Why should I Use Stock Images?
If you believe you can simply use Google Images to find a few snappy photos for your blog or website and then download and upload, you should think again. Many companies are breaking down on copyright infringement and you could very well get sued. Some companies are now setting up a “troll” task force to simply scan the Internet for copyright infringement situations and you could very well be sent a formal letter in the mail to “cease and desist”. Additionally, larger companies have sued for in excess of $5000 in Federal court for the same.
What is Creative Commons?
A Creative Commons license was created a few years back in an effort to provide examples of a photographer, image designer or artist’s work for anyone to use personally or commercially, free from any type of infringement. Recipients can use these works as is or build upon them and modify any way they wish. Generally, the original owner will give a Creative Commons (CC) license away with a certain subset of his or her works in an effort to entice business owners to purchase some of his non-CC works.
Examples of the different types of Creative Commons Licenses
CC attribution comes in a layered structure.
- CC-O (zero) is somewhat like Public Domain (see below).
- CC-BY allows anyone to download, modify, enhance any works as long as credit is given to the original creator.
- CC-BY-SA allows anyone to download, modify and enhance any works as long as credit is given AND the resulting works are provided with an identical license.
- CC-BY-ND allows download, redistribution and commercial use so long as credit is given and the images or works remain unchanged.
- CC-BY-NC allows for NON-commercial use with the ability to download, modify and build upon. This is not suitable for commercial websites.
Free Stock Image Sources
In addition to the CC (Creative Commons) licenses, there is also what is known as Public Domain. These are images, photos and other works that are created totally free of any rights whatsoever. These works (typically images) are uploaded to websites in agreement that they are absolutely free of any rights and available to the public to use as is or modified. These images are the best to use for personal and commercial websites when the owners don’t wish to create their own.
Here is a list of the top Free Stock Images Sources for 2015:
Free images and videos you can use anywhere
All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty-free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.
All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
Death To The Stock Photo
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Vector images, photos, a few advertisements to sift through like some of the others, but you can also receive free photos via email.
New Old Stock
Old vintage photos automagically pulled from public archives and free to use and modify any way you wish.
Totally free to use and high quality images. No need to provide source or credit.
Life of Pix
Free high resolution images with no restrictions. New photographers added weekly and all images added to public domain via donation. The website was created from an outfit in Montreal by an advertising agencies and a wonderful list of photographers.
Fairly new to the scene, but a great list of architectural and other images rich with vivid colors – quite eye-catching.
Hi Res Stock
You can use all photos here for your work – themes, templates, apps, background, you even could print them on a t-shirt.
Free Stock Photos For Commercial Use
(Stokpic License) Basically You can do anything apart from redistribute.
Public Domain Archive
A nice minimalist design website where the creators scour the web for high quality public domain images and bring them to you!
All the Free Stock
The search engine for free stock images, photos, videos, mockups and fonts. All created under the Creative Commons Zero license and ready to use for personal or commercial websites. No attribution or credit (source) required.
High Resolution images for all your needs! Commercial websites, personal websites, blogs and more.
The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So that attribution is not required.
There you have it. The TOP 10 free stock image sources on the Internet today with a few bonus sites just added!
Each site has been checked out and vetted.