The Web is Your Oyster: Where to Find Free-to-Use Images

Browse sites that offer high-quality, free-to-use images for your personal projects — like your blog or website — or commercial work. also offers support for embedding Getty Images, which means you can access and share photos from Getty’s extensive library for non-commercial use.

For many of you, images are an integral part of your site. But sometimes, you may not have the right photograph to use for a post or page. You can use the Creative Commons to search for images you need across the web, from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons, and source and attribute images that you find. There are also excellent online resources that compile high-resolution images that are free to use on your site. Let’s take a peek.


Unsplash has gorgeous high-resolution photos, many of which work well for full-width featured images, custom headers, and custom backgrounds. While crediting the photographer is not required, Unsplash provides the HTML code for an image credit line, which you can easily copy and paste into a caption on your site.


Pexels pulls the best stock photos, all licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, in one place. Images are tagged, searchable, and can be downloaded quickly in different sizes (as well as a custom size, too).

Death to the Stock Photo

A lot of stock photos out there are uninspiring, and this site wants to change that. A project by Allison Lehman and David Sherry, Death to the Stock Photo offers free monthly photos for your creative needs, personal or commercial. The pair shoots fresh, modern images, and then sends each new collection to their subscribers.

The Pattern Library

The Pattern Library offers vibrant patterns for download. Just scroll down the page to see each pattern “slide” over the last one — it’s a fun way to browse patterns. Many of the selections are colorful and bold, while there are more subtle options, which work well for those seeking custom backgrounds.


Created by artist Ryan McGuire, this online project offers free, high-resolution images for personal and commercial use. New photographs are added weekly and are free of copyright restrictions.

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  1. A great tool for looking up photos found in wordpress. It provides us with a variety of places where we can find and use photos for non commercial use that are free for us to use.
    What a great pool for gathering and using photos for assignment 1. A bit too late for us, but good news for the next group of 3100 students…..


  2. Reblogged this on Chronicle of a Wayward Son and commented:
    As somebody who has been guilty of lifting images from the web to use in my posts, I plan to make use of the resources listed here. When I do borrow something I find online, I am now including the source link at the bottom of the post to at least give credit where it’s due.

    Lastly, I’m using some new free graphic tools, such as to generate some of my own images when possible. I’m going to set up a gallery of these for easy access and for others to “borrow” in return. Stay tuned for that but keep your expectations low. I’m very creative but sadly my talents do not extend to the visual arts 😦


  3. Thank you for this post! I struck gold with Pattern Library; one of the awesome patterns there now adorns my blog 🙂


  4. Reblogged this on The Art Hacker and commented:
    Great new resources for free images to use for personal and commercial use! Read the descriptions and see how you might be able to use them. Maybe all you need a great cover photo for Facebook? Or you need an impactful PowerPoint image? You don’t know what you might find!