If you’d like free images to accompany your social media posts, blogs, and other content materials, avoid using Google images. Even the ones labelled “free to use” can land you with a copyright breach fine or worse if you don’t check the attribution requirements.
Believe me, I know from bitter experience. I once used a “free to use” image on a Facebook post without attributing the owner. I got hit with a not-insubstantial fine for retroactive use and spent an entire weekend checking every image I’d ever shared online.
Ideally, I recommend you build a databank of your own images but if you don’t have the budget or the time here’s a list of websites where you can find genuinely free to use images.
These sites offer free to use images for commercial and noncommercial purposes. However, always check the license agreement before using any photos or videos to check if any restrictions apply.
Six sources of free images
Unsplash has over a million free high-resolution photos. Search for photos using keywords or browse the extensive collections.
Pixabay has over 1.7 million high-quality stock images and videos. Type in your keywords to find suitable images which you can then filter by photos, vector graphics. illustrations and videos.
Pexels has over 1 million royalty free images. The site has a popular collections section and a photographer leaderboard which shows users with the most views of photos uploaded in the last 30 days.
Freeimages has over 300,000 royalty-free images. Browse the 26 categories or use the free text search bar to find your perfect image. The Freeimages license allows a very broad range of uses, but there are some restrictions.
Intended for entrepreneurs, Burst has a smaller library of photos than the sites mentioned above. For easy browsing, all the photos are organised into collections with seasonal and trending categories.
Canva boasts millions of free high-quality images to create beautiful designs. Canva is an online graphic design tool so if you find images here you can quickly turn them into a custom graphic to use on your social media or blog.
This list is far from exhaustive but these sites are easy to use and provide an excellent spread of photographs and image styles. If you’re able to attribute the artist, it’s good to do so.
A note of caution, be aware of sponsored images which often show up on these sites as this content is not free.
Image credit: Unsplash