It goes without saying that people like looking at pictures of stuff. Blog posts and sites with images also tend to perform better. I find myself looking for images a lot and one thing I’m not up for doing is paying a lot of money for royalty-free photos for my low volume Web site or personal projects. If you’re reading this, you’re likely in that same boat so without further ado, here’s 31 sites that offer 100% free, high-quality stock photos covering various subject matters.
Each of the images you see came from their service to give you an idea of what to expect.
This one’s on my personal favorite list. StockSnap has a great search functionality and a huge database of awesome images. Filter images by tag or Photographer and even upload your own.
Unsplash is also one of my favorite and is quite popular. Images vary greatly in size, subject matter, and style, but all are super high quality.
I added Bossfight to my personal list in January 2015 and in that time, I’ve watched it grow quite steadily. If I need an image on the more creative side or with unique subject matter, this is where I go.
4. Barn Images
Barn Images is super new to my list, just a couple weeks, but they look promising. With roughly a thousand photos in their collection so far, I see this site going places. Give them your email and they’ll send you their Best Images Pack.
If there’s one thing I need to give Gratisography credit for, it’s that some of their photos have that true professional feel.
This one came up through research so I don’t know much about them but the selection looks great and the images are relevant. Sign up for their newsletter and they’ll send you exclusives to your email.
Also very new to my list, Splitshire lets you see what’s most popular as well as their featured list of images.
While it hasn’t been updated since 2013, I keep this site on my list because the creator passed suddenly from S.A.D.S (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) and I think it’s a great way to memorialize his work. Images came in weeks and there are 13 weeks available for download. You can also donate to his family via the site, too, to support the distribution of portable defibrillators to schools and sports facilities.
9. Life of Pix
Image selection is great with this site but image downloads aren’t very quick. This might be just a regional issue, but it’s worth noting, nonetheless.
I love this site because the images here are themed and the quality is great. Get free photos by email every month if you give them your email address.
You’ll find some great imagery here but keep in mind attribution is required for usage. I have to attribute the above image to Superfamous Studios.
12. Pic Jumbo
You’ll find great categories chock full of images. The ads are a little bit much but are easy to ignore. Pic jumbo was recently acquired by Google so who knows what’ll happen with it in the future.
13. New Old Stock
If you only bookmark one unique site from this list, make it New Old Stock. Created by Cole Townsend, you’ll find nothing but awesome, high-quality historical images from public archives. The history buff inside you will rejoice.
You’ll find an array of natural looking photos, here. Either take advantage of their free stash or pony up a bit of cash for their curated collection. The “checkout” process for free photos is a bit painful, however: you have to give them your information before you can download.
Find all sorts of great images, here. View related images and sort by tag if you need more of the same theme.
16. Snapwire Snaps
Snappier Snaps is an image blog featuring seven new photos every week from the folks at Snappier. The images re great and the themes vary so you know there’ll be something fresh all the time.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to feature Pixabay on this list since they require you to sign up to download originals and present captchas for every other size to un-registered users. Still, the images are pretty good and there’s a huge selection.
18. Kaboom Pics
Find photos by category or tag, here. While the quality is good and the selection is up there, the modal window asking you to follow them on the social networks can get annoying.
19. ISO Republic
You’ll find this site has a similar feel to Pixabay and Pic Jumbo. The images are still really good and if you’re looking for something more, they have premium photo packs, as well.
20. Morgue file
Contrary to the name, you won’t find any dead bodies, here. Just some unique photos of varying quality.
Another one on the “has many vintage, historical photos” list. If these historical images aren’t your thing, they have more traditional collections, as well.
Most of the images, here, are of very high quality and if you’re so inclined, you can show financial support to the photographer.
23. Fancy Crave
Get two new images every single day from pro photographers. The images are great and have that slightly-hipsters feel.
As the site says, Stocka wants to be your source for free stock photos. I can see that being plausible; their collection is pretty good and gives you the option to search or browse by a decent sized category list.
If you’re launching a product or business, Startup Stock Photos wants your attention. The images are of high quality and have a feel like ones you’d see featured on tomorrow’s startup’s site.
If you were hoping to find free stock photos that look like stock photos, this isn’t your place. The images here, though, are super high quality and the collection is massive. I remember first finding Stockvault about five years ago and still, today, the quality remains.
You’ll find some unique photos, here, for sure. Lock and Stock Photos isn’t a super huge site but there’s enough variety to keep you coming back for some time.
Search for good quality photos or browse by category. The images here are varied enough to make this site worth bookmarking and returning to for any kind of project.
The images are super high quality and some have that hipster vibe that many like. Bookmark this one, for sure.
I love this site for one reason: not only are there high-quality photos, released in packs, with no stipulations whatsoever, if you really want more of that image theme, you can toss out a few bucks for a premium membership and get the rest of the set.
If you need nature-themed images, specifically, add this site to your list. New photos are added daily. Who doesn’t love nature?
If you feel like I missed any, let me know. If you’re the owner of a site that you think should be on this list, also get in touch.