Intellectual property laws are difficult and confusing. Unfortunately, the answer if you’re wondering, “Can I use this image/song/video/audio file/whatever?” is usually a resounding no. Fortunately, there are websites out there dedicated to licensing free-to-use images. This article is a list of sites with free image content that you can use right away.
Dreamstime has a huge selection of images in all kinds of themes ranging from animals, to travel images. Unfortunately, Dreamstime requires users to register, and only a portion of their images are available to download for free, but it’s still a very large repository.
Pexels is a huge gallery of stock photos. Although they have a more limited range than other sites, the are typically focused on people, landscapes, and nature. However, the best thing about Pexels is that all of their photos are completely free to use, and none of them require licensing or attribution in any way. You can even copy, edit, or modify them without any fear of legal action.
Wikimedia is a site hosted by Wikipedia. Like Wikipedia, it is updated, moderated, and run by volunteers. It boasts an enormous selection of, as the name suggests, media of all kinds including photography, artwork, video, and etc. Licensing content from Wikimedia is different for each piece, but is generally free and doesn’t require attribution. Still, it’s best to check when using an image.
Getty Images is another huge repository of over 50 million images and all of them are free to use. They streamline the licensing process by only allowing their images to be embedded in websites. This means that you can’t download them, but you can have them appear on your website.
Open Photo is a photo sharing platform created in 1998. It hosts images that contributors upload, and allows them to be downloaded for free with no attribution. Like Pexels, all the images are free of charge under Creative Commons licensing.
Unfortunately, Creative Market isn’t a free service. However, even if you don’t pay for it, it has a weekly grab-bag of free images, templates, themes, and graphics you can use.
Picography has one of the most basic and stripped-down interfaces of any of these websites. As the heading the site says, “Free hi-resolution photos. Use them however you like.”
Stokpic requires registration, meaning they’ll be able to contact you over your email, but they have a big gallery of images that are free of copyright restrictions.
A Prettier Web
A Prettier Web is site with a lot of free, artsy content for bloggers, designers, and other creative people.
All the images on Unsplash are free of licensing. They add 10 new photos every 10 days.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a search function, meaning you’ll have to scroll through their gallery manually. Fortunately, all the images there are quite pretty.
Canva is a free service that you can signup for and create beautifully unique images with text art, icons, and images. There are some images that you will need to pay a small fee for, but you can do a lot with the free content. Especially since you can upload your own images to modify as well.
Hopefully these services can be of service to help you source some great images, legally, to enhance your website.
Do you have any other places that we should know about? Please add them in the comments!