There are thousands of resources available on the internet offering high resolution free to use images of varying sizes. These images can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes on your websites, blogs or wiki pages.
While use of images is an absolute necessity, finding free images can be a time consuming and frustrating task for individual content writers and bloggers.
The time saving approach is to identify best resources that supply quality images, understand their licensing or attribution requirements and bookmark those websites. This way you know what kind of images those websites offer along with any attribution requirements they might have.
On the other hand, if you go to the new random image sources often, you need to get below questions validated every time prior to using their images-
Can I use this image freely? Can I use this image on my blog where I place advertisements too? Can I use this image on my commercial websites, blogs or wiki pages? Do I need to pay attribution to the creator? Can I download the image or embed from the source directly? Is there any copyright issue?
Here are some of the best online sources that you can visit to find high resolution photos.
Few of these offer images completely free and you can even alter images while others ask for an attribution to the website or the author of the image.
Pixabay – My Top Pick to Download Free Images for Blogs
This is my first preference whenever I need an image for my website or blog. The best thing about Pixabay is the clear statement that images can be used by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial.
Additionally, you can download the images and upload to your own website. No Attribution required, no linking required. Below is what Pixabay states, free vectors, free drawings and free photos – no attribution, allowed for commercial use.
The image search on Pixabay works well and returns images relevant to search keywords.
The first row of images returned in search is the list of sponsored images and that is how they make money.
MorgueFile – Free High Resolution Stock Photos
This is another great source of free images where you do not have to worry about any question on licensing or attribution. You download the image and its yours, use it the way you want to.
This is not one of the largest sources of images but covers wide range of image categories with a bit of inclination towards nature.
The interface is simple to use with inbuilt cropping and resizing tool, this is very powerful since you can crop and resize image per your requirement and check and tweak the output prior to download.
Picjumbo – Photos for Your Commercial and Personal Work
Picjumbo is very user friendly website with great navigation and image tagging. The quality of images you find on this website is very good and that is because all the images are managed by the website owner himself.
There are lot of image categories but If you are looking for high resolution nature and food oriented photos then this website is the perfect place.
Attribution is not mandatory, however, author mentions that he would love if you give an attribution.
Picjumbo also offers premium membership by which you get plugin to access premium collection of images directly from Photoshop.
WikiMedia Commons – All Kinds of Media Files
Right from the core of wikimedia foundation, it is a huge repository of all kinds of media including photos, audio and video files.
There are multiple categories to browse and search, you can browse the library by media type which includes photographs, drawings, illustrations etc.
Most of the images here are uploaded by general public and are available free to use in public domain but not all, it is good to look at the attribution requirements prior to using image from this repository.
Free Images (aka stock.xchng) – Huge Repository of Stock Photos
This is one of the largest image repositories available online, website lists huge number of images and covers almost all image categories.
You get images for all your needs here including website design, backgrounds, for articles and blogs.
It also lists premium photos from iStockPhoto.com. It is highly probable that you will get to see the image or graphics that you need on this website.
Public Domain Archive – Images From Around The Web
This webiste is a repository of all kinds of public domain images gathered from around the web. If you are looking for great vintage photographs then this website should be one of your go to places.
Website adds new free to download public domain images every week.
The repository is not very huge as of now but is worth giving a try whenever you need some images.
Creative Commons Search – Find Images You can Share, Remix and Use
This is more like a gateway to all big resources that host images and other files under creative commons license type. You can do search on multiple websites including Flickr, Pixabay, Google images, you tube etc.
Attribution and licensing requirements depend completely on what you find i.e image to image basis.
Photo Pin – Gateway to Images
This website is more like creative commons search.
You can use this website to find images from other websites, these kind of websites are very useful when your are struggling to figure out the right image from your identified best resources.