One of the biggest problems that freelancers have to face is the need for images: whether you’re building your website, promoting your services, or taking care of your clients’ business, images must be considered an unmissable asset. Unfortunately, good free images to use are not easy to find, and very often, copyright-free images or stock images are just bland and expensive.
The solution is quite handy: in fact, there is a huge variety of stunning royalty-free images for commercial use online. The biggest problem is: where are they? And are they really that good?
To make it easier for you, I’ve created a list of websites from where you can grab your copyright and royalty-free images to use in your freelance business in 2021.
Despite being free images, make sure to pay attention to the specific rules put in place by every website to avoid problems regarding the copyright. In fact, licenses on these websites depend on the website’s policy or the photographer; in some cases, authorization may be required, while in other cases, the resources may be completely free to download and use.
Table of Contents
Top Website To Find Copyright and Royalty-Free Images To Use
The following list only considers high-quality websites to avoid cluttering your mind with too irrelevant information. I’ve been trying and using the websites that I recommend below for a long time to give you a thoughtful and useful list.
Unsplash is one of the most used resources for copyright-free images, thanks to a library of 300.000+ royalty-free images. Some images can be used only by quoting the author, but the majority are free to use commercially and personally.
2. Life of Pix
If you need lifestyle photos that resemble real situations, Life of Pix is the perfect place. The database is not huge, but it includes free images that are perfectly natural; some images have restricted usage, so it’s always good to check the conditions to avoid problems.
It goes without saying that Pixabay is one of the most used websites for free stock images; the database is huge, and the majority of the stock images are not staged or fake. Images on Pixabay are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0).
Pexels markets itself as a place where the most talented creators share their photos and videos. The royalty-free images can be used without attribution, but giving credit to the photographer or Pexels is always appreciated.
Canva is a design tool that includes a library of pictures you can use for free. With Canva, you can easily turn a free image into a custom graphic to use on social media or other assets for free. Canva Free includes a few images, but if you go Pro, you have access to a huge database of royalty-free images to use. Check our Canva Review and try it now.
Flickr is technically a website to share pictures, but it’s also a great database of free images to use, giving attribution to the author. Make sure you select “Commercial use & mods allowed” under the “Any license” filter to find the images, and do not forget to check the conditions of use.
PicJumbo offers a good number of royalty-free images for free and with no registration required. In addition, if you subscribe to their newsletter, you will have access to a wider database of images to use.
Depositphotos is not a website to find free images, but it offers a selection of royalty-free images that can be used crediting the author. You need to be registered to download the free images.
To use Freerange for free images, you need to register but giving attribution is not compulsory, and you can use your free stock images both for personal and professional reasons.
Burst, owned by Shopify, gives access to thousands of low- and high-quality images without copyright. The license depends on how you’re planning to use the free images, so it’s always recommended to check for the specific conditions.
11. Adobe Stock
Very few people associates Adobe Stock with free stock images. The truth is that Adobe Stock offers free photos, vectors, and videos that can be downloaded with a standard license without attribution.
Freepik is one of the biggest websites to find free images with no copyright. The database is huge, and it includes a lot of high-quality free images. All the images can be used for free by giving attribution.
More Free Stock Images to Download
The websites mentioned above are just some of the best, but there are other places where you can find free images to use on your assets. The following list integrates the listicle above:
- Gratisography – High-resolution images with CC0 license.
- New Old Stock – Vintage free images for everyone from the public archive.
- Public Domain Archive – Lots of high-quality free public domain images.
- KaboomPics – Thousands of pictures without payment, even for commercial use.
- Startup Stock Photo – Free startup, office, and tech stock photos ready and free to use.
- FoodiesFeed – Free high-res images of food usable without any restriction.
- Bucketlistly – Free high-res travel images usable giving attribution.
Best websites for Free Images: FAQs
The following questions and answers may help you understanding a few things more clearly.
1. What are copyright free images?
Copyright-free images can be used freely for both editorial and commercial purposes. However, in certain cases, it’s requested to attribute the image to its author to be allowed to use it.
2. What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that allows the sharing and use of images and resources of any kind through free legal tools.
3. What are public domain images?
Public domain images are those whose copyrights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Bear in mind: if you find an image on the Web, it doesn’t mean it is in the public domain, so credits and copyright apply.
4. What are Royalty-free images?
Royalty-free images are those you may get for free or by paying a one-time fee to use them as many times as you like.
5. Can you use any image from the web?
No. Images on the web are not free to use, and they are the creator’s intellectual property. Therefore, unless the creator gives you the right to use it, images found on the web cannot be used freely.
6. Can you use Google images for free?
No. Images on Google images are exactly like any other image found on the web: they can be used only if permission from the creator/author has been obtained. However, you can search for images on Google and find a usable image: read more here.
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