Free photography resources

Feb 28, 2018 | Web resources

Stock photographs.

The very words make many of us shiver. They bring to mind terribly staged pictures filled with false smiles, but stock photography has come a long way. The web is full of beautiful photographs that are just begging to be used, and they don’t always cost an arm and a leg either.

I often get asked if I know where to find good quality free stock photographs that can be used on business websites, so I decided it’s time to put fingers to keyboard and share some of my favourite haunts.

Before I start, I want to take a moment to mention licences. ALWAYS double check the licence on the photograph you want to use, and make sure it’s covered for commercial use if you’re using it for your business. The websites I list below are geared towards free distribution, but sometimes you can get redirected to another website, and the licence may have changed, or an attribution may be needed. Look out for the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence. This covers you for both personal and commercial use.

So let’s get cracking.


My 7 favourite free photography websites


Pexels is always my first stop for free photographs. The images are beautiful, they have a good selection, and in their own words:

“All photos on Pexels are free for any personal and commercial purpose”


 Lots of photographs. Beautiful photographs. Lots of them. Free photos. Lots of them.

Ok I’ll stop now.


 Very well known, and for a good reason, Pixabay has a massive library of great quality free photographs.


 Lots of CC0 licensed images, and beautiful ones at that. Intended for professional creatives, many of the images have an artsy or techy vibe to them, but there’s many relatable to the every day user as well.


 Dreamstime have a whole section devoted to free photographs. Some of the images do feel a bit more ‘stock-y’ (I’ve decided that’s now a word), but there’s some gems among them so it’s worth taking a look.


 A mix of images, they mostly have photos of nature and cityscapes with food and sports etc thrown into the mix. Most of the images I’ve come across need attribution.*  


*which reminds me, associated photograph by Jonathan Koss-Read


 Well established and very well known, Flickr is a great source of photographs once you realise you can filter your search by licence type; after your initial search, look in the top left hand corner of the screen and you’ll see a dropdown set to ‘Any license’. Simply click it, and select the licence you need – voila!

Also worth a mention

If you love to look through as many sites as possible to find that ideal image, take a look through these as well:


I’ll add to this list as I discover more sites worth sharing. Have your own favourite I’ve missed? Feel free to share below…

Happy hunting!


  1. What a great list, and so many I haven’t heard of before! I’m always looking for good photos for my blog. The only one I’ve used that I don’t see on your list is Unsplash.

    • Ah yes, Unsplash is great too. It’s fallen off my radar lately, thanks for the reminder!

  2. Thank you for creating this list of resources all in one place and just when I needed it!

    • I hope you find some lovely pics, there are some beauties out there!

  3. Thanks for the awesome resource. I knew some of these and now have more to discover.

    • You’re very welcome! I’m glad it’s been helpful 😀


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Rhiannon Adler

Rhiannon Adler


I set up this blog as a space to share knowledge, ideas, tips and tricks for all aspects of design that people often run into when running a small business. I hope these pages help to give you inspiration and direction for your own endeavours!

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