Here are some great tips for finding copyright free content…legally!
Be aware that these services change their policies from time to time, so be sure to check usage rights per piece and per site. Currently, the broadest rights are called CC0, (that’s a zero) which stands for Creative Common, Zero rights reserved. Look for CC0 rights and you are safe!
Free Stock Options
- Best Stock Photo Site ListStarting the list with…a list! Scroll down a bit to see the rated content. Some are duplicated below.
- Public Domain (also links to paid images)
- Dreamstime (free, also paid)
- Free Digital Photos
- Free Range Stock Just sign up for a free membership, log in and download high-quality, high-resolution free stock photos and textures. All images are at least 2400 x 1600 pixels and can be used for personal and commercial use.
- MorgueFile This site contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits. A classic resource that has become standard for free stock photography over the last years.
- Free Stock Photos Download free images to use for professional or commercial use. Categories include Athens, Christian, Egypt, Israel, Rome, Scenery, Sky, Weather and many more.
- Free Stock Photography offers a plethora of completely free Royalty-free stock photography. Browse over one hundred categories from animals to toy and games.
- Stockvault (free, but non-commercial), features over 13,000 free stock photos from over 3,600 photographers. The site’s helpful tutorials, videos and articles can also be a powerful tool for any designer.
Commercial Stock Photography Services
It is worth noting that the paid sites also offer some freebies if you search on “free”. Be sure to follow copyright guidelines!
- iStock Photo (has a free photo-of-the-week*)
- Shutterstock (has a free photo-of-the-week*)
- Big Stock Photo
- Adobe Stock You can get one month free with your Adobe subscription.
- Textures.com allows members (free!) to download 15MB per 24 hour period. Also has tutorials and pre-built panoramic skies.
- Mayang’s Textures, no longer free, is a texture library with over 3,800 free to download, high-resolution textures. Featuring everything from brick walls, leaves, water, paint effects and so much more, these images come in handy for any designer.
Are there others you would add? Leave your thoughts below!