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Searching for the right photo for your blog post or website can be a pain. A legal photo can be hard to find. After writing a post, the last thing any of us wants to do is flip through endless pages of expensive stock photos.

It’s so much easier to Google the term and “borrow” one of the images that comes up as a search result. Too bad that’s illegal.

Yes, illegal.

As in, you will face serious fines for “borrowing” images.

The bottom line is if you can’t afford a stock photo, you certainly can’t afford the fine that comes from stealing to tweet. 

You need to get a legal photo.

For the writer on a budget, there are plenty of other options that will provide you with a legal photo without breaking the bank. Here are 11 sites that I’ve found. If you know of any others, please share them in the comment section!

1. Unsplash

Great quality and great selection! Unsplash is the best source of free stock photos on the internet.

2. Stock Exchange

Of all of the stock photo sites on the web is the second 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 come from

3. 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.


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


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.


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.


NounProject has the best selection of free icons (over 2 million!). The goal of this site is to have an icon for every noun in every language.


If you need biblical photos 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.


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.

11. 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.


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

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