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Let’s face it. Images are absolutely necessary for successful social media campaigns. Images grab attention and in a glance gives an impression. Without quality eye-catching images, a post most likely will sit unseen. But, what if you don’t have the cash-flow to spend on expensive stock images? We’ve gathered a great list of FREE stock images you can use on your site.

Free Stock Image Sites You Can Use for Your Blog

Finding the perfect image can seem daunting at first. Especially considering the cost involved. But, it’s entirely possible to find and utilize free resources. And, hopefully these resources will help to make the task as painless as possible.

Understanding Copyright and Stock Images

Before you begin using free stock sites it’s important to understand a bit about copyright. Copyright is the legal term for the rights a person, or business, has when they own an original creative work. Copyright laws apply to authorship of written work(s), music, art, and other creative endeavors. This includes works of photography.

Any person who takes a photograph is the original copyright holder of their original work. They can sell their photograph to another person, or business and give up their rights to the secondary entity. Getty Images is one such business that buys original works along with the copyright. They become the copyright holder of the image.

The original copyright holder can also utilize stock services companies to distribute their works while retaining full copyright of the original piece. That’s what happens with many online stock sites such as; Deposit Photos, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock.

Other times photographers will, in a sense, donate their work or give up the copyright of a piece so that others can utilize their work for free. When this happens it falls under Creative Commons licensing. Often, you’ll see photos available on Wikimedia, or Flickr that fall under the Creative Commons licensing.

Understanding Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization that is based in America. The goal of the organization is to make available creative works to the public so that others can utilize the items and build upon them, then legally share.

There are several copyright-licenses which fall under the Creative Commons licenses, each with unique requirements for the usage of the original work. These licenses mean the use of the creative works are free of charge for public use.

It is always important to read the terms of service, or the terms of use for any site, or item you wish to utilize. Some Creative Commons licenses require that you give credit to the original creator while others do not.

10 Sources For Free Stock Photos For Bloggers

  1. Pixabay – You can browse, search and even specify the kinds of photos or graphics you are searching for on this all=purpose public domain website. They have hundreds of thousands of files available to download for free. The easiest way to manage this is to create your own account. This way you won’t get an annoying pop-up asking you to click captcha on every, single, download. Know that they do include advertisements to paid stock image sites. So when browsing pay attention to be sure you aren’t mistakenly clicking over to another paid site before downloading. Browse by category or using their search feature, (which heads up – will also display sponsored ads on the first row). Over half-a-million free photos, vectors, and art illustrations are offered on this site, and most allow for commercial use.
  2. UnSplash – This site is dedicated to photography and you can find some really awesome photos that are unique and stand out from the crowd of stock images. Take your time and check your keyword in a few different ways while browsing. Sometimes the indexing doesn’t make sense, so be patient and pay attention. While you aren’t required to give credit, they will ask you to when you download. And, we think, it’s always a good idea to credit amazing artists in their work. The terms of use does allow for adaptation so you can add text to the images you place on your site.
  3. Canva – Is quickly becoming the hottest graphics tool used by bloggers of all sizes. Their free plan is packed with templates, graphics and photos which you can use for free. Any free item can be used for commercial purposes with no restrictions. Any image or graphic marked with a crown is $1 unless you upgrade to a paid pro plan. Even with a pro plan there are restrictions on the number of times a pro image/graphic can be used. So be sure to read the Canva terms of use to be sure you are staying compliant.
  4. Morguefile – This site has been a go-to for bloggers since blogging began. It’s full of photos that have free stock images. The images are not in public domain, rather, amateur and pro photographers and artists include their images for public use and ask that they receive credit back for their work. By simply adding a credit to your blog post footer or in the caption you can easily say something like “This amazing image was taken by… ” and link to their profile on Morguefile. The terms of use does allow for adaptation, so you can add text to the images you share.
  5. Pexels – is a free to join stock image site. All the photos on the site are free and credit is not required, but always appreciated. And, you can modify anything you download from there. They also have video so if you’re looking to enhance your blog with some video try to see if you can find something there. We think this is a great site for food bloggers to find quality kitchen, and ingredient photography.
  6. PicJumbo – A free site that contains incredible, quality photos that you are able to download, adapt, and modify for free. And, you can utilize these photos for both personal and commercial work. They do have an option for a paid membership where they will send you photos on a monthly basis that can’t be found elsewhere. But, it is an option everything on the site remains free for your use.
  7. Gratisography – If you are looking for unique this is the place to go. You will find quirky and sometimes seemingly whimsical, humurous, and random images. They are high-quality, and free for your use.
  8. IM Free is a curated collection of free resources for web design. All images include commercial use, and royalty free stock images, templates, icons, and more. Everything is sorted by category to make searching simple, or you can search by keyword. Be patient when searching, you can tell that the site owners rely heavily on advertisements which is how they make their bread and butter and you get the resources for free. Loading can seem glitchy from time to time, but it’s just image and video file load lag. As we said… be patient.
  9. Stockvault From graphics and illustrations to a large library of royalty-free stock images you will be thrilled to find what you need for your site. Be sure to check out the backgrounds as they’ll both meet a need for memes and quotes but may also serve to inspire you to think outside the box when making pins and other graphics for your site.
  10. Kaboompics This site has a unique feature that is ah-mazing! They have really great quality free stock images that are royalty free, of course… that’s what this entire post is about! But, as bloggers we often need a few shots that are similar. How often have you wanted to see a set from a photoshoot? Scroll over the menu at the top and hover over discover free photos, in the drop down you can then click free photo shoot. Once that opens each set appears and you can click see more to view the entire set from the same photo shoot! See… we told you it was ah-mazing!

While these aren’t all of the royalty-free photos that are available on the web they are some of the best and can certainly get you started in finding top-quality images that you can use for your blogging purposes.

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