How to find free stock photos for your projects

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This guide outlines several ways to obtain free stock photos for your website, social media or print use.

In today’s digital age, visuals are essential in every aspect of online communication, from social media posts to blog articles. One effective way to enhance the visual appeal of your project or content is by using high-quality stock photos. However, finding free stock photos can be challenging, especially if you’re on a tight budget. In this article, we’ll discuss some ways to find Free stock images for your projects.

Finding high-quality, eye-catching free stock photos for your projects can be a daunting task, especially when you’re on a tight budget. However, there are many free stock photo websites that offer a wide range of images that can be used in your projects. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to find Free stock images.

How to find free stock photos

Before you start looking for free stock photos, it’s important to understand licensing. Many stock photo websites offer free images, but the licence may require attribution or limit how the image can be used. Some licences also require that you modify the image before using it. Be sure to read and understand the licence agreement before using any images.

1. Use Creative Commons search engines

Creative Commons search engines are excellent resources for finding free stock photos that you can use for commercial or non-commercial purposes. These search engines compile images from various sources that allow for their free use. Examples of these search engines include Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay.

2. Explore Public Domain images

Public domain images are images that are not subject to copyright laws. These images are free for anyone to use, including for commercial purposes. You can find public domain images on various websites like Flickr and the Library of Congress.

3. Check out Social Media

Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can be great sources of free stock photos. Many photographers and artists share their work on these platforms and allow others to use their images for free. You can search for relevant hashtags to find photos that match your project’s theme or look for profiles that offer free stock photos.

4. Contact Photographers

If you have a specific project in mind, you can reach out to photographers and request to use their free stock photos. Many photographers are willing to let others use their photos for free, as long as they receive proper attribution. You can find photographers on Instagram, Behance, and other photography websites.

5. Use Google Image Search

Google Image Search can be a useful tool for finding free stock photos. You can use the search filters to narrow down your results to images that are labelled for reuse. However, it’s important to double-check the usage rights of each image before using it, as some images may not be free to use.

6. Check out Stock Photo Marketplaces

Some stock photo marketplaces offer free images each month or week as a way to attract new customers. These images are usually high-quality and can be used for commercial purposes. Examples of these marketplaces include Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, and iStock.

7. Use advanced search options

Many free stock photo websites offer advanced search options that can help you find the perfect image for your project. You can narrow down your search by colour, orientation, size, and even by the photographer. This can save you time and help you find the right image for your project faster.

8. Utilise Stock Photo Subscriptions:

Some stock photo subscription services offer a free trial period that allows you to download a limited number of images for free. These images can be used for commercial purposes without any attribution or licensing restrictions. Some of these services include Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and iStock.

9. Join Free Stock Photo Communities:

 There are many online communities dedicated to sharing free stock photos. By joining these communities, you can access a wide range of high-quality free stock photos and also connect with other content creators. Some popular communities include Pexels, Pixabay, and Freepik.

10. Use Public Domain Artwork:

 In addition to photographs, there are many public domain artworks available that you can use for free. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, offers high-quality images of their artwork that are in the public domain. These images can be used for any purpose without any licensing or attribution requirements.

11. Ask for Permission:

 If you find an image that you really love but can’t find the usage rights or licence information, try reaching out to the photographer or artist to ask for permission to use their work. Many content creators are happy to share their work as long as they receive proper attribution.

12. Check the Image Quality:

Before using an image, make sure to check its quality. Low-quality images may not look good on your website or social media, and could reflect poorly on your brand. Most free stock photo websites offer high-resolution images, but it’s still important to check.

13. Be Creative:

 You can use free stock photos as a base and then edit them to fit your specific needs. You can also combine multiple images to create a unique visual for your project.

14. Attribute the Creator:

While many free stock photos don’t require attribution, it’s always a good idea to credit the creator. This can help you build relationships with other content creators and also adds credibility to your work.


Finding free stock photos for your projects is possible, but it requires some effort and creativity. By using the above methods, you can discover an abundance of high-quality images that you can use for your content without breaking the bank.

Just remember to always check the usage rights of each image and give proper attribution when necessary.