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  • Writer's pictureElton Cilliers

Top 8 FREE stock image websites

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

top 8 free stock image websites. Business support. Business consultant. Small business support. Website designer. Wix website designer. Squarespace website designer. Social media trainer. Social media manager. Instagram Training. Facebook Training. LinkedIn training. Pinterest Training. London.

Why on earth would a photographer create a blog post about the best places to get FREE stock images from?!

The truth of the matter is, whilst I always try to use unique images I have taken in my blog posts, it isn't ALWAYS possible. I either don't have the time or the subject matter to hand. In these instances, I, as with many other photographers will turn to stock images.

I will add, however, that I certainly do not recommend using stock photography images on your actual website! Images on your website should be true to your brand and invite site visitors into your world.

Pros of free stock images. Well, they are free!

Cons of free stock images. If you take a look at the number of downloads an image you want has had, you will notices that they can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Therefore, you really are not being unique with your post.

Stock images also tend to be easily recognised as being stock, this has a detrimental effect on your authority as a business. They (stock images) can feel impersonal and soulless.

Would you use a free Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo email address for your business? Unless you're a scammer, the answer is generally no. You will register a domain for your website, and get an associated email address. Why do we do that? To look more 'professional' and authoritative. So why would you then fill your website with stock images? It's counterproductive to your brand.

With that said, here is a list of some of the better FREE stock image sites around at the moment, in no particular order!


Over 1 million images contributed to by over 150,000 photographers worldwide, Unsplash is definitely one of the major players in the free stock image world.

Images from Unsplash come with a personal and commercial use license and you do not need to credit the photographer/copyright holder. You are free to amend the images as you wish (ie, add text, crop, apply a filter etc)

Unsplash image licence details.


Another popular choice for bloggers and graphic designers.

The licence provided permits personal and commercial use and altering of the images.

There are a few exceptions (as with most free stock sites) and the Pexel licence can be viewed here.

There is also a handy Photoshop plugin for those PS users out there. Download here.

In addition, there is also an iOS and Android app available, check your App Store.


Over 1,5million images, videos, illustrations and vectors to download for free.

Images can be used for commercial purposes without credit being given (although always appreciated by the photographers)

Like Pexels, Pixabay offers both a Photoshop plugin and a Microsoft Office plugin to easily search for an image inside these applications. Find out more here.

There is also an App available.


Burst is a free stock site bought to you by Shopify.

Their images are all categorised and available for personal and commercial use.


As the name suggests, the images here are all focused on food and beverages.

Images can be used for personal and commercial use.


Another, perhaps less popular (therefore the images wouldn't have been used as many times around the internet!) option but worth checking out.


Free images, all taken by a single photographer.


"Quirky, Creative, Always Free Photos" is their tagline.

Images can be used for personal and commercial use.

It is a far smaller site than some listed above, with under 1000 images (at the time of writing).

Categories include Animals, Business, Fashion, Food, Nature, People and Whimsical.

My stock site

I have started work on my own stock site portal, where you can purchase images for as little as £1.20.

Many of the images are for charity with up to 50% of any sales being donated to an aligned charity.

So if you are looking for a more unique image to use, and support a charity in the process, please do consider taking a look!

As this is a work in progress, I'd love to hear from you on what images you are generally in need of.

I will also be setting up a free image portal (just need to find a hosting platform) with a selection of images you can use for personal and commercial use for free!

Subscribe to my mailing list to be notified of updates and when my free stock site is launched!


Whist Canva isn't strictly a stock image website like the above, it does come with many stock images even on the free plan. So if you already use Canva, it's worth having a look through their own stock images also.

Have your say

Have I missed a good source of free stock images? Please do comment below and I can add it to the above list if suited.

The Online Presence Guy. Web Design. Website Designer. Web developer. Wix Wesbites. Affordable websites. Website guarantee. Social Media Manager. Digital Marketing. London. Cambridge. United Kingdom

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