I’ve written before about copyrighted images that you shouldn’t be using on your blog, and in this post, I’ll go over some great places where you can get images for your blog posts that are licensed for free use, with no attribution requires.
You won’t find Google Images on this list, because it’s not a photo sharing site, it’s a search engine. Just like the text search results don’t belong to Google, neither do the image search results.
Unsplash has a wide selection of photographs. One thing that annoys me, and I haven’t figured out a way around it, is that it doesn’t treat multiple words contained in quotes as a single search term. So if I search for “guinea pigs,” it’s also showing me pigs of the porcine variety.
Pixabay is my go-to. Besides photos, it’s got illustrations and vector graphics, which a lot of sites don’t have. They handle multi-word searches well, so “guinea pigs” only gives me guinea pigs. Unlike Unsplash, which displays search results as an infinite scroll, Pixabay breaks up results into pages, which is far more convenient if your hemming and hawing between a few different options.
Pexels is similar to Unsplash, but it has videos as well. Search results for “guinea pigs” include a wild boar. From what I can tell they’ve got a smaller selection than Unsplash and Pixabay.
Canva is wonderful for designing graphics to use on your blog and social media. It also has photos that you can search through. There’s a mix of free and pay-to-use photos plucked from Pixabay and other sites. Adobe Spark is another site that’s similar.
Burst is operated by Shopify. I only heard about it recently and haven’t really used it yet, but it looks like the selection is fairly small. Searching for “guinea pigs” yields 12 results, only 2 of which are guinea pigs.
Wikimedia Commons includes all of the images that are used on Wikipedia. These images can be freely used. The interface isn’t anywhere near as photo-friendly as sites like Unsplash and Pixabay, but it’s a great way to find images that are hard to find anywhere else.
Gratisography is a small site that describes itself as having the world’s quirkiest collection of creative images. They’re funky photos that you won’t find elsewhere.
Dreamstime has a mix of free photos and photos you have to pay for. The link included here is to the free photo section of the site. I haven’t really used this site, but it seems to have a decent collection. Searching for “guinea pigs” only shows me guinea pigs, like this little friend.
Freepik has an assortment of photos, vector images, and icons. The user interface isn’t quite as friendly as some of the other sites, but it’s a good site to hit up if you’re looking for vector graphics. It’s got a mix of free and pay-to-use content, but you can easily filter your search to only show free items.
Clipart Llbrary has a pretty good selection of basic clipart images. The site isn’t the prettiest, but it does the job.
DeviantArt has some amazing artwork. Some of it is available for use under a Creative Commons license. Unfortunately it doesn’t let you narrow your search, so include “creative commons” with your search term, and check that the specific image you want is labelled with a Creative Commons license. The minor pain in the butt factor is worth it for images like this one.
Along with your search results, many of these sites will show a row of images clearly marked as sponsored by a site like Shutterstock. Sponsored images aren’t free to use, and you need to click through to Shutterstock (or other sponsor) to buy a license to use the image.
My top 3 are Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons, and Canva, although Canva I’m using mostly to create graphics rather than find photos. Still, it’s nice to be aware of other options so I’ve got a few more places to check if my go-to’s don’t have what I’m looking for.
Do you have any preferred sites to get images from?
For more photo sites, Jenni of Housewife Hustle did a great post recently on where to find free feminine stock photos. Aside from Unsplash, the sites she mentioned are different from the sites included in this post.