Free Quality Images

10 New Places to Find Quality, Free Photos

Finding quality images for your website or blog is one thing, but finding quality images that are also free is an entirely different conversation, especially if you don’t want to be sued.

The sad truth is that if you are using images that you don’t own, and are not following the license associated with that image, you are walking a fine and dangerous line. I’ve heard horror stories from a few bloggers who were sued because they used an image without paying for it, sometimes on a blog post that was several years old. They pursued several avenues, but ultimately ended up forking over the fine. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and one that I hope you never have to go through.

So, to help you on your journey to find free, high quality images; here is a list of 10 fresh sites that provide just that. Each site is unique and some have different terms. Make sure you always research an images license before using it, and when in doubt, provide credit!

1. Unsplash

Free Quality Images - Unsplash

Free Quality Images - Unsplash

Free Quality Images - Unsplash

Unsplash is perhaps my favorite on this list. The quality of the photos is extremely impressive, and I would have otherwise expected to pay for these images. The images to choose from range from landscapes, architecture, technology, wildlife and much more. Each photo is obviously the product of a talented photographer, and we get to reap the benefits!

Unsplash is 100%. You can literally take the images and do whatever you want with them, no questions asked. This is as good as it gets. Unsplash provides 10 new photos every 10 days. I only wish there was more sites like this!

2. Gratisography

Free Quality Images - Gratisography

Free Quality Images - Gratisography

Free Quality Images - Gratisography

Gratisography is a project by Ryan McGuire that has some really nice photos that are completely free of copyright restrictions. New photos are added each week.

3. Little Visuals

Free Quality Images - Little Visuals

Free Quality Images - Little Visuals

Free Quality Images - Little Visuals

Little Visuals is an ironic name, as this site gives you some massive images. I’m talking 5000 pixels and wider. It looks like they stick with nature and wildlife themed photos, but all the images are very high quality. Little Visuals provides 7 new images every 7 days (although I don’t believe they’ve updated the site in a while). Subscribe with your email address to get the images sent to your inbox.

Little Visuals uses the Creative Commons license, and allows you to use the images in any way you want.

4. PicJumbo

Free Quality Images - PicJumbo

Free Quality Images - PicJumbo

Free Quality Images - PicJumbo

PicJumbo is a newer free photo site, but it’s just as good as the others. Images are free to download and do with as you please, restriction free. New images are added daily, so make sure you check back frequently!

5. MorqueFile

Free Quality Images - MorgueFile

Free Quality Images - MorgueFile

Free Quality Images - MorgueFile

MorgueFile is a larger site, and does offer paid images from iStock and others, but there are lots of quality free photoes. The MorgueFile license allows you to copy, distribute, transmit the work and to adapt the work, without attribution. The only thing you are prohibited from doing is using the image in a stand alone manner.

6. New Old Stock

Free Quality Images - New Old Stock

Free Quality Images - New Old Stock

Free Quality Images - New Old Stock

New Old Stock is an interesting site that features…you guessed it…vintage photos. These vintage photos are from public archives and are free of any known copyright restrictions – so go nuts! This is my go-to site if I’m working on a project that needs an old time appeal.

7. WeFunction

Free Quality Images - WeFunction

Free Quality Images - WeFunction

Free Quality Images - WeFunction

WeFunction is a design blog written by Liam Mckay, who claims he isn’t much of a photographer, but the free images he posts are awesome. Liam posts small packs of free images that are completely and utterly restriction free. I certainly hope this is something that Liam continues!

8. SuperFamous

Free Quality Images - SuperFamous

Photo by Folkert Gorter / CC BY

Free Quality Images - SuperFamous

Photo by Folkert Gorter / CC BY

Free Quality Images - SuperFamous

Photo by Folkert Gorter / CC BY

SuperFamous posts photos under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. You can use them in any way you’d like, you just have to provide credit. It appears to be another site that isn’t updated frequently or has been abandoned, but there is a large amount of really stunning photos. The photographer clearly likes taking pictures from planes!

9. Death to the Stock Photo

Free Quality Images - Death to the Stock Photo

Free Quality Images - Death to the Stock Photo

Free Quality Images - Death to the Stock Photo

Death to the Stock Photo is a site dedicated to providing you unique and high quality photos, or exactly the opposite of what they consider a “stock” photo. Death to the Stock Photo has their own license, but what it comes down to is unlimited and unrestricted use without required attribution.

In order to take advantage of what they have to offer, you need to sign up with your email address. After doing so, you’ll get great photos emailed to you from different artists. It’s like a birthday present in your inbox.

10. Flickr

How could any free photo list be complete without mentioning Flickr? Flickr is a massive community of photographers and designers, and utilizes Creative Commons licenses, which just means you need to credit the image author, and adhere to any other limitations the author requests. Check the license for the photo before using it!

I’ve linked you to a search for “nature” images, but you can literally run any search you want, there is a nearly endless stockpile of high quality images at your disposal.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of sites out there that offer royalty-free or Creative Commons licenses for images, but so many of these sites have the “stock” feel to them. Stock is boring, so when I look for images for a blog post or for a new project these are the sites I look to first. There are some amazing artists and photographers out there offering the fruits of their labor for free.

When In Doubt, Give Credit

If you are ever confused by a license, or aren’t sure what license a site or author uses – just give credit to the author or ask for permission. It’s important to protect yourself.

So what do you think? Did I miss any great free photo sites? Let me know in the comments below.

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Founder at Inbounderish
Brad is a Minnesota based Web Developer and Inbound Marketer. He writes regularly about a wide variety of web technologies including WordPress, Programming, Marketing, and more.

17 comments

    1. I’m glad you mentioned that, I’ve used sxc for a while as well. Tons of images – seemingly endless. The problem is there is all different sorts of licenses (some require permission, some don’t, etc.) and a lot of the images are pretty low quality. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of great images on that site, but in this article I wanted to highlight some really unique ones that I’ve come across from some really talented photographers.

  1. …and I thought I knew all the great places to find quality free photos. NOT. These are excellent resources. It is getting a little easier to find great images and this has definitely helped with the old image budget. I do still buy some images but not nearly as much as a year or two ago.

  2. Hey Brad
    This rocks!
    I love putting cool images on my posts, and I am always using the same sites and struggling to find high impact photos. Plus I am also redesigning my blog at the moment and need some great backgrounds!
    This post fits the bill
    thanks mate
    ashley

  3. Be very, VERY careful of sites such as morquefile.

    Read the licensing and attrition guidelines thoroughly. Personally i would not touch the content on that URL with a bargepole, even though there is an abundance of beautiful work available.

    There is a real possibility of anything you choose to use from such a collection coming back to bite you very, very hard, in some way, at a later date.

  4. Sadly the photographer of little visuals passed away in 2013 and the site is no longer being updated, they politely ask for a donation if you use their images.

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