Where to Get Free Stock Photos, Videos, and Icons for Your Website

Stock photography can be expensive. And randomly grabbing licensed images from the Internet can cost you thousands of dollars if you’re found violating a copyright and threatened with legal action (this happened to someone I talked to at a Meetup).

Filtered Google Search

You can find free legal images through a filtered Google search, but I want to be very clear here. If you do a Google search for images and randomly use one on your website without consideration for the copyright, you could be hit with a fine and / or a lot of legal hassles. So, don’t do that!

What you can do is a Google search only for images labeled for reuse. To do that, search for whatever topic you are looking for in Google, then click Images when the search results show up.

Next, click Tools in the bar above the image results. Then, use the Usage Rights pulldown to filter by Labeled for Reuse. These are images that you can use on your website for free, without attribution or other legal obligations.

Free Photos, No Attribution Required

Here are some sources for license-free stock photos! No attribution required (but it is often encouraged, and please double-check, as licensing can change):

The featured image at the top of this article is from Pixabay, which I highly recommend!

Specialty Photos

These are sources of specialty photos:

  • Foodiesfeed
    Professional food photos. Attribution is requested but not required.
  • Placebear
    This is a specific image “service” to help web developers place temporary images in websites during development. Yes, the images are of bears!
  • Placekitten
    This was the original inspiration for Placebear using, you guessed it, kittens!

Archival / Historical

These sites offer free historical/archival photos. Attribution may be required:

Attribution Required

These sites offer free images but they may require attribution or have other limitations:

Free Videos

These sites offer free videos:

  • Coverr
  • Mazwai – some may require attribution
  • Videvo offers free stock video and music/sound effects, as well as premium content.

Icons

Here are some great sources for free icons for your website. Among these three sources you should be able to find almost anything that you need.

  • Google Material Icons gives you tons of great free icons available in five styles!
  • Font Awesome gives you over 1600 icons for free.
  • Fontello is a free tool to package web fonts. I haven’t tried this yet, but it offers a lot of free fonts.
  • Elegant Themes has its free icon font with over 300 free icons. These are more web and business-related. These are built into the Divi theme.
  • IcoMoon has 5500 free icons.
  • iconmonstr offers thousands of free icons.
  • Bytesize offers 84 lean free icons.

Free Illustrations

Check out these great free illustrations!

So, as you can see, there are lots of sources of royalty-free content on the Internet! Don’t take chances by randomly downloading copyrighted photos!

What are some sources of free photos that I don’t have here? Please comment below. – Brian



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