The Most Exhaustive Guide EVER to Free Photos for your Blog

The Most Exhaustive Guide EVER to free photos for your blog
If there’s a question I’m always asked about blogging, it’s this one —

Where do I find free photos for my blog?

It’s a great question. Not all of us have the means to fork out the money for paid stock photography, and many of us also don’t have the time or the means (or even the interest) to take photos ourselves. If you’re swiping images you find through Google searches and adding them to your blog, you’re not linking with love, and you could be breaking the law!

If you’ve ever wondered where to go to get free high quality images for your blog, I’ve put together what I believe to be the most exhaustive guide EVER to free photos for your blog. Grab a drink (alcohol optional) and put your feet up!

Free Photos from Professional Stock Photography Agencies

Most of the paid stock photography agencies offer one or two free images every week (or monthly, in some cases). Often the images are seasonal; for example, a few weeks in advance of the beginning of summer, they did summer-related images. In most cases, you do have to create an account with the agencies to be able to access the downloads, but it’s worth the trouble as this is a great way to steadily build a library of professional stock photography. Here’s a list of sites I check on a regular basis.

Free User-Generated Photography Available Via Creative Commons License

Here are some sites with user-generated photography (i.e., the folks are not always professional photographers; they might be people like me and you) that you can use with attribution via Creative Commons licenses (you’ll want to check the license to be sure of any attribution requirements, rules about altering, etc.).

Free Stock Photography via Email

Death to Stock Photo – Sign up to receive about 10 to 20 images per month delivered right to your in box! You can also buy old ‘editions’ (photos from months previous to your sign up) for just $5. These images are gorgeous, usually beautifully styled shots of coffee shops, lake front scenes and more. You can tell how much I like this service; they’ve used a quote from me in the background photo on their site!
Collage of Stock Photos I got for FREE!

Free Stock Photography for Special Purposes

  • Unsplash – These shots are contributed by professional photographers. This site’s special because the images are high resolution, which means they’re work for your print projects too! It’s updated every ten days (instead of every week) with ten new photos.
  • CreationSwap – Creation Swap is a great place to find free Christian images, including photos, vectors, slides, even simple logos. Some of the content on the site is paid, but it’s easy to sort through all of it to find something at your price point. Similar to Lightstock, not all of the photos are specific to Christianity; there are some great landscape shots, for example, which can be used for any purpose.
  • New Old Stock – I love this site for vintage black and white shots of “slice of American life”-type shots. These are public domain photos with no known image restrictions.
  • Lime Lane Photography – Lime Lane Photography is a business owned by a talented and creative Australian photographer named Kellie. She shares some of her photography for public use under CC license. Categories include creativity, food + drink and simple stills. She’s got some great shots of vintage cameras and typewriters.
  • Love from Ginger – Small, but growing collection of great floral and craft supplies shots. At least one new image is added every Friday.
  • Trey Ratcliff’s Travel Photography – Popular and talented travel photographer Trey Ratcliff has made some of his photos available under CC license. You’ll want to read his license policy before using them to be sure you stay in compliance.

Remember to always give proper attribution when using a photo you find through one of these sites (if it’s required). Also, be creative when searching for images, especially on shots with user-generated (i.e. non-professional) images. Image search functions are based on tags and categories supplied by users, so you may need to try several similar words and phrases to find what you need. For example, if you want photos of Christmas trees, you might try searching for Xmas trees, holiday trees, Christmas decorations, Xmas decorations, holiday decorations and so on.

So, have you heard of most of these sites? Which ones are your favorites?

Comments

  1. says

    This is awesome, thank you! I’ve been getting all my pics from Flickr Creative Commons. I had no idea there were this many other options out there.

    • says

      Glad it was helpful to you, Marie! To be fair, there’s likely some duplication in the images you’d find on the sites with user-generated content, but it’s good to know there are several options since the search function’s different on many of them! Thanks for visiting!
      Sandee

  2. says

    Hi Sandee! What an amazing list of resources you’ve compiled! Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t stand all of those uber generic stock photos that make everyone’s sites look identical, so I really appreciate all of these diverse options for more uniqueness and better branding. Thanks again!

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