Sometimes we just need access to high-quality snaps we can’t take ourselves. Whether it be for a presentation, a news article or a web development project – the budget available is sometimes never enough to pay a licensing fee for pictures.
ShutterStock for example, charges you to use an un-watermarked image in a personal and/or commercial setting. Sometimes a Google Images search throws up the perfect graphic for our needs, but on closer inspection we see that it has been watermarked and must be paid for.
Sometimes, the images we use are just as placeholders, so it would be silly to pay to use them – especially if they will get discarded very quickly.
Here is a collection of the Top 5 online resources for royalty-free pictures. That means, you can use these pictures without having to pay a penny (but in some cases you may need to credit the author).
At the time of publishing this post, the following information was accurate and up to date. However, before using any of the following resources, please consult their terms and usage policy to avoid getting caught up in any legal issues.
A rather constrained collection with limited choice – but a collection of high-quality photographed images none-the-less. Browse by category and download in just one click.
Icons count as pictures and graphics, right? Well, it depends what you want to use them for. Clipart and social icons are the best use for the free icons available here. There are thousands of collections in varying styles; all available as PSD, PNG and SVG.
Okay, not exactly pictures – but moving pictures! Coverr has a huge collection of high-quality background loop videos. These come in particularly useful in web development projects.
Though not all content here is free, a ton of it is. Watch out for the hidden ShutterStock sponsored downloads, but the free stuff really is free. This is most useful for graphics and illustrations and not real-life photography-type images. I have found that using Google Images to enter my search term followed by “freepik” has yielded the best search results.
Everything is available as Vector and/or PSD files which is great for customizing and editing to your needs.
The best resource is Unsplah. A simple yet effective website which collates thousands of high-quality, full-resolution photos for free and public use. For real images (and not illustrations or graphics) Unpslash has undoubtedly the largest hand-picked collection. The also have a great API available so you can use their images in a dynamic application too!
That’s all for now – but if there are moe resources you know of that deserve a mention let us know through our social channels!