15 Top Notch Sites for Free Images
There are lots of uses for images: presentations, websites, scrapbooks, art journals, collages, Pinterest boards, and vision boards, to name just a few. Free images, whether photographs or graphics, are the best of all if they are any good.
Fortunately, there are now literally dozens of free sites with lots of great high resolution photographs. We are a far cry from just a few short years ago when I was spending thousands of dollars to purchase images for use in presentations.
I have done the legwork to find you the top five sites in each of three categories of free images:
- Large sites that aggregate photos, often from dozens of small sites
- Small sites that are the work of one photographer or are devoted to a specific theme
- Sites for graphics, illustrations and icons
Large Aggregated Photo Sites
There are a number of large sites for free images, but not all of them are easy to use. The ones in this list meet my criteria which includes:
- have a search bar
- may have a premium section that will cost you, but is not focused on getting you to upgrade
- photographs are available in a variety of sizes or, at least, are high resolution
- are copyright free and do not require attribution
- large site with a significant and growing collection
- loads quickly
My Five Favourites
- Pixabay.com –includes photographs in categories; ability to select just horizontal or vertical images, ability to sort by colour, and editor’s choices. Also includes graphics.
- Pexels.com –includes popular photos, popular searches, ability to sort by predominant colour, and a leaderboard of the most downloaded photos in the previous 30 days.
- Librestock.com –curates from 47 sites; includes photos sorted according to most popular tags
- Stock Up–on the smaller side of the large sites, only aggregating from 28 sites. Nevertheless, I like this site for its’ highlighting of new weekly photos and the popular photos category.
- Stock Snap.io–includes popular searches and trending photos
There are a couple of other large sites that are in the process of redoing their websites. When they are ready, I will update this post.
- Negative Space.co –each photo has space for copy, great if you want to put quotations on images. Also includes category choices and selection by colour.
- Designers Pics.com–interesting concept photos. Categories include: architecture, business, concepts, food and drinks, nature, people, technology, things, uncategorized.
- New Old Stock.co–vintage photos from public archives; worldwide images in black and white, sepia and colour.
- Pic Jumbo.com–the work of one interesting young photographer from the Czech Republic. Lots of different perspectives and a wide variety of themes.
- Gratisography.com–one of the few sites that has a category called ‘whimsical’
Sites for Graphics, Illustrations and Icons
- Creative Market.com–a site for designers. Collections can be purchased, but if you subscribe, each Monday you will get access to six free collections–fonts, templates, wallpaper, illustrations, etcetera.
- Reusable Art.com–huge collection of vintage images from fishing to music to mythology.
- The Pattern Library.com–a small but growing collection of tileable patterns
- Icon Finder.com–a great source for single free icons on every theme imaginable. If you want multiple icons on a theme, however, you will want to upgrade to a paid plan.
- The Graphics Fairy.com–transparent images to use as transfers, vintage images, hand-drawn illustrations
Are you familiar with any of these sites? Do you have any other favourites? How do you use images in your work or your hobbies? Please share in the comments below.