The 56 best free stock photos you need to know in 2020

The 56 Best Free Stock Photos You Need to Know in 2020

At any stage of the execution of a Content Marketing strategy, beyond the production, it is necessary to take advantage of images.

If you are not sure about that, here are some relevant data regarding the use of images in Digital Marketing:

  • when listening, people remember only 10% of what they heard after three days. When it comes to visual content, the retention is 65%;
  • 74% of social media professionals use images in their marketing strategies;
  • tweets containing images receive 150% more retweets than those using only text;
  • articles that include images every 75-100 words receive twice as much sharing on social media;
  • posts with images on Facebook generate 2.3 times more engagement;
  • between 2015 and 2016, the use of images in content increased by 130%.

At this point, you may be thinking: how do companies produce so much visual content? Do they have their own staff, outsource the service, or use online tools?

In most cases, all those resources are employed. But there is another interesting data regarding images you should consider: 35% of marketers use bank stock images in their work.

Some of them are paid. Others are partially free. Anyway, you can execute a good strategy using the power of stock photos to optimize the results of your site and other online channels.

To help you in your activities that require images, we’ll present the 59 best free stock photos available on the internet. Check them out!

1. Unsplash

This site has some of the most beautiful images available on the internet. All of them are completely free of any kind of copyright.

That means you can copy, edit, and distribute them for any purpose, whether commercial or personal.

Unsplash is one of the few sites that don’t ask you to give credits to the photographer, although this is a recommended practice. Furthermore, it is designed to meet any user’s demand for images.

There is also the option to subscribe to the newsletter. By doing so, you will receive 10 new images every 10 days to spread the content.

2. Rawpixel

If you are used to searching for stock photos, this name surely sounds a bit familiar. 

That is because Rawpixel also distributes its pictures in several other image banks — many of which will be listed throughout this post.

What makes it so special is its gigantic and diverse collection of images, vectors, illustrations, and much more!

Besides making it possible to download free images, it has an extensive premium collection.

3. FreePik

Easy-to-use and good-looking, this site offers over 1.5 million free images and photographs.

To obtain an image, just click on it. You will see the type of license and the source site. The original platform is in Spanish, but there is now a version in English.

4. Vintage Stock Photos

This is one of the best-known sites to download free vintage images. As the name implies, it focuses on retro-style images and posters.

Most of the files are in the public domain, so don’t worry about copyright. The premium service can provide some better-quality and exclusive images, but the free collection is vast.

The best is that there is no need to log in. Just select the image and download it to your computer.

5. Morguefile

You can find images of excellent quality and totally free in Morguefile.

This image bank was built with the contribution of several creative professionals. The purpose was to help users to find good, free images for commercial or personal use.

6. Pixabay

In Pixabay, you can find photos, vector images, illustrations, and even videos to use for free.

A great advantage of this site is the filter, which allows the inclusion of sizes, dimensions, and orientation.

Also, it is possible to segment images by predominant colors, which can be a differential in terms of branding. 

The collection has more than 1.2 million elements.

7. RGB Stock

RGB is the acronym used for the Red, Green, and Blue additive color system. Its purpose is to reproduce them in electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and televisions.

The RGB Stock image bank focuses not only on images but also on other elements such as backgrounds, textures, and filters.

8. Stockvault

With a very intuitive search engine, Stockvault is very simple and easy to use. When you click on an image, a panel appears, showing detailed information about the file.

This stock is 100% free and was created by a community of over 95,000 artists and photographers.

9. Death To The Stock Photo

The slogan defines the platform: “We want to be exactly like coffee for the modern creative people”. 

In other words, an application that is used regularly and facilitates the work of designers.

The site has beautiful and free photos. However, its format is a bit different. 

Every month, many photos are added to the galleries, and you can subscribe to the newsletter to have them arriving directly in your email.

10. LibreShot

Totally royalty-free, this bank allows direct downloads, and no login is required. You can obtain the images easily, with no watermarks.

New images arrive every week, and the site’s whole content is under the responsibility of the artist Martin Vorel.

11. Refe

It is a great free stock photo website for those looking for images for social media and blogs. On it, you can search by using bundles or keywords.

Not all products are free, but there is a filter to find them. Just mouse over to know the price of each item.

As a differential, this site offers more natural, real photos, which come in high resolution.

12. Reshot

Reshot presents a somewhat different premise than most options out there. Its main objective is to focus on quality rather than quantity.

Therefore, it is possible to find authentic images with a less artificial and dated look.

13. Hubspot

You may be asking yourself: “Isn’t Hubspot an Inbound Marketing and software company?” Yes, you are right. However, it offers a promotional free image package.

All the images are of very high quality. For you to access them, it is necessary to register on the platform, which also offers several courses and services for you to enhance your business.

This image bank allows Hubspot to obtain new leads and also to assist the community.

14. PicJumbo

This is another ally in our photo stock list. With several categories, PicJumbo offers thousands of free images without any inconvenience. You can also choose to receive pictures via email.

The creator’s background is very interesting. At the beginning of his career, few image banks accepted his photos, so he built a platform to do it for free.

According to Viktor Hanacek’s own words, “I don’t take pictures to make money. I make money to take more pictures”. Pretty cool, huh?

15. New Old Stock

Another site with public domain content, New Old Stock, has a wide variety of high-resolution images. The themes are diverse, ranging from familiar portraits to technology.

All images are free for non-commercial and personal use. So, you can use them in Medium articles or blog posts, for example.

If you have any questions, just click on the direct link to Flickr available in the description and check the license.

16. FOCA Stock

This platform allows users to download photos of Jeffrey Betts. All images are released according to Creative Commons CC0. So, they are in the public domain.

FOCA is a great choice for those looking for beautiful images. It even offers fantastic close-ups, landscapes, and professional-level photography.

17. Wikimedia Commons

This stock photo is kind of a Wikipedia for photos. That means they come with unique descriptions.

Just like the world’s most-used virtual encyclopedia, it is built by a community. Anyone can contribute and edit the images available.

It also offers video and audio files. Almost the whole collection can be reused, but it is recommended to read each media’s terms of use.

On Wikimedia Commons, you can also request images using descriptions. It is a good example of how the collaborative economy works.

18. Wellcome Collection

One of the most fantastic collections on this list, the Wellcome Collection, offers many images and photographs for free use on all social media channels.

This site aims to approach different times and cultural levels, from magical rituals to science and art.

All the content has been collected over several decades, and the historical images go back to the period between 1890 and 1936.

19. Public Domain Photos

Public Domain Photos offers several free images in a wide variety of categories. 

The only word of advice is regarding those with logos included. Do not use such images to avoid future problems.

The platform also offers a vast catalog of free clipart, which are collections containing drawings, diagrams, icons, maps, and other graphic elements. 

Yes, they are like those you used in Microsoft Word to illustrate your schoolwork!

20. Picdrome

In Picdrome, you can find royalty-free images easily. In this platform, it is not necessary to register. Just click on an image and save it to your computer.

However, they are not of high quality, so choose well where to use such photos.

21. CC Search

CC Search offers images from over 13 specialized image banks. Therefore, the site is not responsible for any licenses found.

Use the search engine to find the images, but you better check on the platform the terms of use.

22. Imagebase

A super intuitive site, Imagebase includes well-segmented categories on the home page. It provides high-quality images of great variety.

Most of the photographs were taken by the photographer David Niblack. 

It is not necessary to log in to download the images or even credit the photos to the author. All of them are free for any kind of use.

23. Insect Images

A free photo bank with a focus on insect images, it provides files in this context for professionals who need such a material.

The niche is a bit limited, but you never know when you will need a photo of a cockroach, right?

24. Creative103

Focusing on design, Creative103 is an image bank with options designed for this area. It brings references to design and creative elements.

The great differential is the abstract images, which range from wallpapers to urban photographs.

25. ARS

The image bank of the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers free images focused on this area.

The photos are mainly of field animals such as cows and pigs, including even some pests and insects. Also, pictures of plantations, work fields, and laboratories are available.

26. The Stocks

With a differentiated layout, this mechanism gathers images from several sites on the internet.

Thanks to this, it is possible to find free images, but the recommendation is to analyze each case because the licenses may vary. They also offer videos, mockups, icons, and fonts.

27. Startup Stock Photos

In a sequential blog format — those old ones, which served as diaries and you had to scroll the bar to load other posts —, Startup Stock Photos provides copyright-free images.

The history behind the site is very interesting. The creators started with a photo outlet, but the idea gradually grew to become a big stock photo gallery.

28. Pexels

Pexels images can be used for any legal purpose and can also be modified, copied, and even distributed.

In this case, the only restriction regards the use of photos in an offensive, racist, or defamatory way.

29. Magdeleine

This is a very nice site. Its look is very simple, as does the idea: to post a free photo every day. The photographer Annie Spratt was visionary in creating such a friendly design.

If you prefer to search, you will notice that there are two categories. A click is enough to separate the images between those with copyrights and the free ones. To select them, use the CC0 — Creative Commons filter.

30. Travel Coffee Book

You will be delighted by the beautiful free travel images and landscape photos found in the Travel Coffee Book.

Just scroll the cursor and start enjoying the high-resolution photos available for all types of use.

31. Moveast

The Portuguese photographer João Pacheco posts his wonderful photos on this blog-like site.

On the home page, he says he decided that all photos should be free. So, you can download and use them as you wish.

32. The Pattern Library

This image bank is different from the others we presented. With a unique layout, it focuses on creating patterns, which you can download with just one click.

They are widely used in editors such as Photoshop and Illustrator and can give your images a modern and innovative look.

33. Public Domain Archive

The Public Domain Archive offers images that can be used for any purpose.

According to the site’s homepage, they publish new content every week. There are subcategories, but the two main ones stand out: the vintage and the modern.

34. Foodiesfeed

Do you need amazing food photos to use in your strategy? Foodiesfeed is the perfect choice for that.

There are over 900 professional-quality photos, and they are totally free. It’s worth checking out the collection. Just don’t do it before lunch, okay?

35. Picography

Picography provides high-quality images completely free of royalties. That means you can copy, edit, and share them as you wish.

The photos are wonderful, although the tagging system is not perfect for searching for this kind of content.

36. Flickr

One of the most famous image sites in the world — if not the most famous —, Flickr is part of the Yahoo! group.

Its directory is almost endless; it exceeds billions of photos. As it is built by users, it is easier to find images in large quantities rather than with quality.

However, a refined search can help you. Each image on Flickr has its own license, so you need to check it out before using it in your marketing strategy.

37. Jay Mantri

With a focus on urban images, the photographer Jay Mantri offers an incredible source of free stock photos to use. Although the content is limited, some of the pictures are breathtaking.

38. Site Builder Report

Site Builder Report is a simple-navigation platform, but it offers beautiful stock images.

Some of them are inspiring and can be used in your blog to increase conversions.

39. Kaboompics

The perfect place for digital artists and web designers, Kaboom Pics brings a differentiated search: you can filter colors, keywords, modules, or image orientation.

The layout is very intuitive, so you won’t have trouble when learning to extract the best from the platform.

40. ISO Republic

ISO Republic offers some of the most amazing high-definition photos available on the web. They feature vibrant colors and are designed to capture the user’s attention instantly.

41. Foter

Containing about 220 million photos, Foter is one of the largest image databases in the world. With a clever design, it is very easy to find good images to use in your content.

The system is also available as a WordPress plugin, which can make your work much easier.

42. StockSnap

StockSnap is a complete, free-photo platform. Its search system uses keywords to find those that best match your ideas.

All items are copyright-free, so you don’t have to worry about licenses and terms of use.

43. Skitterphoto

This site offers a great diversity of images, whose rights are ceded free of charge by its creator, Peter Heeling.

With a very dynamic look, it allows the user to browse through several categories, such as music, food and beverages, sports, and technology.

44. MMT

A great option for e-commerce, MMT has several high-quality images of generic items for various niche markets.

They are copyright-free, making this site a kind of “lost paradise” for virtual store managers.

45. Burst

Certainly one of the most complete sites on this list, Burst brings an immense variety of images, illustrations, and photographs. All this with an extremely effective algorithm used to find them.

The photos fit perfectly in several industries and can be modified and used freely for commercial purposes.

46. Realistic Shots

This site requires only one thing from the user: to do something creative with the images. It is not necessary to pay for them.

The photos are of professional quality, and seven new images are added every week to the collections.

47. BucketListly

BucketListly brings together many images from around the world. The site’s author highlights that he does not charge royalties because he does it for passion and not to make money.

Visit the site and be surprised by pictures from some of the most beautiful places in the world. All of them are of professional quality.

48. Gratisography

This site was developed by the renowned photographer Ryan McGuire, having some of the most creative images on the internet.

All of them are available for any kind of use, free of copyright restrictions. The photos produce sensations like joy, loneliness, and despair.

49. SplitShire

This site will make you freak out. The images are all in high definition and are easily found through the filters.

Even big press agencies like The Huffington Post, CNN, and several famous magazines use this free stock photo bank. And don’t worry, they are all available for commercial use.

50. Life of Pix

This amazing site is a high-resolution image bank with a simple, clean, and responsive look — yes, you can access it from your smartphone or tablet.

Life of Pix is always searching for promising, young photographers. Such people come to the community of collaborators and make a partnership with the platform.

51. NegativeSpace

With no copyright restrictions, NegativeSpace aims to provide photographers with a place to promote their work around the world.

The site has an incredible marketing approach and built an unbelievable stock of photos. Be sure to check it out.

52. Cupcake

A bank of original images, Cupcake was developed by Jonas Nilsson Lee and gathers the author’s best works. 

“Do whatever you want” with the images is the welcome message.

53. Fancycrave

A fun and humorous website, Fancycrave focuses on images for social media. The objective is to delight and generate engagement — likes, shares, comments, and other interactions.

As the creators state, people are tired of elegant image banks, so they prefer images that cause emotions and tell stories.

54. Flaticon

This platform focuses on a different type of image: icons. They are very important in a Content Marketing strategy, especially in rich materials such as ebooks and infographics.

There are more than 600 thousand vector icons available for free download in several formats and sizes.

55. Vecteezy

80% of Vecteezy content is free for personal and commercial use.

Notice that you don’t need image editing software installed on your computer, like Photoshop, to edit the vectors. 

After all, the Vecteezy editor allows users to modify colors, fonts, and other elements.

56. Canva

More than an image bank with millions of free and premium options provided by professional photographers, Canva also offers complete integration with its design platform.

Just pick your favorite photo and choose to download or to apply it directly to a social media post, for example. On the editor, you can also explore various elements such as vectors, icons, and even drawings to colorize.

Now that you know the best free stock photos, you need to understand how to use them in your strategy, right? 

Check out our post on visual marketing and see how to apply it to your business!

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