At a conference a few years ago, someone in the audience asked if he was allowed to “borrow” photos from Google Images and other blogs to use them on his own blog.
Imagine! Me being a photographer, listening to this group of people discuss whether it is correct or not to use the work of so many artists and content creators, without permission and at their will.
In that moment I couldn’t control myself. I grabbed the microphone and had no other choice but to give a “gentle speech” to this gentleman, simply making him understand that using photos from the internet without any license or attribution to the author was not only totally wrong but could cause him legal troubles.
That day, without planning it, I gave part of that audience a little introduction to the world of stock photography.
What is Stock Photography?
Stock photography allows photographers to market their work, giving their photos to the buyer in a non-exclusive way and under a license dependent on the use that can be given to these images.
This is a resource widely used by people and companies because usually, these images illustrate everyday scene s such as the office, the environment, meals, relationships and many others.
Take the licenses under consideration before downloading or using a photo
Most stock photography websites are under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means that you can use, modify, copy and distribute the image without permission. Now, it’s important that you keep in mind that YOU CANNOT SELL THESE PHOTOS. Other websites require that you give attribution to the author, so it is important that you always confirm the type of license before downloading or using any photos.
Where can I find free stock photography?
After extensive research, I’ve put together 10 websites of stock photography that I’m sure you’ll love. Not only do they have free photographs (also some vectors and videos), but I’ve made sure to curate each of these websites so that you can get quality photos to use in your blogs and personal projects.
Unsplash offers you over 300,000 high-resolution photographs, which you can download and use for free, for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Photos are organized by category, and it features a search bar that will help you find the image you need easily.
With more than one million images (including photographs, vectors, and videos), Pixabay offers all of its images under the Creative Commons CC0 license, which gives you the freedom to use the photos without having to ask permission or give credit to the artist, even if the images used for commercial purposes.
On their platform, you can find the images through its search bar with specific filters such as categories, image orientation, size, and color.
I love the style and quality of these images! In Pexels you can find free high-resolution photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0). Their photographs are identified with tags, making it easy to find just what you’re looking for. At the moment they have more than 40,000 free stock photos, and each month they add about 3,000 new images to their database.
Founded by spouses Kayla and James Butler, Ivory Mix creates and shares stock photos for bloggers and entrepreneurs. Their work includes a library that spans multiple niches and topics, such as health and lifestyle.
To access the library you just have to register for their mailing list and you will receive a password that will give you access. Each month they update their database with groups of photos related to trending themes. In this library, you can also find other resources for bloggers like worksheets and checklists.
I think Splitshire has a very interesting proposal in terms of images. Their photos break a little bit from the typical stock photo. In their portfolio, you can find a style that is very modern with photos that highlight colors, textures, filters, and lights. The photos on this website are completely free and can be used for personal and commercial projects.
So far one of my favorites! Just browse a little and see the quality and style of these images. The platform has a number of filters that can improve your search. When you type the keyword of the image you are looking for, you can sort the photos by date, number of views and number of downloads. It also highlights which are the most popular, and which are favorite photos in the community. All photos on this website are free under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license and do not require attribution to the artist.
Burst is another of my favorite websites! The quality and variety of their images is excellent. This website organizes their photos by collections, including themes such as coffee, yoga, flowers, music, women, food, beach, makeup and many more. All photos are free and you can use them for any purpose under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
Karolina’s, the founder of Kaboompics and photographer of all images on the platform, has a very interesting concept.
Being one of the most popular free stock websites for lifestyle, interior design and blogging topics, the quality and detail in both the images and the website definitely stand out from the rest.
What I like most about this website is the way the collections are organized in individual photos and also in photo shoots, with different styles of the same image. Also, Karolina has created a complimentary color palette for each photo, which can be very helpful when combining photos or working on your branding.
PikWizard is a new find with over 100,000 completely free images! Their collection highlights a lot of photos that include people, something rare to find in free stock photo sites, in addition to an extensive catalog of photographs on varied topics of great quality. All photos on PikWizard are free to use without attribution.
For all food lovers, Foodiesfeed is the perfect stock photography website! Food Photographers from around the world share their best work for free and under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license on this website that is without a doubt visually delicious.
You never imagined that there were so many free resources and good quality stock photography, right? Now I want to know: of these 10 websites, which was your favorite and why?