13 Sites Where You Can Get Free Stock Photos
For those of us who spend any amount of time doing blogging work online, there is almost nothing as invaluable as a good stock photo site. Many of the sites that are out there don't allow you to utilize their stock photos without paying a fee (even though the photos will often come up when you do a Google Image search). However, there are an increasing number of stock photo sites out there that do let you have at least some access to free stock photos. Most of these sites earn their money from advertisements although some offer a combination of free and fee services to stay in business.
Here is a look at thirteen different sites that you can use to get free stock photos:
- Agricultural Research Service. This is one of those sites that you would probably never find if someone didn't direct you to it but it's actually a really great site for getting photos for legal use. The site is easy to search and use and there are high resolution images available for direct download without any difficulty.
- Creative Commons. One of the best sites out there for obtaining photos that are legal for you to use is the Creative Commons site. It will let you search through Flickr photos that have been registered for the site. The photos are clearly labeled with the rules that you have to follow to be allowed to use the images for free (such as linking back to the source of the photo). This makes it easy and you know that you're using the photos legally if you follow the rules outlined on the site.
- Free Clipart. Most people want actual photos if they are looking for some photos but some people will be happy with all different types of images. Those people who are interested in at least the occasional use of clipart images will find that there are plenty of sites out there that offer free clipart for easy download. This is just one popular example of that type of site.
- Free Images UK. This site is unrelated to the other Free Images site but the basic things that you are going to find on this one will be the same as on the other one - free photos that you can use if you are willing to follow some really simple and common sense rules about the use of stock photos.
- Free Images. The website says it all. This is a collection of stock photos that you can use for free. The only limitation is that you can't sell these photos and you can't post a whole bunch of them on a single site as a collection of photos. Pretty easy rules to follow for most people who want to use stock photos.
- FreeFoto. This is one of the largest sets of free stock photos online. If you are looking for images that you can't find on any other set, you might want to try looking here. There are rules to read here but the gist of them is that you have to use the photos for online purposes only and can't be printing them out unless you get the appropriate permission. Since most people using free stock photos are using them on blogs or emails or as avatars, this shouldn't be a big deal at all.
- Geek Philosopher. This is a really fun website that is worth checking out even if you don't use the stock photos that are available on the site. You do have to read through a lengthy set of rules about how to use the stock photos on the site appropriately but basically there are photos here that you can utilize with some (reasonable) limitations.
- Hoover. This is an example of one of the free stock photo sites that makes its money by offering some services for free and some for a fee. You can choose to search only the free section of the site or to search the "pro" section of the site. As you might expect, there are better images in the pro section. However, there are some great free stock photos available for download here that you might find it worth your while to check out.
- Morgue File. This is a great archive of photos that are made available to the public for business or commercial use. It's intention is to foster creativity and doesn't have a lot of rules that you have to follow although it is recommended that you credit the authors of the photos for their work.
- NASA photos. NASA uses photos when it issues press releases, something that it does fairly often. They are kind enough to actually make those photos available for use online. Make sure that you read all of the rules on the site before utilizing the images that they make available so that you understand their proper use.
- National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. This is a government organization that does a number of different things including making a photo collection available for free non-commercial use on the Internet. You have to use the images appropriate and credit NOAA when you do but there are a lot of cool pictures here that you aren't going to find anywhere else online!
- Open Photo. This site is an open source site for the sharing of images. It uses Creative Commons licensing to regulate the use of the photos on the site. Reading through the Wiki for the site (follow the link on the home page) will provide you with all of the information that you need to start using Open Photo.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Did you know that the fish and wildlife departments of a variety of different U.S. states actually make their photos available for use to people who are seeking out animal photos for online formats? Flora and fauna photos can both be found here.
These are just a few of the places that let you download photos. Most of these photos are of high enough quality that you can alter the dimensions of them (using a free site such as Resizr) without compromising the quality of the photos. Remember to read all of the rules and to follow them so that you don't violate copyrights.