With more than 100 million images, Shutterstock is one of the best places to purchase licensed stock media on the web, but what if you're looking for free stock photography? Today, there are a wide variety of free photo archives online, which can be downloaded for any commercial or personal use.
The vast majority of these photos are offered with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can edit, copy, and distribute the images however you see fit, so long as you don't claim that the photographer endorses your project, and don't portray photographic subjects in an offensive manner. Below, we've shared 7 of our favorite free archives, which can serve as a great jumping-off point for your creative projects.
- Freestock: With thousands of free images, vectors, and videos, this is a great place to start your free stock content search.
- Pexels: This well-crafted photo library has more than 25,000 stock images, which are uploaded by generous users from all over the globe. With smart tagging, a "Discover Photos" section, and a "Photos by Color" feature, you can quickly narrow down your search results.
- Pixabay: This is one of the largest free photo archives on the web, with over 800,000 public domain images that don't require attribution. Search by photographer, camera model, or get inspired with a selection of "Editor's Choice" photos. You'll also find some free Shutterstock images here, which are marked with the company logo.
- Stocksnap.io: This extensive photo library adds some advanced search features, allowing you to sort photos by virality ("Trending"), date, downloads, and more. Once you've created an account, it's easy to save photos to your favorites and access them at any time.
- Gratisography: Professional artist Ryan McGuire created Gratisography to spread the word about his eclectic portfolio, and he uploads new photos to the site every week. His iconic images range from highly colorful to flat-out bizarre.
- Negative Space: This straightforward photo archive is updated weekly, and you can sign up for their email list to receive exclusive photos. Browse by color, category, copy space position, and more.
- New Old Stock: This handy Tumblr blog is filled with vintage photos in the public domain. Many of them are black-and-white, documenting historical events, architecture, advertising, and nature scenes.