Updated 4th June 2020
Free Inbound Marketing Resources. Really?
As an active marketing company, we have tried a million times to search and download images on premium stock photography websites only to find they're at an unbelievably high price. This often makes our image search futile since we cannot get that stock photo for free. Even if we do spend a minimum of £5 (or more often $5) we can only download the image in a simple non-HD jpeg format.
Great images at no cost
Premium stock image sites make free stock photos available only when you sign up for their membership plans. These are charged monthly or annually, or you can download any 5 stock images of your choice for $25 - which is pretty expensive for millions of internet users.
Whitehat has therefore curated a list of the 15 best royalty-free image websites where you can get high-quality stock images for free. You do not have to pay for membership, you can simply sign up, search for the images you want and download them in HD quality without any hassle.
1. Pexels (Free Stock Photos)
Pexels is a stock photo haven providing incredibly fresh, awe-inspiring, high-resolution photos. With at least 3,000 brand-new, hand-picked images added each month, the developers at Pexels ensure that the site caters to all visitors.
All images on Pexels have a Creative Commons Zero license, which enables them to be downloaded, modified, and distributed without permission and are available for personal and commercial use.
With its quick search bar on top of the website, it is simple to find the perfect image for your website instantly, making it super easy for you to download high-resolution images for your inbound marketing project.
2. Unsplash (Unique High-Resolution Photos)
Unsplash offers 500,000+ high-resolution stock images free to its visitors, with the motto "Do whatever you want".
The images on Unsplash have a very unique and original feel that you will not find on any other free stock photo website. The photos published on Unsplash are also licensed under Creative Commons Zero, providing users absolute freedom to download, edit or distribute the images without any attribution or permissions.
3. Rawpixel (Image, PSD Mockups and Vectors)
Rawpixel was founded with a passion for redefining stock imagery and creating design resources that reflect today’s society. They have over 20,000 exclusive high-quality free images, vectors and mockups. These are increasing all the time.
Each week they also make one premium collection of images free. Which is nice of them. Rawpixel has a lot of images for businesses, communities and people, and they are working hard to capture diversity in their images.
The free plan includes a maximum of 100 monthly downloads from their free collection. If you want more there's also a Premium Membership for $29/month that gives you unlimited downloads from their entire Premium collection for commercial use.
4. Picjumbo (Totally Free Photos & Stock Images)
Picjumbo has proved to be a stock photo treasure trove for thousands of creative people who visit the website every day to download hundreds of royalty-free stock images in HD.
The site was created in 2013 by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek. It all started when all the regular stock image sites rejected his photos for "lack of quality". Two years later, people have downloaded more than two and a half million pictures from Picjumbo! Right now it’s one of the most popular free stock photo sites with more than 1 million views every month.
And because almost all photos are made by Viktor, you can support this project by purchasing the All in One Pack to get direct downloads of all (2000+) published images. They also have a PREMIUM Membership where you can get never-published exclusive photos and all images from their photoshoots.
5. Gratisography (Free, Quirky High-Resolution Photos)
Gratisography is a project of acclaimed photographer Ryan McGuire and probably the world’s quirkiest collection of high-resolution free stock images.
Unlike the other sites, Gratisography takes a different approach. They're not after quantity but instead, they’re pretty choosy when it comes to the images they publish in their collection. They always try to choose the most interesting pictures, the ones with a personality, a perspective, and a story to tell.
As a result, it's a collection of the world’s most creative pictures - images you just won’t find anywhere else. Through this project, Ryan has made some of the most visually appealing and creative photographs available free for download.
So to add a creative and sophisticated touch to your project - for gratis - Gratisography is the place for you.
6. Life of Pix (Free Stock Photos & Images)
Life of Pix is a royalty-free image resource created by a Montreal-based creative agency by the name of LEEROY Advertising Agency. It has a network of extremely professional and talented photographers who publish high-resolution photos on the website every week. These are free for download without any copyright restrictions. New pictures are added weekly.
All of the images are donated to the public domain and are available for personal and commercial use.
Life of Pix has come up with an interesting video project called Life of Vids, where videos, clips and multiple loops can be downloaded for free. The videos have no copyright restrictions and are free to download, modify and distribute.
7. Burst (Free Stock Photos)
Burst is a free stock photo platform that is powered by Shopify. The image library includes thousands of high-resolution, royalty-free images that were shot by its community of photographers.
Their library includes 1000s of high-resolution images captured by a team of in-house photographers and a global network of contributors.
Images are free to use for any personal or professional project (an e-commerce store, client work, school projects, etc.) with no attribution required - although they do appreciate photographer credit whenever possible.
Photos can be downloaded in both a web-friendly version (for online use) and a high-quality version (for any print and large-scale projects).
There is also a helpful page called "Business Idea" that empowers you to start your own business. It contains free photo collections and case studies following trending business ideas.
8. Fancy Crave (14 Free Photos Weekly)
Fancy Crave started as the project of one man travelling around Asia taking photos. It's now one of the most popular royalty-free stock image websites, with no copyright restrictions. It's an online resource providing free public-domain photo packs.
The images are high-res and taken by professional photographers. The only condition Fancy Crave asks is to give credit to the photographer wherever the image is used. Providing attribution is not only a nice way to show appreciation for a photographer's work but it can also support them by helping others find and use their photos.
Fancy Crave also offers a Premium Membership for $9.99/month that gives you instant access to the whole library consisting of 18+ collections of 900+ images.
9. Kaboompics (Free High Quality Photos)
Kaboompics offers a huge collection of high-resolution, stock-free images covering a variety of scenarios, such as fashion, landscapes, food, architecture and abstract.
Karolina Grabowska, the creative genius behind this project, is a Polish web designer. She came up with the idea of providing free stock images to bloggers, freelancers, website owners, and small businesses through easy searching on her site.
Kaboompics allows free, high-res image downloads, and all Karolina asks is for users to give her photo credit and a link back to Kaboompics which will help grow her website.
10. Canva (Free and Great Images)
Canva is known by many as easy and practical online software for creating quick and effective designs, perfect for sharing on social media or a blog.
But maybe not everyone knows that Canva has also a free stock images collection that you can use for your next design. To find them you can simply type "free photos" in the website search bar and you'll be shown just the free photos available.
Canva offers more than 1,000,000 free and premium stock photos, illustrations and icons that users can use in their designs. Users can also search through their huge library of templates and edit them to make them truly their own.
11. Pixabay (Stunning Free Images)
Pixabay is one of the biggest resources for copyright-free stock images and video, all released under Creative Commons CC0
Its collection is incredibly huge. With more than 1.4 million materials for personal and business use, you will surely find the one you need that perfectly fits with your campaign.
For professional photographers, or others who know the quality of image they're looking for, there's a search option that allows you to explore images based on the camera used to take them.
12. ISO Republic (Free CC0 Stock Photos)
ISO Republic is a supplier of free stock images for creative professionals, bloggers, designers and marketers, with thousands of CC0 photos already published and more of them added every week. To make the image search easier they're sorted into different categories, including Architecture, Nature, People, etc.
They also have a blog highlighting interesting collections and offering photography tips.
13. Stockvault (Free Photos, Textures & Illustrations)
Stockvault is a brilliant resource for copyright-free materials, offering more than 120,000 free stock photos. Hundreds of new images are added every week from photographers, designers and students in its community around the world.
Whether you are a free or premium user, you have access to a huge library of photos to use anywhere you want.
The site also has a selection of Photoshop tutorials, covering different manipulation techniques, and an internal blog with advice and inspiration for your campaign.
14. Pikwizard (Free Stock Photos including People)
Pikwizard is a great new stock photography website with over 100,000 high-quality images. 20,000 of these are completely exclusive to Pikwizard. The website prides itself on its high-quality images of people, which are few and far between on stock photo websites.
The website also features beautiful image categories such as desktop backgrounds, fantasy and forest landscapes.
There is no attribution required on Pikwizard. It features an excellent design tool called Design Wizard, which lets you personalise an image in seconds.
There's also a useful blog on marketing and using photos for business.
15. Design Wizard
Design Wizard is a very comprehensive platform. Its strength is not only in offering a variety of free images to download but also allowing users to redesign that picture - or a previously uploaded file . The procedure is simple:
- Select a template from the library (3 different sizes are available: social post, poster, website);
- Fill that template - adding images, videos or text;
- Download the final image (in print or web quality) or video (in standard or high definition);
- Share them immediately on social media or schedule the publication (thanks to the Buffer, HubSpot and Marketo integrations).
The platform provides 17,000 templates (10,000 free) to choose from and it has over 1.2 million images in the database.
Design Wizard's trump card is the price: their licensing has a low-cost model and all of the tools features are available in a free subscription, unlike most of their competitors.
The Pro version costs $9.99 per month and grants the user larger storage space and customer service. The Expert version ($16.95) adds Priority Support and a Dedicated Account Manager.
Many thanks to those who have commented on previous versions of this review post. We've had a look at some of your suggestions and added the ones we like here. Keep them coming!
JD Designs (Modern Outdoorsy Snaps)
Essex-based graphic designer, James Dawson brought his photography collection to our attention.
Beautiful, light photos, mainly of urban London and rural England, JD Designs offers their shots completely free for personal and business use. The photos aren't diverse enough to need sorting by categories but there is a search bar which brings up any images relevant to what you're after.
Particularly good for nature shots and cool snaps of the capital.
CleanPNG (AKA KissPNG)
Unlimited free downloads of over 3 million transparent PNG images. CleanPNG uses excellent search capability and over 50,000 different categories to sort its vast collection of hi-res PNG icons.
Perfect for adding flavour and colour to an infographic or illustrating a social media post. If you can't find an image for what you're looking for on CleanPNG, it probably doesn't exist.
Over 100,000 free images and videos on the site, with 20,000 of those exclusive to them. New images and videos are added daily to the library and the ultimate goal is to get to more than 1 million images and videos.
They've got A LOT of pictures of people, which tend to be rare on free stock photo sites. If you check out the site and search for "office" or "meeting", you will see the quality of images on the website. All of which are free to use without attribution.
Do you know of a better site for free images? Let us know by posting a comment below. Or if you have some feedback on the sites above, comment and share your thoughts. We will take everything into account when we do our next review.
If you are looking for some more resources for your Inbound Marketing campaign, then go to our free resources page: www.whitehat-seo.co.uk/inbound-marketing-resources. You'll find more success strategies to make your business prosper.
Want some ideas on what works on the web? Take a look at this...