Using images from Google Search is not a mortal sin. Yet, smart content creators know that it’s a big no-no to just copy and use any image they can find out of the web. There are lots of available image sources online, but not all can be taken for free.
One simple and careless action that would violate someone’s copyright can cost so much, so it’s important to spot which is which. You have to make sure the images you want to use are free for personal and/or commercial use before you flaunt it on your website or blog.
Having understood the great need for reliable sources of these copyright-free images, I’ve managed to list down these awesome 10 rare sources.
Looking for a huge source of free premium icons? Your search is over with Iconfinder’s huge collection of high quality free stock icons. With over 340,000 icons in stock (where 100,000 of these are icons available for free), this cool website simply holds the largest collection of premium icons in the world.
Iconfinder doesn’t only provide gorgeous icons for a large number of designers, developers and other graphic artists, it also allows them to share and upload their creations through Iconfinder Marketplace. Through this, they can start selling their original creations and earn royalties.
Iconfinder has 40 categories to choose from and 9 available unique styles namely: glyph, outline, flat, photorealistic, 3D, handdrawn, cartoon, pixel and smooth. Some of the icons, though for free, may require you to include link to their author’s website or attribute author as specified in license agreement or GNU.
This website is your ultimate online photo encyclopedia which offers high quality and royalty-free images. Though they also sell photos, you can customize your search in their built-in creative commons search engine which spans several websites.
Take note that you have to choose from the options under the “photos” tab: “labeled for commercial reuse with modification” so you can freely use and edit your desired image for your blog or website.
Fotopedia also features a vast community of contributors ranging from locals, travelers, bloggers, creative artists and so much more. Signing up for membership is absolutely free. Users are given each unique portfolio of their stories which consist of a cover photo, title, some texts for description, and a slideshow view of their very own photo gallery.
Pixtastock offers an incredibly enormous library of 6,000,000 royalty-free stock photos by it’s over 120,000 active contributors. Royalty-free images can be used as many times as you need it. It can also be edited and resized upon purchase.
Though this website primarily sells royalty-stock photos, signing up as a member is just for free. This entitles you for a free, high quality image every week. It has 22 useful categories to choose from and covers a wide variety of images for almost all types of niches.
Pixtastock offers useful search functions and tools to help you easily find what you want. You can makes use of keywords, file numbers, categories, or you can narrow down your search results by file type, orientation, number of people in images and so forth.
Stockvault offers over 10,000 fresh, “web-ready” images for free every day! Just perfect for your latest blog and web page designs. Its free image library now comprises of 44,000 images, ranging from medium to high resolution photographs. Designers and students can share and use these images for their personal and non-commercial design work with absolutely no cost.
You can also share your graphics, photography, arts and image files in this site by simply creating your personal account for free. But if you are in a hurry, you can just type the image that you need on the search bar or choose from the site’s 11 image categories to narrow down your search, and then download your desired image in no time.
Unprofound is another awesome resource for online copyright-free images. It started out in 2001 after its owner, Jim, had enough trouble searching for quality, public domain photos online to use in his designs. According to his story, he then decided to buy his own camera and asked some help with his photographer friends until he was able to learn the craft.
Today, Unprofound has become a global collaboration of photographers. It allows sharing of RF photos, made available for anyone, for any type of use. He just reminded that these images cannot be redistributed and sold individually or to be claimed by anyone except by the original author, but can be used for almost any personal and commercial purpose.
6. Free Media Goo
Free Media Goo is the home of free photos, textures, and digital backgrounds. Same with the rest of featured sites in this blog, this crazily amazing site offers royalty-free images that can be used both for personal and commercial purposes.
This makes it easier for web developers to gather photos for print, film, TV, Internet, or any other type of media (as the site claims). Though it has less number of categories (6) to choose from compared to other sites which also offer RF images, almost all of its content are classified with high quality.
7. Free Photos Bank
Another cool resource for RF images is Free Photos Bank. It covers a wide range of high quality stock photos that are available in different sizes. It has 9 categories to choose from namely: abstract, architecture, fruits and food, nature, computers and technology, objects, miscellaneous, transportation and life.
Photos in their collection are free so long as you use it for websites, magazines, e-books, etc. Selling photos is strictly prohibited and you must accredit this site in the work where you used their contents.
Imageafter claims to be “the raw base for your creativity”. This is another online collection of photos, vectors and textures for free. Usage for both personal and commercial use is allowed.
You can freely download your desired photo from their huge collection of high resolution photos. All images in this site can be downloaded in JPG and JPEG format, and are mostly donated by their online visitors.
If you are unsure of what image you want to use for your project, you can find the descriptions for each category in this site very helpful.
9. Flickr The Commons
If you’re looking for the best way to pile, categorize and share your photos online, go to Flickr. It offers up to 1 Terabyte storage capacity for each personal account, making it easier for you to store and access your huge files of photos.
Flickr The Commons began in 2008 during the launch of a combined project by Flickr and the The Library of Congress. Since then, it has aimed for two main objectives: “To increase access to publicly-held photography collections, and to provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge.”
This site covers a large library of high resolution RF photos and allows sharing of the world’s public photo archive. You can upload your original photos by creating a free membership account to Flickr which in return entitles you for free access to a wide range of available high resolution images.
10. Pixel Perfect Digital
Pixel Perfect Digital is a wholesome resource for your design elements which includes free stock photos, textures, and backgrounds. This site allows modifications (such as remixing and redesigning) of your desired image coming from them so long as you accredit the site for the original image.
It comprises of 21 fabulous categories including features, newest and popular galleries.
There you have it! You don’t have to spend so much for your design elements, especially when most of them can be downloaded for free. With these 10 rare sources for copyright-free images, you can now choose from a huge collection of high quality photos online without the risk of getting sued because of copyright issues.
EDITED : )
Hello there! Allow me to express how grateful I am to receive your wonderful comments guys. Thanks so much!
I’ve decided to update this post by adding your personal recommendations for rare sources of copyright-free images.
This website should definitely be included in the list. Pixabay is an awesome source of free high quality photos, vectors and clip arts. As of the latest count, it has 121,239 photos, 44, 388 cool clip arts, and 20, 238 vectors grouped under 21 categories. It gives you an option for portrait or landscape orientation and all stuffs can be downloaded with no charge and copyright-free!
Unsplash is a very simple website yet offers superb images for free. Like what its tag line says “Free (Do whatever you want) hi-resolution photos,” you can choose the image that you need, download it for free and use for whatever purpose it may serve you. All images in this website are filed under Creative Commons which means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Cool isn’t it?
That’s it for now. I’ll keep watch over the comments section and please don’t hesitate to share your fabulous resources for copyright-free images.