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. This is the most helpful piece. I have had such a difficult time trying to find photos such as these. A million thanks to you and the suppliers


  2. This is really great! Thank you! I’ve been looking for places to find free images to use.


  3. Thanks for your posts! I’ve been creating most of my blog posts but was really hoping I’d figure out where to find free images. I’m definitely gonan check out your suggestions, particularly Unsplash.


  4. I think it’s sometimes better to just go without a picture than use someone else’s, not only because of the copyright hassle, but because using your own pictures makes the blog more “your own”. I’ve not been too impressed with most of the “free” images.


  5. For someone who has had their images stolen by fellow wordpressers as well as strangers on the web I am glad to see that there are more and more places that allow you to use images for free. I just wonder how this will affect the business of photography and are we not just enabling the entitlement culture; “I want all my images for free!!!!” – “Ok Ok-here they are”