Updated (July 21, 2019): removed a site that no longer offers royalty / copyright free photos
As anyone who blogs knows … finding copyright free photos for your blog can be a challenging undertaking. Depending on the amount of blogging you do – paying for photos on sites like iStockPhoto or DepositPhotos (affiliate link) can get pretty expensive. Yet, everyone knows that a visual engaging photo for your blog posts is important to capture interest in readers, especially with all the “noise” of online social sites. So how do you work with this need for photos on a budget? (we personally use Deposit Photos for our work!)
5 Sites For Free Royalty Free Photos
Pixbay – Pixbay photos hosts many free copyright free photos on their site. These photos are free to download and use without attribution. All photos have been uploaded with the Creative Commons understanding. However, this site also showcases ShutterStock photos. ShutterStock photos on this site have the ShutterStock logo on them – these photos are NOT copyright free. So searching may take a little longer filtering through the free / not free photos that attract attention
UnSplash – UnSplash is one of my personal favorite sites … this site has a bit of a social edge to it. Photos are uploaded to the site for copyright free uses and allows people to “like” or “Heart” a photo they find intriguing. The photo at the top of this blog post is from Unsplash.com and one I happen to think is nicely done! These photos are under Creative Commons CCO but you are limited to 10 downloads a month. Support your favorite photographers there by “liking” their work!
Creative Commons Search – As you may have noted, I’ve referenced in the last two links Creative Commons CCO. Well you guessed it – the site has a search site that aggregates all photos under CC licensing for you to view! This site pulls photos tagged with the Creative Commons CCO from places like Flickr, Google and Pixbay. However, the site does warn that when selecting an image VERIFY that it indicates it falls under Creative Commons license. Also note – this site can search for video and music under the CC license – but again verify your findings.
From Old Books – this is an interesting site and an interesting option you may want to consider. This site has uploaded thousands of vintage images that are free to use. Why are they free? Because all these photos and drawings were created before copyright laws. Yes – there was a time prior to copyright laws on images and this site is sharing them. Enjoy the flash back images!
Freephotos – This site uses API’s to gather photos from sites around the web. It makes it easier to know which images are royalty or copyright free by viewing what’s aggregating to this site. Images are shown here that are provided free by other sites. The nice thing about this site is that if you find one you really like – it will show other images from that site that you can purchase. It even provides you with a discount code in some instances. (we are not associated with freephotos)
There you are … 5 sites you can use for copyright free photos for your blog and stay within your blogging budget.
Have another site that you use? Would love to learn about it in the comments below!