Does your site use site copyright free images? Many people find Google Images to be an easy way to find a photo or illustration for their blog or website. They assume those images are free to use. But they couldn’t be more wrong!

The Internet is full of stories (like this one) of people who infringed on copyright, albeit unknowingly, and still found themselves in legat trouble as a result. Often, the legal problem comes from the use of a single image. But just because it’s only one image, it can cost you bigtime. People have ended up paying thousands for an image that they didn’t have permission to use!

The fact is, Google images is a search engine and although it can find all sorts of images, they are by and large not copyright-free images or images that are in the public domain. As a rule, you should assume that all images found through a Google search or that are found online are protected by copyright unless and until you find out otherwise.

There are quite a few sites where good quality images have been curated and you can buy them, either as a one-off or by paying for a membership. But what if you can’t afford or just don’t want to pay for images? Luckily, there are many sites that have images you can use for free! 

Most of the photos you will find on these sites are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. So you can copy, modify, distribute, and even use them for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. But pay attention to the requirements of each site, some photos may require attribution. (Attribution is giving the original author of the photo credit for their work, preferably somewhere on the same page as the image.) But they are all free to use.
Here’s a handy list that I have compiled for you

  1. Pixabay: Free high-quality images. My go-to site for searchable high-quality images.
  2. Pexels: Free photos.
  3. All The Free Stock: Free stock images, icons, and videos.
  4. Designers Pics: Free photographs for personal & commercial use. Somewhat limited selection.
  5. Splashbase: Search & discover free, hi res photos & videos.
  6. Startup Stock Photos: 
  7. Jay Mantri: Free pics. do anything (CC0). Not easy to search but some great images.
  8. Travel Coffee Book:Just what it says – stunning images from around the world.
  9. Unsplash: Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.
  10. Foodie’s Feed: Free food pictures in hi-res.
  11. Jéshoots: New modern free photos.
  12. Picography:  Free hi-resolution photos..
  13. Magdeleine: A free high-resolution photo every day.
  14. Little Visuals:High-resolution images free for download.
  15. Splitshire: Free stock photos.
  16. New Old Stock: Vintage photos from the public archives.
  17. Picjumbo: Two levels – free photos or premium (paid).
  18. Life of Pix: Free high-resolution photos.
  19. Gratisography: Free high-resolution photos.
  20. Public Domain Archive: New 100% free stock photos.
  21. Cupcake: A photographer’s treat by Jonas Nilsson Lee.
  22. Getrefe: Free photos.
  23. ISO Republic: High-quality, free photos for creatives.
  24. Kaboompics: Free photos.
  25. Good Free Photos: Free Photos (Public Domain Photos), Clipart, images, and Vectors
  26. Stock Up: Indexes photos from 31 different free stock photo websites.

 Oh and as a bonus, there’s

  1. Coverr: Beautiful, free videos for your website, with 7 new videos every Monday
  2. Mazwai: Free creative commons HD video clips & footage.

– I’m sure there are more and if you know of any not on this list, please add them in the comments!!