Find Totally Free Photos, Pictures and Clipart: List of Over 60 Sites, Rated


It can be frustrating finding the perfect picture to use for your website, article or blog. You're tempted just to search google images and take what you find there. But, beware!! Most images you'll find just doing a web search have a copyright, and you CAN'T USE THEM! You may say, well what are the chances the photographer or artist is going to see it on my website? Well, in case you didn't know, there are programs now where you can scan a picture (to check your own photo, for example, if you're a photographer) and then do a check on the internet to see if it is being used anywhere. If an artist finds you using their copy protected work without permission, they can sue you, and more and more are doing so. The fines can be well over $1000 per use, so let's not go there.

Better to be safe than sorry, so you want to find a royalty free picture to use that is free to download. Note that "royalty free" is not the same as free! That just means that you don't have to pay to use it multiple times or over a period of time. But, never fear! There are dozens of sites where you can find royalty free pics that you can download for free to use for personal or commercial purposes!! In my travels around the net, I have come across over 50 such sites, and here I will share them with you.

When visiting these free photos sites, be aware that most of them host another photos site or two that DOES require payment for their pictures. It is a way for the site to make some money by featuring the paying site's photos along with their own. This means that there will often be a row of pictures above or below the free photos (or both) that are NOT free, but will send you to a for profit site when you click on their photo. You have to look at your page carefully to determine which photos are from the free site.

Understand that you cannot use a photo of a non-celebrity person whose face is clearly visible without a model release. On some of these sites, it will have a model release button next to the photo of a person, so you can check to make sure there is one. If not, read the terms of use of the site carefully to see what their policy is on using photos of people. You don't want someone coming after you for using a photo of them without proper permission!

Also, watch out for pictures with logos or identifiable companies in them. Even a photo with a Coke can could cause an issue. Try to avoid using photos that represent companies, such as a photo of a brand name running shoe, for example, or the store front of a business where you can see the sign, etc. These names and logos are copyrighted and you should not use them without permission.

by Melody Romancito
by Melody Romancito | Source

Once you find your picture, check the terms of use!!! Sometimes you're required to credit the artist, or link back to the site where you found it. If you do not comply with the terms of use, you're on shakey ground!! Again, it is no longer a problem to search the web and find pictures that are being used illegally, so take a moment to check if you're required to credit the artist or link back to the site. Sometimes it is acceptable to put the link on your links page (if using on a website), but other times they will require you to put it under the photo. For us on HubPages, this is easy to do. You can simply put the site's name in the top field (name of source) when you upload your photo, and for the link back, you simply add the url to the site in the "source url" field. For the artist's name, you put "by soandso" in the Caption field.

All the photos I am using on this article are from the sources given here. I will credit photographer (when possible) and site, for illustration. You can see what cool photos you can find for free!

One little tip:

When I download a photo to my computer, I usually change the name of the photo to whatever I want it to be. When I do that, I also add a little code to the end of the photo title. For example, if it comes from stockxchng I'll put stx at the end of the name. If it's from morguefile, I'll put mf, etc. That way, if you are ever questioned on a photo that you've used, you will know where you got it.


I will list all of the photo sites that I am aware of where you can download and use the photos, free of charge. I will state under the link if you have to cite the artist or website, but still check, as they may change the rules in the future. I will also rate each site on quantity of photos and ease of use. The factors going into the ease of use score will be searchability and ease of download. Both ratings will be 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. (this is just meant to be a rough guide, my opinions are subjecetive!) If you visit these sites and find that the link doesn't work, or the information I've given is in error or has changed, please let me know so I can fix it. I want this list to be useful to hubbers and anyone else who uses it.

Remember, you are responsible to check for yourself that the art is free to download and use, as I could have overlooked something, or the rules can change. This happened to one site I had used in the past ( where the photos were free. Then the owner decided to put banners in the corner of every photo, and you have to pay to get them without the mark now. (nice photos there, if you don't mind the water mark, though)

Hopefully this list will enable you to find the perfect picture for your hub, website or project without getting into any trouble! If you know of or come across a good site not listed here with free, royalty-free photos, let me know and I will add it in!

Here goes!!

by Mijhai Doarna
by Mijhai Doarna | Source
by Petr Kratochvil
by Petr Kratochvil | Source
by hotblack
by hotblack | Source

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Comments Appreciated! 49 comments

kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 4 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Wow, this is absolutely helpful! I am always on the lookout for free, quality pics to spice up my hubs. I personally use only Free Digital Photos and Flickr (those marked with CC license) and here you are suggesting so many more sites. Thank you! Have to vote your hub up and useful! Bookmarking it as well :)

Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

This is so useful. It would have taken me years to come up with this information. However I do have one question. You said "non-celebrity person", does this mean that we are able to use pictures of celebrities? I have no idea? Voted you up and pushed all the good buttons! :)

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

Ohhh, very useful hub you've created here. Wonderful resources to share with us. Thanks so much!

Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

Have been using your advice thank you so much... Truly a hub saver!

Sparrowlet profile image

Sparrowlet 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Angela - Celebrities give up some of their rights when it comes to photography by being celebrities! People are free to take their photos in public places and distribute them without their permission. However, the photos themselves are subject to the same rules as other photos, as far as I know. If the photo is the copyright of someone else, you need permission to use it. However, I have noticed that there are usually quite a few photos of celebrities that are in the public domain. Wikimedia commons is a good place to look for celebrity pics you can use.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 4 years ago from Brazil

You've delivered the goods! Often I am lured into a hub by the promise of something I have been searching for for a long while, only to be disappointed. This is not the case here, I am happy to say. What an extensive, well put together collection of helpful photo sites. Voted up, useful, shared and bookmarked for future use.

Thank you

Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

Hey, this is really packed with great info! I am bookmarking for use in the future and sharing this. Voted up and useful.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

An interestingly awesome and useful list of sites for finding photos that can be used freely. I have bookmarked it for future use as I normally include a number of photos.

An excellent tip to add a code at the end of the photo title to know where the photo was sourced from is very handy.

Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome. I am sharing this hub too as I feel it will help many writers like me who need photos to incorporate in their articles.

Thanks for sharing.

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

You worked hard to provide this for us. Very useful. Great job, and thanks!

ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

This is simply awesome...I knew only about some 10 of these.

I generally use Creative Commons. This is going to be so helpful.

Thanks for this hub.





And of course, Shared...

zsobig profile image

zsobig 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Great hub, thanks for your kind help!

QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

Great advice on photo usage and copyright issues. :)

Duchess OBlunt 4 years ago

Wonderful resource list. Thank you for taking the time to produce this list.

NetBlots profile image

NetBlots 4 years ago from Melbourne

SXC is the best free one imo =)

webelevatemedia 4 years ago

Wow!!!!!!!!! really helpful. I will use your advice. Thank you very much for shearing.

jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Thanks Sparrowlet for sharing such a useful information. Voted up and shared with my followers.

Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

What a wonderful list. Thank you so much. Voted up and shared.

collegedad profile image

collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

Great resources!

Kristine Manley profile image

Kristine Manley 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This is just what I needed. This Hub is so useful. I was scouring the Internet looking for free photos and images. Voted up!

courtyB3 profile image

courtyB3 4 years ago from New Jersey

This is fantastic. Thank you!!

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

This is an imposing list of free photo sites sparrowlet. I use quite a few photos in my hubs so a big thank you to you for sharing this useful list.

Bookmarking and sharing this.

Voted up, useful and awesome.

Ruchi Urvashi profile image

Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

Excellent information. I only knew 2 websites where I can get free photos but now after reading your article, I have lots of places to look around to get the best picture.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I'm always looking for photos to use on my Hubs. Many thanks for all this info. I wonder if I should remove a photo I used. I took the photo myself but it was of a young lady carrying a Walmart shopping bag. It doesn't show her face, just her back. Want do you think? It is on my Hub about why I Love Puerto Rico? Those pretty

gals shop with makeup and high heels and I wanted to show a photo of that. I voted this Up, and will certainly share.

Cynthias411 profile image

Cynthias411 4 years ago from Massachusetts

WOW thank you for help

Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 4 years ago from Michigan

This is an amazing find for all of us who write on hubpages. I have read other hubs about pictures and copywrites etc. but was still fuzzy on some details. This is very clear.

Thank you ... the list of free picture sites is so appreciated. What a great contribution you have made with this hub.



dmcgaw profile image

dmcgaw 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

Wow - awesome list! I will be bookmarking this hub!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Wow! Best list I've ever seen. I've bookmarked this Hub. I never know about photos and if I should use them. I usually just use my own but that is not always possible.

I voted this Hub UP and will share.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Though I use my own photos onmy hubs I will enjoy looking through these sites and learning about them--thanks!

idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

A wonderful and exhaustive list of resources!!! Thanks for posting! :D

lisasuniquevoice profile image

lisasuniquevoice 4 years ago from Michigan

Thank you so much for doing the leg work for all of us who need photos at our fingertips. I'm voting up and useful, and interesting.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Thanks for all of these links. When it says for non commercial use we need to be careful. Since we DO make money on this site, it would probably be deemed commercial, I am guessing. So all those that say that...I would not use just to be on the safe side of things. Wikimedia Commons is my first choice of where to go if I am not using my own photos. HP actually recommended them at a HubCamp in Houston. Voted up and useful. Thanks!

nikashi_designs 4 years ago

The relentless search for photographs and clip-art seem to have reached an end. This is a wonderful collection...Thanks for your hard work and very useful information. Being a graphic designer I tend to search the web for images not necessarily to grab them but instead to get idea's. Tweeted this excellent resource...

Ruth Pieterse 4 years ago

Excellent hub. Thanks so much for sharing. Voted up interesting and useful!

Korz 4 years ago

Thank you for your sharing.

I have some new additions to the list : - All free for commercial use also. - All free for commercial use also.

LauraD093 profile image

LauraD093 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

Wow is right thanks so much for this hub I use only my own photos on my hubs because frankly I was so paranoid about stepping on another's copy write without even realizing it. The listing of sites you included is awesome. You have added a new follower to your list.

photostudiosupply profile image

photostudiosupply 4 years ago from Rochester, New York

Great hub. Thanks a lot to Sparrowlet for listing free images websites. I have bookmarked this hub for future. Very nice!!!

joanveronica profile image

joanveronica 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

What a wonderful Hub this is! Thank you so much for all this information, it will be veryh useful and certainly reduce search-time. Voted Up, etc. Have a good day!

kungfukid profile image

kungfukid 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

excellent hub. gorgeous photos!

kittykfree profile image

kittykfree 4 years ago

Great info! Thank you so much for sharing!

By Lori profile image

By Lori 4 years ago from USA

Thank you ,this is useful !

sleepylog profile image

sleepylog 3 years ago from Australia

I offer free photos on my website

they were all taken by me. Feel free to include a link on your list. I know it's only a small collection but I regularly add more photos.

Conditions of use are laid out at the top of every page. Thank you :)

chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 3 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

A wonderful resource, so helpful, a reflection of your great research. I tend to use my own images or Wikimedia and haven't really thought about going elsewhere. Your hub gives everyone the opportunity to find that elusive image.

Voted up and sharing.

Dan Barfield profile image

Dan Barfield 3 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

Seriously useful! Many many thanks! :)

LauraD093 profile image

LauraD093 3 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

thanks for the info great hub.

saifalnadeem profile image

saifalnadeem 3 years ago from Pakistan

You described exactly what was needed by many hubbers including me...Thanks a lot for sharing..

Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

So helpful to this hubber newbie. Thanks!

laszlojaeger profile image

laszlojaeger 3 years ago from Budapest

Thanks for your tips although I think that free photos (or many cc licensed photos) simply aren't good enough or lack diversity. Of course good photos come at a price but still it is not so easy to find acceptable photos without fully restrictive copyrights.

Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 2 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Thank you. photos are always a problem and I am in the proses of fixing all my old photos so this will come in very handy.

Gracelyn 23 months ago

I was looking eveewyhrre and this popped up like nothing!

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