Free Stock Photos for Commercial Use
When You Want More
When you build your business website, you’ll want to use images. Great images bring your website to life and boost how it performs in search results. But you can't just use any random photo you find online. If you do, you risk getting sued for copyright infringement. That’s where stock photos come in.
Thankfully, stock photos are no longer just boring images of people flashing fake smiles. Now, you can find an almost limitless number of stock photographs that are available for commercial use. Plenty of them are creative, unique, and depicting nearly anything you can imagine. The best part? Many stock photo websites are completely free.
10 Best Free Stock Photo Websites
Here are our favorite stock photo websites. All of the sites on this list will allow you to use their photos for free, for both commercial and non-commercial use. So you can use them on your business website, social media, and for almost any purpose you can imagine.
Unsplash has a massive collection of over 3 million free high-resolution images, from photographers all over the world. Photos can be used for commercial or non-commercial use, without requiring attribution.
Pexels’ collection of stock photos and videos is known for the diversity of its photo subjects. Whether you’re a plumber, a travel blogger, or a cardiologist, you can most likely find the right image for your business here. Photos and videos can be used freely, without attribution.
Burst has a large collection of photos specifically tailored to entrepreneurs. You can even search collections inspired by trending business ideas. All photos are free for commercial use.
Gratisography sells itself as the “world’s quirkiest collection of high-resolution free stock images.” And indeed, it offers a large collection of artsy, out-of-the-box images, making it a great resource for creative businesses. All photos are created by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design and are licensed for free commercial use.
StockSnap has a large collection of high-resolution photos and a useful search feature that makes it easy to browse by category. All photos are free for commercial use under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
Rawpixel is known for its diverse collection of photos, illustrations, and designs, with an emphasis on artsy and creative images. Many images on the site can be used for free. However, some can only be downloaded with a paid subscription.
Libreshot has hundreds of artsy and esoteric photographs unlike ones you’ll find on other photo sites. All photos are created by Martin Vorel Photography and are licensed for free commercial use.
ISO Republic has a curated collection of thousands of high-quality photos and over 100 video clips, with new content added every day. All photos come with a CC0 license and are free for commercial use.
Freestocks.org has a relatively modest but beautiful collection of stock photos, including stunning seasonal and nature images. All photos are guaranteed authentic and created by a small team of photographers. Photos are free for commercial and non-commercial projects.
Picography offers high-resolution, artistically shot stock photos in a large range of categories. All photos are free to use under a CC0 license.
Tips for Using Free Stock Photos
Now that you know where to get beautiful stock photos for free, let’s go over some best practices for using them in your projects:
Check the licensing agreement
Most free stock photo websites have a CC0 license which allows their photos to be used for free, without attribution, for nearly any purpose. However, it’s still important to read the licensing agreement before using stock photos from any source. Some websites only allow some of their images to be used commercially, or have rules about whether images can be modified. You can usually find the site’s licensing agreement either at the very top or very bottom of the homepage.
In almost all cases, stock images found online cannot be:
Sold, without significant modification.
Compiled and shared on a competing photo site.
Used to imply that the creator or person depicted endorses your product.
Used in connection with illegal or pornographic activities.
- Attributed to someone other than the actual creator or source website.
Customize images to make your business stand out
Finding high-quality images is a great start, but to really make your website pop, it helps to get creative. Try using tools like Photoshop or VistaCreate to crop your photos, add a color overlay or filter, or add your own text. Be sure to check the photo license first to make sure you have permission to modify the image.