Where To Find Free & Legal Stock Photos Online


Stop using Google image search. Using those images is often illegal and they are not the best images anyway.

Here are a dozen sites that are better and legal.

1. Stock Exchange

Of all of the stock photo sites on the web sxc.hu is the best. It has high quality free stock photos. But be careful. The first row of photos cost money. Clicking on them will take you to a different site where you have to pay. Most of the photos we use here at AuthorTechTips.com come from sxc.hu.

2. Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr has a huge selection of photos many of which are protected under the Creative Commons which means you can use them legally as long as you attribute the photographer.

3. EveryStockPhoto.com

Every Stock Photo searches several other stock image sites for you. It does not filter offensive images, so use with caution.

4. MorgueFile.com

Morgue File has many photos that you are free to use commercially without attributing the photographer. The photos are mostly snapshots and not true stock photos.

5. FreeStockPhotos.com

Not only does Free Stock Photos have some great nature photos it also has a list of over a dozen other free stock photo sources.

6. IconsPedia.com

IconsPedia has the best selection of free icons. If you want to add a cool Twitter Bird to your website this is the first place to look.

7. BiblePlaces.com

If you need biblical photos BiblePlaces.com is a great place to start.



I’m not sure how this happened but if the U.S. government takes a photo they often release it into the public domain. If you want high quality technology or space photos you can’t do much better than NASA.

9. StockVault.net

StockVault has 13,000+ high quality stock photos. The photos are high quality but low selection. The site does not offer safe search so use at your own risk.

10. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Freedigitalphotos.net has high quality photos but the selection is not great and the terms of use require a link back to use the photo for free.

11. FreePhotosBank.com

FreePhotosbank has a lame selection of mediocre photos.

12. HistoricalStockPhotos.com

If you want vintage photos Historical Stock Photos is the site for you. Don’t expect much color here.


17 Responses to Where To Find Free & Legal Stock Photos Online

  1. Brian July 18, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    Hey Thomas,

    Google just came out with a “Creative Commons” search:


    But, with my limited experience, it’s really bad.

    Oh, what is the licensing like for Microsoft’s clip art? Can I get my pictures in windows and switch over to linux and use them there. :evil grin:

    > Brian

  2. sanja November 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    I think that http://www.rgbstock.com has a place on this list. It offers more than 60.000 high quality images in high resolution, completly free for personal or commercial use.. It is a relatively new site with powerful search function along with a quickly growing community of photographers

    • picdrome January 17, 2012 at 6:31 am #

      Hi and thank you for the list!
      I can also add http://www.picdrome.com, a growing Public Domain picture collection, free of copyright and licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication. All items are free to download for personal and commercial use, without restriction and are available in high definition. New photos are added on a daily basis.

  3. Savannah March 19, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Yey! thanks for the share. You can also use the free quality photos and images of http://www.kozzi.com. Go over to their site and find out. I’ve been using their stock photos for my blog pretty much. ^^,)

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  5. Malcolm April 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    I recommend http://www.myfreedigitalphotos.com They may not feature as many images as the popular big sites out there but the images they do have are high quality and royalty free and can be used personally or commerically.

  6. Brish May 7, 2012 at 5:35 am #

    Definitely, Kozzi.com can provide a high resolution image that can be downloaded easily. I can use the list of vector that they have..

  7. Chris December 15, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Thanks Thomas for sharing the sites for stock photos.

  8. dinesh May 22, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    After hours of frantic searching, I struck gold. Thanks for this list, I’m going to be using a lot of these sites :)

  9. Bob September 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    I’d like to add http://www.goodfreephotos.com to the list please. Has thousands of photos classified by location and category.

  10. Kathy Steinemann September 20, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    HistoricalStockPhotos.com is only for e-mails and personal websites.

    Here’s another free photo site: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

    Thanks for sharing, Thomas. I do all my own covers, and I’m always looking for free sources of high quality graphics.

  11. James Casdunar September 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    We also use a website called http://pickupimage.com.
    If you are a website designer, blogger here you can download high resolution Free stock images for free.

  12. John February 5, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Also you can try here:

  13. groom March 11, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    This is a good article but there are very few websites that offer REALLY FREE PHOTOS (no attribution, no registration, no adverts) which are high quality and easily accessible.

    Check out PUBLIC DOMAIN photographs at http://www.trulyfree.eu

    I hope this helps you, guys!

  14. Erwin April 15, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    REALLY FREE PHOTOS: http://kaboompics.com/

    No attribution, no registration, no adverts – just click and download full resolution photos (high quality pics 300dpi).

  15. Declan Cody November 1, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    Thanks for the list, it will help the thousands of people who are on the hunt for free images all the time. At upicm.com we decided to cut to the chase and get rid of all the confusion re. creative commons license and public domain etc. All images are completely free for personal and commercial use with no attribution required ever. You can even incorporate our pics into your products for free with no limitations on the number of products. We create all images on the site ourselves so we can stand over their free legal use.
    We’re just getting started but thousands more pics will be added soon.
    In the meantime, stop by and grab yourself some amazing free pics at http://www.upicm.com/
    Including Facebook covers, Backgrounds, Nature Pics, Urban scenes etc. – Cheers.

  16. Rose Chambert December 11, 2014 at 5:44 am #

    Very usefull post, other option is http://en.freejpg.com.ar it´s a very interesting site of free stock images