Stock photos are readily available for free in the internet but navigating around this labyrinth of content can be very difficult. Still, resorting to paid image sites like shutterstock or iStockphoto will definitely save you the hassle of determining the image license since you pay for the rights straightaway.
But, if you are willing to take a plunge in the sea of free stock photos, you are in for a lot of confusing stuff such as license restrictions and required attributions.
Here, we’ll give you a list of 10 sites that provides 100 percent free images for either social media or blog posting. But what sets these websites apart is that they offer Creative Commons Zero or more widely known as Public Domain licensed photos.
Just in case you’re still confused about the copyright categories, here’s a short overview of the three types:
Public Domain — The copyrights on the images in this category has either expired or has been relinquished by the creator. They can be used freely for commercial or personal use as well. Basically, all photos under the public domain is “free for all use” except for photos of recognizable people wherein you may need to acquire their consent first before using the photo. Though there are sites which already have a model release for these types of images, it would be safer to check on the license agreement that comes with the image when you have doubts regarding its origin.
Royalty Free — These are photos that you buy on paid stock photo sites that doesn’t need any additional payment for the licensing fees and royalties.
Creative Commons — Creators of photos who choose to license their work under the Creative Commons have options on how their images should be used. For example, it is set at CC 2.0, the user of the photo must provide attribution along with the posting of the licensed image.
CC0 is the most versatile license of the lot. In the Creative Commons website, they state that “CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.”
The list of sites below have public domain, creative commons, and photos/images that declares none require attribution.
1. Good Free Photos — It offers nice location based photos that were taken by the owner of the site.
2. Split Shire — it offers free photos that is free from copyright restrictions.
3. Morgue File — The images are free for personal or commercial purposes as long as you don’t lay claim to the image.
4. Pexels — it has a database of CC0 images that are easy to find through their search bar.
5. Skitterphoto — Free to use License free photos under CC0.
6. Gratisography — CC0 photos taken by design superhero Ryan McGuire.
7. Photogen — They have photos that are free for personal or commercial use as long as it is not prepared for redistribution or resale.
8. Life of Pix — Public domain high-quality images without any copyright restrictions.
9. Flickr:Creative Commons — access to the images in Flickr is managed by license. You can set your search for public domain, attribution license, non-commercial license and more using their easy to understand interface. To search for images that doesn’t require attribution, select ‘Public Domain.”
10. Featured Option: Visual Hunt — It has a big database of free public domain images. With more than 15,500 free public domain photos under CC0, you can search according to their popularity, showing how many websites are using the photo. One neat feature of the website is that searches can be filtered according color. There is an assigned color palette for their photos which group them accordingly. Once you sign up, you can save your favorite photos to your own lightbox plus you can embed photos without the need to download the file to your computer. Sound great? Check out the VisualHunt.com for more!
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