The images and photos you find on Google aren’t free to use. Well, some of them are. There’s no way to tell if you can use the images for your work. In this article, you can find out what sources there are for images and photos without copyrights.
Why not Google?
Google Image Search is such a great feature, though not unique. Sites like Bing or DuckDuckGo also have options to search for images. You can use the image search just as you would normally search the internet.
There is a problem. The images you will find are not always free to use. The images can be copyrighted. The fact that you found them using a search engine doesn’t lapse these rights.
You might think: “Well, this is no problem. I’m only using them on social media.” Ask yourself another question: “What if someone would use my work, without permission?”
Now that we established the need for images and photos without copyright, let’s find out what resources there are.
Not all resources for copyright-free images and photos are free. Some cost money. You pay per photo or an annual fee. In this article, only free resources are covered.
Keep in mind: free resources don’t demand that you credit the maker or photographer. It’s appreciated.
Websites discussed in this article
This website holds thousands of photos. There are no images or designed photos on this website. Unlike other websites, the content is unique.
You can join the website for free. This makes it possible to upload your photos.
This website is all about images. Not only can you find photos on this website. You can also find illustrations, vector graphics, videos and music. All copyright free.
If you want to use the full versions, you have to register for a free account. This also makes it possible to upload your content to the website.
The downside is that the images aren’t that unique. Lots of website use images from this source. The images on the website can be found on websites with copyright-free images.
A similar website to Pixabay, but with a long (very long) grid layout with images. Don’t be startled: some of the images ‘move’ (because they’re video’s).
As you can see in the opening grid, Pexels is aimed more at persons.
Just like the Unsplash.com and Pixabay.com, it’s possible to apply for a free account. You have to decide what you want to do: use images or contribute.
The web address of Burst is somewhat different than the other websites. It’s a subdomain of Shopify.com. Still, the websites claim that they offer free photos. You can download just two types of photos: high-resolution photos and low-resolution photos.
This website is aimed at online shops who need some filling for their websites.
What if you want to write about food or eating? You only want to see the relevant photos, right? Foodiesfeed is just the website for you! It allows you to download good quality stock photos. Unfortunately, there are a lot of nag screens, that doesn’t speed up the download process. If you decide to register, you can easily download photos.
What’s in a name, right? On this website, you can benefit from a nifty feature to see what related photos are listed when viewing a photo. Registration is free, but it’s not necessary if you want to download photos. Opening photos from the grid isn’t necessary, because each photo contains a download button.
So where’s Wikimedia?
You might ask yourself: “So, where’s Wikimedia?” To be honest, it’s Wikimedia Commons. This website is the backbone for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is all about free information, so you might think the images are all free to use.
Yes, many of the images on Wikimedia Commons are free to use. However, many images on the website have their own copyright rules that you should follow. Besides, some of these images aren’t very useful because of their resolution.
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs uses images from this source too. Always with credits and a link to the page that the image or photo is taken from.
Final verdict – the best one?
It’s impossible to say what source is the best. It depends on what you want and what you’re looking for. The mentioned websites are fast enough and can be viewed on mobile devices as well as normal computers. The download process isn’t that difficult, except for the ones you have to register for.
In the period between 2016 and 2018, The Ministry of Poetic Affairs used lots of images from Pixabay. When the project was restarted in 2020, images of Unsplash were used. This made sure that the mixture between the images and photos on the website was optimal.
There are probably websites that were not mentioned in this article. So, come on: what is your suggestion?