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21 Breathtaking Stock Photo Sites that are more tempting than a Cinnabon?

Most of you know that I love visualizations and design. Amazing images are a key part of creating a great website, app or presentation. People have better recall for images than text. Ideally you want to use a compelling image to emphasize the points. Finding the right images to use can sometimes be a lengthy journey.

You can either create the images yourself, use images the company has bought the rights to, hire a photographer, visit a commercial stock image site or use a number of the sites that are providing you free and available for use. I wanted to share the free image sites I believe are certainly worth a visit.


Most of these images fall under a creative commons license or are old enough that the photos have returned to the public domain. In any case it is important that you respect copyrights and often even on the free image websites specific conditions may exist so take the time to investigate under which conditions you are allowed to use the image.


Picjumbo is a website that offers great images, including photos and illustrations, available for personal or commercial use.

picjumbo is free stock photo site created by designer & photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013. It all started when any stock photo site didn‘t want his photos due to lack of quality. Two years later people downloaded almost 3 million images from this site.

The user interface and subscription module offer a good user experience. Some special collections or additional bundles are available for a fee. However the free images are of great quality and cover a variety of topics.


Unsplash is a project by Crew. They offer 10 new photos every 10 days, which are often grouped in collections. You are free to use the top notch high-resolution photos. All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.

Unsplash also offers a handy subscription feature.

Death to the Stock Photo

Although Death to the Stock Photo has a bit of a strange name it offers images for commercial use, your blog posts, social accounts and mockups. If you don’t want to go premium (fee) you need to sign up for the email list and photos are delivered to your inbox every month.

Public Domain Archive

Public Domain Archive started because there is no one place to go and find tons of high quality public domain images. The sites that do have good images are hard to find. So, Matt created as a repository where he is archiving the high quality public domain images that he finds across the web. So the site is a hub for public domain images.

New Old Stock

New Old Stock offers vintage photos from the public archives. They are free of known copyright restrictions. All photos are at the very least available for personal and non-commercial use (Medium articles, blog posts, personal projects, hero image for your 404 page). If you are curious of whether or not you can use it, check the institution’s rights statement through the link provided to the original Flickr posting. Most prefer that you link back to the original flickr photo and mention the institution by name.


Pixabay is one of the largest collections on the web (500 000 +). All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty-free for anything you like, even in commercial applications


The Superfamous Images are available under the conditions of a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. This means that you can use the work for your own purposes as long as credit is provided.

The site offers great images by by Folkert Gorter. offers beautiful free stock photos.

They select highest quality, highest resolution pictures and add them to the database on a daily basis. All photos uploaded to the site are released under Creative Commons – CC0 and do not require attribution. No more hassle trying to figure out whether you can use photos for commercial use and whether you need to provide attribution.

Negative Space

Negative space offers photos and raw files on this website are distributed under the CC0 creative commons license. That means that you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission or give attribution.

Negative space also offers a handy subscription feature.

Life of Pix

Life of Pix provides free high-resolution photos with no copyrights restrictions. The images can be used for personal and commercial use. New photographies are added weekly and all images are donated to the public domain.

The site is made and maintained with love by leeroy advertising agency in montreal & its network of photographers.

IM Free

IM Free offers a curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use. As the site often links to images some images may require attribution so take the time to investigate under which conditions you are allowed to use the images.

The others

Below some of the other sites I sometimes visit although a bit less frequent. They are worth a visit depending on what you are looking for:



Frederik De Breuck is better known as Stonyarc (GamerTag). Next to writing and maintaining his personal blog he is the owner of and . He's also Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) since 2010 and works as Presales Director for Fujitsu Belgium.

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