Whether or not you’re an aspiring blogger or are a part of an enormous firm resembling Spotify or Fb, it’s robust to flee copyright infringement in a digital age. As engaging because it might sound, you may’t legally use any picture you’ve discovered on-line and throw it in your weblog or use it for business functions. The majority of the photographs on the net are topic to copyright — which means the photographer or creator of a specific picture retains unique rights to that picture — and are due to this fact protected underneath federal regulation. Fortunately, there may be a whole realm of free-for-all photos that fall underneath one thing known as the “public area.”

Public area photos can be found to anybody and can be utilized for no matter function you want, even business use, for quite a lot of causes; the copyright might have expired, the photographs may have been taken by a authorities department, or the proprietor might have simply forfeited his or her rights for no matter purpose. And, though there’s a ton of locations to seek out public area photos on-line, most of the websites supply restricted and lackluster outcomes which can be extra of an eyesore than eye sweet. That mentioned, listed below are our favourite locations for downloading public area photos. Have at it.

DISCLAIMER: Copyright properties and situations range from one picture to the subsequent. Be sure you have an understanding of the license and abide by any restrictions it might have as a way to keep away from authorized penalties and motion. Publish at your personal threat.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is among the greatest selections for public-domain content material, whether or not you’re on the lookout for pictures, audio, or one thing else. The site’s handy search utility means that you can enter a search time period within the upper-right nook and filter the outcomes based mostly on Flickr, Fotopedia, Pixabay, Google Photos, and quite a lot of different respected spots for internet hosting pictures.

Maintain within the thoughts that the location searches for photos which have Inventive Commons licenses, which means the photographs may not essentially fall underneath public area, however they’ll typically nonetheless be used underneath sure situations. The positioning must also robotically seek for content material that can be utilized commercially and in any other case, however it’s a good suggestion to double-check the license simply to be on the secure facet.


EveryStockPhoto has a lovely, but easy-to-navigate interface and shows a few of the hottest searches on the left-hand facet for straightforward entry. While you use the built-in search bar, the location compiles photos from a wealth of sources and showcases them in a traditional thumbnail view or a column view that types them. When you click on a picture, EveryStockPhoto will present you the photographer, the license kind, decision, and some different tidbits of data. Sadly, you should register for a free account relying on the picture supply.

Wikimedia Commons


With greater than 16 million media information obtainable without spending a dime, Wikimedia is one other useful gizmo for locating totally different sorts of public-domain content material. Customers curate the frilly website — importing, tagging, and categorizing the information — and a lot of the content material is out there and might be modified so long as you attribute the unique creator or licenser.

Wikimedia encompasses a pretty intensive listing of classes, from nature to engineering, and there may be even a public area class to higher filter your outcomes. When utilizing the search bar within the upper-right nook, strive coming into “PD” earlier than your search time period to restrict the outcomes completely to public area photos. As an example, strive looking out “PD Abraham Lincoln” to point out solely public area photos of the late president.



Flickr doesn’t simply home hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of protected photos. It’s also a terrific supply for locating Inventive Commons-licensed materials and a few that has made its manner into the general public area spectrum, as properly. The positioning options a big selection of photos and the excellent search operate means that you can sift by way of photos a lot faster than the built-in picture browser.

Like the remainder of the websites in our roundup, it’s greatest to to keep away from any authorized hassle by what the unique content material proprietor’s restrictions on the picture are. Some photos on Flickr aren’t topic to copyright in any respect and thereby can be utilized for something (together with business functions), whereas others merely require a easy attribution or hyperlink again to the supply. Make sure you try the Library of Congress’ photostream, if you happen to occur to be on the lookout for a terrific assortment of historic photos.

Im Free

IM Free

In the event you’re on the lookout for a spot to obtain a group of sources for each private and business initiatives, IM Free gives the whole lot you want, whether or not you plan to construct a private weblog utilizing one of many best blogging sites or create a business enterprise utilizing Wix, Weebly, or one of many many quality website builders on the market. IM Free payments itself as “a curated assortment of free net design sources, all for business use,” which means that the belongings can be utilized in for-profit web sites. Nevertheless, it’s vital to notice the business use clause, as many photos and textures are free to obtain however lack a free license. Not like our earlier decide, Textures.com, IM Free has a stronger focus on inventory photos and gives quite a lot of instruments for designers, together with templates, icons, and buttons. On the inventory pictures facet, IM Free handles all mannequin and placement releases, so that you don’t must — simply be sure to confirm if the picture you’re utilizing requires attribution.


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Unsplash has come a good distance since its humble beginnings. Though it initially lacked a search button and distinct picture classes, it has since expanded upon its Tumblr-like design, permitting you to shortly browse new photos and scour the location based mostly on picture tags, collections, and customers. Regardless of these latest modifications, nonetheless, the Unsplash library nonetheless options a big selection of high-resolution pictures submitted by totally different customers. Photographs range from animal close-ups and landscapes to cars and intimate portraits, and a bunch of curated and featured collections offer you a way of looking an assortment of broader matters — weddings, silhouettes, computer systems, and so forth. It stays the most effective for informal looking, too, as the photographs are a bit “artsier” than these on different inventory websites. Now, if solely the location’s picture library was a bit extra intensive.


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Dreamstime has the same feel and appear to Shutterstock, however features a number of free pictures as properly. The positioning does ask for a person sign-in, and there are some pictures that require credit to obtain, however it does have a considerable number of free photos. In truth, in comparison with the opposite websites in our roundup, Dreamstime has the most effective selection, given it pulls from Inventive Commons and plenty of different web sites. The search is correct, too, as long as you retain your search queries broad. It additionally gives a slew of generic classes to flick thru, if you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing much less particular.

Death to Stock Photos

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Death to Stock Photos just isn’t what you may anticipate. Co-founders David Sherry and Allie Lehman seen it may be tough to seek out compelling pictures without spending a dime use on blogs and private web sites, in order that they determined to supply their very own. When you join a free subscription, you’ll obtain a pack of pictures with their accompanying tales every month. For a further $10 a month, you’ll be granted entry to the couple’s complete library and obtain an additional pack of month-to-month pictures. A part of that cash goes to totally different artists, permitting for higher selection within the library.


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Not like waterfalls or puppies, pictures of area might be tougher to seize for the house photographer. That mentioned, NASA is the place to go to for all your cosmic and otherworldly wants. The unbiased company gives mind-blowing pictures it has captured through the years, fully without spending a dime. The positioning additionally has quite a lot of galleries you may browse, if you happen to’re in want of one thing particular. Whether or not it’s retro pictures of Neil Armstrong on the moon, pictures that spotlight the floor of Mars, or one thing more moderen, NASA in all probability has you lined. And if you happen to’re in want of rocket photos or these referring to different spacecraft, try SpaceX’s Flickr page.


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Pexels gives pictures that carry a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which just about means there aren’t any strings connected. You don’t must attribute the pictures to the photographers, and you’re free to edit and redistribute them to your coronary heart’s content material. The pictures are sourced from both Pexels customers or different web sites that supply free-to-use photos, together with Unsplash (see above) and Little Visuals. The corporate says it has 30,000 free inventory photos obtainable, and it provides not less than three,000 new ones each month. In the event you use Pexels typically, take into account contributing CC0 photos to its portfolio, so you may return the favor.

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