Thanks to the Internet, everything is “free”—at least that’s what lots of people think. Whether we intend to or not, most of us have taken some piece of digital property without paying for it. Photos are one of the most tempting pieces of digital property to take. Why? First, because downloading them legally through iStock or Shutterstock is inconvenient and expensive; second, because downloading them illegally is so easy.  

There’s really no excuse for stealing images, especially when quality, copyright-free images are only a few clicks away. In addition to the websites we’ve mentioned before, here are five more places where we regularly find free images.

free imagesFree Images is home to over 350,000 quality stock photos by more than 30,000 photographers!

free imagesEvery photo you’ll find on Upsplash is not only free, but comes in high resolution. The curator for the site adds 10 new photos every 10 days. While photos on Upsplash aren’t categorized, you can browse thumbnails of their entire library by clicking here.

free imagesEvery Stock Photo
houses thousands of free photos. Before using an image, be sure to check out the images licensure policy. These come from many sources and are license-specific. You can view a photo's license by clicking on the license icon, below and left of photos. Membership is free and allows you to rate, tag, collect and comment on photos.

free imagesUsing the “advanced image search” feature on Google images is something Richard Byrne taught us a while ago and we’ve been using it ever since.

Head to Google Images and click on the usage rights filter option. No select "advanced image search" on the main Google Images page. Once in the "advanced image search" page, you will find the usage rights options at the bottom of the page. In the usage rights menu you can select one of four options:

  • "labeled for reuse"
  • "labeled for commercial reuse"
  • "labeled for reuse with modification"
  • "labeled for commercial reuse with modification"

free imagesWorld Images Kiosk is an image database curated by the California State University IMAGE Project. Here you’ll find over 100,000 images that are in the public domain. 

Photo credit: dsevilla / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Thanks Karen for your post; very useful. I've been using Free Images a lot as there's not much fuss over copyright, attribution etc. Upslash is showcasing brilliant photographs but I don't see a search box there which can be a little frustrating at times - mostly because you have to wait a bit for all the high-res pictures to load and then sift through them for a specific requirement. 


Useful information provided. Keep updating your posts.

Thanks for these  resources!

Thank you for your post! This is a great resource to use now and to archive for later when I need images for the classroom. Finding out about new sites to legally obtain photos is always helpful.



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