Sites with free graphics where you don’t have to pay or give up your personal information? Yes, they do exist!
So, have you ever been in search of the perfect free graphic for your blog post or website? You search Google and a whole host of great images are returned… score! But wait…. they aren’t really free. They are royalty “free” if you pay a monthly subscription fee. And you’ve just wasted 20 minutes clicking image after image to find out “free” doesn’t really mean free.
I could go on and on about various translations of the word “free,” but I think you get the idea. For the purposes of this article, the word free means just that – you do not need to give anyone anything in exchange for the use of high-quality images.
I found eight totally free graphics sites with stunning images to use as you please. Oh, and registration is not required to download these images in most cases. A few sites ask for attribution to the artist.
This is possible because graphics, photos, vectors, and videos that fall under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license means they are completely free to be used for any legal purpose however you wish. You can modify, use and post CC0 images with no worries about copyright infringement. Only in some cases do the authors ask for you to link back to them.
The following sites have thousands of CC0 images just waiting for you.
Pixabay has over 1 million beautiful photos, vectors, illustrations, and videos. This site is different from a lot of other free image sites because they offer more than photo images. Pixabay also has an app that supports iPhone and Android. This site has a robust search feature that allows you to search by media type, color, category, and size.
The only time you need to register is if you want to download the high resolution version of their images. All other images (three sizes to choose from) do not require registration. If you do choose to register, you can save images you like or upload your own images and set up a portfolio to showcase your own work. This should be one of the first sites you visit on this list!
Pexels is another great site that contains hundreds of free high quality photos. You do not need to register for this site and you can download as many images as you need. This site contains a search feature (such as searching by color) or you can search by popular categories. This is another one of my go-to sites for images.
Upsplash has hundreds of high-resolution photos. You can configure which images you want see when you visit the site and you can have photos delivered directly to your inbox. You do not have to register to download images, unless you want to use the site’s Collection feature, which allows you to create your own collection of photos.
Stocksnap.io has a large collection of high resolution photos to which they add hundreds more each week. Recently added photos are conveniently located on the front page for those of you who are frequent visitors to these sites. You can use the search feature to find photos or peruse collections by topic.
NYPL has a very cool and very large collection of public domain images. You can try out the NYPL visualization tool or browse their digital assets by collection. I highly recommend checking out this site just for the fun of it.
Skitterphoto has a large collection of beautiful photos. You can check out featured photos or use the search feature to find specific images. While this collection is a bit smaller than the others, the pictures are high quality.
Wikimedia has one of the largest multimedia collections I’ve seen and it includes audio and video files. This site is great for photographers as they have a monthly challenge for photo submissions. Searching the Wikimedia collection is easy, or you can just browse through one of their many collections. Some images require credit given to the creator (these rules are outlined on the site).
Vecteezy is a site that focuses exclusively on vector graphics and has a large collection of flat design (or material design) graphics and icon sets. They also have a paid premium section of additional graphics. However, there are hundreds of free graphics to choose from if you don’t wish to sign up for a premium account. You can also edit some of the vector images right from the website (if you wish to go this route, you need to download the Chrome browser if you don’t have it). Graphics are organized by type of graphic and category which makes it easy to find the graphics you want. The featured image on this site is a free vector I downloaded and recolored with Illustrator.
I hope these sites help you to add interest and beauty to your own website or blog. I find them not only convenient to use, but great places to find high quality images for my own blog and projects.
Know of a great site that has free images? Please share it!