Published on: 03-03-2014

5 sites for free stock photos

Communication is becoming increasingly visual. The image-text ratio is changing; image stories are favored over large chunks of text. Good photos are therefore vital to your online magazine. Good images also ensure that your reader can gain a better understanding of your text more quickly. But what do you do if you don’t have a lot of visual material?

Free stock photos is the best known stock site. You can often see immediately that it’s an iStock photo, however. The site is full of typically over-the-top American pictures of absurdly happy people with unnaturally white teeth.

Happily, there are alternatives. We have selected five sites with free stock photos for your convenience:


Beautiful images. Does not offer a lot of choice, but contains beautiful, unusual photos. 10 new photos are added every 10 days.


A lot of creative photos. Unfortunately this site does not have a search function, but scrolling through pages and pages of images is a nice way to spend your time!


This site is also useful for background images.


This site has a very large database containing high-quality and usable images. If you register you won’t have to type in the captcha code each time.


This site has a good search engine and lots of photos. The only down side is that the search results also offer pictures from paid stock sites. So be careful what you click on.

What about the rights?

Almost all images on these stock sites have a CC0 license or Creative Commons Zero license. All this means is that you can copy, adapt or distribute the images – even for commercial purposes – without requiring author consent. Read more about this on the Creative Commons website.

Do you use other sites? Or do you have other ideas? Share them with us! Call to +31 (0)20 303 2822 or mail to

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