If you want to know where to find free photos for your blog, look no further. Our list of the top 11 sources for free blog photos offers millions of high-impact free blog images you can start using immediately.
The images you’ll find on free photo sites won’t necessarily be ready for use. You may want to resize them, add text or overlays, or reduce the overall file size so the images don’t slow down your site. You’ll need a reliable and easy-to-use image editor to do this. I recommend using PicMonkey, which is the tool I use to edit images for my blog. You can try PicMonkey for free for seven days.
With over a million curated photos, Unsplash offers one of the most popular free photo collections on the internet. All images on the site can be downloaded for free for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. There is no need to cite the photographer when using an image from Unsplash, although attribution is appreciated. You’ll find images of all types on the Unsplash site, from current events to nature to travel and people.
There are a few restrictions when it comes to using visual assets from Unsplash. You cannot sell images without substantial modification, nor can you compile photos from the Unsplash site to use on a competing service. View complete Unsplash terms and conditions.
You can find free blog images on Stocksnap in dozens of categories, including social media, people, holidays, food, home, travel, technology, wellness, and abstracts. The platform adds hundreds of new high-resolution photos to its site every week. Though not required, you can sign up for a free account on Stocksnap that allows you to save your favorite images from the website within your private account.
All of the images on Stocksnap come under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means that the owner has relinquished ownership of the asset, and others can use the images for personal or commercial projects without obtaining permission. View complete Stocksnap terms and conditions.
3. Burst by Shopify
Burst is a free stock photo collection offered by Shopify, the most powerful ecommerce platform on the planet. Though images from Burst can be used on an online store, they can also be used anywhere else—including on your blog.
The Burst image library features thousands of high-resolution royalty-free photos that you can use for nearly any purpose under the sun. You don’t need to sign up for anything to start using photos from Burst; however, you may want to join the Burst email list to get access to new photos and content before others. View Burst terms of service.
Pixabay’s stock image collection includes more than 1.8 million free images that you can use on your blog or anywhere else. Pixabay also offers free video and music clips on its site, which may come in handy if you’re producing multimedia content for your blog.
One of the things I like best about Pixabay is that you can download the images in four different file sizes—from very small to large. Since Pixabay gives you the option of choosing images with small file sizes, you can often download a photo directly from Pixabay and then add it to your blog without using an image editor to reduce the file size (large image file sizes spell disaster for website page loading speed!).
You’ll need to create a free account on Pixabay to download full-resolution images. Setting up an account is as easy as creating a username and password and providing your email address to Pixabay. While all photos on the site are free, Pixabay accepts donations for image authors via PayPal, Credit Card, and bank transfer.
All images on Pixabay are covered by the Pixabay’s License, which grants generous usage rights for commercial and noncommercial purposes. There are a few exceptions for usage related to trademarked brands depicted in images, offensive applications, model and property rights, and image reselling. View full Pixabay license restrictions.
Picography is another site that offers stunning, high-resolution images for bloggers. Best of all, every image on the site is absolutely free.
Images on Picography come with a Creative Commons (CCO) license, which means they can be used for any reason. You can download images immediately without having to sign up for anything. When using images from Picography, you must agree never to claim ownership or portray yourself as the artist responsible for the work. You also must adhere to Picgraphy’s complete terms and conditions.
Freepik offers thousands of free vector illustrations, photos, icons, and layered Adobe Photoshop (PSDs) files. The platform allows you to download unlimited free image assets for commercial and personal projects for use on any printed or digital media.
Freepik also has a premium plan that costs $11.99 per month or $99 per year that gives you access to over 2 million vectors, 5.5 million premium stock photos, and more than 190,000 premium PSD files. Given its enormous visual asset collection, the premium Freepik plan is quite a deal.
Pexels offers one of the most extensive and diverse collections of free images and videos for bloggers and other creative professionals. All photos and videos on Pexels can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. You can modify the visual assets you download from Pexels to suit your blogging needs. As with most free stock photo sites, attribution is not required but always appreciated.
While Pexels is always free to use, you can make a donation to your favorite photographers via a debit or credit card or through PayPal. You can make either a one-time donation or sign up to make a monthly donation in any amount.
Signing up for a free Pexels account gives you some perks non-account holders don’t enjoy. Account-holder benefits include the ability to create image collections on the site for later reference and the opportunity to follow photographers you like so you can easily spot their newest submissions. Creating a free Pexels account also helps you track every photo you download; keeping track of where your blog images come from is always a good idea in case anyone disputes your right to use a photo down the road.
Skitterphoto was launched in 2014 by two amateur photographers from the Netherlands. While Skitterphoto has fewer images than other free photo sites, the quality of the images is spectacular. Skitterphoto accepts PayPal donations for photographers, but donations are not required.
All photos on the site are offered under Creative Commons CCO license. Those who have submitted photos on the site have waived their rights to the work under worldwide copyright law. This means you can use, modify, and distribute work for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You cannot resell assets from the site nor imply a product or service endorsement from the visuals you use.
FreeImages.com is another popular site for finding blog and social media images. The visual asset library for this site contains over 383,000 photos and illustrations. FreeImages.com allows you to download five different images files, from small double-digit kilobyte (KB) files to large one- to five-megabyte (MB) files.
You can use most of the images on this FreeImages.com for personal and commercial purposes. The FreeImages.com Content License Agreement can vary by image; hence, review license details provided for each image to be certain you’re adhering to exact license specifications.
If you want more off-the-wall, whimsical images for your blog, check out Gratisography. This free blog image site specializes in quirky visuals. You won’t find a vast collection of images on Gratisography, but you may find the unusual visuals you want for individual blog pages or posts.
The Gratisography photo license user agreement contains guidelines very similar to other free blog image sites. You can use images for personal and commercial purposes and edit them to meet your needs. You cannot resell images, claim them as your own work, imply endorsement, or use images in illegal, defamatory, or degrading ways.
If you’re looking for gorgeous free images for your food blog, check out Foodiesfeed. The Foodiesfeed image collection is only about 1,600 strong now, but new images are added regularly. The site’s curators are picky about what images they allow on Foodiesfeed, which is why you’ll find only visually stunning imagery in the Foodiesfeed library.
All photos on Foodiesfeed fall under the Creative Commons Zero (CC)) license—which means they’re copyright-free, and you can use them nearly any way you want. You just can’t resell them without modification, claim ownership rights to the images, infer endorsement, or use the images in a degrading or illegal manner.
Why It’s Critical to Understand Image Usage Terms
It’s important that you understand what you are agreeing to when you use a third-party image on your blog, social media posts, or anywhere else you use these visuals. Improper use of images that are protected by an artist’s copyright can land you in legal hot water.
Top Tips for Blog Photo Success
Now that you’re familiar with 11 new sites to acquire free blog photos, you’re well on your way to adding amazing visuals to your blog content. Below are a few more tips about using visuals that will make your life easier and may help you make more money from your blog.
Pay Close Attention to Image File Size
When I was just starting as a blogger, I didn’t pay much attention to image file size. I’m not talking about the dimensions of the images I used—I’m referring to how big the photo files were that I added to my site.
As a beginning blogger, I didn’t realize how adding huge photos to my blog would negatively impact site speed. Large images slow down your website and make for a terrible user experience. In addition, slow website loading times can also hurt your Google rankings. Your goal for blog images is to shrink the file size as small as possible without losing image clarity.
There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule that everyone agrees upon regarding optimal image size for your blog. I never add any images on my blog that are larger than 200 kilobytes (KB) — and non-featured images on my blog are typically 100KB or less.
If your blog is built on WordPress, you can use a compression plugin like ShortPixel Image Optimizer or WP Smush to automatically reduce the size of your image files. However, I’ve found that over-relying on these plugins can be a mistake, as they will not transform huge photo files into small files for you. Many of the images you’ll download from free photo sites will high-resolution photos that range from one to eight megabytes (MB) in size—and these massive files are far too large to add to your site without modification.
I use PicMonkey as my image editor, which lets me edit file size and download files in PNG or JPG format; JPGs are typically smaller. PicMonkey also allows you to save edited images with an image resolution setting from high to low (see image below). This ensures you are always in complete control of the size of files you’re adding to your blog.
Use a Terrific Image-Editing Tool
Every blogger needs access to an image-editing tool. As you might have already guessed, my favorite image editor is PicMonkey. Other popular image-editing tools include Photoshop, Canva, and Pixlr.
There are a number of reasons I recommend PicMonkey for bloggers. PicMonkey is intuitive—it’s the easiest tool I’ve ever used for image editing. PicMonkey also comes with lots of fonts, filters, textures, and image modification tools that help me turn stock photos into highly customized images that are unique to my blog.
The PicMonkey Pro plan links directly to free images from Unsplash. The Pro plan also includes thousands of photos from iStock by Getty—which you’d have to pay separately for if you used another image editor. Having both iStock and Unsplash images available within the PicMonkey dashboard means I don’t have to search multiple sites to find gorgeous blog images; I can usually find everything I need within PicMonkey.
Include Great Photos Throughout Your Blog
Great visuals are an essential part of your overall blog content strategy. You can earn 94% more page views for your articles by including relevant images. Moreover, images help you make a lasting impression, as images can improve reader recall by up to 65%.
Images contribute to creating an exceptional blog visitor experience. A general rule of thumb is to add a new visual to your blog after every 150 to 300 words. Make sure you add alt text to each image you add to your blog.
Alt text, also called alt tags, are written words attached to website images that describe those visuals to visitors who cannot see them. This helps both site visitors and search engines understand what your images are all about.
Alternatives to Using Free Image Sites
Sometimes you simply won’t find the perfect visual on a free photo site. Premium stock image providers such as Shutterstock, Getty Images, and 123rf all offer extensive image libraries. These sites tend to have considerably higher-quality images than you’ll find with free blog image providers.
You can expect to pay between a few dollars to a few hundred dollars for premium images, depending on the provider you’re using and the image license chosen. Licensing agreements for images downloaded on premium sites can be more stringent than those on free blog image websites, so make sure you read the usage terms before leasing an image.
My favorite premium image provider is Shutterstock, which has more than 330 million royalty-free images in its library and adds more than 800,000 new stock images weekly. You can try Shutterstock’s subscription program for free for 30 days. After that, you’ll pay a monthly fee of $29. Shutterstock also offers video and music clip subscriptions.
Images help create a more powerful and pleasant blog experience for your site visitors. You’ll find most of the images you need for your blog on the 11 best free blog image sites listed above.
You’ll need a good image-editing tool like PicMonkey to customize visuals for your blog and to edit images to keep file sizes small, which is essential for a fast-loading website. Always review the terms of usage for every image you place on your blog as terms vary somewhat by provider.