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
I want to be very clear here. If you do a Google search for images and randomly use one on your website, you could be hit with a fine and / or a lot of legal hassles. So, don’t do it!
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):
- StockSnap – scroll down past the Shutterstock photos to see the free ones.
The featured image at the top of this article is from Pixabay, which I highly recommend!
These are sources of specialty photos:
Professional food photos. Attribution is requested but not required.
Archival / Historical
These sites offer free historical/archival photos. Attribution may be required:
- New York Public Library Digital Collections
These photos are very old but could be useful for a retro or historical site
- Wikimedia Commons
Some photos require attribution or have other requiremetns.
These sites offer free images but they may require attribution or have other limitations:
Has a free section but attribution is required.
Attribution and link are required.
Free photos, vector art, icons, and PSDs, but attribution is required.
- NASA on The Commons
Free photos, just need to give attribution to NASA.
- NASA Visible Earth
Free with attribution, unless otherwise noted.
License varies with photo.
These sites offer free videos:
Check out these great free illustrations!
So, as you can see, there are lots of sources of royalty-free photos on the Internet! Don’t take chances by randomly downloading photos!
What are some sources of free photos that I don’t have here? Please comment below. – Brian