Blog posts, websites, social media, they all need visual content to engage the consumer. It’s not easy or enticing to be faced with page after page of dry text. Images help break up content, they can convey meaning instantly, and they can help get more eyes on your pages and posts. The problem is, finding just the right image can be time consuming not to mention costly, and not many small to medium sized firms are just not interested in hiring a professional marketing photographer to take actual pictures for their digital assets.
The solution is free images but, if you’ve ever tried to find royalty free stock images that you can feel really confident about using, you’d probably rather do without. Never fear. There’s plenty of safe, royalty free stock images available on the web, and to save you from spending time trying to find all of them, I am listing them here.
These stock image site have site-wide search capabilities so you can type in a keyword to find the image you need instead of browsing hundreds or thousands of photos.
Free Stock Images
- Pixabay offers a large library of copyright-free, no cost images that you are free to use, modify, and distribute for personal and commercial purposes. You do not have to register to use the website or download images.
- morgueFile is a free photo archive that contains high resolution digital photos for public and commercial purposes. MorgueFile requires a free registration and they do ask that you give credit to the photographer when you can.
- FreeImages just has thousands of free photos. Thousands. You’ll have access to free and paid stock images that can be used for commercial and public purposes. They do require registration before you can download an image.
- FreeRange has “good photos, totally free” for commercial use. Your site search results will probably include some premium photos from Shutterstock, but the free selections are large and diverse. You will be required to register to download images.
Free-form Image Resources
- Public Domain Pictures is a repository for free high quality HD public domain photos and images. They offer more than 100,000 photos from amateur photographers available. The site requires registration before you download an image.
There are many more searchable sites out there than just the five I mentioned, but I appreciated these the most. Another image resource is free-form collection services where you browse through images that are generally simply categorized.
offers more than 500 marketing images free for public and commercial use. You can download the sets after registering. They currently have business, holiday and a mix of various free images to choose from.
has more than 27 million freely usable media files that can be used for just about anything you need. Wikimedia Commons does require that some images are attributed to their creator. The site can be a little cumbersome but the search may be worth the quantity available.
Have I missed one of your favorite free stock photo sites? Leave me a comment about them below.
Teresa Shaw is an SEO consultant with 10 years of experience helping attorneys and law firms across the country increase public awareness of their services.