Free Stock photos are notorious and, in our visual culture, highly desired. While people may think that free stock images can have poor quality, there are many photos of great quality. In this article, I will share 4 websites where you can find the best free stock photos.

But before I start with the actual content article, I must admit something. I felt into the trap of using something that has been widely popular. It concerns the topic of titles, titles that make you click more easily. It seems that titles using a certain number and description work particularly well.

How does that look like practice? Well like this: 10 unique ways that will get you ripped abs. You probably guessed it already:  this title does exactly the same as what I described. So forgive me for doing this.

Now I am not always personally a fan of those lists because they are often too long. For example, if I would have the 20 best sites to find free stock photographs on a list, I would still need to search through them all. That would be, in most cases, unnecessary and will take a lot of time.

This list, however, aims to bring you a couple of websites that actually curate and bring together most of the resources that are described in other lists.

In other words, these websites are collecting their photographs from free stock photo websites directly. This saves a lot of hassle compared to going over 20 places and allows you to search at a single site for free stock photographs.

The photographs on these websites are free to use. That means that they are not only royalty-free but even free to use commercially without any crediting. And that makes them great platforms.

By the way, are you a visual artist and interested in textures and HDRI-maps? I wrote both an article where to find good free textures as well as where to find good free HDRI-maps.

The 4 best websites for free stock photos

These following websites source their stock photography from a lot of other websites with free stock photos but gathered in one place. Awesome!

LibreStock ›

LibreStock Free Stock Photos

LibreStock searches through 47 stock photography websites to deliver over 60.000 free stock photos.

Stock Up ›

Stock Up Free Stock Photos

Stock Up does a similar thing, searching through 28 websites and over 15.000 images.

Stock Snap ›

Stocksnap Free Stock Photos

Stock Snap makes a curated selection of the best photographs they find over the web. It is made by Snappa, which is a great tool to make graphics for your blog or social media in an instant.

Unsplash ›

Unsplash Free Stock Images

Unsplash is a community of generous photographers who share their photographs. And it even includes freely available pictures from larger entities such as Nasa and Trello. At the time of writing, it already hosts over 850.000 different pictures. And that is a large number for a

What you will find with a common search request

While these photographs are all free to use (with some form of creative commons licensing), it does not mean they are of bad quality. Their quality is even surprisingly good.

However, the number of pictures available for certain topics is more limited compared to paid stock photography websites. Now, I searched for ‘tree‘ and the following came out for the different sites. The results are surprisingly different!

Result for LibreStock

Result from LibreStock

Result for Stock Up

Tree from Stock Up

Result for Stock Snap

Result from StockSnap

Result for Unsplash


Now even if you are using free stock photo resources, which may have different models for licensing and usage, it’s good to think about some aspects of using stock photos.

Think of questions like the type of images you want to use, how it reflects your brand or the image you want to portray and what quality images should have.

Also, you may want to need paid stock photos, for which other considerations come into scope. Amos Struck wrote a great piece on what rules apply to using stock photos.

To Conclude

These websites are the ones I often use, and I find that while some of them source similar sites, the results are often quite different. Hence, they can be definitely used complementarily.

Now stock photos are pretty useful if you are producing content and designing, but should be applied with care. If the photos used in a design are overly ‘stocky’, your design might appear less authentic.

Nevertheless,  are you using Photoshop or Sketch in your design process? Source has a pretty neat plugin which allows you to work with stock photography from Pixabay directly in Photoshop or Sketch.

Do you know any other stock photography websites which should be on this list? Let me know!