If you've ever built a website for yourself, for a friend or for a client, you probably know that Google Image Search is the #1 place on the web to NOT get your stock photos from.

Why?

It's almost guaranteed that most of the photos you see on Google Image Search are copyrighted. Even worse, it's heavily rumoured that stock image companies will 'release' their own copyrighted images onto various websites, just waiting for poor unsuspecting victims to pick them up and reuse them for their own purposes. Once that happens, stock photo companies will bully the victim into two options - either pay a hefty fine or face the wrath of a lawsuit. It's even been suggested that some stock photo websites make the majority of their revenue through this devious method, rather than focusing on legitimate sales.

Fortunately, there are ways to get high quality free stock photos for your website, completely legitimately and at no cost to yourself.

If you do want to use Google Image Search, restrict its purposes exclusively to simply viewing, finding new desktop wallpapers for yourself or conducting research.

In the meantime, here are 10 fantastic websites to get free stock photos.

#10: Pixabay

free stock photos
Pixabay is one of my favourite go-to resources for amazing stock image quality photos. They have a huge library suitable for a variety of projects and they are all Creative Commons. This means you can use them however you like, and no attribution is required.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required

#9: MorgueFile

free stock photos
Every bit as good as Pixabay is MorgueFile. This fantastic resource for free stock photos is often the second place I'll look and again boasts a huge collection of photos. Once more, no attribution is necessary.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required

#8 PicJumbo

free stock photos
PicJumbo boasts a huge collection of free stock photos on a wide variety of subjects including nature, tech, people, and just about everything in-between. If you haven't found what you're looking for on either of the previous two sites, you just might find it here. 

You can also sign up to get free stock photos delivered straight to your inbox or pay $7.99/month for a premium subscription which offers even better photos. Neither are necessary to use the site on its own though.

Ironically, the site was created in 2013 by photographer Viktor Hanacek who was told the quality of his photo's 'wasn't good enough.' Looks like Viktor got the last laugh after all.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required
free stock photos
If you're looking for free stock photos with a slightly more artistic feel then look no further than Gratisography. Created by Ryan McGuire, these photos are stunningly high quality and once again, completely free to use with no attribution required.

Ryan does accept donations on his website though, and for the work he does, is honestly quite deserving of them.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required
free stock photos
Coming in at #6 we have FreeImages with their vast collection of free stock photos. While you have a lot of choices here, just be careful that you're not clicking on any of the grouped "Sponsored Images" from Getty or other paid sites, which can be a bit difficult to distinguish. 

Also, pay attention to the licensing for individual photos. Photos with the FreeImages Content License are generally okay to use in most formats, but if you're in doubt about something, it's better to avoid.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required, but check license requirements for individual photos
- Downloading in different sizes requires a free account
free stock photos
If you're looking for photos of city and other landscapes in an artistic format, Unsplash is a great resource. The site isn't limited to just photos of that nature but there are certainly a lot of them.

More good news, the site is easy to use, boasts a beautiful and minimalist design, is ad free, and has no confusing 'sponsored images' mixed in. The images can be used in any way with no attribution requirements.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required
free stock photos
With plenty of extremely high-quality free stock photos, GetRefe is an ideal website. The have a large collection of landscape and architectural photos, not to mention business, food, travel and other categories. In addition to free photos, they also have paid collection packs at reasonable prices.

The only downside is that even to download free photos, you do need to provide some basic information like your name and an email address and possibly set-up an account. Honestly, it's fast and worth the bit of extra effort.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required
- Requires a free account in order to download


#3 IM Free

free stock photos



Let's not kid ourselves, finding great free stock photo quality business photographs can be an extremely daunting task. IM Free makes it not so daunting. In addition to business photographs, they also offer incredible quality images in a wide variety of categories.

The downside is that attribution is required, so if that's a deal-breaker for you then skip this one.

- Can be searched
- Attribution is required

#2 Picography

free stock photos
On the upside, the images on Picography have amazing quality and there are plenty of pictures of animals, landscapes and architecture. They are all free to use with no attribution requirements. On the downside, it's a fairly small collection. The entire site only has 6 pages with 132 photos total. It doesn't appear as if any new photos have been added in a long time either.

- Can be searched
- No attribution required

#1 Flickr's Creative Commons

free stock photos
When it comes to a large well-known website, it gets hard to beat Flickr. With tons of photographers contributing to its massive collection, you're practically guaranteed to find photos here on pretty much any subject you can fathom.

Please keep in mind that not all the photos here are free to use. You must pay attention to the license requirements for each individual photograph. Fortunately, you can also search by license type, so it's easy enough to find photos usable in whatever project you're working on. If you don't want to pay attribution, then restrict yourself to the public domain category only.

- Can be searched
- Attribution may or may not be required
- Pay attention to license type before you use a photograph


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