I’ve decided to put together a list of websites with free royalty-free images for commercial use. Simply, because I often get questions along the lines of, “where is the best place to get free images for websites?”.
Let’s face it, the easiest way to get hold of images is just to do an image search in Google. Free images, highly relevant, quick and easy, no problem… …right?
You aren’t allowed to use images from other websites without permission from the owner. And if you do it anyway, you risk all kinds of legal issues down the road (Google have faced several lawsuits just for displaying thumbnails in their search results).
The way to go instead is to use royalty-free photos for commercial use. And if you don’t mind spending about a dollar per image, iStock Photo is a great place to get them.
But if you need a lot of images (for a blog for instance) and don’t want to spend a small fortune on them. Then just use one of the sites below.
Free Royalty-Free Pictures For Commercial Use
Enough talk, here is the list of my top 10 favorite sites to get images from.
The first site on the list is one of the best known resources for good reasons. stock.xchng have lots of high quality stock photos, free download, and they usually don’t require link attribution.
On to a very popular resource among bloggers. flickr is an image sharing site that anyone can sign up to for free and use to share their pictures with family, friends, and whoever else is interested.
And that means you have access to them too. Just be aware that they have different licenses and not all images are free to use. The easiest thing to do is simply to search for images under the attribution license only (just use the link below and you’re good to go). That means you are free to use and alter the images as long as you link back to where you found it on flickr.
All in all a great place to find free images for blogs.
A little known gem. Iconfinder is a search engine with free icons for websites. Just search for whatever you need and make sure to change the license filter in the upper right corner to “Allowed for commercial use”.
You’ll find that the icons can be a little small if you want to use them as images on blog posts, but you can search for bigger icons by adjusting the size of icons shown to the left of the license filter.
Perhaps the ultimate stock photo search engine. When you search for images on everystockphoto, you are practically searching several sites with free and royalty free images at the same time (including a few of the sites on this list). And as I’m typing this up, they have close to 18,000,000 images to choose from!
The only downside is that you’ll have to read up on the license for each image since they have different rules on the different sites.
Remember the clip-arts from Microsoft Office? They are now available along with photos and animations on the Microsoft Office website.
Not just another site with free images to download. freepixels stands out with high quality and very professional looking images.
Easily organize images for a larger project with their lightbox feature. Kozzi offer both photos, clip art and video.
Free high resolution images. imagebase offer images with 1600 x 1200 pixels and 3072 x 2048 pixels resolution.
Another great source of free pictures to use for your next commercial project. Just make sure you read the license agreement of the image you are interested in using.
Need free images for redistribution? Look no further. Image*After also allow you to edit the images and use them however you want.
Update: A couple of readers wanted me to add their favorite sites to the list, so here they are:
There you have it, 10 + 2 sites with completely free royalty-free images for commercial use.
P.S. Now that I’ve showed you how to avoid ever having to pay for images or worry about related legal issues again, please take a moment to share this post with your friends – I’m sure they would like to know as well
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