So you have a new website, and you need some images and photos to make it look good.
The problem is, you are not a photographer, and you don’t have the money hire a pro for the job right now.
What to do? Hopefully you are well aware of what not to do. Don’t perform a Google image search and download the images you like and use them on your site. If you do that, you are stealing, plain and simple. An image does not need to have a copyright on it in order for it to be off limits, unless otherwise stated, please assume that the image is copyrighted and not free to use.
There are plenty of places where you can purchase licenses to use photos. Many of these licenses are fairly complex in their legal language, so do read carefully if you select to use one of these paid services, to make sure you follow all the rules and restrictions.
There are however quite a few resources where you can find free to use images for your site. The websites below all provide images under the Creative Commons CC0 license which means they can be freely used both for personal and commercial purposes. Here is the official Creative Commons Zero license page.
The photographers will be grateful if you give attribution, but it is not required.
Unsplash has a large selection of photos, and you can search by keywords to find what you need. You can also create “Collections”, a nice way to save a bunch of photos related to a particular topic, which you can then return to when making your final selection. You can choose to make your Collections private or public, and when someone creates a public Collection it creates a nice way for you to find photos related to one search term or phrase, gathered in once place.
Stocksnap.io has a nice search functionality and you can tag your favorites in order to return to them later.
Pixabay is another website that provides both photos and videos that are free to use on both personal and commercial websites without attribution. This site has quite a large number of photos to chose from.
Pexels is a website that curates content from other sources – and like the sites above, all content is under the Creative Commons CC0 license
Burst is a resource of free images provided by Shopify, but you are free to use it regardless of what kind of platform you are on, you do not need to use Shopify in order to use the free resources.
Negative Space sorts their photos by categories, but of course also allows a search by terms.
Also free, but with some restrictions:
Before using images from this site, make sure to read and understand the license. Image attribution required.
Do you have other favorite sources for free images? Please let us know in the comments below.