Five great sites for free images

Good quality photography is vitally important. It’s the lifeblood of modern marketing. But the great news is, it doesn’t have to cost you a penny!

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Photographs are certainly the best way to not only represent your products, but also tell a story across various marketing platforms such as social media.

For example, they can be used to illustrate the high standards of customer service that result from your efficient order to delivery processes, or the friendly, helpful team behind your product fulfilment service.

Commissioning a professional photographer can mean a bill for thousands of pounds. Even using some stock photography “banks” can prove expensive.

This has led to some businesses downloading images from Google searches and other online collections. This can get you into trouble legally, as you don’t have permission to use them for commercial purposes. 

Most photographs you see online are covered by copyright laws. If you want to use an image or an illustration that is protected by copyright, you would need to pay royalties to the photographer or the organisation who commissioned it.

There are some online companies which hold image stock that is “royalty-free”. This means you can use the images as often as you want, but that involves paying monthly or annual fees to the image “bank”.

The trick is knowing where to go to download images that are royalty free, but also involve no other costs either.

So here are five of the top sites for free photographs and illustrations.


One of the most widely used and well-populated sites is Pixabay. It has in excess of 830,000 free stock photos and art illustrations.

The site does request that you register, and also invites you to buy the hard-working team a “cup of coffee” from time to time. But it has excellent choices and an easy to use search facility.


This site uploads hundreds of new high resolution images every week. So for example, if your company prides itself on ecommerce fulfilment in a niche or very contemporary market, you could grab “on trend” images for no cost with Stocksnap. It even shows how many times photographs have been downloaded, in case you want to avoid commonly used ones.


This free to use image website is a favourite with designers and marketing professionals. That’s because the photographs tend to be more artistic than commercially orientated, using storytelling techniques.


Pexels also prides itself on regularly adding new high resolution images to its stock of over 40,000 free stock photos. It offers photographs selected from images submitted by site users, and also ones it downloads from other free image websites. Pexels has an effective search system too.

Negative Space

This regularly updated website is particularly “searchable”. You can find the image you want by narrowing it down to such things as colour, category and position.

Negative Space also offers the option to have relevant images sent to your email inbox regularly.