A woman photographer wearing a blue sleeveless dress takes a photograph for a free stock photography website.
Calendar   12 July, 2024 //

15 FREE stock photography websites for high quality images

Darren Fisher, Creative Director at Pivale Drupal agency - a bearded man with dark hair and glasses.

Written by

Darren Fisher

Creative Director

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Looking for free stock photography websites? There's a stigma around stock photography but sometimes you just need to purchase some stock photography that does the trick. And sometimes you can't really afford to purchase images or there's no business value in doing so. Perhaps like us you write a lot of blog content and want to keep your writing visually appealing without taking out a loan to pay for all that photography?

Well fret not because as the internet matures, more and more people are realising the value of open source, creative commons, and free stock photography websites to source high quality images for their content, so I thought I'd go on an adventure to find 15 free stock photography websites that offer up FREE, creative commons or open source stock photography for all of us to benefit from.

So without further hesitation let's get in to it!

Pexels screenshot.

1. Pexels

Pexels also "collects" stock photography from other free stock photography websites but also has its own photographers that contribute to the website. What sets Pexels apart from other free stock photography websites is the quality of the images. They appear to only feature the highest quality images that are available for free in my opinion Pexels has risen through the ranks over the last five years and become the king of free stock photography websites.

Pixabay screenshot.

2. Pixabay

There was a time where Pixabay was my go to website among all other free stock photography websites. Since then Pexels have taken that crown but I've got absolutely no qualms in saying this is absolutely my favourite website when I'm looking for free stock illustrations, vector files and free stock video files. Pixabay's main strength is the guaranteed CC0 license that just provides the peace of mind that whatever you find is truly free and doesn't require attribution. However, I strongly encourage attribution to photographers for their hard work!

Unsplash screenshot.

3. Unsplash

Unsplash is another site which is jam packed with what they call: "Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution stock photos". The interface is dead simple and you could easily kill several hours knocking around the "collections" area of the site.

Adobe Stock FREE website screenshot.

4. Adobe Stock FREE

In 2020 Adobe made a drastic decision to make more than 70,000 stock photos and other assets such as illustrations and videos free for personal and business use. The collection is incredible and definitely one of the best resources for people looking for super high quality FREE stock photography to use on their websites or in their content.

Pikwizard website screenshot.

5. Pikwizard

Pikwizard is a library of thousands of high quality free stock images. Images are licensed individually under either creative commons zero (CC0) or a slightly more complicated license which still allows you rights to use the image for free, but the author retains the copyright. This shouldn't make any difference to you in reality but it's worth paying attention to the full license agreement which can be found on the Pikwizard website.

Libre Stock screenshot.

6. LibreStock

LibreStock is another stock photography websites search engine which boasts the ability to be able to search the best 47 free stock photo websites in one place! This is a great place to go if you need to search for something quite specific as you'll have more chance of finding that perfect stock photo.

Gratisography screenshot.

7. Gratisography

Gratisography is a stock photography website which provides free high-resolution stock photos you can use on your personal and commercial projects.

All pictures are by photographer Ryan McGuire and free of copyright restrictions. What's more? Well Ryan promises new awesome stock photos will be added weekly! What's not to love?!

Freerange Stock screenshot.

8. Freerange Stock

Freerange Stock describe themselves as: "Good photos. Totally free." The model is simple: Freerange Stock provide the platform, photographers provide the photography and the ad revenue from the site gets shared. This means that you get free photography whilst the photographers still get paid!

Negative Space screenshot.

9. Negative Space

Negative Space is another CC0 images only website. What truly sets Negative Space apart though is the search capabilities. Browse by category, keyword, colour and copy space position. Now that's some serious search power if you're looking for that perfect stock photo to add copy to.

New Old Stock screenshot.

10. New Old Stock

Recapture history. New Old Stock source vintage photography from public archives which are free of known copyright restrictions. Working on a project that needs a vintage stock photo? This is definitely the place to go.

Burst shopify stock website screenshot.

11. Burst (Shopify Stock)

Burst is a free stock photography and royalty free images website that has been acquired by Shopify and it features lots of ecommerce focused images which can be freely used without attribution provided you're not a stock photography provider yourself! The license is a "some rights reserved" license which is very permissive but encourages attribution if possible.

SplitShire screenshot.

12. SplitShire

SplitShire has a fantastic collection of free stock photos for commercial use and some great tools to discover and browse them as well. The whole website is slick and enjoyable to use. Anything else that's good about it? Sure. How about free stock video as well. You're welcome!

Stock Snap screenshot.

13. StockSnap.io

Another massive collection of high-res CC0 stock images with some great sort and filter options.

Stockvault screenshot.

14. Stockvault

Another user to user free stock photo website which boasts new photos, textures and illustrations every day.

Morguefile screenshot.

15. Morguefile

Morguefile is a website whose positioning statement is: "free images for creatives, by creatives" and what could be simpler than that? This open source mentality is akin to how Drupal developers work so we love the ethos. There are over 350,000 free stock photos available for commercial use. Sounds good doesn't it!

Go forth an spread imagery

I hope you find these free stock photography websites useful. It has certainly aided us to document them in one place so that we can come back to it again and again!

Darren Fisher, Creative Director at Pivale Drupal agency - a bearded man with dark hair and glasses.

Written by

Darren Fisher

Creative Director

Darren is our creative director, responsible for our design and frontend development team as well as managing the majority of our website and multisite builds. Darren is a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts, achieving a bachelor's degree in Digital Screen Arts.

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The Pivale team from left to right - Pri Scarabelli, Julie Manning, Barry Fisher, Darren Fisher, and Daniel Johnson.

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