It’s tempting, isn’t it? You’ve written a brilliant blog post or created an awesome Facebook Ads campaign and you need an image.
So, you head to Google Images, conduct a quick search and grab the best one you can find.
But who owns that image? Sure, you may never hear a peep from them, but if you’ve inadvertently stolen an image of a tractor owned by John Deere and they have an eagle-eyed branding person on the prowl, you could land yourself in hot water.
You don’t have to do this. There are some awesome options for completely royalty-free and copyright-free images which are… free. Here are 8 of the best.
Originally started as a side project by a (smart) creative agency, Unsplash is now one of the most popular free image sites on the internet.
That’s for good reason – the range of photography on there is stunning and has earned it plenty of integrations on other services.
Pikiwizard claims to have over one million free stock images and videos, and although I haven’t counted them, that appears to ring true.
They’ve got a really useful tagging option, too, along with a nice range of categories.
An old favourite among many creatives, Pixabay gathers a huge range of free stock images.
It can be a little hit and miss and the quality is sometimes lower than the others on this list, but it has a deep enough library for you to find most subjects.
I’m not sure why, but I view Pexels as a slightly higher quality version of Pixabay.
This is because it just feels that way. The image results are devoid of cartoons and some of the clip art-like imagery you find on other free services. A great option.
You need to sign up for a (free) membership, but once you’ve done that, you can browse thousands of totally free images on Freerange.
There’s a great selection on here, and if you’re into a bit of photography you can actually earn a share of their AdSense revenue when you contribute.
Flickr isn’t really designed for free public domain images, but it does contain an extensive collection of images which are free to use.
Just use the handy filter section in the search tool to find photos which don’t require any form of attribution.
“Usually whimsy” is one of the taglines for Gratisography, and it’s not hard to see why when you start browsing its extensive library.
If you want something a little different, Gratisography provides quirky photos which are great for blog posts or marketing campaigns where you really want to grab people’s attention (i.e. every marketing campaign).
This is one of the best options on this list for totally unique, free imagery.
The photos that enter the site are vetted by humans which means you only get the best. Definitely worth adding for those times when you simply can’t find what you need anywhere else.
Most of the above websites provide CC0 images, which basically means you don’t need to mention the artist when using them, but it never hurts to do so. We’re all in this together, right?