One of the biggest challenges that most bloggers face is where to find free photos and other images that are suitable for use in blog posts. It wasn't too long ago that most bloggers simply just pulled whatever images they needed from other sites, without paying attention to the rights. However, as our sites grow, a couple things have probably happened that will make you re-evaluate that theory. The first is that someone may "borrow" one of your images and the second is that you read about someone getting sued for thousands of dollars because they used an image without licensing it properly.
Both of those events will leave you a little sick in your stomach but luckily it's easy to avoid. While there are plenty of sites for stock photos such as ImageStock, Shutterstock etc. There are a variety of free places to get stock images too!
Free Sites Bloggers Can Use for Photos
Foodies Feed - Just as the name sounds, FoodiesFeed.com specializes in food photography. While they have a fairly limited collection, this is a perfect option for people who regularly need images of food related topics. They also have a "Premium" option with prices ranging from $39-$129 for lifetime access to more professional food photos.
Flickr - Many photos on Flickr are licensed for non-commercial use but it's important to review those licenses and comply with them. Flickr also hosts most official US Government photos including military images. They also are the most common site used to host images by tourism destinations as well.
Wikimedia Commons - Just like above, most photos on Wiki Media are free for bloggers to use as long as you pay attention to the license. they currently host a database of nearly 40 million images ranging from scientific to historic images, sounds, and video.
National Park Service Media Gallery - The National Park Service has an incredible database of thousands of images ranging from scenic vistas to wildlife and recreation. Many of these images are public domain, while others require specific attribution.
Library of Congress - Like the NPS above, the US Library of Congress also has a great archive of images that are generally public domain. These primarily include historic images.
New Old Stock: Two things separate this one from the crowd. First, you have access to exclusively vintage photos and secondly, they are found in the public archives. All are available for free use.
Free Stock Photo Sites with Creative Commons Zero And Similar No Attribution Licenses ...
Pixabay - Gain access to over 2.3 million high quality stock photos, videos, music, and unique illustrations that capture the moment. These are public domain with a comprehensive search engine.
Pexels - This site gives you convenient access to multiple other databases around the world. It gives you search results from other sites so it's more versatile. Use these photos for all purposes!
Unsplash - Professional users will love this site and it features more than 2 million images with extremely highly professional quality. This is a very organized platform that is licensed under Creative Commons Zero and is one of the best royalty free stock photo sites for business use.
PicJumbo - Here you will find a prestigious stock photo site with more than 2.5 million images that is created by the photographer Victor Hanacek. PicJumbo offers completely free, no attribution required photos as well as themed sets released monthly, for those that subscribe to their premium service.
Barn Images - These photos typically fall under the health, wellness, and fitness categories. However there are also a large number of travel-related images found here as well.
Stokpic - Photos here cross a wide variety of genres where you will find everything from beautiful pictures of cupcakes to surfers.
Stock Snap - These photos include a wide variety of subjects ranging from food to fitness as well as travel and automotive.
StockSnap.io - Expect new and fresh photos from this site every week so you can enjoy fresh pictures that are flexible to modify, distribute, or copied at your convenience. This is a great place to find exceptionally talented photographers and use their work for free! Be careful though, the top results are sponsored photos from Shutterstock, scroll down for free photos that you can download for use in blogs and websites.
SuperFamous - You will find some captivating images of natural landscapes here straight from Folkert Gorter. These are also under the Creative Commons Attributions 3.0 license so you have considerable freedom!
Travel Coffee Book - This is a particularly good site for finding stunning scenery or other landmarks. It is especially useful because it can serve as your photo management tool where you can post your own!
Burst - This is a royalty-free website hosted by Shopify that gives you access to high-resolution pictures where you're allowed to modify or use for any purpose. This site has a wide variety of topics and scenes to choose from.
Freerange Stock - Here you will find a close network of in-house photographers who are happy to give you some excellent quality photos. These are available for commercial or non-commercial use and are professionally taken.
NegativeSpace - If you're looking for photos to fit a specific color palette this is a great site since you can sort by color.
Max Pixel - This site features nearly a million photos including excellent travel images as well as photos of animals.
Life of Pix - This is a smaller site that has a more limited inventory of stock photos but they certainly pack a punch. These are free to use for any purpose and you can download them with ease.
SplitShire - Here you will gain access to some impressive stock photos that are free to use for any purpose (with some limitations) without attribution. Many of the images have been used in prestigious journals and news stations around the world.
Reshot - In addition to a strong index of free photos, they also offer great options for Free SVG, PNG, and Vector Format images too.
SkitterPhoto - Ever since 2014, SkitterPhoto has added a brand new pic to its stock so you can find fresh content regularly. These are all taken by photographers that are operating under the Creative Commons license so they are considered public domain.
FOCA Stock - Here you will find free photos and videos that can be used at your leisure with no problems. There are new photos every single week and many of them have been featured on Shopify and Canva.
PICNOI - Self described as, "Free Stock Photo for a Colorful World". This site is a coop of stock image photographers that focuses especially on creating diverse, multi-racial photos that include people of color. You can download the entire library for $59.99 and this purchase goes to support their mission of maintaining the database and creating new images. Licensing here in unclear as one page says photos do not require attribution and another says attribution is required.
Startup Stock Photos: This site specifically focuses on free photos of startup businesses and entrepreneurs.
Jay Mantri: There are some magical photos here and you will benefit from some incredible scenes that can be used anywhere.
Gratisography: Find some impressive photos here from Ryan McGuire that are breathtaking and professionally taken. You will find some of the best photos around here under the Creative Commons License.
Free Photos For Use In Blogs and Websites Under Other Licenses
MorgueFile: This is a great website for illustrators and designers looking for free photos and other images to use as the base for creative works. The "Morguefile License" however, requires that if you use the photos in an unaltered state then you must credit the original photographer.
PikWizard - There are over one million options in free stock pics here to choose from for commercial use. These images are available for download at your convenience and they look fantastic for being free but under a variety of licenses.
Refe: If you're looking for a natural approach to photography then Refe is a great website to consider. It is a paid site, but there is a free selection where you gain access to themes and neat imagery.
Mazwai - This site is exclusively for video and operates under a variety of licenses. We like the site so we're including it under "photos" just because.
There are dozens more sites for free photos, images, video, illustrations and other visual content that can be used with blogs as well as commercial content. If you have a favorite site that you want us to add to our list, please comment below or contact us directly so that we can consider adding it to this list!