Social Marketing | 12 min

17+ Best Free Stock Photo Sites to Check in 2019

(free) Best Stock Photo Sites:

(paid) Best Stock Photo Sites (free):

‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ you know it, and we know it. It’s wild that an image can convey so much information without using a single word. The right image can stir our emotions, trigger our desires, and drive us to action. It’s pretty amazing actually. As visual beings, we are hardwired to react to these stimuli.

No one is disputing the power of words, but images are particularly potent. Think of all the graphics, illustrations, photos, and images peppering the Internet today. Close your eyes for just a second – can you see it? There is an image in your mind’s eye right now!

We are about to explore the incredible ways professional images are used in marketing material. Whether you’re posting a story on your blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook you will want to come out swinging with the most engaging multimedia content. Believe it or not, people are more likely to click on your posts, and view your content if you post attractive images.

But just how big a difference does the right image make? This is a complex field of study which encompasses interaction behaviour with images, the customer experience, conversion rates, buyer and seller segments. The results of empirical studies are clear: high quality, focused images and multimedia content improve transaction rates.

Take a look at these interesting studies:

  • Dell increased its image size on product pages and reduced bounce rates by 27% and improved conversions by 36%
  • Inanimate objects like artwork are less effective conversion tools than pictures of the artists themselves. A market research company studied Medalia Art with A/B testing and found that by displaying images of the actual artists’ faces, they could increase conversions by 95%.
  • Skinner Auctions increased its image sizes online by 28%, resulting in 63% more visitors and 329% increased completion of bid forms
  • Website designers understand that high-quality facial images can improve conversions by an estimated 20%. By using close-up facial images, it is possible to increase page views, CTAs, and conversions.

It makes sense that by using the best stock photography in your videos and online marketing content, you are assured of greater engagement, user interest, and reduced bounce rate. This naturally lends itself to a higher view count, improved click through rate, and greater conversion.

Now let’s turn our attention to the biggest stock photography sites offering free images to users. We will explore 15 of the top stock photo sites with free images.

1. Fancycrave

Fancycrave is a fantastic stock site for anyone needing high-quality travel photos for commercial or personal use. At Fancycrave, high definition snapshots are offered to all users for free. You can pick free stock photos by collection, category, or country.

fancy crave free stock images site review

The free photos are provided courtesy of thousands of creative, talented people all over the world. Every photo on site is free to use and is up to 800 pixels wide. Click here to download free photos from Fancycrave.

2. Gratisography

Gratisography is a weird and wonderful free photo site. One look at this stock site confirms it all: it’s filled with some of the zaniest photos you’ll ever see. Don’t be surprised to find the Easter Bunny sprawled out on a staircase, dogs dressed up in three-piece tuxedos, or people scaling fences.

gratisography free image stock site review

This quirky website is one-of-a-kind, and it’s clearly one of the best stock photo sites. All the images are provided 100% free to users, with no attribution required. This photo sites boasts the slogan ‘Different is what we do best.’ To get started with your free images at Gratisography, simply click here.

3. ISO Republic

ISO Republic offers an incredible variety of free stock photos across multiple channels. You can pick your favorite pics from various categories including animals, architecture, art, business, city, food, music, nature, people, sport, travel, textures, and much more. A wide range of royalty-free CC0 stock images is available to customers.

iso republic free stock image site review

There are also lots of videos to choose from, including a fine selection of free stock videos. Click on the following link to download your selection of free stock photos at ISO Republic.

4. HubSpot

HubSpot is a platform that offers sales software and inbound marketing services. But it’s also a great place to get free stock photos for your website, or marketing campaign. With HubSpot, you don’t have to worry about fees and royalties – the images of free to use. As one of the best stock image sites, you are assured of high-quality stock photos with no attribution required.

HubSpot photos are divided into four basic categories including miscellaneous stock photos, office stock photos, computer stock photos, and kitchen stock photos. To get started, you will be required to complete a basic form. Click here for your free HubSpot photos.

5. FreeRange

FreeRange is a fabulous free photo website. There are four popular categories of photos for you to choose from. These include free industry photos, free people photos, free food photos, and free landscape photos. FreeRange has been featured in prominent online and print media publications including lifehacker, The Huffington Post and KillerStartups.

Free Range free stock site review

The illustrations and photos are fully licensed for commercial usage. No attribution is required, and you can also contribute your own photos to the platform. To get started with your FreeRange free photos for download, simply click here.


StockSnap is an absolute marvel. This free stock site features high quality stock images for use in magazine ads, creative projects, print brochures, digital ads, and beyond. You can find a fine selection of high-quality photos for pretty much any purpose. You can also use the free stock photos for commercial use with no attribution required.

All images are offered with a standard CC0 license. This means you’re free to do whatever you want with the images. To get started, simply search by tag in each category to find the images that best convey what you’re after. Image categories include computer pictures, coffee pictures, car pictures, woman pictures, pictures of people, beach pictures, travel pictures, family pictures, and beyond. Click here to get your free pictures from

7. Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photo is entirely different from most of the other free images sites you’re likely to find. It is a minimalist website with a handful of pics provided by its creators. This free stock images platform caters to web designers, creative talent, publishers, and bloggers all over the world.

The range of options is limited to certain niche groups such as coffee shops and office work, but you can simply keep clicking on ‘Load More’ to go through the full suite of free photographs online. When you’ve found your favorite pics, simply click the cloud download icon on the bottom right of the photograph. Click here to download free pics at Startup Stock Photos.

8. Burst

Burst by Shopify offers an amazing selection of high-resolution, free images for you to download. This site could quite easily top the list of best free pics sites on the web, and it’s growing all the time. A rich selection of stock images is available for your creative projects, including commercial use. Customers can easily browse through the wide selection of photo collections by category.

Burst free image stock site review

These include yoga, flowers, business, men, women, fitness, coffee, baby, food, nature, travel, sky, love, money, and much more. The pictures can be used on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or even your online store. Users have the option to download high-resolution or low-resolution images, and you’re welcome to crop them too. To get started with free images from Burst by Shopify, simply click here.

9. FoodiesFeed

Here’s a niche free photos website for the foodies out there. It’s deliciously nutritious with a full-bodied selection of the finest food photos on the web. This free photo site is bound to catch your attention. Various categories are available including healthy, meat, pizza, cake, and coffee. There are an estimated 1300+ free food photos available for you to choose from.

Foodies feed - free stock image site review

The photographers and chefs have crafted the most incredible selection of photographs for you to use. The latest website stats indicate that over 3 million photos have been viewed and 1.3 million photos have been downloaded. With over 108,000 photos viewed per month, FoodiesFeed is the creme de la creme for free stock food photos. Click here to download free food pictures from FoodiesFeed.

10. Picography

Picography free stock photos are ‘gorgeous, high-resolution, free photos’ that you can use without a license. Categories include business, city, cultural, fashion, festive, hospitality, nature, people, scenery, street, technology and wildlife.

Picography - free stock images site review

Dozens of pages filled with HD free stock photos are available. You can search by hashtag, and category. Getting started with Picography is a breeze. Simply pick a pic and click the download free photo button. Click here to get started.

11. iStock by Getty Images

iStock by Getty Images is one of the most recognizable brands in the industry. With iStock, users get to enjoy a spectacular selection of stock footage. Granted, many of the iStock photos come at a premium. You can still enjoy many free photos, free illustrations, and free video clips when you join iStock.

Be advised that the free stock pictures available to users require you to join their stock images platform. With 160,000 global contributors, there is an immense base of top-quality stock footage to choose from, numbering 2.15 million+. To join iStock by Getty Images simply click here.

12. Kaboom Pics

With a name like Kaboom, you’re expecting fireworks from this free stock images site. Be sure to navigate to the right website which is Kaboom Pics to get the perfect photo for your needs. Kaboom Pics offers a much smaller selection of photographs than the top brands, but the images are free for you. Simply click on a photo and download it. The only request is that you promote Kaboom Pics on your blog, social media page, or website to spread the word.

Kaboom Pics - free stock images site review

The free images are featured first, followed by premium images by iStock. Each photograph lists the photographer’s credentials and you can download the pics instantly. This is certainly not one of the biggest stock photo sites, but it is a high-quality platform for free stock photos. All photographs are offered under the Kaboom Pics license (CC0) and they are free to download. Click here to get started.

13. Little Visuals

The rather sad story of Little Visuals was made possible by a man named Nic who died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2013. His fans and followers decided to continue the site in his honor. Little Visuals free stock photos offers 7 high-resolution images to everyone who signs up.

Some of the best stock photography can be found at Little Visuals thanks to the dedicated community of photographers contributing to this site. The creative commons licensing attribution for Little Visuals states that you can use the photos anywhere you want with no copyright requirements, and no permission needed. To get started, simply register here.

14. LibreShot

Martin Vorel is the photographer responsible for bringing this exciting free image site to life. Users can enjoy scores of beautiful free photos with no attribution needed. Various categories are listed, including technology, people, business, nature, close-up, and architecture. Each photo features a detailed description and a date. You can download the available images for free, or choose the free download small size of 861 pixels.

Searching for free images on Libreshot is as easy as entering your search query in the box. There are links to search for images at Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash from Free images are available across dozens of other categories, including Buddhas, blue, trees, vintage, wallpaper, children, plants, water, yellow, Europe and beyond. CC0 licensing is in place, meaning that no attribution is needed, but it is appreciated. Click here to get started.

15. Negative Space

Negative Space is a catchy name for this top stock photo site. All photos on site are CC0 licensed, meaning that they are 100% free for you to use and enjoy. The name itself is apropos for photography, indicating where a viewer’s focal point should be on a picture. Designed for photographers as the ideal platform to upload and share their images, Negative Space is a community-building initiative. As a visitor, you can enjoy high quality pics provided by contributors to the community. To get started, simply register here.

Negative Space - free stock images site review

Now let’s shift our attention to the best paid stock photo sites on the web. These premium stock photography subscriptions provide you with top-tier HD photographs from the world’s leading stock sites.

1. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is the log leader when it comes to premium photos. You can choose from a range of purchase options including 3 standard assets a month, 10 standard assets a month, and HD & 4K videos. Categories include dozens of selections from animals to industry, science to the environment, plants and flowers to hobbies and leisure, culture and religion to sports news and beyond. To sign up with Adobe Stock simply click the ‘Start Now’ button and enjoy 10 free Adobe Stock images upon registration.

2. DepositPhotos

DepositPhotos is a great place to search for vector images and photos. Simply register an account to get started. There are an amazing variety of images to choose from with some 100 million royalty stock free images and HD photos. Lots of interesting categories are available such as news images, editorials, vector art, backgrounds, illustrations, medicine, objects, transport, technology, beauty, fashion, decoration and so forth. Deposit Photos is available in 20 languages, with a range of bundled plans and services tailored to individuals. Click here for premium services.

3. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a provider of freemium stock footage clips, free images, and music. Shutterstock is one of the best stock photo sites in the world, and the proof of the pudding is evident for all to see. You can enjoy stunning pictures, videos, and music clips across multiple categories. These include abstract, animals, backgrounds, buildings, editorials, sports, vintage, science, religion, healthcare, celebrities, people, and more.

Shutterstock makes it easy to search for HD images by popular search options. Stock photos cover plenty of popular categories such as purple, Father’s Day, summer, celebrating pride, modern farming, recycling and beyond. Trending stock photo searches, royalty-free stock photos and editorial stock photos are available. There are some 40 million Shutterstock images on site, and 270 million royalty-free images to pick from. Click here to get started.

4. BigStock

BigStock may not have the same brand awareness as other leading premium stock photography sites, but it’s big. There are 81 million+ stock pics, vectors, and videos and when you register you get to enjoy 7-day free trial. Categories include vacation, objects, people, sports, music, maps, education, art, business, computers, holidays, and nature. There are also many trending keywords you can pick from to help narrow your search. The range of plans and pricing options is tailored to a diverse audience of enthusiasts. To pick your plan at BigStock, click here.

5. Fotolia

Fotolia is owned by Adobe Stock. The premium collection of high-quality images has been hand-selected from expert photographers. There is no doubt about the extraordinary quality of Fotolia images, videos, and artistic renderings. Various concept collections are available, including get moving, wellness, premium illustrations, Generation Z and beyond. You simply click on photos you want to download, choose large or small, and buy the licence. Its an expensive way to acquire your photo footage, but it’s yours. Get started!

The Best Stock Photo Sites for Niche Categories

Niche categories now make up a much bigger audience of avid photo enthusiasts. Niche categories cover the full spectrum such as outdoor adventures, underwater exploration, ice cream enthusiasts, Border Collie fans, paparazzi, and beyond. Here is a listing of 5 exciting niche sites:

What License Options Exist?

The 15 best stock photo sites with royalty free images are ideal if you don’t want to worry about licensing issues. These sites offer a CC0 solution. Photographers waive their copyright to users like you and I to do with the free stock footage what we want.

This means that you can crop images, modify images, or use images for personal or business use. CC0 makes all content freely available in the public domain.

Royalty-free images are not associated with additional royalties when you use an image. Royalty free contracts may have certain restrictions, so be sure to dig a little deeper to find out what you can do with the images.

Rights-managed photographs are typically bought under a copyright license by the user for one-time use. Many of the world’s best paid stock photo sites are rights-managed. These photographs are usually much more expensive to buy.

And then there is CC licensing, CC licensing gives the owner the right to retain the copyright and grant permission to a user.

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