Free Stock Images for Content Marketing

Marketing, Social Media, Web Design

The landscape of royalty-free photos is changing. In the past, sources for quality free stock photos for use on websites, in print materials and on social media was limited. Most designers and bloggers were forced to use paid sites which offered a much wider selection of content. In more recent years, options have expanded and there are a number of free websites that offer an increasing amount of quality visuals.

Some of the top free sites include:

Many of the images on these sites come from professional photographers or photo enthusiasts. You may spend a little more time searching, but with a little creativity you can often find a great photo of premium quality.

Some Potential Issues to Consider

It’s important to note that just because an image is on one of these sites does not mean it is safe to use. Below are some potential issues to consider. It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list and nothing in this article is meant to serve as legal advice.

Does the photo depict people?

Just because the photographer is making their photo available to use does not mean that the people depicted by the image have given their consent for commercial use of their likeness. It’s often best to avoid using images with people for any commercial purpose. This is especially true of crowd photos, since it is unlikely everyone knew they were being photographed.

Does your use of the photo reflect negatively on a subject?

You never want to make other people look bad. Using an image in a way that makes someone look like they have a serious health problem or that they engaged in illegal or morally questionable activities is generally frowned upon and may even be against the terms of the stock photo site. It’s also not a good idea to imply that a subject endorses any particular political views or a product, service or brand.

Does the photo depict a brand or product?

It’s usually best to stay clear of identifiable brands and products, especially for commercial use. You never want to imply that a particular brand endorses your product or service and there could be other potential issues. If an image contains a logo or product, you may be able to crop a section of the photo that doesn’t or blur the portions of the photo that present concerns.


There are many great stock photo sites with free quality images. If you found this article useful, please consider sharing it on social media.