10 Free Stock Image Sites To Source Great Cinematography in 2024

Editorial Team
20 Min Read

You’ve heard it said that a picture can contain thousands of words. As a hot topic, audiences are demanding more attractive photos that capture their eyes the moment they scroll down.

Although initially, high-quality photographs were an expensive investment, there’s quite a range of free stock image sites that allow marketers and bloggers to capture audiences without breaking the bank

To help you in your search, we’ve done the legwork and created a list of the best 10 free stock image sites, along with key takeaways and points to consider for each.

Why can’t you use photos from websites without permission?

Why can’t you surf the internet, choose a photo you like, and publish it? Due to the respective copyrights owned by the creators, which might be breached if you publish without formal approval, it will land you an accusation of copyright infringement. Not only this, but possible nightmare scenarios for copy infringement could cost you $150,000 for each violation and eventually land you in jail.

Nevertheless, few creators are happy to share their images on the Internet for free. Creative Commons is bound by several licences to showcase its image collection for free, which you can easily use for several purposes. However, Creative Commons photographs are free to use; don’t forget to read the terms and conditions to avoid future hassle. Additionally, you can use this guide, which lists the top 10 free stock image sites you should include in your list and also explains how and when to use each website.

What is the importance of free stock image sites?

Stock photos have now become very important as the demand for high-quality images continues to grow online. Whether it is print advertising or digital advertising, using attractive visual elements is the need of the hour. They can be used in emails, press releases, blog posts, or the social media accounts of various individuals.

Moreover, using free stock image sites gives you a wide variety to choose from, along with the protection of intellectual property rights. Not only this, the stock image sites make browsing for high-resolution images an easy and time-saving process.

Check These 10 Free Stock Image Sites To Download Photos In 2024

1. Freepik

freepik Free Stock Image Site

Freepik is one of the best free stock image sites on the list. It is a search engine that allows users to search for high-quality stock photos, along with graphic resources such as vector images, illustrations, or PSD files. The website has millions of resources to choose from, and these downloadable images and files can be used for both personal and professional use. Besides, the Freepik search engine also has a filter feature that enables users to choose a resource based on their orientation, colour, and style. Not only this, but you can also download the resources in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop-compatible formats.

Pros of Freepik

  1. This platform is one of the best free stock image resources and has a massive collection of photos, making it easier to find the graphics or images you need.
  2. Not only this, the platform has a simplified categorization, with the resources divided into categories such as icons, stock photos, PSD files, and vectors.

Cons of Freepik

  1. The service is quite limited for free users. If you choose to register as a free user, you will be able to download 10 resources a day; however, the limit will be for non-registered users.
  2. Not only this, some users have also reported that they have faulty customer service, which is sometimes rude to the customers.

2. Pixabay

pixabay Free Stock Image Site

Pixabay is one of the best free stock image resource sites that solves concerns related to free stock photography. Not only this, the site offers a large amount of copyright-free music that individuals can use in podcasts or for other similar purposes. Their vast collection of high-quality images makes the platform a one-stop destination to visit to create social media posts or client presentations without compromising the catchiness of your project. The versatile nature of this platform has made it the most preferred service by various content creators. Besides, the content downloaded on this platform can easily be integrated while designing with software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Pros of Pixabay

  1. Pixabay has a wide range of free images, illustrations, and vectors. It is easy for users to find exactly what they are looking for.
  2. It is one of the best free stock image sites, and it does not compromise the quality of the images and music available on the platform.

Cons of Pixabay

  1. The user interface is quite confusing, and many users have found it difficult to access this site conveniently.
  2. Moreover, some users have reported that they had to type multiple keywords before finding the needed image. Therefore, Pixabay’s search function can be a point for improvement.

3. Canva

Canva Free Stock Image Site

Canva, launched in 2013, is another site that has free stock photo collections. It is an online graphic design tool that offers users a huge library of free and stock premium photos. It has more than 2 million high-quality free stock photos. Not only this, but these images are covered by the content license agreements. The content library on Canva is easily accessible, as users can simply go to the search function and find and edit the free images on Canva Photos. Along with these royalty-free images, Canva has AI features and options to customize the templates for presentations, videos, and posters.

Pros of Canva

  1. Canva has a large collection of stock images, icons, photos, and patterns, all ready to use.
  2. Along with this, it has customizable templates for slideshows, presentations, and others, among others.

Cons of Canva

  1. Despite the options for free versions, some users might need premium access. This can be costly for regular users.
  2. The file export options on Canva are limited, and it also imposes other restrictions compared to other apps.

4. Pexels

Pexels Free Stock Image Site

Another such royalty-free stock photo site is Pexels, where the images are provided by the photographers themselves. The platform also has its own license, which means no one can exploit these images for their own purposes. There are thousands of stock photos available on the platform. It also has many media files with online creatives that are particularly made with web designers in mind. These high-quality images are an important resource for those with the aim of content creation. Further, it has a user-friendly and intuitive interface, with content available for both personal and professional use. Besides, it can be edited and reproduced as per your choice.

Pros of Pexels

  1. The best part of Pexels is its flexible license. If you are wondering, can I use free stock photos on my website? then you will be happy to read that Pexels allows users to edit and use the stock photos on their websites.
  2. The images are of high quality and can be downloaded easily. Not only this, it allows users to leverage the high-quality stock videos as well.

Cons of Pexels

  1. While many users are completely satisfied, some have reported that the search functionality is subpar. Therefore, advanced users find its search functionality to be very limited.
  2. Pexels sometimes make it hard for users to add edits, and it can be a disadvantage to the overall functionality of the platform.

5. Vecteezy

vecteezy Free Stock Image Site

We cannot miss Vecteezy while compiling the list of free stock photo sites for businesses, as the site offers a huge library of free stock photos. However, the site has unlimited features, such as search engine functionality that allows users to filter photos by orientation, color, and style, among others. Moreover, Vecteezy has licenses for everything they have. This protects the users from accessing any copyrighted content and landing in legal trouble because of it. Besides, you can be assured of the quality of the content, as the site’s team manually checks each photo uploaded on the platform. Although users can easily download free stock photos, a pro subscription is needed to access a larger variety of photos.

Pros of Vecteezy

  1. The platform boasts a huge range of free resources. Moreover, it allows you to download these vectors, photos, and videos for free.
  2. The pro subscribers on this platform can download an unlimited number of resources. Not only this, they do not require attribution and give credit sources to the platform.

Cons of Vecteezy

  1. The photos and video collection on the site is less than that of the vectors.
  2. Moreover, the free resources require attribution. If you choose to download the resources without a free subscription, you will have to provide the link and credit source to Vecteezy, which might be difficult for some users.

6. Unsplash

unsplash Free Stock Image Site

Unsplash is another website with free stock photo libraries that enables users to access free photos that are uploaded by photographers around the globe. While it is a great platform to download free stock photos, most photographers do not want to get paid, and their photos are used for free without permission or attribution. Founded in 2013, this site is a great source for those looking for free image downloads. This extensive collection of photos is easy to search and browse, along with the possibility of using these images for social media and personal blogs.

Pros of Unsplash

  1. Unsplash has a huge collection of images from various categories, with photographs that are free to use.
  2. The high-quality royalty-free images can be used for commercial purposes, and Unsplash has fast downloading speeds along with amazing search engine functionality.

Cons of Unsplash

  1. While there are thousands of free images on the platform, most of them are beautiful and not appropriate to use in a business context. Therefore, it is difficult to select useful photos from these abstract images.
  2. Moreover, some of the keywords are not appropriate for searching. Apart from that, many images are hidden.

7. StockSnap

StockSnap Free Stock Image Site

StockSnap is another platform on our list of free stock image sites, thanks to its versatility and regularly updated media content. The site offers smooth search engine functionality, and everyone can access its features easily, whether they are beginners or advanced users. Moreover, you just need to type the keyword for your desired photos and select the most suitable among them. Not only this, but the beautiful free stock photos on the platform are in high resolution. Also, the site provides you with the most popular photos, based on their views and downloads. Lastly, StockSnap regularly updates its content with hundreds of photos, and the photos do not require attribution as they are in the Creative Commons public domain.

Pros of StockSnap

  1. The platform is free to use and easy to use, too.
  2. Users can search the photos based on their categories, as the platform provides a sidebar to browse through and select the desired resources.
  3. Stocksnap guides you to the photos based on their popularity, which is easy to determine with the number of views and downloads mentioned.

Cons of StockSnap

  1. There is only one problem with StockSnap. Since the site is developed by Snappa, a graphic design tool, there are constant pop-up ads urging users to join the Snappa app.

8. Burst

Burst Free Stock Image Site

Burst is a resource from Shopify that solves the question of where to find free stock images. The platform was initially launched as a destination for entrepreneurs to get access to free stock images. While some of the photos are licensed under a Creative Commons license, the others come under Shopify’s photo license. Many businesses leverage Burst by Shopify to improve the quality of their websites, products, and marketing campaigns. Moreover, the site has both general photos and highly specified photos for various business niches. Not only this, but the various categories of images on this site include technology, fashion, and lifestyle, among others. Lastly, most of these photos are free, and original photos are clicked in-house.

Pros of Burst

  1. The platform is very useful for Shopify merchants, and it provides a large number of images to choose from.
  2. Moreover, these high-quality images are easy to select, download, and use without the need for attribution. The platform has a clean interface, and the images come under Creative Commons licensing terms.

Cons of Burst

  1. It needs users to have a Shopify membership for free access.
  2. When compared to other alternatives on the market, it has a limited collection of images.

9. PicJumbo 

PicJumbo Free Stock Image Site

PicJumbo is another site that provides free stock photo databases. It has a wide collection of images for users to choose from, for both individual and corporate purposes. Founded in 2013, it is a small platform with a comparatively high reputation amongst its competitors. The site is free and gets its revenue from advertisements; however, a premium membership plan is available that provides some additional images. The site has thousands of free photos, and you may easily find exactly what you are looking for.

Besides, these images are in high resolution and royalty-free, implying that they don’t require any attribution. Both the free and paid plans come with simple licensing options and an easy download process.

Pros of PicJumbo

  1. The platform offers a large collection of free stock photos, too, in high resolution, without having to sign up.
  2. You can also download the images, which can be searched based on different categories, and see the preview before downloading.

Cons of PicJumbo

  1. Some images can be what you desire, while many of them could be just old or unuseful.
  2. Moreover, searching for specific images is difficult due to the tricky keyword search process.

10. PikWizard

PikWizard Free Stock Image Site

We cannot miss PikWizard on our list of the top free stock photo sites, as the site is completely free and provides a large number of stock images. However, signing up for the platform with your Google or Facebook account will give you access to some additional features. Some of those features are email newsletters that will mail you free stock content so that you can access the new content immediately.

This free stock photo website has thousands of images in different categories, and all of them are high quality. You can also make changes to the photo with the help of an online photo editor.

Pros of PikWizard

  1. The website has a large number of free images for easy access that are neatly categorized.
  2. Moreover, it has a web-based editor, allowing users to make alterations to the images of their choice.

Cons of PikWizard

The free stock pictures fall under a free or creative common license. Moreover, this makes it difficult for the users to understand these user agreements, along with the fact that they are highly detailed and tough to understand.

What are the usage rights for free stock photos?

You do not have to worry about accessing copyrighted content, as almost all the free stock sites fall under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. It implies that you do not require authorization from its owner before using it for individual or commercial purposes. Check out the Creative Commons website for further details.

Final Thoughts

In today’s world, there are still a plethora of things that don’t cost you anything, and the list mentioned above of 10 free stock image sites is one of them.

No matter whether you’re working on your college’s assignment, updating your website, or editing a slide presentation for your client, there is a free image for everything and everyone. All you have to do is choose what suits you best and download it for free.

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