computer and laptop next to 12 websites to get great stock images for free

Get Great Stock Images for Free from These 12 Websites

You need great images on your website and other marketing materials to help tell your story. You can try to create your own imagery, but that can take a lot of time and equipment. So, you might need to use stock images, instead. These can be expensive, but you can find some great ones for free from these websites:

  1. Albumarium
  2. Every Stock Photo
  3. Flickr
  4. Free Images
  5. Image*After
  6. Morgue File
  7. New Old Stock
  8. Pixabay
  9. Public Domain Archive
  10. Start-up Stock Photos
  11. Stocksnap
  12. Unsplash

It may be tempting to do a Google Image search and just download pictures that fit your brand, but you don’t know any details about the copyright licenses. If the creator finds out that you’re using their image, you could owe a hefty fine.

Creative Commons licenses

When you’re looking for free stock images, look for websites that explicitly define the copyright licenses of their imagery. Find pictures that are in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license. These licenses are public copyright licenses that allow you to download and distribute pictures that would otherwise be a copyrighted work.

There are six types of Creative Commons licenses:

  1. Attribution: You can use the image any way you like, even commercially. You must give credit to the creator, even if you change the picture in any way. It’s easy to include attribution –add text under the image on your website that says, “Photo by Jane Doe.” If the creator has a website, link to it.
  2. Attribution-ShareAlike: You can use the image any way you like, even commercially, if you give credit to the creator. If you copy or change the image in any way, you must license your picture under the same terms as the original.
  3. Attribution-NoDerivs: You can use the image commercially or non-commercially if you give credit to the creator and do not change the picture in any way.
  4. Attribution-NonCommercial: You cannot use the image commercially. You must give credit to the creator, even if you change the picture in any way.
  5. Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike: You cannot use the image commercially. If you copy or change the picture in any way, you must license your version under the same terms as the original.
  6. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerives: You cannot use the image commercially or change it in any way. You must also give credit to the creator.

Creative Commons also allows works to be licensed under an “All Rights Granted” space. You can use the picture any way you like, even commercially, without asking for permission or attributing the image to the creator. This license essentially puts the picture in the public domain.