No matter what industry you’re in, there is no doubt that engaging visual content is vital to running a successful modern business. Sourcing interesting, relevant photos can be both time-consuming and expensive though. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way! There is a world of Free Stock Photos to explore, with options to download Free Images for Blogs, Free Images for Commercial Use and Free Public Domain Images. Even better, our Best 3 Free Stock Photos Websites don’t have a typical, cheesy office photo in site! Instead, our favorite Free Stock Photos Websites all come with a range of authentic, interesting content ready to be used.
WHAT ARE FREE STOCK PHOTOS
CREATIVE COMMONS ZERO
The gold standard of Free Stock Photos and copyright is the Creative Commons Zero License. A Creative Commons license enables free distribution of what would usually be copyrighted work or property. Basically, owners and creators of photos uploaded under a Creative Commons license have waived their copyright to the full extent possible under international law. With this in mind, users are free to adapt and use the photos for commercial and personal purposes without crediting the photographer.
There are some caveats however. When using photos of identifiable people the rules become a little more complicated. Users cannot show people in a disgraceful light or imply that they have endorsed a product without permission. Also, any logos or trademarks included in images might require the user to seek out further permissions for commercial usage of the photos. These are especially important factors for users looking for Free Images for Commercial Use.
Our Best 3 Free Stock Photos Websites all operate more or less under the basis of a Creatives Commons license. As the most recognized title given to ‘free’ creative property, we recommend users always look out for Creative Commons-licensed work when sourcing Free Stock Photos. Whether you need Free Images for Blogs, Free Images for Commercial Use or Free Public Domain Images, it’s not worth risking the fines associated with broken copyright!
WHERE TO GET FREE STOCK PHOTOS
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photos for everyone
- 550,000+ free stock photos
- Specific ‘Unsplash License’, based on Creative Commons
- Easily searchable database
Unsplash is our current go to for stock images. In fact, we even found some of our 10 Best Photos of the Week on Unsplash! With over 550,000 high-resolution Free Stock Photos on offer, it’s likely Unsplash will have the photo for you. The collection of free images is easily searched using their handy keywords, or browse the handpicked favorites featured on the Unsplash home page.
Variety asides, we love Unsplash because of their interesting and authentic free stock photos. For example, if you type ‘office’ into the search bar, you’ll find much more than the standard stereotypical photos. Instead, users can find flat lays, office set ups, and genuine, natural business interactions between real people. This is ideal for users needing Free Images for Blogs and Free Images for Commercial Use, who want their graphics to feel natural and authentic.
The Unsplash license is a little different to the standard CC0 license, but it’s compiled on the same principles. Both allow users to use photos for free for commercial and non-commercial usage, without attribution. The only difference is that the Unsplash License doesn’t allow someone to download photos from Unsplash to recreate the Unsplash service. It also follows the same rules regarding the usage of faces, logos and trademarks in its images.
Photo by Lum3n from Pexels
Best free stock photos in one place
- Specific ‘Pexels License’, based on Creative Commons
- Easily searchable database
- Regular photography competitions
Pexels is a little different, in that it sources free content from other free stock photos websites who use a Common Creatives License, such as Pixabay and Gratisography. This means Pexels has an incredible database of free images ready to be searched! Like Unsplash, however, Pexels has created their own ‘Pexels License’ instead of applying the standard CC0 license. In the end, it follows the same format, meaning users can reuse any of the images they find on Pexels for commercial and noncommercial purposes.
An extra feature of Pexels that MisterLocation photographers might love is the Pexels Photo Challenges. Here, Pexels uploads a themed challenge for photographers complete with Prizes! This month’s challenge, for example, is a Travel & Adventure Photo Challenge.
Photo by Heibe from Pixabay
Stunning Free Images
- 5 million free stock photos, videos and graphics
- Released under the Creative Commons CC0
- Easily searchable database
With over 1.5 million royalty free stock photos on offer, Pixabay is the place to look when you really haven’t been able to find the right free stock photos for you. Pixabay offers so much more than just a selection of free stock photos though! They also have illustrations, vector graphics and videos that are free to use for commercial or noncommercial use. This is especially useful for users looking not just for free stock photos, but also for free images for blogs and free images for commercial use. All content on Pixabay is released under the Creative Commons license, meaning as long as you pay attention to logos and identifiable people, you can change and use Pixabay content as you wish!
A QUICK NOTE ON USING FREE STOCK PHOTOS
With so many beautiful free stock photos on offer, it can feel a little overwhelming choosing just one or two. Still, we recommend digging a little deeper than the first page to find the right image for you and your business. After all, there is something to be said for being different, and a free image doesn’t make it to the front page of a free stock photos website without having been used!
Finally, as MisterLocation is all for photographers and videographers, we’d love to encourage you to credit the photographer whenever possible! All of the free stock photos websites listed make it easy to give the photographer a credit. It’s a small action but it’s a great way to support our peers and our industry.
Planning on stepping up your photography game? Why not check out our article with the best online photography courses?
What about you? Do you use free stock photos regularly? Perhaps you often find yourself searching for free images for your blog or free images for commercial use! Tell us below what your choice for Best Free Stock Photos Website is!