Stock photos don’t have to be cringeworthy.
Sourcing a decent stock photo for marketing used to be a chore. You’d flip through countless pages of bland options that were mediocre at best. It was full of cheesy poses, unrealistic backdrops, and nothing that conveyed the right message for your business.
It’s a different story now. Stock photography doesn’t have to look like stock photography anymore. It can be relevant, professional, high-quality, and non-cheesy. And there are a bunch of stock image sites offering just that.
Here are nine of the best free stock photo websites for commercial usage:
Unplash offers a vast library of over 2 million free high-resolution stock images sourced from the site’s community of generous photographers. The photos are high-quality and can be used for both commercial and non-commercial use. No attribution needed. Read the license.
Burst is a free stock image repository powered by Shopify. The platform has thousands of high-resolution, royalty-free photos taken by their community of photographers. The photos are curated with Shopify stores in mind, but are available for anyone to use. It’s free for commercial or non-commercial use with no attribution required. Read the license.
Pixabay’s abundant library consists of copyright-free photos, vector graphics, illustrations, videos, and music. All can be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes with no attribution needed. Read the license.
Kaboompics contains tens of thousands of free photos. They can be used commercially and non-commercially without attribution. The collection was created specifically for lifestyle, interior design, and specialized bloggers, but can be used by anyone. Read the license.
Pexels collects a variety of royalty-free images and videos from a network of creators. All items can be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes. No attribution is required. The library consists of hundreds of thousands of hand-picked photos, with new ones added daily. Read the license.
Flickr is an image hosting and management platform. Some Flickr users have opted to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, meaning their photos are available for reuse. Use the search functionality to filter images that can be used for commercial purposes. Read the licenses.
Barn Images publishes fresh stock images that are free for commercial and non-commercial use. No attribution required. New photos are added each week and each image is high-resolution and unique. Read the license.
Gratisography is “the world’s quirkiest collection” of high-resolution photos that are available for free for commercial and non-commercial use. The images are whimsical and unique — nothing boring. Their collection is smaller, but each photo is hand-curated to select only the most interesting options. Read the license.
Reshot provides free photos shot by emerging photographers. Its mission is to unify creators through a free exchange of visual content, but the images are available for anyone to use for commercial or non-commercial purposes. No attribution needed. Read the license.
Bonus: Your Photos
Using your own images (or images someone else has taken for you) is always a great way to add a touch of originality to your content. They’re easier to customize and make sure the visuals fit your brand, plus you can create something you know people haven’t seen before.