If you are a blogger, do graphic design, or simply want great photos for your next project, finding the perfect photo can be difficult. And if you are like me, you don’t like to have to pay fees to get those photos.

There are others who have that same vision and goal, and in turn have created some fascinating options. Basically it works like this.

If you are willing to upload some of your own quality photos for others to use free of charge, then you can use as many images from the website as you wish. Of course, you are not required to upload any, but the concept is really cool!

I use these sites myself, and thought I would compile a list of the top 8 sites that I use for free stock photos, so that you can take a look for yourself!

The photos from all of these sights fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license. That means you can copy, modify, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission! Most of them, however, do not allow for redistribution of the photos. Attribution is required by some but not all. Some suggest it simply to give credit back to the sites where they originated from. Be sure to read the terms from each of these sites to know exactly what you can and cannot do with the photos you download.

Here is my list!

Pixabay

Pixabay is a web designer’s dream. Not only does this site offer an easy-to-use search feature, the images are amazing! And most don’t require any attribution at all. Pixabay is loaded with free images and videos you can use anywhere, and all images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications.

Searchable? ~ Yes

Attribution required? ~ No, for most images

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Pexels

Legal Simplicity! All photos on Pexels are free for personal and even for commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source! The only restriction is that identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive, unless they give their consent.

Searchable? ~ Yes

Attribution required? ~ No

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Unsplash

Unsplash adds 10 new royalty-free photos every 10 days and they’re almost always of wildly attractive, beautiful, landscapes. Unsplash has a huge collection of free high-resolution photos and has arguably one of the best sources for stock images.

Searchable? Yes

Attribution required? Yes

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picjumbo

Picjumbo is easy to navigate and has extremely high-resolution photos (many with no attribution required). This site also happens to feature an amazing collection of food shots, so if you’re running a restaurant or nutrition based startup, you might find it worth your while to check them out.

Searchable? Yes

Attribution required? No, for most images

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MMT Stock

MMT Stock is a collection of high resolution photos provided by Jeffrey Betts. Jeffrey likes to share photos of computers and workspaces as well as flowers and nature. All photos are released under Creative Commons CC0 liscensing.

Searchable? Yes

Attribution required? No, for most images

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Picography

The simplest site on this list, Picography is a scroll-through gallery of random shots submitted by Dave Meier and various other photographers. . This site is perfect for designers looking for evocative photos. All photos are released under Creative Commons CCO.

Searchable? Yes

Attribution required? No

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New Old Stock

New Old Stock is a collection of antique photos, many taken by government agencies or discovered in estate sales. You can scroll for hours without getting bored. Perfect for your vintage project!

Searchable? Yes

Attribution required? No

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stocksnap.io

StockSnap.io has a large selection of beautiful free stock photos and high resolution images. They also have a very handy search feature making it easy to browse through the thousands of images available. You can also find the most popular photos available. StockSnap adds hundreds of images on a weekly basis and all photos are released under creative commons public domain – no attribution required.

Searchable? Yes

Attribution required? No

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Attribution and licenses explained.

When you do a Google Images search, the resulting photos are not necessarily ones that you’re free to use. In most cases, those photos are covered by photographers’ copyrights.

If you’re looking for photos to use for a design and want to keep yourself out of copyright trouble, you need to locate websites that explicitly define the copyright license of each image. For all the sites listed above, the license is generally pretty easy to find. There’s usually a description of the license on every page and maybe a link to a description as well. Here are two license types you’re likely to find on these sites:

Creative Commons zero means that you can use the photos in any way that you’d like, without asking permission.

Creative Commons with attribution means that you can use the photo in any way you want, as long as you credit the creator of the photo.

Attribution is simple: If you include a photo on one of a web page, add text that cites the photographer (“Photo by John Doe”) and be sure to include a link to his or her site, if there is one.

Be sure to check each website’s license page for specific details, and follow their requirements!