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Looking to find copyright free images to use in your blogs, websites or social media posts? The following sites are the best on the internet.

Do you frequently share images online? If so, it’s essential to have a virtual Rolodex of go-to websites to quickly find images. It’s also important that you have websites in which the legal restrictions are clear and concise.

Below you will find my go-to list of the best sources, hand-picked and vetted to a strict set of standards. I’ve included some of my favorite paid resources as well.

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Copyright Free Images Galore

The following sites are the best places I’ve found online to get royalty free images. I have sorted through dozens of sites to bring you the best of the best. This will save you time and potential frustration.

You shouldn’t have to spend an hour and a half looking for the perfect image for your next epic blog post. These sites I’ve listed had to pass a certain number of criteria:

Great selection of imagesHigh-quality photographyCopyright free or CC0 licensedGreat search functionalityEasy to navigate quicklySafe for work (and kids)

Each site I list below will pass all of these criteria with flying colors.

About Copyright Free and CC0 Images

It’s important to note that the most important aspect is the copyright free or CC0 criteria. In case you’re not familiar with these terms, I wanted to explain them a bit.

When photographers upload their images to the internet, they are the copyright owner. They have certain enforceable rights that protect people from using their photos without their permission. If you are found using their copyrighted photography without permission, they can take legal action against you or your business.

A photo that is labeld “CC0” (Creative Commons Zero) means that the original photographer has willingly waived their copyright to it. That image is free to use for personal and commercial use. You don’t need to pay royalties, give attribution, or get permission.

Just because an image is marked “copyright free” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s 100% free to use. Some may require you to give attribution or pay a small fee.

Without further ado, here is my go-to list of copyright free image sites.


unsplash free photos screenshot

This was a small free photo project that turned into an absolute behemoth of a website. It is now one of the most popular sites on the internet. Unsplash is home to more copyright free photos than you could even know what to do with.

Unsplash started as a simple Tumblr site posting 10 new photos every 10 days. It has turned into a place where you could spend hours and never need to go elsewhere for your image hunting.

Photographers upload their work to Unsplash where a team of editors review each submission. If the photo passes their high standards, the photo is made available. Photographers also can have profiles on Unsplash, which is a great incentive for them to upload their best work.

Attribution is not required for using Unsplash images, but they do encourage it.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Unsplash

Burst (by Shopify)

burst by shopify screenshot

The site is laid out beautifully. Burst give you the ability to sort through new photos, popular collections, or perform a search for specific image keywords.

Shopify claims they are uploading new photos to the site every week. A big improvement from when they first launched with new photos every couple of weeks.

It is targeted at entrepreneurs and business owners looking for stock photography, but certainly, anyone can use them.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Burst


pexels free images screenshot

Pexels began as an aggregator of copyright free photos from other sites. They abandoned that model and instead created their own library of images like Unsplash.

They are now my second favorite place to find images. The majority of the photography on Pexels is very high-quality. They have a similar approval process for photography submitted on the site.

It’s easy to search, updates with new photos daily and has a very large library.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Pexels


reshot free photos screenshot

Simple and elegant looking website, with a good search function that points to well tagged images.

What’s interesting though, is their “Quick Image Packs” where you can download a set number of images that revolve around a certain theme.

All they require for you to download these image packs is to Tweet about the site. This action is made easy by a “Tweet to Download” button on the pack you want to get.

Current packs available are:

Diversity Matters PackActive Lifestyle PackEveryday Technology PackFlat Lay Pack

I hope they add to their packs as this is a really great concept, and something I find myself needing more and more.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Reshot


wunderstock homepage

The newest addition to my list is quickly growing on me. Wunderstock has millions of high resolution images, and they’re all categorized into three different licenses:

Attribution NonCommercialAttributionPublic Domain (CC0)

They have created a search algorithm that searches online for Public Domain images. And if the algorithm thinks it hasn’t found enough for your query, it will also search Wunderstock’s own library or Flickr Creative Commons photos.

You can also filter your searches by photo orientation (landscape, portrait, or square), source (Wunderstock or Flickr), and license.

Overall this seems like a really smart iteration of a free image site. I think a lot more people are going to start using it.

Visit Wunderstock

Libre Stock

librestock free photos screenshot

If you’d like a centralized place, much like Pexels, to search all the best free image sites using an intelligent tagging system.

The search engine is powerful. When you click on an image in the search results you are taken to the photo on the site it originated from.

Image restrictions: CC0 (but be sure to check the site you’re downloading from)

Visit Libre Stock



A project of Viktor Hanacek, designer, who understands the importance of high quality images in a designer’s life. New photos are uploaded daily.

Fantastic work, and completely copyright free. There is a paid membership for $6/month if you want even more from Viktor.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit PicJumbo

Barn Images

barn images screenshot

A relatively new resource, this site is owned and operated by two photographers who set out “with the hope of redefining traditional stock imagery.” They publish new, free photos every weekday and are dedicated to high quality, non-stock images.

Despite the name, the site is not dedicated to images of barns. It has a vast diversity of fresh, high-quality images that are great for use with your website, blog or social media projects.

Images restrictions: None

Visit Barn Images


gratisography copyright free images screenshot

A personal project of Ryan McGuire of Bells Design. Very beautiful high-resolution images added weekly, completely free of copyright.

What I like most about this site is the personality and uniqueness of the photographer’s style. Very fun and a tad bit quirky.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Gratisography


pixabay free images screenshot

A collection of images that are personally uploaded by contributors under Creative Commons Public Domain. The site functions beautifully and has great navigation, sorting, and searching functions.

One of the features I like about Pixabay is the ability to filter your searches by landscape or portrait images. This is helpful when you’re looking for a very specific image orientation.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Pixabay



Compfight allows you to search through Flickr’s Creative Commons listed photos. It’s pretty simple to use and will automatically generate the HTML code to insert photo credit.

It can be a bit buggy sometimes, so you may be better off going straight to Once there you can do an advanced search for Creative Commons photos.

Image restrictions: Depends

Visit Compfight


morgue file copyright free photos screenshot

This is a big searchable database of free images. It also has some great filtering options to really find the photos you’re looking for.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Morguefile

New Old Stock

New Old Stock

Another Tumblr powered site, New Old Stock features “vintage photos from public archives”. A great place to find authentically vintage looking imagery.

Image restrictions: Public Domain

Visit New Old Stock

Death to the Stock Photo

Death to Stock Photo

Their mission is to “make the internet more beautiful”. This is an email subscription that sends you free curated photo packs every month.

They also do the occasional paid pack that is usually from a trip they are taking. Their photography is always top notch.

Image restrictions: Limited (but more than fair)

Visit Death to Stock Photo

Jay Mantri

jay mantri free photos screenshot

Yet another Tumblr based photo archive. I recently discovered this site and love the creator’s style.

No notes about how often he updates it but his only request is that you “make magic” with them.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Jay Mantri


kaboom pics screenshot

Also newly discovered, I found this site to be easy to search and photos are well tagged, much like on Pexels.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Kaboompics



Now here’s a site with a very interesting take on the world of free images. All images are organized into albums (hence the name Albumarium). Instead of searching for photos, you search for albums.

This is very helpful for when you’re looking for more than one image under the same theme. Let’s say you need 3-4 photos that need to look like they were taken by the same person. Or maybe you want them to look like they were taken in the same setting. Albumarium is exactly what you need.

Other sites offer a similar “packs” model, but most of those are paid only.

Image restrictions: CC2.0

Visit Albumarium

Life of Pix

life of pix free photos screenshot

Very simple site, updated regularly with new high-resolution images that are free to use and share. The search function works well, but I’d love to see the search function work with the grid layout. As of now, when you search you only get one-column results and that can be a bit tedious.

Image restrictions: CC0

Visit Life of Pix

Paid Stock Images

If you really want to ensure your image hunting is legal and time-efficient, you can always utilize one of the many stock image sites. These are sites that offer royalty free stock photos for purchase.

This is the best solution if you have a professional blog and you want the highest quality selection without any potential legal issues.


shutterstock royalty free photos screenshot

Shutterstock boasts an insane amount of royalty free images that you can purchase for a good price. They also have a wide variety of illustrations, graphics, and icons you can choose from as well.

A noteworthy feature is their Shutterstock Editor Pro image editor. It is perfect for those who want to create quick image edits for various purposes. You can make the edits right inside the web app before downloading.

Super convenient.

The good folks of Shutterstock have also partnered with me here at, allowing me to have generous access to 25 downloads per day. This partnership had no effect on their placement in this article. (They didn’t even ask to be mentioned.)

Visit Shutterstock


istockphotos screenshot

iStockPhoto is the leading stock image site on the internet. They have a huge selection of royalty free images for purchase. But don’t let that intimidate you because their search filtering options make it pretty easy to narrow down your searches.

Their downside is that they use a credit system as opposed to a straight dollar amount. This makes calculating costs a bit more difficult.

Visit iStockPhoto

Photo Dune


Not quite as big of a selection as iStockPhoto but they are my personal preference. I prefer them because the payment system is in dollars rather than credits, so you know exactly how much you’re paying for each photo.

Visit Photo Dune

Social Media Images + Graphics: social media images

If you’re a social media manager, you’ll want to take a look at It is not a library of individual photos like all the other sites. Instead it offers bundles of social media graphics for purchase.

Because let’s face it–most of you reading this blog post are sourcing images to use on social media. And what do you have to do once you find them? You have to pull them into a graphic design app and take the time to design something. saves you tons of time in that aspect.

Each bundle or “Social Pack” comes with 30 days of social media images and content. Each day has one graphic in four different sizes. Additionally, each size has both a version with text, and without text so you can truly get the most out of every post.

This makes creating a consistent content calendar as easy as possible. And I must say (as a completely biased founder) I think these packs are pretty stellar.



lightstock free photos screenshot

Some of the highest quality Christian photography you will find on the internet. Period.

The prices aren’t cheap, but neither is the quality of the photos. If you’re looking for the best premium quality Christian-oriented photography, this is the place to go.

Visit Lightstock

Enough free photo sites?

This list is constantly updated, and I only add the best of the best copyright free image sites to this list.

So if you have something that isn’t mentioned in this list, let me know in the comments below. I will review and consider your suggestion, but I don’t promise all of them will make it.

Do you have any free image resources that you would add to the list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The post Copyright Free Images: 20+ Resources You Need to Know appeared first on Dustin Stout by Dustin W. Stout. If you are reading this on a website that is NOT, it is STOLEN.

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