The 27 Best Free Stock Photo Sites in 2018!
Images and visuals are significant assets for teachers, aiding students to comprehend with ease. However, getting high-quality images for commercial or public resources (like e-learning courses) for free should not be a painful struggle. That’s why Amoss Struck is here to help TWA with this year’s best stock photo sites and how to safely use internet images so your students can make the best out of your classes, online and offline. Moreover, you can also check out Courtney Seiter’s write up “Finding Fabulous Free Images: Updated” to add more sources to your toolbelt.
Want free photos? Need free photos? Love free photos? Come and join us as we go through this megalith of a list of the best free stock photo sites dotted around the web plus a comprehensive guide for using free stock photos safely!
This is not your average free photo sites list. Oh, no. This is the very best and most awesome free stock photo sites list EVER. Because we thought of everything that matters in free stock photos sites… and that is not just how nice the images are!
Our team put free photo sites under the microscope, analyzing the image quality, the licensing type, the background and the legal safety of each of them to pick only the ones worthy of our recommendation. But first, we address some very important matters about free stock photo websites, licensing terms and more.
Wanna jump right on to the list? Go ahead! But don't forget to come back and have a good read at our guide to use free stock photos safely!
Free Stock Photo Websites and The Catch You Must Know About
As the expression goes, nothing beats free. This is as true for stock photography sites as it is for any other case. Website designers, graphic designers, marketing creatives, bloggers, visual artists, business owners, non-profit organizations… when they (and you) need high-resolution images but can't pay for them, it's only logical to try and get them for free. Even when you can afford paid royalty-free stock photos, it's hard to resist a free deal. But the truth is the ways to get yourself some cool pictures without paying are more dangerous than you imagine, legally-wise, especially if you're intending to use them in commercial endeavors.
Say No To Google-Found Photos
When looking for free photos online, the common man’s first thought would be a Google search. Mistake! Google is merely an aggregator that displays images available on the web, they do not own the copyright of any of them so they are in no power to grant you their use. Moreover, when you run a Google image search most of the first results are paid ads by pro stock photography sites, or otherwise photos under licenses forbidding free use. So this quick and dirty method for free photos can lead to all sorts of problems down the line, including possible litigation. You can read more about the tragedies that can occur in our article explaining 5 dangers of using Google Images without permission.
The Unsuspected Catch in Free Photo Download Websites
There are those that know that if it sounds too good to be true it normally is, and will resort to the first free stock photo download site that pops up on their screen. These are apparently harmless, as photos are licensed and everything in them screams they're good to use.
And that's the catch: appearance is one thing, the reality is another. Free photos from dedicated sites are indeed waived for free usage under a form of Creative Commons, Public Domain or similar license. But that is not enough to make them safe to use in commercial work. If no one checks the images' legal background and there's any irregularity… then guess what: you'll be in trouble just as if you had right-click downloaded a photo from Google images.
What is a Creative Commons License
Most websites offering free Royalty-Free stock photos work with Creative Commons (commonly represented by its stands, CC), a non-profit organization that developed various licensing agreements for intellectual property that allow artists –including photographers and graphic designers– to make their work available for others to use, free of charge, but with regulations.
STOCK PHOTO SECRETS TO THE RESCUE
That got us all thinking: does this mean all of you who cannot afford paid –yet very economic– stock photos right now are left with risky and risky as your only available options? Just how many good free sites are out there on the internet? After a bit of debate and a rallying of the troops, we went on the hunt for the safest free stock photo sites that work for not only personal use but that all-important commercial market too.
The following are our pick of 27 websites where you can find high quality, royalty-free, free stock photos that are relatively safe to use in commercial work. These photos would look great in website designs, banners, adverts, social media posts, blog posts, publications and various projects for non-commercial purposes!
Most of them feed new photos into their libraries constantly, so you likely won't be short of new images to complete your designs.
One quick note before we start:
We are not saying these sites have 100% risk-free images. What we say is theirs are safer than the rest. Be it due to better policing, known copyright owners, review processes or serious business backgrounds, the following offers in free images have a higher trust degree, and that's why we chose them.
Now that's cleared, dive into our massive list of the best free stock photo sites!
Stock Photo Secrets is a leading digital magazine dedicated to the stock photography industry. Working closely with stock photography agencies and related industry companies, it’s a hugely valuable resource for stock photo buyers that provides savings, free images, market insights, technical tips, licensing and legal explanations and overall industry clarification, all in one place.