Not everyone takes great images. Even if you are perfectly capable, and some may say “good” at taking pictures, things happen. The weather doesn’t cooperate, your camera or battery or phone die, you forgot to capture something specific before you left, and so on.
You may not even need a specific travel-related image. Perhaps you are writing about how to pack a suitcase or how to prepare for your first cruise or something completely different. What you envision may not match what is stored on your external hard drive or in your image file.
That’s where free stock images for your website come in.
Free Stock Images for Bloggers
If you don’t have mad photo skills or you completely forgot to snap a pic of something you need, take a look at these sites for free images you can use on your blog, website, or social media accounts.
New images are released each week here. These are not CC0 images so the photographer does still retain the rights to them, but you are allowed to remix or tweak them and, according to the site, add your logo and text. Credit isn’t mandatory, but it is a nice gesture. You could also contribute to the site and/or give them a link or spread the word on your social media outlets just to show your appreciation.
When you think of a stock image, you think of boring bland images that usually feature the same tired old subjects. Death to Stock wants to do away with the old tired images people used to use and give a livelier option. These images are anything but boring! This site handles the act of finding interesting images in a different way.
Hand over your email address and you can receive some of the best free monthly images without having to comb through websites.
They offer the license info in a full version and a “plain English” version so you can spend more time working on your brand and less time deciphering complicated terms.
Poke around on Travel is a Blog for any length of time and you will probably start to notice that several of the images match what you find on Gratisography. Photographer Ryan McGuire offers up a standout collection of weekly updated images that even I can’t resist. Yes, they are also free of copyright restrictions. Thanks, Ryan!
So, what can you do with images from Gratisography?
“Almost anything you can think of. You may use my pictures as you please for both personal and commercial projects. You can adapt and modify my images and get paid for work that incorporates my pictures. This includes advertising campaigns, adding your logo or text to an image, printed in any size print runs (e.g., book covers, magazines, posters, etc.), on your website, blog, or other digital mediums, and on merchandise as long as the picture itself is not the merchandise. You can also use pictures with recognizable people in commercial projects because I have model releases.”
There may not be thousands of images on IM Free yet–but what will find is wonderful. Browse through the topics and then branch out into other areas of design. You can find free icons and templates too.
Just take a look at the demands of each image you want. IM Free reminds you to check out each image before you download it:
“Third Party Intellectual Property Rights Disclaimer- Please read carefully and follow the license terms with respect to each image.”
If you didn’t think words like “creative” or “unique” or “dazzling” apply to stock photos you can find for free, take a look at ISO Republic. Now those are downright awesome. Use the tabs at the top for instant access to topics like architecture, food/drink, nature, people, city/urban, and then some. If you want something in particular, don’t worry. There’s a search bar here too.
Tom Eversley, a designer and photographer from England, began the site in 2014. Now you will find thousands of sensational images for your travel blog.
These images are the work of one photographer. Here’s more info about LibreShot:
“It is not necessary to indicate the author or source – but I will be very happy if you will 🙂 You can download the photos for free and use it on your websites, blogs or printed materials. All images have the same license CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. All photos have guaranteed origin – I took it by myself. Please do not use my pictures on similar photo banks without my permission. Please be respectful to personal rights and trademarks, if there are people or brands on the photos.”
What is especially handy is that this site makes it clear that the images are available for commercial use and you can see when they were last updated. Hover over any image and you can view when it was uploaded and it will also pop up the image’s status, such as “free for commercial use.”
The site design for Madeleine is making hunting for free images fun. There are two types of images found on Madeleine. The first is CC0 images that you can use without doing anything else while the second type requires attribution. You can actually sort through the site by clicking on CC0-Public Domain or by clicking on Attribution Required.
A particularly nice feature, and one not present on most of the other sites will help make things even easier for you. If you hover over an image, it will display the copyright info so you always know where you stand.
Sort images by color, topic, or use the most popular tags to discover new images.
Jeffrey Betts, the founder of MMT, started his site in 2014 as a way to give back to the online community. His images capture a range of topics, from nature scenes to city sites, from summer to tech. Find the image you want using the search bar or explore by category. In case you were wondering, here is what Jeffrey had to say about his images and how you can use them:
“These photos can be freely downloaded, used, and redistributed for both personal and commercial purposes.”
With such a clean and easy-to-use site, you will find exactly what you want without a problem.
For interesting images that are anything but ordinary, take a look at New Old Stock. You won’t find images taken with smartphones or tablets here. This site only posts vintage images. The site does have one note worth mentioning, “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
The site does have one note worth mentioning:
“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 I provide to the original Flickr posting. Most prefer that you link back to the original Flickr photo and mention the institution by name.”
Every image on Pexels is free for commercial or personal use. You won’t have to worry about properly crediting images if you find good things on Pexels. Easy, right?
There is one thing that Pexels doesn’t want you to do and that is this:
“The only restriction is that identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive, unless they give their consent. You should also make sure the depicted content (people, logos, private property, etc.) is suitable for your application and doesn’t infringe any rights.”
Keep that in mind and you will be just fine. If you discover you enjoy the site so much you can even choose to contribute your own images for others to use.
PhotoPin declares themselves a ” free tool that helps bloggers and designers find beautiful photos with Creative Commons licensing.” Here’s what they had to say:
“Just search for any topic using the search box (e.g. “Kittens”, “Flowers”, etc.), preview the photo, and click “get photo” to download the photo as well as the proper attribution link.”
Easy, right? PhotoPin is built to use the Flickr API so it scours the service for Creative Commons images you can use. Type in whatever topic you need and it will find something that matches. If you don’t mind crediting photographers, this is a painless way to search through all of the Creative Commons media.
When you want a travel blog that stands out from the crowd, Picography stands tall. These free images are not only wonderful, but you can use them in your projects without the worry.
Picography does point out a great nugget of info you should keep in mind regarding images with logos or trademarks in them:
“You’re responsible for how you use the photos. Be respectful to registered trademarks. For example if there is an Apple logo/product in a photo, you should write “Apple, the Apple logo and iPhone/MacBook are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.” The same with other brands, again, you’re responsible for how you use the photos. All of these photos can be used as editorial images.”
How do more than 1,120,000 high-quality photos, illustrations, and vector graphics sound to you? Yes, they are free for commercial use and you don’t need to worry about attribution because these images are all Creative Commons CC0. Use the SafeSearch filter to knock most of the adult content out of there.
Interestingly enough, Pixabay is also available as an Android and an Apple app so you can hunt for images on the go. That’s one amazing time-saving feature. Use the search bar to find the type of content you need and then get to work.
What do you do when the big stock photo sites turn down your application to use your stock photos for “low quality?” You begin your own stock photo site and let people download your creative, engaging photos for free. That’s the story behind PicJumbo and its creator, Viktor Hanacek. It began in 2013. The images here are fantastic.
Fast forward a few years and now his images have received more than five million downloads! It’s no surprise. The images here are fantastic.
Search through public domain images and free stock images for the perfect complement to your travel blog. Pickup Image states you can:
“You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”
This site was built for travel writers and bloggers. If you look to the upper right-hand side, you’ll notice a menu button titled “Destinations.” Click on it and you can browse through a variety of spaces and places that might just fit in with what you do.
Free images are good. New images released each week into the public archive are even better. As Public Domain Archive reminds:
“You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. As hard as it might be to understand, this means that all of the images on PublicDomainArchive.com are free for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Please don’t email us asking if you can use the images, because you CAN! 🙂 They are free. SO have fun and be creative, and make something awesome!!!”
Look at the tags for a quick rundown of topics found on the site. Use the search function to find your own.
Are too many sites not updating frequently enough for you? If you feel like your stock photo stockpile could use a little freshening up take a look at Public Domain Pictures. This site offers contests that encourage photographers to share their work.
If you are the type who is all about the extras, scroll down to the bottom of the homepage. Click on the hyperlinked text “digital cameras.” This leads you to a tag cloud that emphasizes what cameras are the most popular with Public Domain Pictures photographers. Interesting, don’t you think?
New images are added to the free stock photo site Shot Stash every day. They appear on the homepage.
Otherwise, you can filter images by category or search using a term of your choosing. In case you were wondering if these images are actually free, Shot Stash clarifies:
“You are allowed to use our images for any commercial or non-commercial purposes. However, the image copyright is still the property of its author. You are free to adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although not required, a link back to shotstash.com is appreciated.”
They call themselves a “place to find, show, and share public domain images,” but you’ll call it awesome. Things to know from Skitterphoto:
- “All photos on Skitterphoto are public domain.”
- “This means that all photos are free to use for any purpose. You may download and edit photos and even use them commercially. Browse our categories or search by keywords.”
Short, simple, and to the point.
Splashbase scans a slew of websites for free stock photography so you don’t have to. It pulls in beautiful free images from sites like MoveEast, so you know the images are hi quality. They call themselves a search and discovery platform for those sites.
You can find images and video here. Use the menu bar and click on “More.” At the drop-down, you will notice the option for everything, images, or video. Now you can really get your travel blog in gear!
Photographers take a lot of images. Daniel Nanescu was tired of having these images stored away, doing nothing.
“In the course of almost ten years of photography I have accumulated many photos, thousands, who were in the hard disk gathering dust. So I began to upload them as free stock photos that you can freely download and use for personal an commercial purposes.”
You won’t find his images on third-party stock photo sites. Use his images as you like–and enjoy!
If you ever need a tech-related image, you will want to make Startup Stock Photos one of the first sites on your list. Why? It is devoted to sharing excellent tech images that you can use for any of your projects. They say:
“Startup Stock Photos was started as an outlet for photos we were already taking on a regular basis. It’s grown to be much more than that. People and organizations all over the world have used these photos to make some really awesome things. We’re happy to have helped.”
You will be awed by the clear images here. Use the support button on the Startup Stock Photos site to send along a monetary thank you to the creators.
Who doesn’t like it when a site makes it easy to find the images you want? On StockSnap, discover images by the date they were uploaded, how many downloads they have received, how many views or favorites they have earned, or by what is trending.
How can you use StockSnap images? Easy:
“We curate nothing but the highest quality images from a pool of submissions and feature them on the site free for download.
All photos uploaded on StockSnap are released for free 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.
We’re very grateful for all the photographers who share their work for free. To show our appreciation, we identify the author of each photograph and link back to their profile. Our long-term vision is to create an amazing community of photographers that want to share their work with the world.
Sign up for the StockSnap weekly newsletter for more free images made easy.
Photographer Ed Gregory faced the problem of shutterbugs everywhere: what do you do with all of the images you take but can’t actually use? Heres what Ed had to say about that:
As a photographer I take a lot of photos and most of them will never be seen by anyone. They just sit on hard drives, hidden, so I thought why not let people put them to use. To be honest it was a little weekend project that I set up to see if anyone actually wanted my unused photos. Amazingly I quickly received thousands of downloads and so many wonderful emails thanking me for the photos.
The thought of other sites using his free CC0 images to populate themselves didn’t sit well with him. So, he created his own license. If you want one of Ed Gregory’s images, you will only find them on Stok Pic. Trust me, you will want to use these in your travel blogging work.
If you want to cut your photo hunting time in half, take a look at Stock Up. This site scours thirty-three other websites (at the time of this writing) and indexes the images from them so you have more than 20,000 photos to skim. It pulls images from smaller, yet no less amazing stock photography sites like 55m, Cupcake, FreeRefe, Jay Mantri, Kaboom Pics, Libreshot, Life of Pix, Looking Glass, My Stock Photos, Picography, and plenty more.
“Because Stock Up aggregates many different free stock photo websites, the license for each photo will vary. And while you can do just about anything with most of the photos on Stock Up you should always refer to the original photographer for the license.”
You’ll enjoy this massive repository of quality images for your blog. Use the handy-dandy search bar to narrow down your list of options.
Stunning images that feature destinations around the world are abundant on the Travel Coffee Book website. Croatia, Thailand, New Zealand, the US, Australia, and more are found on the pages of this free stock photo site.
“All photos are listed under cc0. That means you can do whatever you want with them.”
See how easy that was? Subscribe to the RSS feed on Travel Coffee Book so you can receive free updates to your email inbox.
These aren’t just free images, these are high-quality images donated by photographers for the site. Unsplash states:
Over 200,000 free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos brought to you by the world’s most generous community of photographers.
Cycle through the tabs at the top to find the topic you want or search for your own. Click the “Give credit?” link at the bottom right of a photo’s page to easily give credit where credit is due. You don’t need to provide credit, but when it is so easy to do, why not?
Add “Unsplash Instant” to your Google Chrome browser. Every new tab will reveal a different image you can easily download if you want. It’s a great way to build a library of images ready to be used on your travel blog.
You are likely already familiar with Wikipedia. Now, get to know Wikimedia Commons, a repository of more than 40 million free images to use contributed by folks just like you from around the world.
Sort through the millions upon millions of free images by topic or subtopic or look for images uploaded today. Just like Wikipedia, there’s also a search bar right where you would expect it. Some images require attribution, others do not. Read the fine print.
If you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist anywhere.
Do whatever you want with the images you find on Yeah!Stock Photos. As they wrote:
We only post images that are royalty-free, attribution free, and can be used for personal or commercial purposes. So, basically, you can use them however you like. Yeah!
It has been awhile since the site has been updated, however, you can find plenty of images to comb through for your travel blog. So have it and have fun.
Finding Free Stock Images
It doesn’t matter why you need to find free images. No matter what the purpose is of your travel blog, the following sites are sure to have something you can use.
After all, images help keep readers on the page, they add pizazz to your work, and they help with SEO.
A blog just isn’t a blog without them.