Whether you’re in digital marketing or some other form of Internet business, you’ve probably found yourself in a situation where you needed free photos or illustrations for a campaign or project for your landing page upon creating a website, which would complement and illustrate your content.
Usually, the first refuge of all of us is Google to whom we turn for all sorts of hardships. You would soon realize, however, that you’re separated from commercial and often personal use by Google’s warning underneath each photo, which tells us that the photo may be subject to copyright. This can be frustrating because this is how we often miss the ideal photo that fits our needs perfectly. On the other hand, if we turned to professional stock photography websites, we would probably find what we need there as well.
However, the problem with these websites is that the monthly or annual license, by which we gain access to paid content on them, can be very expensive. It would seem that you have no choice but to roll up your sleeves and learn how to use the camera and Adobe Photoshop to create content that people want to share online.
In fact, all you need to know is where to find the best free photos. That’s why we have compiled for you a list of 8 websites where you can find free photos and other graphic material such as illustrations, icons, infographics, etc. for your articles.
Before that, we remind you that image size affects your website’s visibility and SEO in the way – heavier the image, longer the loading of webpage. What you must keep in mind is that sometimes reducing the size of image files for the website is very useful, because image files, including those from specialized platforms we’ll list below, are usually larger than needed. This procedure of optimizing images saves server space and facilitates the flow of information without compromising image quality.
In case you don’t want to deal with this, purchase quality hosting for your website so that the size of the images, as well as anything else, won’t result in slow loading of your web pages and website crash. Shared web hosting can be a good starting point, but when your website obtains larger traffic, opt for dedicated, VPS, or cloud hosting.
Each of these can do the job if you’ve chosen to create a website on WordPress, too, for which there’s an additional option personified in MySQL hosting. It’s compatible with all major providers, cost-effective, and easy to manage. The data security of the MySQL hosting is used even by serious organizations that are leveraging it to secure online transactions and enhance customer interactions. This adds one more characteristic to this type of hosting – reliability.
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The first and among the most used websites on our list is Freepik. Unlike some that will be discussed later in this text, Freepik, in addition to offering free photos, also gives you the ability to download graphics for your projects that include vectors, PSD graphics, and icons. Over 80,000 unique resources are placed on this platform every month, in the creation of which experienced and talented photographers and graphic designers participated.
The content on this website is classified into 4 categories. These are vectors, stock photos, PSD files, and icons. However, each of these categories is divided into a number of subcategories, so that your search can be even more specific and precise. You can also search based on the tags that are assigned to each photo when it’s placed on Freepik.
The most important thing is that Freepik gives you a wide range of free photos and graphics, and the only thing it asks in return is to thank and mention the author by writing “Designed by Freepik” with the photo used or mentioning the author’s name. You aren’t required to do this if you purchase a license.
It should be emphasized, however, that if you’re planning to use mass graphics elements from Freepik, you mustn’t use them as the main elements in your design. Also, these elements can’t be branded.
There’s one “but” here. As an unregistered user, you can download only 3 photos a day, and as a registered user 10 photos a day. Even as a premium user, you don’t have unlimited access to the content on Freepik, so you can download 100 photos a day. Speaking of premium users, we’ll also mention that the monthly license is € 9.99, while the annual one is € 89.99.
When we visit the “About“ section of this website, the first thing that catches our eye is that they proudly point out to have the most diverse photo gallery. This is for a reason, because really and most importantly, here you can find a huge database of free content – free photos within hand’s reach.
This very easy-to-use website, at the top, offers navigation that allows you to search for content based on several categories offered. Some of them, as in the case of Freepik, also have subcategories that make it much easier for the user to search for the perfect photo or some other graphic element.
As for the use of free photos, there are practically no restrictions. You can change them as desired, add logos, filters, use for commercial purposes, print in any size, etc. You don’t even have to mention the source. What you need to keep in mind, though, is that the photos are still owned by Rawpixel, so you can’t sell them or add them to other stock photography websites and present them as your property.
Similar to Freepik, but somewhat more generous, as a free license user, Rawpixel allows you to download up to 10 free photos a day. Of course, this service also offers paid content, and you can choose between two types of premium license. You will pay $ 3 a month for the cheaper one and $ 19 for the more expensive one but, of course, you also get some additional benefits with it.
What should be emphasized about Rawpixel and what’s definitely worth mentioning is a humane project called “World Face”. The authors on this website decided to photograph people of all nations, thus promoting their values, diversity, and unity. This is probably the largest database of stunning portraits on the Internet and what makes the whole project even more valuable is that with each sharing of these photos, $ 1 is donated to the organization “Hope for Children” whose goal is to help children from vulnerable groups and parts of the world.
This is another very good and varied source for free photos. What practically catches the eye as soon as you open this website is that the photos are at a very high level in terms of style and quality. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because all photos are carefully selected from various free photo platforms so that users get the best of the best.
As in the case of the previous two websites, Pexels made sure that users could very easily find a suitable photo through several categories of which the possibility of searching by the dominant color of the photo should be singled out.
This special care for the user experience continues when it comes to licenses to use free photos. Pexels operates on the basis of the so-called Creative Commons Zero license (CC0) and thanks to it, Pexels generously offers its photos that you can use and change as desired. Even citing a source isn’t absolutely necessary but is appreciated as an expression of gratitude.
Heads up, though. While this license relieves you of any possible consequences caused by the use of free photos, you should be careful. Just because they are free, doesn’t mean that these photos aren’t subject to certain rights of the authors themselves. So you should cast an eye over that as well, purely as a precaution.
Another website that puts in front of you a huge library of free graphic material is Pixabay. Specifically, on this website, you can find over 1,000,000 different photos, illustrations, and videos. And all this in unlimited amounts because it also works under a CC0 license.
With intuitive navigation and the possibility of advanced search, you’ll easily find your way in this endless forest of graphic elements. The main search box offers you the ability to search for your ideal photo based on factors such as media type, color orientation, and dimensions. It’s an extremely useful tool, which is easy to navigate. This can be important if you have short deadlines and you need a specific photo or video.
Although it’s a website for free photos, what sets Unsplash apart from a bunch of other similar websites is that all the photos are carefully selected and each one is unique. There are no boring, worn stock photos such as a smiling group of coworkers in the office staring at a laptop, which is certainly one of the reasons why Unsplash is one of the more famous platforms in this field.
Of course, you’re already guessing, Unsplash falls under the CC0 license, too, meaning – free use, modification, printing, and more, and you don’t have to worry about citing sources. Of course, as is the case with this license, it’s possible that authors themselves have retained certain usage rights – so, check that out.
This platform offers free photos, also published under a Creative Commons license, and you can download them free of charge. But, be careful because on Flickr you can accidentally download photos that you can’t use on other sites. When searching, it’s important to check the “Free for Commercial Use” option, which will show you photos that you can use on your website, with the obligatory indication of the author’s name.
You can download just over a million photos for free, and the platform is especially loved by bloggers because it offers the option of contacting some of the photo authors. The advantage of this platform is that you can search for photos by color. If your query is “people” and you mark “red” color, the search results will usually be people in red clothes or with a red background photo.
You wrote an article in a humorous tone for a blog and now you need a suitable photo to illustrate it? However, you have checked many platforms but can’t find exactly what you need? Indeed, silly photos are hard to find.
Gratisography is what you’re looking for. It’s similar in the way it works to all other websites with free photos, but it’s distinguished by one small thing. Each photo is unique. Unusual motifs and creativity are the main features of the material on this page. And to make things even more interesting, all the photos were taken by one man – Ryan McGuire.
So, Gratisography is definitely one of the most interesting sites because it offers the craziest and weirdest photos completely free. This is another review platform where you can search for photos by categories such as animals, nature, objects, people, and many others. All photos are in high resolution and you can use them without any conditions or fees.
When you open this website, you’ll immediately be greeted by a big title that says: “Uniquely free photos”. This is the backbone of Reshot’s entire philosophy.
As the page itself was started by passionate creatives, they adapted it to people like themselves – those who see the world with slightly different eyes than others. That’s why you’ll find a library of unique free photos in one place that have little in common with classic stock photography. In this way, your work will stand out as unique, and not just another in a series of copies.
Being the way it is, Reshot is ideal for startups, freelancers, and all creatives who are tired of everyday photos. And in order for the entire mission to be accomplished in the best possible way, all material is completely free and can be changed, supplemented, and used according to the wishes and needs of the user.
What makes Pikwizard stand out is the ability to edit each image on graphic design software, Design Wizard. Having the creative power to edit images is a huge plus for Pikwizard!
Another great selling point is the images of people. You won’t find cheesy, generic stock images on Pikwizard, just real images of people. There’s a category for everything – Beauty/Fashion. Technology and Business/Finance are just a few of the categories included. You may find some Adobe sponsored images on the website. But don’t worry. This is just a way for Pikwizard to generate revenue, it’s a (mostly) free stock photo site!
Thankfully there’s no attribution required. This means you can take each image or video and use it as you please. No need to worry about running into any legal complications with your visuals!