Social posts with photos have an 87% interaction rate, by far they highest of all post formats. However, a bad photo can make you appear unprofessional, and many stock photo sites are quite expensive. To help out with that, we scoured the web for a list of the top 20 sites where you can find high quality, royalty-free photos for free.
This is by far my personal favorite. There are ten new photos added each week, and you can subscribe to get them sent directly to you. The photos are primarily nature and architecture.
This is the best resource on this list for stock photos of people. A lot of their photos are pulled in from Flickr, which can work, but you have to dig through them a little bit to find good ones.
A good resource for general images. This is the only site on this list with a search function, if you need a picture of a specific thing this is the place to go.
Another excellent resource for landscapes and nature photos. This site differs from Unsplash because it focuses more on “normal” places. A lot of pictures of farms and the countryside rather than monuments etc.
This site is run by a photographer who takes pictures of pretty much whatever suits his fancy. That leads to some pretty off-the-wall images with quite a few gems mixed in.
This is a massive database of over four million images that can be used free of charge without licensing. This is a good resource when you need something more abstract.
If you subscribe to this site they’ll send a new stock photo every day for free. Alternatively (and this is my preferred method) you can browse through the site’s database for picture they’ve previously sent out. I like this one because they have a strong selection of people, which is difficult to find.
This is the best resource I’ve found for celebrity images that are royalty free and readily available. The curator of the site does an excellent job of keeping up to date and you can search by movie or by gender/actor.
As someone who enjoys traveling, I love this website. They have pictures that are submitted by users from around the world. Simply click on the world map and select a location to grab amazing images from around the world.
This one is really cool because it brings history to life for free. Select pictures from famous times of the past and use them royalty free.
I’m a bit surprised to find myself adding this one to the list. However, Flickr has recently done some really cool stuff, adding images from The New York Public Library (picture below), and a lot of other really awesome sources. It’s certainly hit and miss with Flickr, but more hits than misses lately.
This one is really nice because of the easy-to-use search feature. Simply type in something you want a bunch of pictures of, and the engine will return tons of results (as you can see in my screenshot of candy).
This one’s really cool because you can see how the pictures might look on your site or quiz before you use them. It’s slightly less intuitive to navigate around, but still worth giving a try if you want some nice, really high resolution images.
To be honest, it will be hard to find a specific picture here if that’s what you need. However, when I scrolled through the pictures they do have, I was a bit emotionally moved by the beauty, it’s just such a nice set of images. Picography is constantly adding new shots, so if you need just generally nice pictures and not specific ones, this is your place.
This is one you don’t know you need until you need it. One of the most common quiz questions is “which is your favorite color?” and it’s way cooler to have the actual colors than to just list names of colors. This site will take care of all your color needs, and you can even get the correctly sized images for Interact quiz questions which is cool.
Another site curated by an individual with an assortment of photos that don’t necessarily have to do with all that much but are still beautiful. I recommend this one for cover photos on quizzes or if you are doing any sort of nature-based quiz.
Another site with search functionality, which is really nice. I decided to test their depth by searching for “cheetah” (someone was making a quiz with Cheetah as a result recently). I wasn’t disappointed with the results, sure enough they had a cheetah picture for me to use free of charge or royalty.
Another site with search functionality. I tried this one with the search “Berlin” and it came back with some nice results. I believe this one is also crowd-sourced, so others upload their images for you to use, which can be a good thing and a bad thing.
Ever wonder where those ridiculously photogenic pictures of offices and people come from? Odds are it’s this website. Startup Stock Photos provides an amazing selection of very well positioned apple products, minimalist offices, and young entrepreneurial looking people that will fit in nicely to any site that has to do with working or startups.
This is another list of lists of stock images sites that are free. Canva is leading the way in open-source design for non-designers and this is an excellent resource to find more images from.
So that’s a lot of options. My advice is to pick one or a couple that fit your needs and use the routinely. There’s a bit of a learning curve on any of these sites (different download styles etc.) plus it just makes it easier to remember where you need to go to get pictures when you use the same sites all the time.