8 Best Sites To Find Free Stock Photos

  • April 3, 2014

We know that great photography can make or break a site, which is precisely why we include a selection of free high quality images for you to use on your Site Zulu website.

In case you don’t find what you’re looking for – don’t fret! There is a real abundance of royalty free imagery on-line these days. If only someone would compile a list of the very best places to find it, wouldn’t that be nice?



One of the largest and best places to find royalty free images is stock.xchng. The site is owned by iStockphoto, you’ll find the first line of photos on most result pages will be paid stock images, everything else is free. You do have to sign up to get the most out of the site but it is well worth it.


Fotolia is another site bustling with royalty free images. 27,890,420 of them to be precise, and growing all the time. The search feature is robust and gives you many advanced options in order to hone in on the perfect image.


As one of the largest photo sharing sites in the history of the internet, it comes as little surprise that it is also a fantastic place to find royalty free stock images. You’ll need to go into the advanced search options page and tick ‘only search creative commons licensed content’. Voila!


500px has seen widespread adoption by professional and amateur photographers alike in recent years. Similar to Flickr, it has a wealth of outstanding images, some of which are released under a creative commons license. Always be sure to check the exact licence applied to any photo you use and follow the guidelines accordingly.

Death To The Stock Photo

This site was set up by two friends who were sick of seeing the same old uninspiring stock photos used all over the web.
They set about to change this by releasing a monthly set of high quality photos, that you are free to do anything you please with. At the moment this takes the form of a monthly email, although they are working on a proper website. It’s well worth signing up as there are some real gems to be found!

Google Image Search

Google gives you the option to filter search results based on licence within the ‘advanced options’ page or under ‘search tools’ within image search. I don’t think this one needs any further explanation!

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia is to images what Wikipedia is to information. Here you’ll find one of the largest collections of free images available anywhere. Be sure to check the licence for any image used as they do differ, and you will be required to give attribution in some cases.


This is one of my personal favourites. It takes a different approach from most other stock sites. It doesn’t have the largest collection of images, far from it. The editors pick 10 new images every 10 days, each and every image used has the ‘creative commons zero’ licence, which means you can do absolutely anything you want with them. It may take a little while to find something relevant here (there isn’t even a search option), but what I like is that all the images used are high resolution and always stunning.

Anything Missing?

This is just a small selection of sites. If we’ve missed out one of your favourites why not leave a comment below and tell us about it?

Gareth Jones
Technical Guy at SiteZulu
  • Bianca Noorda

    I recommend http://visualhunt.com

    Quick facts about Visual Hunt:
    1. More than 15,000 best free public domain photos (CC0).
    2. More than 350 mln Creative Commons photos (if you cannot find Public Domain photo).
    3. Search and filter CC0 photos by color. Color pallette for every photo.
    4. Photo popularity index. Shows how many websites use the photo (still beta experimental feature).
    5. Possibility to save favorite photos to lightbox (after signing up).
    6. Possibility to embed photos without downloading.

  • Kate Casta

    Nice list, my the best is http://visualhunt.com – 334 MLN Free Photos!