If you’ve ever tried to design a website or blog, you’ve probably
felt the need to add images to your creation. It can be easy to see the Internet
as a free-for-all, but images belong to the people who created them. Staying
legal means you’ll have to either create your own images or buy them
from stock sites. Fortunately, there are a number of sources for free images,
and we’ve collected them here. So read on for 100 sources where you can
find free stock images: and don’t worry — they’re all legal!
These resources are some of the most popular free stock image sites on the
Web and with good reason. If you’re looking for some mainstream images,
these are the first place to try.
FreeFoto.com claims to be “the largest collection of free photographs
on the Internet.” They’re available for offline projects as well,
as long as you’re not using them to make a profit.
Look for images and textures in unique categories like tattoo, smoke, and
Dreamer: Free, royalty-free stock images can be found here.
- Free Photos Bank:
This features a handful of the newest photos in their directory, so check
- Free Digital Photos:
Find gorgeous, easy-to-download photographs in categories like animals, celebrations,
home & garden, and lots more.
- PD Photo: Browse through
the categories and subcategories in this site’s database, most of which
depict the urban and rural landscapes of the United States.
Search over a million photographs and fine art pieces.
On cepolina, you can choose to save photos in up to five different formats.
- DexHaus: A wide
array of beautiful images are found on this well-organized site.
Chances are you’ll find whatever it is you’re looking for on
this terrific site.
TurboPhoto has 10 categories keep the high res photos easy to find.
- Yotophoto: An immensely
popular site, Yotophoto is worth checking out.
- Stockvault: Search
by photo subject or by the newest and most popular photos on Stockvault.
- Dreamstime: While
most of the photos on this site cost a fee (some as low as $0.26/image),
Dreamstime provides a few free stock photos.
- Open Stock Photography:
This site offers over one million images for you to download and use however
In addition to being a great source of images, these sites host forums, file
sharing and other features designed to nurture community spirit.
- Image After:
Search tons of free photos on this site while meeting other photography lovers
on the forum.
Use the images however you want, just make sure you let them know where you’ve
- Font Play:
This site has nearly 10,000 free photos for you to use any way you want.
Look under the “Guests” heading to search by your favorite contributor.
- Studio 25: This
attractive site lets you upload and search images.
- Vintage Pixels:
Share your archived photos with other users. Download images that work for
your Web site or blog.
Influence: Search for the stock images you want while talking
about photography with other visitors on the site’s forum.
- amygdela’s atmosphere:
This site hosts a forum and a blog, as well as tons of stock images.
- Every Stock Photo:
A forum and blog keep this stock image site fun and informative.
The good people at Photocase are “prettying up the world.” Check
out their great library of stock images.
Provocative photos spawn great debates on the site’s forum.
It’s probably pretty safe to say that every stock image site on the
Web needs the help of photographers to keep it running. The following sites,
however, really cater to the needs of photographers, designers, and other artists
even though they’re donating their photos for free.
- Stock.xchng: Check out
the gorgeous shots organized into lots of different categories, making your
search as easy as possible.
- Morguefile: Browse
thousands of beautiful photos in this site’s archives, but don’t
miss their job board either!
This site organizes photographs by geographical location. Enter into their
contest for a chance to win great prizes.
- The NOAA Library:
Breathtaking science and nature shots are available at this site. Don’t
forget to check out the “Meet the Photographers” page which includes
short bios and descriptions of the featured photogs.
Perfect Digital: Get tons of free stock images and read
the latest in photography news.
- Free Range Stock:
Photographers are rewarded for giving away their pictures by getting a percentage
of the site’s total ad revenue.
- AMG Media:
As long as you give credit to the photographer somewhere on your site, these
images are yours for the taking.
- Free Photographs Network:
Submit photographs for others to see, or download some for your own use.
If you’re a photographer, submit your best pictures for a chance to
win cool prizes.
If you can’t find a picture of anything you want, go to PhotoRogue.com
and make a request for whatever it is you’re thinking of. Photographers
will take pictures for you — and it’s still free!
Submit your photos for consideration.
Send in your photos for other visitors to use on their personal sites.
- Image Temple:
Send in your own photos to be included in this site’s gallery.
- Flickr: Most of the
photos on this site are not free, but a clever search will turn up some real
Downloaders must link their chosen photo back to the site, which gives the
Less is Sometimes More
Just because the sites listed in this section aren’t as expansive as
some of the others on our list doesn’t mean they’re not worth checking
out. Sometimes less can really means more, especially when it comes to narrowing
down your search or coming across hard-to-find treasures.
- Mayang’s Free Texture
Library: Download high-res textures from this site, which
has categories like architecture, buildings, plants, wood, and stone.
- Liam’s Pictures from
Old Books: Discover hard-to-find illustrations from old
books, “most with multiple high-resolution versions.”
Warehouse: Find interesting textures at this great site.
- Free Stock Photos:
Nature shots and religious themes are abundant at this free stock photography
Totally free images are organized into categories like animals, bugs, cityscapes,
people, plants, and textures.
- Design Packs:
New images and themes are added monthly, so this site may not be a well kept
secret too much longer!
Textures: This site is a web designer’s dream. Browse
hundreds of high res textures and backgrounds.
- Aarin Free Photo and Digital
Images: These site boasts nearly 1,000 fantastic images
for you to choose from.
- Image Base:
On Image Base, breathtaking photographs are organized in categories like
nature, concept, people, and city.
- Majestic Imagery:
All the photos on this site were taken by the host.
studio: All the images are free, but if you’re a frequent
user, you might want to consider making a donation to this photo entrepreneur.
- Zurb Photos:
Photographer Bryan Zmijewski uploads his own images onto this site.
- tOfz.org: Find
urban images for free, but consider making a contribution to this artist’s
These gorgeous photos were all taken by the same artist, who also hosts the
- Insect Images:
Find all kinds of photos of creepy crawlers here.
Stock Images Plus
There is a lot more to legal stock images than just a bank of free photos.
The sites in this section all go beyond being a basic stock photography resource
by offering more services that will help improve your search for and use of
- Creative Commons:
This nonprofit site shows you how to license your images once they’ve
been uploaded onto your site.
- Free Images:
This British site offers free images as well as wallpapers, desktops, and
a section of ideas and tips that will help you customize your image experience,
whether you’re a photographer or not.
Online: This stock images site is an excellent resource
for any new blogger or Web site developer. Learn about editing your images,
hosting, domains, and more.
- ArtFavor: Find
stock images, fonts, sounds, flash clipart, and more, are all on this terrific
Philosopher: Find hilarious and beautiful stock images side
by side. Also check out the site’s blog and web hosting capabilities.
- Gimp Savvy:
In addition to finding great images, Gimp Savvy also gives tips on photo
touchups, making a collage, and more.
- Creativity 103:
Find free abstract images and videos on Creativity 103.
- Afflict.net: Search
photos and textures while learning about images in the tutorials section.
- One Odd Dude:
Download photographs, wallpapers, textures, and more on One Odd Dude.
Search for your favorite subjects or web sites, and hundreds of free icons,
stock images, and other designs will appear.
Support: On Photoshop Support, browse photos, read the tutorials,
and check out the great imaging tools.
Search antique portraits and use the geneaology resources link to connect
you to even more tools.
- Free Media Goo:
Download free stock images, audio, and video on Free Media Goo.
- National Park
Service Digital Image Archive: Check out beautiful pictures
taken for the NPS. This site also provides a link to the NPS official
York Public Library Digital Gallery: Browse through thousands
of prints, illustrations, and photos. Read the photographic services
and permissions page for more information on downloading high-res files.
These image sites don’t necessarily fit into one particular category,
but they’ve still got a lot to offer.
- Backgrounds Archive:
Find beautiful backgrounds for your desktop or MySpace page.
- USDA Agricultural
Research Service: The government’s Agricultural Research
Service sponsors this “complimentary source of high quality digital
- Holy Land Photos:
Poignant photos of the Holy Land are available here.
This site makes organizing your downloads easy.
- Four Bees:
Browse through the stock images directory, or download royalty free music
and video on Four Bees.
Search for free stock images with this handy tool.
Digital Slide File: These beautiful shots of Yellowstone
National Park are available for use by the media and public.
- Plants of
Hawaii: Perfect for any botanist, this site has over 45,000
images of Hawaiian plants.
- Microshots: This
site specializes in microscopic images.
- IN TEXTURE: Free
stock textures are plentiful on this site.
- Trip Album: This
site is all in French, but the photos are divided into categories based on
country, making it easy to figure out.
- Orange Trash:
Find pictures about Hungary on this Web site.
- Public domain
stock photos: Browse categories like backgrounds, food,
nature, objects, and seasonal on this site.
- BAJstock: Written
in both French and English, this stock image site has tons of photos for
you to use for free.
- NWYK Stock Image Library:
This hilarious site provides free images that capture the drudgery and playfulness
of office life.
These stock image sites offer a wide range of photo subjects, perfect for
casual browsing or a way to get ideas before you plan out your site.
- Public Domain Photos:
Check out these gorgeous pictures of animals, cities, landscapes, and more.
- Bigfoto.com: Find
photos of beautiful places all around the world, as well as fun shots in
the Christmas, grafitti, or food categories
- Photogen: Look
through the Top 10 gallery to find the most popular downloads in a preview-friendly
- Free Pixels:
Find free photos, logos, or other images on this site.
- DHD Multimedia Gallery:
Search through thousands of basic photos.
- PIX: This site is so
easy, you don’t even have to register to download.
- Photo Rack: New
photos are featured at the bottom of the page, so check back often to make
sure you don’t miss anything great.
- Free Stock Photos:
On Free Stock Photos, each image comes with a description detailing its size.
- Barry’s Free Photos:
This is a great site for finding all different kinds of images for your Web
This site is all in Spanish but still easy to navigate if you’re not
a native speaker.
Several different categories allow for an efficient search on IronOrchid.
- Image Blowout:
Have fun looking through these unique photos.
Tons of categories and subcategories make searching for photos on this site
This fun, attractive site makes searching for that perfect photo a little
- Free Photo Station:
Loads of great photos are all free on this site.