High-quality photos are critical to a successful content marketing and social media strategy. According to research, content with images get 94 percent more views and if a relevant image is paired with the same information, people retain 65 percent of the information three days later. Unfortunately, people and companies use a lot of bad stock images with their content. There has been a growing number of websites with beautiful stock images that can help your content be more memorable and make it “pop” off the page. The old expression “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true here.
These free image websites utilize the creative commons zero (CC0) license, which indicates ownership rights have been waived so no attributions are needed. They are simply public domain.
Here is a curation of the best image websites for free, high-quality stock photos:
Unsplash adds 10 photos every 10 days via an email subscription or via their website. You can browse the website by scrolling down the home page, browse by new [photos], searching by collection or keywords or search by photographer name. You can switch to the grid format as well. Visit their photo license page for the terms and conditions.
StockSnap images can be sorted by date, what images are trending, the number of views or downloads. It has a big search area on the homepage where you can search based on keywords or by popular searches. You can also browse by recently added photos. Visit their photo license page for the terms and conditions.
Pixabay has over 940,000 photos, vectors and art illustrations. You can browse by Editor’s Choice, photographers, videos, photos and cameras that took the photos. It has a robust or advanced search button that helps you find the right photo based on certain criteria such as orientation (horizontal or vertical), color and size. Visit their photo license page for the terms and conditions.
Pexels has a big search button on its home page that shows you popular searches. At the bottom of the home page, they do “while you were away” section that highlights popular photos. You can also browse by popular photos, popular searches and photographer leaderboard (users with the most downloads of photos uploaded in the last 30 days). Pexels curates photos from Gratisography and Unsplash to help you simplify the image search process. Visit their photo license page for the terms and conditions.
You can search by categories such as animals, nature, and objects. Or you can do a “magic auto search” to find a photo. Photos are added to the website every week. Visit their photo license page for the terms and conditions.
Negative Space adds new free stock images every week that are sortable by categories such as business, people, and nature. The website also has a section for popular collections. If you follow them on social media, you will get updates on new images. Visit their photo license page for the terms and conditions.
This website is sorted by galleries. If you click on the image, you will get the name of the image and you will get a button for related images or how you can quickly download the image. It is also sorted by featured images, photoshoots. You can subscribe to their email to stay up-to-date with their blog and latest additions. Visit their photo license page for the terms and conditions.
What free image websites would you add to this list?