8 Best Places to Find Free Stock Images

March 21, 2013 8:54 am 3 Comments

Sourcing great images when building websites are no easy matter, sometimes they are hard to find and are expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When building a product for ourselves or client we want to get it out quickly with the best quality graphics at the lowest expenses possible. Now unless you are a great photographer with a lot of time to go out there and take your own photos, using stock images are right answer.

Today we are going to present to you the eight best websites to get your free stock images.

First things first though…

Check the licensing

To ensure you are covered, you would want to use stock images that has been licensed for free commercial use. If the stock image provider requires you to credit the website or the name of the person that created the stock image, then by all means do it. You are getting the images for free anyway so the least you can do is credit the supplier.

So always check the “terms of use” or “terms and conditions” as well as the about/info pages of these websites and its contributors :)

Now let’s look at the suggestions, in no order of preference of course:

sxcThis is one of my favourite place to find free stock photos. As far as I know most of the images are free for use on website projects. The site is easy to browse and contains various type of photos that you can think of. The quality of the photos in this site varies though, so you just have to browse around. By quality I don’t mean the file size of the photos but more of the shot qualities, but this is stock image, so there is nothing stopping your from editing them (subject to licensing of course).



Stock Free Images

stockfreeimagesStock free images contains both photos and vectors. This site is great of searching images for articles and stories. The only caveat is that most images in this site requires you to credit and link to the site. I personally have no objection doing this especially, the free images’ quality in this site is on par with the paid stock photo websites.

The search however is a bit weak, there is no option for advanced search. Therefore searching images can be a hit and miss affair sometimes, you’ll just have to try different keyword.


123RF – Free Section

123rfThe free section of offers ever-changing collection of free images. This is more of commercial images in “special” period. Like stockfreeimages, the quality of the photos are great.

However most of the free images are of low sizes such as 400px by 400px  or 800px by 600px. So this is mostly suitable for web projects that doesn’t require high resolution photos.



morguefileThis is where you can find a whole bunch of free stock images for use on your creative projects. Now, as far as I can see most of the usage licenses doesn’t allow using the image as standalone images; therefore I think this website is mostly for graphic designers requiring parts of images to complete his/her art. Please as usual, check the usage license.






freerangeNow this is a site that lives up to its name, free range of stock photos everywhere in the site! Read the about us page and you’ll find their goals to provide free stock images to the community, a great contribution.

This stock photo site contains a lot of high quality photos to be used both non-commercial and commercial uses (as of this writing – double check to be sure). Most if not all of the photos are high resolutions too, making this suitable for both web works and possibly print work.





stockvault-net_Stockvault provides high quality and high resolution images mostly for personal use. So if you are starting a personal website, then by all means visit this website and browse its collection.




Flickr Creative Common License

flickrThis one is slightly non-obvious, you’ll have to go into Flickr advanced search and choose “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”. Furthermore you can also tick the “find content to use commercially”. As usual always check the license on each images.






DeviantArt Stock Images

devartLike Flickr, DeviantArt also has stock images section for your uses. There are serious numbers of stock images to choose from as DeviantArt I think is one of the largest online art community and has been around for years.

From the images that I have looked through, the licensing varies a lot. Each of the contributors have their own set of terms and conditions, therefore make sure to read the image descriptions carefully, especially if you are going to use this for commercial purposes.


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