Free Stock Images for Your Websites, Ebooks & More!

Did you know that one of the most common reasons website owners get sued or face legal troubles is due to the improper use of stock images on websites? The problem is most website owners and Internet marketers do not know what images they can legally use. Many simply go to Google Images and find suitable images (which is a big “no no”!).

The best way to ensure you have the proper right to use an image is either to purchase it at a stock photo site (such as BigStockPhoto.com, iStockphoto.com, etc.) or to use an open source photo site.

Below is a list of my favorite free open source or public domain stock photography sites:

Wikimedia Commons Search – Over 17 million freely usable media files that you can use! Some photos might require attribution. Check each file individually to see if any restrictions apply.

The Stock.XCHNG – this is one of the oldest and best known resources for free stock photos. You just need to read the individual licensing terms for each image before you download. The vast majority do not require any sort of attribution.

Morgue File – this is another classic resource for finding high resolution stock photos for illustrations or design needs. All of the images are completely free for personal or corporate use.

Pixabay – An outstanding resource for finding high quality stock photos you can use for any purpose without any sort of attribution!

Open Stock Photography – a huge collection of stock photos released under wikimedia creative commons licensing. There are practically no restrictions on how you can use the images!

Flickr Creative Commons Search – This is a great place to search for photos but you need to read the licenses for each image to see what it can be used in legally.

Stock Photos for Free – Over 100,000 images are available to download from around the world. All images come with a royalty free license so that they can be used in all types of media (including commercial!).

Public Domain Photos – This site features more than 5000 free photos and 8000 free clip-art files that can be used for both personal and commercial designs.

Free Digital Photos – Download free and premium stock photos and illustrations for websites, advertising materials, newspapers, magazines, ebooks, book covers and pages, music artwork, software applications and much more.

Free Media Goo – A very nice collection of royalty free photos, textures and digital background images for use in print, web, TV and more.

Public Domain Pictures – another nice repository of free public domain images. Most are free for commercial use.

USA Government Public Domain Photo Index – this is a great place to find images from the United States government. Most of the images will be either public domain or US government works (which can be used without permission or fee).

Free Pixels – Over 5000 free stock photos and images that can mostly be used for commercial purposes.

Open Clipart – A very nice collection of public domain clip-art images you can use.

Every Stock Photo –  A search engine for free photos. Not all are free for commercial use. You need to read the individual license on each photo before using.

Free Range Stock –  a nice collection of high resolution photos submitted by photographers that can be used in commercial projects.

Pixel Perfect Digital – A huge collection of images released under creative commons that can be used for any sort of work (some attribution may be required).

FreeStockPhotos.com – has been a provider of free photography for personal or commercial use since 1999.

Historical Stock Photos – this is a great place to find old public domain photos of historical figures.

Creative Commons Photo Search Tool – this is an incredibly easy way to search for open source images from all of the web’s top resources (Google, Flickr, Wikipedia, etc.)

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