A Collection of 30+ Free Stock Photo Sites

By Alyssa Gregory
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carAs a designer, you probably have your favorite go-to sites for free stock photography. But it’s inevitable that you will exhaust the supply on your favorite site or just need a few fresh images at some point. Here is a collection of more than 30 free stock photo sites to add to your list.

1. stock.xchng

Touted as the leading free stock photography site, they have more than 390,000 photos. The site also has an extensive search functionality, lightboxes, and Photoshop and GIMP tutorials for a number of photo effects.

2. morgueFILE

This free photo site has over 200,000 free images, mostly in the categories of scenic, nature, objects and still life. There is a filtering option so you can sort by category, size, date, color, etc.

3. Freerange Stock

This is a very nice collection of good quality photos. There is not a site-wide browsing capability, but you can browse photos that are provided by the site owners. They provide lightboxes as well as a new tutorials section.

everystockphoto4. Everystockphoto.com

Everystockphoto.com is a photo search engine that provides a portal to freely licensed photos. Results include photos from stock.xchng, Flickr and morgueFILE, among others.

Another free image search engine to check out: OpenStockPhotography

5. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

FreeDigitalPhotos.net provides a solid collection of photos in the standard categories (animals, people, sports, etc.). The quality is very good for free stock. Web quality versions of the photos (typically 640×427) are free, with a fee required for higher resolutions.

6. Stockvault.net

Stockvault.net has an extensive collection of images free for non-commercial use. The site also has tutorials, videos and articles.

7. Unprofound.com

It may not be the largest or most easily searchable collection, but Unprofound is a very unique site that provides free stock photos sorted by color.

8. Photogen

This site has about 1,250 images, spread over a number of categories. The photos are very good quality and available in high resolution. A nice feature is that you can add images to your lightbox and then download them all in a ZIP file.

9. Photoeverywhere

More than 3,000 photos focused on travel and leisure time in the U.K.

10. STUDIO7DESIGNS Free Stock Photography

A very small, but really nice collection of high resolution nature photos.

11. FreePhotos.com

boardsThis is collection has just over 4,600 images. The site is searchable, and the categories for browsing are very specific which makes it easier to find photos.

12. AarinFreePhoto.com

This is a small but quality collection of just over 950 images. No registration is required to download.

13. ImageBase

ImageBase has really nice high resolution images that fall under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. The site is searchable and browseable.

14. FreeStockPhotos.com

If you’re looking for a straightforward photo collection without a lot of other options, this is a good starting point. You select a category — primarily location-based and scenic — and can view thumbnails displayed on one page.

public-domain-photos.com15. Public-Domain-Photos.com

This site has 5,000 photos and 8,000 clipart images. The photos are separated by category with a limited search option.

16. Free Images

Free Images has more than 3,000 original stock photos all taken specifically to add to the image database on the site. They are categorized and searchable, with the top three categories being Home, Financial and Flora.

17. Openphoto.net

This site provides necessary information — direct links, terms, required attribution — with each photo, eliminating the need to dig around for the rights for a specific photo. They provide a fair mix of subjects from animals to technology.

bee18. Majestic Imagery

This is a small collection with just over 450 images. Most of the photos are scenic and nature settings.

19. Cepolina Photos

Cepolina has over 8,000 photos; some are high resolution. You can search, browse by category, or sort by clicking on image icons.

20. Dreamstime

Dreamstime has a nice variety of images, but most require the purchase of credits. You can use the search function to locate free photos.

21. PhotoRogue

If you’re having trouble finding a specific photo, and don’t need it immediately, add this site to your list. You submit information on the photo you’re looking for and site volunteers attempt to capture the perfect shot for you for free. The photos taken are added to the public gallery for everyone to see and use.

volcano22. National Park Service Digital Image Archive

A collection of public domain images from U.S. national parks. Other categories include headshots of government officials, event-specific photos and photos taken at youth programs.

For other U.S. government photos, try:

And here are a few more free stock photo sites:

23. Flickr Creative Commons Attribution
24. image*after
25. freemediaGOO.com
26. PD Photo
27. Hoover Stock Photography
28. Freepixels
29. Barry’s Free Photos
30. Bigphoto.com

Many of the sites listed here provide photos that are free for personal or commercial use as long as you provide a credit to the photographer and/or site. But since usage rights can change, be sure to read the policies on each site before using the photos.

Which of these is your favorite stock photo site, or do you have one to add to the list?

Image credits:
Car in desert, Jamie Brelsford on stock.xchng
Wood boards, Aarin Free Photo
Bee, Cepolina
Volcano, National Park Service

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  • Janet Barclay

    Another good one is Crestock. It’s not totally free, but they post one free image per day that you can download.

  • Wow, great list! I was only aware of a few of these. A whole new range of amazing images for me to play with. Thanks Alyssa!

  • Very valuable and useful. Thanks for compiling all that info.

  • Fotolia.com also offers a few free pictures every day.

  • st pierre
  • yashobanta

    Really these links are very useful.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent links

  • nachenko

    Man, Sitepoint should have some sort of “bookmarks” or “favourite pages” option to have articles like this always accesible.

  • dawgbone

    Man, Sitepoint should have some sort of “bookmarks” or “favourite pages” option to have articles like this always accesible.

    You could of course just bookmark it in your browser.

  • overzero

    Great and useful list of resources!
    Thank you.

  • Kevin (SpiritintheVillage)

    Thanks for this resource… Been looking for some images for a while.
    Registered for http://www.stockxpert.com and it seems you have to buy credits. Are their free images here or ido you have to purchase?

  • TheBrewPig



  • Raju

    I had written a similar article sometime back, thought it would be helpful to let you know guys here

    90+ Free Stock Photo Websites [Exhaustive List]

  • transparent_opa

    What reassurance is given that these images come with full rights to be reused, without credit, for any purpose with cost?

    I imagine that likes of Stock.XCHNG cannot verify the origin of ANY photo, so if the true owner of the rights takes up the issue with your client, then you as the designer will probably cop any legal ramifications.

    Be careful.

  • graphic designer

    another place would be 123rf.com they have a free section with alot of pictures of various themes.

  • theken

    PurYel has a directory as well as an aggregator for stock photo sites. Visit puryel.com and check out the “Stock Photography” section which has Cheap Stock Photos, Commercial Stock Photos and Free Stock Photos. Their aggregator which is located at news.puryel.com aggregates listings from the websites in the above mentioned categories.

  • Ron

    Thanks for the listings of the free photo websites. I also found thousands of high quality categorised free photos at http://www.sunipix.com Hope you will include http://www.sunipix.com to your article.

  • David

    This is a new one its got paid and free: http://www.photostogo.com

  • Tio

    thats not free…

  • Husac

    You can try http://www.freeartisticphotos.com , one of the best? ;)


  • Stocker

    Another useful one is http://www.freestockimages.org/

  • Hi Alyssa,
    I’d like to recommend the new site of some former stock.xchng members, they have over 60,000 free photos at this point:


    You can get a bunch of free photos from Stockfresh which is a great microstock site. Just sign up with a promo code (one can be found here: http://www.retailmenot.com/view/stockfresh.com)