I personally checked these 16 free stock photo sites to see which might be useful to locate images for your blog. I’ve written a little assessment for each one.
Here’s my best recommendations in alphabetical order: Bucketlistly, LifeofVids, Magdeleine, Pexels, Unsplash, and Wikimedia Commons. Each is on my list for different reasons, so read the assessments. You may want to try some of the others.
16 Free Stock Photo Sites
Make sure as you click through to these images that licensing for the image you’ve chosen is free to download and use. The websites were free at the time I posted this. I noticed several times that I might start in a free site and then find the search brings up photos from Adobe Stock, GettyImages, or Shutterstock, which, generally, are paid sites. Pay attention to what you click on and where it takes you.
Some of these sites offer videos and vectors as well as photos. Vectors are special drawings that adjust to the size of a screen.
All of the sites I’ve listed are free, but a few will ask you to attribute the work to the photographer.
More than one of these will probably match your blog’s style and your posts’ topics. You’ll return often to your favorite site.
Bucketlistly has 5000+ photos from around the world. Click the tags to navigate the globe and find the photo you’re looking for.
This easy-to-navigate site offers a huge variety of images meant for e-commerce, but you should be able to find images you could use. They had 123 photos for my search, “campus students.”
When I did a search for “ocean” on this site, I expected a bunch of sand-and-surf images, but the search returned aerial views, close-ups of rocks and more.
I tried to search on “family” which only returned three images. When I opened one of those images, I saw a dozen tags under it. Clicking on the “family” tag, I then saw two pages of images. Just goes to show a little clicking around on some of these sites may give you better results.
Jay offers landscape, ocean and urban photography with no searching nor filtering. Just scroll through his archives until something grabs your attention. I liked the three pay phones on a yellow wall that I used at the top of this post.
To search for photos, I put “work” in the search bar which brought up a page that I could also add filters to my search for photos within thirteen categories, color, and orientation. Here’s the seven photos I found under “work” filtered for “desk” category and any color and landscape orientation.
Life of Pix may not have the volume of photos as the other sites, but it offers free videos! The sister site, Life of Vids, offers short video clips that you can add your own audio to.
Another easy-to-navigate site, Magdeleine, allows you to also find photos based on a camera type, color spectrum, and location. This site won my vote for the moon photo for today’s post.
Also, share photos straight to social media.
MMT is a good spot for nature and for macro photography. Find your way around by search and/or filtering by category, tags, colors and orientation. Check out their best of 2017 photos.
Morguefile was a little challenging for me to find useful images. I noticed if I started typing something in the search box, I would have to choose from some of the hashtags that came up in order for Morguefile to return any photos. A straight search did not work. I tried family, university, and student, which didn’t bring up usable hashtags; I was finely successful with #bridge.
With a growing and massive database, Pexels (and Unsplash) may become your go-to places for photos. Here’s my search on their site using “campus students.”
The best way I discovered to navigate this site is to scroll until you find a photo that would be in the general category you’re looking for. I clicked on the Coliseum for Rome and then I had tags I could try: architecture, culture, history, Italy, Rome.
Shopify recommends this site for abstract and portrait photography. Here’s a link to their best photos.
This site has photos of people using technology. Perfect for my eQuipping for eMinistry blog, but no search function that I could find. I clicked on the “popular” category to limit some of my choices.
Search by categories, tags, and trending. I searched for “family.” If some of the images have “Shutterstock” watermarks, clicking on them will take you to the Shutterstock website, which is not a free service.
Search makes it easy to find what you need from this huge database. My search for “city people” returned 20,600+ images.
I’ve used Wikimedia Commons for many years. It’s a good source for a photo of a famous person or for artwork in the public domain. It can take some creative searches for artwork, but I’ve hit the jackpot a few times. I just did a search on “Bill Bright” which brought up two photos; “Billy Graham” resulted in 44 images.
- A big thanks to Shopify.com for researching most of the sites featured in this post. For more information about these stock photo sites, read their article: 22 Amazing Websites with Stunning Free Stock Images. I did not include five of the sites, including two foodie sites, so click on over if you’re interested in all 22 websites. One site had images covered with a black tile labeled “adult content.” I appreciate the warning, but don’t want to patronize or recommend a site that allows this content. The sites on this page are what I recommend for you.
- The moon photo is by James Moxley and available on Magdeleine.co.