Tired of settling for cheesy stock photos to use for your social media posts? If you know where to look, the internet is a treasure trove of professionally-taken photos that you can use for free.
Fortunately for you, we’ve done the heavy lifting and compiled a list of six of our favorite free stock image sites!
1. Adobe Stock Free Collection
Adobe’s collection features images with very permissive license terms, giving you peace of mind to use them as you please.
The interface is also very intuitive, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. The coolest feature here is that you can upload an image you like and the site will search for a similar photo.
With over 70,000 free assets available, the collection is by no means small. However, it is still somewhat limited compared to some of the other available options.
Adobe Stock Free Collection is a great option to use, as its collection also includes templates, vectors, and backgrounds. Best of all, photographers and other artists are paid for their contributions.
Pikwizard stands out for its selection of artistic, non-cheesy images of people. This elevated aesthetic runs through most of the site, having particularly impressive cityscape and abstract collections as well.
Pikwizard also has a useful editing tool called “Design Wizard,” which makes it easy to do quick photo edits on-site without having to use an external application.
The assets here are under two licenses, CC0 and free licensing. A CC0 license means the copyright has been completely waived while free licensing means that users can do as they please, but the artist still retains the copyright.
For most purposes, these licenses are exactly the same, but there are some subtle differences in specific situations. These differences may add an extra step later on as you’ll need to double-check if the image you’re interested in is allowed to be used for your purposes.
With over 1 million assets to use for free, Pikwizard is one of the best resources out there for high-quality stock images, especially if what you need involves people.
Unsplash offers artistic, high-resolution images of excellent quality.
The site also has a nice community feel to it, featuring curated photo collections organized into creative themes such as “Festive with Blank Space” and “Insert Coin[s]”. You can also follow the portfolio pages of photographers you really like.
All images are under Unplash’s own license, which allows you to use the assets in any way you please, except to create a competing website.
Photographers aren’t paid for their contributions.
Unsplash is without a doubt one of the best free image resources out there. The pictures that the site maintains are so tasteful that you wouldn’t believe they’re stock photos.
With over 2 million assets that include images, videos, vectors, illustrations, and even music, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for on Pixabay. For such a large collection, the site makes sure that browsing isn’t too difficult by offering sleek functionality and intuitive search functions.
As the site has such a large collection, the quality of images can sometimes be hit or miss.
If volume of choices is the name of the game, you won’t find another resource that can compete with the size of Pixabay’s collection, which it claims is the largest online.
5. Life of Pix
Most of the photos on Life of Pix come from real photographers. This makes the site’s collection unique, creative, and of particularly high quality. Each image is also individually reviewed by the site, giving their selections a curated feel.
We’re just nitpicking here, but the heavily-artistic theme of the site makes it difficult to find more run-of-the-mill images.
If you want stellar, imaginative images to go with your content, look no further than Life of Pix.
There’s no other site like Gratisography. Its collection of images leave quite the impression, as they’re unique and quirky with a surrealist touch. The site is also enjoyable to browse through with its social media-perfect photos and fun-loving vibe.
Gratisography assigns all of its pictures under its own free license. This allows you to do whatever you please with the images.
All assets are created and uploaded by a single person. This means that the selection is very small, coming in at just under 1000 images.
Gratisography definitely has a niche feel to it, so it may not be exactly what you’re looking for. However, if you want to add a unique, personal touch to your content, you can find types of images here that you wouldn’t be able to anywhere else.