Every website needs some pictures, and high quality ones are a must these days.  If you’re blogging, you’re going to need a steady supply; here are some places to find great photos you can use for free on your website.

Free resources

The Stocks is a really useful place to start – it’s a single site cleverly built so you can browse some of the best sources of free photos all in one place.  You can sift through lots of different sources, from the well known Pixabay and Unsplash, to less well known and even individual photographers’ royalty-free sites: Little Visuals, New Old Stock, Super Famous, Startup Stock, Gratisography, GetRefe, Crow the Stone, Pexels, Jay Mantri, Madeline, Travel Coffee, Moveast and Barn Images.

**Since I first wrote this article I came across LibreStock which is brilliant – it searches 43 different free stock libraries so you don’t have to search separately.  You then go to each individual library to download.  (Note: 4 Oct 2017 – Librestock often seems to be down these days, but it’s worth coming back to have a second try.)

Also look at:


Paid-for stock libraries

Not all of the sources above has a search facility which means it can be quite time consuming to find something suitable.  If you’re looking for something unusual or very specific, you may wish to pay a stock library.  Stock libraries can be less expensive than you may imagine – try the following.  (Always remember to check what size the image needs to be and download the appropriate size – sometimes the price varies.)

http://www.bigstockphoto.com (This one has a free 7 day trial with 5 downloads a day.)
http://www.shutterstock.com (More expensive than the three previous.)
http://www.istockphoto.com (At the time of writing, the most expensive of the options listed.)

Google Images

There are masses of photos from all kinds of sources freely available for use that you can search via Google Images (https://images.google.com/).  Search by keyword, then click the cog at the top right of the search results (as shown below).


Google Images


Choose “Advanced search,” scroll down, and next to “usage rights” choose “free to use or share, even commercially” (or whichever is suitable for your purposes).  Choose from the search results, and click on the picture to see it on its original website, where you will be able to see if there’s an accreditation you need to include.


Google Images


Note that whatever the source you use, you must always read the small print and check if you need to give a credit for the image you’ve downloaded or purchased.

The photo used above is from Unsplash, by Caleb Ralston.