10 Great Websites for Royalty Free Stock Photos (2021) You Can Use Right Now
Updated: Jun 9
Finding the perfect free image to use can be hard and royalty-free photos can often be bland, boring, and low quality. There are several free stock photo websites that offer great royalty-free (no attribution required) photos you can use for your blog, social media, and business.
Creating your own stock photos can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive because you need a good-quality camera. We've all seen those flat-lay photos, featuring a laptop, a notebook, some flowers, and the odd coffee here and there.
If you want similar images, or if you're wondering where those images come from, keep reading to see my recommendations for the top 10 free stock photo websites, updated for 2021!
Many of the photos on these websites are licensed under the Creative Commons Public Domain, which means that you can use them for personal and commercial purposes without paying for the image. Always look for public domain images that you can use, distribute, and modify without permission just to be on the safe side legally.
Disclaimer: As a member of the Amazon Associates Program, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.
Pexels offers many filter effect photos and has a very user-friendly interface. Pexels is great if you are looking for photos of people/models performing all kinds of activities and posing in blog-style photos. This is my number one go-to site for free stock photos.
The good news is that Pexels is partnered with Canva to bring you free images you can use when creating designs on their platform.
Pixabay offers more than flat-lay style photos and has a huge collection of nature, animal, travel, and culture photos. If you sign-up, you can download full-resolution photos for free. You can find lots of nature, architecture, travel, and abstract photos.
These days, Pixabay is no longer as good as it used to be, and Pexels has taken over, but you can still find lots of graphics and vectors as well as unique photos.
Unsplash offers links to their most popular categories of photos right on the home page so you can see the categories of photos they offer. They have a large selection and many options to choose from.
I like to use Unsplash for nature, flower, and cool flat lay images. They have a lot of variety and I find lots of unique photos there that I just can't find on Pexels or Pixabay.
This website is excellent for background images and abstract photos. It hosts a fairly large collection of free stock photos. Like many other free photo sites, the ones here are licensed under CC public domain, so you can use them for your blog and business too.
They have a handy search feature and links to the top trending search terms so you can find what you're looking for quite easily.
Gratisography aims to provide unique, quirky, and creative photos that might be harder to find on other stock photography websites. It is best for finding drawings, illustrations, digital art, and vector graphics.
You can find all kinds of cute vectors with animals, flowers, food, whimsical objects, and more. The selection is quite limited though, but you'll find some odd images you just don't find on a regular free photo website.
Styledstock is the best source for feminine stock photos. Therefore, if you have a blog for women, you can find tons of beautiful flat lays and other types of images.
I like to use styledstock for Pinterest, social media, and blog flat lay photos. Many of their photos are feature the marble or white desk, the laptop, and notebook combo which is very popular.
This is a free photo site created by Shopify. Burst offers photos for entrepreneurs and small businesses that use their e-commerce platform. You'll find lots of product photos, with many in high-resolution.
Watch out for the license though. While some of the Burst photos are public domain, others are licensed under Shopify's own photo license.
Reshot is a small collection of unique stock photos. These are meant for freelancers and social media users looking for Instagram-style photos.
You can find a lot of food photography, travel pics, and filter photos with a social media aesthetic. Therefore, I'm sure you'll find some unique blog photos that not everyone is using.
Negativespace stock photos are all displayed and organized by categories and colors, making it very easy to search through their photos. They offer many cool background photos, nature images, and abstract pics.
You can see how many views each photo has without clicking on the large image so you can select photos you know aren't being used by thousands of other bloggers.
I recommend this site if you need high-resolution photos. It's a bit harder to navigate than other stock photo sites because of the layout, but you can find some interesting content there.
It's also a great source for black and white photos and city photography. Therefore, it's worth checking out as you can use the photos to create cool graphics in Canva.