10 places to get images for your website and newsletter that are free – and legal!

Easy Weddings
Updated on: March 27, 2015

With photo sharing platforms such as Pinterest bringing the world’s most beautiful images together in one place, it’s hard to resist the temptation to share these pics on your own social media, website and email marketing.

But there’s just one problem – unless you abide by associated copyright restrictions, you may well be breaking the law. There are three alternatives; invest in your own professional photography; subscribe to an existing stock photography site (which can be expensive) or source royalty-free images from stock websites that won’t cost a cent.

Here are 10 of our favourite free stock resources:

1. Unsplash

With 10 new photos added every 10 days there’s no shortage of royalty-free, high resolution images to choose from. All of the nature/city/landscape skewed images are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means you can modify, distribute and use the photos free of charge without asking photographers’ permission first. You don’t even need to acknowledge the image owner or link back to Unsplash, even for commercial purposes.

unsplash copyright free images
Source: Unsplash

2. Fotolia 

Choose from three free high-resolution photos and illustrations to download each week with Fotolia’s royalty-free licences. With 37,338,465+ royalty-free stock photos to choose from and flexible package options to purchase credits you’re bound to find something to suit your brand’s needs and tease your tastebuds.

fotolia free stock images

3. Dreamstime

Browse from millions of royalty-free film and digital pics supplied by photographers from all over the world and reviewed by editors to ensure you receive the highest quality images for the lowest possible prices – or free.

dreamstime royalty free stock images

4. morgueFile

Files are donated by artists for use in creative projects and are not in the public domain, however it is possible to use them in blog posts; morgueFile advises contacting the image owner and including a link back to their artist page or original source, which is “generally agreed to be acceptable.”

morgue free stock images

5. Flickr

Before using any of Flickr’s public photography image archives, review the copyright restrictions, varying from permission to share, copy, redistribute, adapt without acknowledgement of the original source, and attribution conditions, which state you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license and indicate if changes were made.

flickr royalty free wedding images
Source: Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3

6. Unrestricted Stock 

These guys are on a mission to provide the world with stock images, videos and vector files free of charge sans restrictions. Well, there are three regulations imposed by their lawyers, including not selling or redistributing the photos, using them in an obscene or fraudulent manner or having 15 or more high resolution pics on the same domain – so don’t go overboard on cute candy files – 15’s the limit!

royalty free stock images

7. freedigitalphotos.net

Spice up social media and blog posts with free stock images and illustrations from freedigitalphotos.net. The only catch is the free images are modestly sized and an upgrade to larger files will set you back a couple of dollars. The most popular categories are business and people-related images, with a few wedding, romance and love related pics in the mix to choose from.

royalty free stock images
Source: Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3

8. Pixabay

No attribution required with Pixabay’s 340,000+ free public domain photos, vectors and illustrations, which means you can use them for digital and printed commercial purposes without linkbacks or citing sources. Images are high quality and diverse in nature with the most popular ones displaying first.

royalty free images pixabay
Source: Pixabay

9. AllTheFreeStock.com

While images offered are presented under the Creative Commons Zero licence allowing use in commercial projects and marketing, they advise checking the image conditions on parent sites beforehand. AllTheFreeStock brings together a variety of royalty-free stock images all in the one place for quick picking and and comparison, including a bunch of niche topics such as Christian photography, foodie snaps and a pattern library.

free stock images
Source: AllTheFreeStock.com

10. Google

Not keen on volunteering your email address in exchange for images, or giving Facebook access to your friends list during sign up? Head along to Google Advanced Image Search to discover free images, including everything from corsages and cakes to ceremonial country estates. Simply enter search terms, add sizing specifications (if required) and select the usage rights appropriate for your purpose. For least restrictions, select ‘free to use, share or modify, even commercially‘. *But always check the original source to be sure!

free google wedding image downloads
Source: Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3

Got a royalty-free stock website not listed here that you use for your wedding business’ marketing needs? We’d love to hear about it! Leave a link in the comments and share some unrestricted, Creative Commons love!

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Categories: Marketing Tips