Here is 9 of my favorite FREE photo websites

Images make our texts more cheerful and – when chosen well – more meaningful as well.

As a designer, whether you are a graphic, web, or instructional designer, we are all looking for images every now and then. Not difficult at all with the image search tool from Google, right? But where do you find nice high-quality images that you can use without risking to go to court?


Even as a teacher it is nowadays important to be careful with copyright. Why? Think about instructional Youtube videos, lesson materials you share online, etc. Making use of copyright free images may prevent you from a lot of trouble. That’s why I will share with you some of my favorite copyright free photo websites.

First of all, an important note about the term ‘copyright free’. How do you know it is?

Look for the CC0 icon which means you can use the image without asking permission. The Creative Commons organisation, formulates it as follows:

“The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.” (source:

If you don’t see the CC0 icon, please search for the ‘About’ page of the website or any other page on which the owner of the website explains the copyright situation.

So, a promise is a promise: 9 photo websites for you. I wrote a few words about every website, but I recommend you take a look at the websites themselves as well.

1. Pixabay

If you are looking for some image, there is a big chance you find it here. Photos differ from art photos to everyday life pictures. Advantage: before downloading you get to choose the size of the image.

2. Pexels

Use the search tool to find what you are looking for. Search results will include high-quality pictures. And, just like Pixabay, you choose the size you need. Nice feature: you can search by color. (click ‘Browse’ -> ‘Photos by color’)

3. Stocksnap

In case you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, you use the ‘categorie’ function of this website. The website has organised his photos by categories like travel, people, school, business, wine, summer, … well, anything really.

4. Jay Mantri

Looking for pictures of nature? Or abstract urban pictures? This is your website! Images with people in it are hard to find.

There is no search function on this website, so the easiest way to browse through the images is by clicking on ‘All photos’ and scrolllll down….

5. Life of pix

Like Stocksnap, you can search either by typing in search words or by browsing through the categories.

6. Splitshire

Also, a very good website for searching by words or by categories (abstract, animals, fashion, technology, …)

7. For the Dutchies: Techniek Beeldbank

Because it is hard sometimes to find pictures that are looking like they were made in the ‘Low Countries’ (really, lots of images include hills or mountains in the background) I highly recommend this website. You will found an enormous amount of images made in Dutch primary schools, high schools, and higher education. They mainly have photos within a technology theme.

8. Gratisography

Every now and then we need to laugh and be surprised. If this is your goal, have a look at this website. You will for sure find some crazy, funny and colorful images.

9. Freepik

Last but not least, this website is great for finding any icons or vectors you might need. Important: use is free but you must credit the author.

What are your favorite photo websites? Please share them in the comments below!

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