Where to Find High-Quality Free Stock Photos
“Where can I find good free blog photos?” – It’s a common question for businesses with blogs and social media profiles.
While your own photos might work some of the time, it’s not always realistic to only use our own. Paid stock photography can get very expensive, especially when you’re blogging and posting consistently.
Stock photography has come a long way in the last few years. While it used to be expensive and teaming with cheesy smiles and poses, that’s just not the case anymore. Bloggers and business owners can find a ton of quality images online and even better – find them for free!
When using stock photos, whether they’re free or paid, it’s important to be aware of the rules. There are 2 simple rules that are most important for businesses.
Stock Photo Rules
Some photos that are available for free require attribution. This typically includes a caption giving credit to the photographer and a link to the website the photo was downloaded from. I’m all for giving photographers credit for their work, but this isn’t always ideal for photos used on website pages. Blog posts are the exception.
Some photos, again whether free or paid, are not eligible for commercial use. Each stock photography website handles this differently so I prefer to only use images that are ok to use for commercial use. Better to be safe than sorry.
Here’s a shortlist of the best websites for free blog photos. These websites offer quality, free photos that do not require attribution and are ok for commercial use.
Where to Find Free Blog Photos
Unsplash: You’ll find beautiful, high quality, high-resolution photos here. There used to be primarily landscapes and outdoor photos available here but now there’s plenty of variety. In fact, the photos used for many of our blog posts are from Unsplash. You can use the photos as you wish and don’t need to give attribution or link to the site.
Pexels: Another site we use frequently for our blog post photos. So easy and convenient, you’ll never want to pay for stock photography again! It’s easy to navigate and download a variety of photos. Attribution isn’t required and commercial use is ok.
Pixabay: Most of the photos are high quality but I also love that you can easily search for exactly what you’re looking for. Just like the other options above, you can use these photos for whatever you’d like and attribution is not required.
Burst: This stock website is from the folks at Shopify. This stock photo site is great for small businesses because many of the photos have a commerce feel. The photos are good quality and appropriate sizes for web use. No attribution is required.
I like “free” as much as anyone else, but sometimes you have to pay to get exactly what you want. In that case, there are several great options but I have found DepositPhotos* to have the best selection for the best prices.
Never Use Photos Without Permission
The one thing you should never, ever do is use photos you find in Google Images or in any similar photo search engine. These images belong to the websites that they’re already on. While the photo providers we mentioned here are giving people permission to use the photos on their website, permission has not been given for the photos found on Google. Using photos on your website without permission is theft. Don’t do it or you could end up getting a bill for using the photo without permission (and bad karma).
Happy blogging and good luck finding photos for your next posts!
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