahan
    July 27, 2009 at 8:56 am

    OOPs, seems Morguefile's down! "morgueFile is experiencing technical difficulties, we are working on the problem." - straight from the site!

  27. Keith Kmett
    July 27, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I second Morguefile.com for great high-res shots!

  28. Tim Lenahan
    July 27, 2009 at 6:24 am

    How 'bouts Morguefile.com?

  29. Lee
    July 27, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Nice sharing. Great post. You can share your article at: ArticlePinger.com to gain more views.

  30. Tristan Bethe
    July 27, 2009 at 2:53 am

    You might want to check out imageafter.com as well. Free for use in commercial projects

  31. Patrick Braga
    July 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    EveryStockPhoto.com is also a great free resource for stock photos.

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