Top 45 Sites That Offer High Quality Free Images for Commercial Use

A picture is worth a thousand words. We all want our own beautiful website to be filled with high quality images. Yet, not all of us have the time to take our own photos or the budget to pay for each image we use.

Fortunately, there are now many photo websites offering free images. You heard it right. FREE photos. Regardless of your purpose, whether it is to create a commercial website, or to execute a content marketing strategy, these photos are free for you to copy, edit and use.

What you should know before using free images online

Before you hurry down to the list, let me run you through the important terms and information you should know before using any free image you find online.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization devoted to expand and share creative works through legal means. It enables free distribution of otherwise copyrighted “work” by releasing several Creative Commons licenses. These licenses vary in terms of its freedom or limitation on purpose of use, modification allowed, attribution requirement, or other terms stated.

Understanding the license of the ‘free’ images online

When you find a free image to use, it is important to know what license it is registered under. Ideally, you would want to use images registered under the Creative Common Zero (CC0 1.0) license. Images under this license waive all rights under copyright law and allow users to copy, modify and distribute for all purposes.

Some other free photos websites may operate under other Common Creative licenses such as the CC BY-SA 2.0 license which allow the same as CC0 but require attribution.

What are the terms in Creative Common Zero (CC0) License?

Images or other creative works registered under Creative Common Zero CC0 license are:

  • Free to use for both personal and commercial use
  • Free to modify
  • Free to re-distribute
  • No attribution required (but always appreciated)

What is public domain?

In the public domain, you find images or other creative works with copyrights that have either expired, forfeited, or non-applicable in the first place. In most cases, they are free to use for all purposes.

What is royalty free?

Many users make the mistake of misunderstand royalty free images as free-of-charge images. It is not necessarily the case. In most cases, the user is required to pay a one time fee for an image under the royalty free license for it’s unlimited use in all places. The “free” in royalty free does not refer to the cost, but the freedom of using the image freely without paying any additional royalties.

Top 45 sites offering free images for commercial use

Let’s get started! To save your time finding the right image you require, I have listed down the top 45 sites that offer free high resolution images for commercial and personal use, as well as your usage rights.

Note: Terms may change over time so it is highly recommended that you affirm each image’s license before using them.

1. Unsplash

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero (see license)

2. Pixabay

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

3. Free Images

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero, allowing free use for most purposes, but with some restricted use (see license)

4. Pexels

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero (see license)

5. Burst (by Shopify)

License: Creative Common Zero or Licensed Photos, Both free for personal and commercial uses (see license)

What’s more? They even teach you how to start a business online!

6. Life of Pix

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? New photos added weekly!

7. Gratisography

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? The site to go for if you are looking for quirky pictures!

8. Foodie’s Feed

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? The site to go for if you are looking for food photos!

9. Realistic Shots

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? 7 new photos added weekly!

10. MMT

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? New photos and videos every week!

11. PicJumbo

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero (terms indicated at the bottom of homepage)

12. Free Nature Stock

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? Update daily! The site to go for if you are looking for nature photos!

13. Cupcake

License: Creative Common Zero (license indicated at homepage)

14. Picography

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

15. StockSnap

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? New images added weekly!

16. Kaboompics

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero, but the restriction of redistributing its photos (see license)

17. Startup Stock Photos

License: Creative Common Zero (license can be seen at the bottom of homepage)

18. Travel Coffee Book

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

19. Negative Space

License: Creative Commons Zero (indicated at homepage)

20. Jay Mantri

License: Creative Common Zero (license indicated on homepage)

21. Snapwire Snaps

License: Creative Common Zero (see below each image for it’s licence)
What’s more? 7 new photos added weekly!

22. Morguefile

License: Free for commercial use (indicated at homepage)

23. Styled Stock

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero (see license)

What’s more? The site to go for if you are a female entrepreneur!

24. Epicantus

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

25. Skitterphoto

License: All public domain images

26. ISO Republic

License: Creative Common Zero (see license)

27. Free-Images

License: Public Domain or Creative Common Zero (license indicated on homepage)

28. Public Domain Archive

License: All public domain images

29. Splitshire

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero, allowing the use of photos for broad purposes (see license)

30. New Old Stock

License: Free of known copyright restrictions (indicated at homepage)

31. Freestock.org

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero (terms indicated at homepage)

32. Reshot

License: Own license with similar terms to Creative Common Zero (see license)

33. Good Free Photos

License: Public Domain or Creative Common Zero (license indicated at homepage)

34. Magdeleine

License: Creative Common Zero or Attribution Required (each image is marked with it’s license)

What’s more? Images are categorized based on their license for your convenience!

35. PikWizard

License: Free for commercial use (indicated at homepage)

36. Libreshot

License: Creative Commons Public Domain (see license)

37. Public Domain Vectors

License: Creative Commons Zero (indicated at homepage)

What’s more? The site to go for if you are looking for vector images!

38. British Library

License: Public Domain

What’s more? The site to go for if you are looking for vintage images from the 17th, 18th and 19th century!

39. Jeshoots

License: Creative Commons Zero (see license)

40. SpaceX

License: Public Domain (see license)

What’s more? The site to go for if you are looking for photos out of space!

41. Rawpixel

It is an online resource with one of the most diverse collections of stock photos.

License: Free, Royalty Free or Public Domain

42. IM Free

License: Most free for commercial use, attribution may be required (different terms indicated on each photo)

What’s more? Not only do they have photos, they also offer icons, templates and button maker for free!

43. FancyCrave

License: Creative Commons, attribution is required (see license)

44. Superfamous

License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (indicated at homepage)

45. The Jopwell Collection (by Jopwell)

License: Creative Commons Attribution, meaning the images are free to copy and distribute as long as attribution to “Jopwell” is provided. (see license)

 

About Digital M Singapore

Digital M is a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Read more about Digital M’s SEO services.

Top 45 Sites That Offer High Quality Free Images for Commercial Use
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2019-07-17T09:53:49+08:00

About the Author:

Kalina is a marketing executive of Digital M. With a degree in Psychology and experience in running her own restaurant, she understands the importance of marketing in business success. Having mastered consumer psychology, she has helped numerous SME with their marketing campaigns and increasing their sales and traffic leads.
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