Designers and artists rely on free stock photos a lot and it can sometimes be difficult to find the right one. To help you with this, we rounded up the 17 best places to get free stock photography. Have a look!

Free Stock Photo Websites

Stock photos are expensive but there are ways to many ways to get free stock photos. Generally, the quality of free stock photos does not match those from paid stock photo websites but if you’re looking for something simple (i.e. landscapes), you’ll be able to find it from these websites. Be sure to check out these free stock photo websites before buying them from other stock photo agencies!

Pond5 Public Domain Project

Public domain photos are photos without intellectual property rights usually because of expired copyright or by choice (ex. government work). Thus, these images can be freely with less limitations than other free stock photos. There are many sources for public domain images but our favorite is the one on Pond5 where they made it easy to find and download the image you want.

stock.xchng

stock.xchng is one the largest free stock photo website with over 400,000 photos and 2.5 million registered users. They have been purchased by Getty Images but still run as a free website. All their images use a standard image license agreement. Their website still looks the same way it did years ago but it’s still easy to use despite the smaller thumbnail sizes.

Dreamstime

Dreamstime is one of our favorite places fore free stock photos. What makes Dreamstime great is that they have a lot of high-quality stock and you don’t have to worry about licenses or restrictions. Dreamstime has nearly 10,000 royalty-free images licensed under their Limited Royalty Free License (RF-LL) that gives you the same terms as their regular Royalty Free license but with a maximum amount of 10,000 copies. If 10,000 copies isn’t enough for you, you can still purchase the image under the regular RF license.

MorgueFile

MorgueFile is one of the oldest free stock photo websites; founded in 1996 with the purpose to “provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. This is the world wide web’s morguefile.”. Because of their age, they have a lot of good quality photos and an easy-to-browse website. The best part about MorgueFile is no registration required!

StockPholio

This is one of the cleanest and easiest to use search that lets you find free photos on Flickr. Each image download informs you of the terms (in case you need to attribute the author) and provides a clean HTML code that you can copy and paste for the credits. The best thing about StockPholio is that you get direct downloads with no registration required.

RGBstock

RGBstock has a huge collection of free stock and they seem to be growing fast. We checked their new photos section and they had 181 new photos yesterday – all good quality shots. They also have a nice Pinterest-style random photos section.

CG Textures

This is the world’s most popular website for textures. As implied by its name, CG textures has a lot of textures but they also have stock photos too. We love CG Textures because all their photos are distortion/noise free and perfect for 3D artists. They offer a free account which lets you download up to 15MB/day in most sizes.

DeviantART Stock Images Section

DeviantART separates from all other free stock photo websites because their images tend to be geared towards artists and you can typically photos here that you can’t find on other websites (ex. fantasy, models, etc.). We’re in love with the stock on DeviantART but the rules some authors use make it more of a hassle to use than other stock photo websites. No registration required but please read their rules – many authors on DeviantART have their own rules and they vary greatly from one author to another.

34 thoughts on “The Best Free Stock Photography Websites”

  1. PerfectExposure.org

    Me and my friend are amateur photographers (although we do some paid work every now and then) and we have created this website

    http://www.perfectexposure.org

    We believe in free culture and we are going to post all our photos in full resolution on our website and can be used under following creative commons license.

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
    That means you can
    remix, transform, and build upon the material
    for any purpose, even commercially.
    100% free of cost.

    We have just started this project and within months there will be thousands of photos available.
    If you like our work and want to promote free culture then please spread the word to everyone who might want to build upon our work.
    If everything goes right then our plan is to recruit more like minded photographers and make this site really rich with 100% free stock photos
    Thank you for supporting us

    Kind regards,

    Roy

  2. There is also kerioakimages.com part of the new and growing Symbiostock network of experienced independent stock image artists. Currently 130 members and over 170,000 images both increasing every day.

  3. I prefer pixabay and morguefile over the others because all the photos are public domain. Other “free” places have restrictions on how the photos can be used, which defeats the purpose of the whole thing. You can also check out my site http://www.goodfreephotos.com for thousands of photos I’ve released into the public domain.

  4. Thanks a lot for the info. I am sure i can get few of the required images from above sites.
    We also use a website called http://pickupimage.com.
    If you are a website designer, blogger here you can download high resolution Free stock images for free.

  5. Not sure why “dreams time” is on any list? Personally, I found nothing FREE! And I will never purchase any images from these companies, advertising “LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE STOCK IMAGES”

  6. I use Freerange Stock all the time – they have a LOT more than 700 images… over 25,000 from what I can tell.

  7. rgbstock.com should be at the top of this list! Relatively new, it is an amazing resource for anyone looking for quality images…

  8. Please show this to your tutorial authors so that they can stop using deviantart. Too many broken deviantart links everywhere

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top

Subscribe and EnjoyFree Photoshop Actions

Sign up to our weekly newsletter and as a thank you, you’ll get 10 free Special FX Photoshop Actions courtesy of SparkleStock ($12 value).

Special FX Photoshop Actions