The right visuals show your customers what your brand is about in a split second. Evocative imagery speaks volumes about what you’re communicating and can be the difference between a person scrolling by and pausing to listen or read what you have to say. But finding quality imagery isn’t always so easy—you have to know where to look and how to search. And even when you’re using free-to-use images, you need to make sure you’re aware of any copyright restrictions behind them.
We try to take care of that guess work by offering you millions of free images in Adobe Spark, where you can also conveniently turn that image into a flyer, social post, or other marketing asset. And what’s more? We’ve worked out the copyright for you.
Still, a fresh dose of inspiration is always welcome. So to help you make a good first impression (and second and third and 75th), we’ve rounded up 25 sites that offer fabulous and free images, videos, and more.
Table of Contents
- Multimedia Sites
- Photo Sites
- Video Sites
- Design and Illustration Sites
- A Word About Licensing Photos
When you want a large collection of photos and videos to browse all at once, there are a number of stock websites that provide all that and more.
Pixabay is loved for their well-curated stock images that don’t look stock-y. Pick and choose from over 1 million royalty-free stock photos. Did you know they also have an awesome collection of over 230,000 illustrations, 90,000 vector art images, and thousands of videos? Due to their volume and fantastic offerings, Adobe partnered with Pixabay to curate the Spark image libraries. Dig right in.
We love the curated premium collections, which feature hand-picked images from Stock’s top contributing artists around themes that help make sure you’re hitting the right visual note. Easily search for and license Adobe Stock images right from Spark’s editor to optimize your content creation workflow.
Pikwizard is your source for fresh new images and videos, many with cool and authentic people-centric pictures. The new trend in imagery for social media sites like Instagram is toward real images that aren’t super curated.
You’ll still find standard stock photo fare here, like nature and laptops, but you’ll also find some free high-resolution photos that are more raw and edgy. These on-trend images can help you achieve a more authentic vibe in your social posts or on your website without having to stage photos yourself.
Simple and stunning, these nature shots range from serene landscapes to vibrant, macro, still life shots. Nature photographer Adrian Pelletier offers free nature stock photos as a gift to the world. There are thousands of photos, as he has been uploading his work for over five years, and new pictures are added every day. You can search by theme, subject, month and year. He also just started creating nature stock videos for public use.
What’s great about Pexels is that each video clip is fairly short, which works well with Spark Video’s editor. The descriptive titles and intuitive categories make for easy, efficient browsing, and best of all, the free videos require no attribution. Check out the Spark Video above, created by Gen X Social founder, Lorri Ratzlaff, who uses a Pexel video clip to grab attention in an ad for one of her clients.
The most common stock sites you’ll find on the web are the ones that provide an abundance of free-to-use images. While some of these are general collections, some are perfect resources for specific niches.
All the high-resolution photos on StockSnap carry the Creative Commons CC0 license, meaning they are copyright-free images that you can use without attribution for commercial projects. You can also modify the photos how you want. StockSnap uses a tag-based category system, so you can use image search to easily find the high-quality photos you need based on emotion, theme, or subject. For example, the Wedding category also has links to subsets titled Bride, Groom, and Love.
StockSnap is free to use, but they do have sponsorship from paid stock sites on their site. To get to the free-to-use images, just scroll past the photos with a star in the upper left corner.
Whether you’re a food blogger, small business owner, or just a sucker for gorgeous food porn, Foodiesfeed has you covered. From macro food shots to culinary scenes to artistic food renderings, all the high-resolution images on the site are under the Creative Commons Zero license. Go ahead and edit to your heart’s delight while using these images for commercial purposes.
Burst is a great go-to site for finding free new photos for websites and commercial purposes. Burst is a product of the e-commerce brand Shopify, so the images on the site are often tailored toward themes that resonate with small business owners. You’ll find product imagery, like jewelry, apparel, and crafts. There’s a range of business-focused stock photos showing diverse people in business.
Plus, there are tons of stock photos that are great for creative business owners like graphic designers, photographers, writers, and artists. Just use the search feature to find images that are best-suited to your line of work!
Self-proclaimed “non-stocky” stock photography site Reshot is full of free-to-use images that are perfect for social posts and websites, even for commercial use cases. Like any images under public domain, you can edit the pics any way you want. Use Spark to add text or stickers over top of a photo, crop it, filter it—have fun with it, even if you have no graphic design experience.
Moose offers more diversity in model casting than most other stock photo sites. On the dashboard, you’ll find tabs for stock photos, images for creating collages, background imagery, interior settings, and meme-able photos. With the collage option, you can mix, match, combine, and overlay their free images to create the visual story you need, with the type of representation you want.
Unlike other stock sites, Moose has filters for age range, body type, gender (including non-binary), ethnicity, hair type, etc. Their photo inventory isn’t exhaustive, but is more inclusive than some other sites.
Although Moose offers free-to-use images, parent company Icons8 requires you to cite your image source by linking back to their site when using their media.
Need breathtaking travel shots that evoke emotion? This curated collection of globetrotting photos spans both urban and natural settings. It’s a great go-to site for travel blog posts, inspirational website images, travel-inspired social posts, posters with dreamy backdrops, and more. You can search by location or subject, but half the fun is in the scroll. All the images are under CC0 license.
“Delicious free food photographs for creatives”—the website tagline says it all. The options aren’t as massive as some of the larger stock photography sites, but each food photo has beautiful composition and color. Use these to brighten up your food blog, create food-centric social posts, add a professional touch to your culinary website, or create enticingly irresistible flyers.
Skitterphoto offers beautiful, free stock images in a range of categories, including architecture, sports, travel, seasonal, finance, and beyond. All the photos on this site are public domain, so you’re free to edit and use for commercial use.
Friends and photographers Peter Heeling and Rudy van der Veen launched Skitterphoto in 2014 as a place to house their artistic works. As the site’s popularity grew, they opened the portals to other artists, and now you can find works from photographers from all over the world. Filter by category or search for a specific subject.
Searching for authentic vintage vibes? New Old Stock is your place for black-and-white gems from days gone by. Prepare to spend time scrolling, as the photos are not categorized or searchable by keyword. But the time will be well-spent as you traverse through centuries and scenes of the past. Be mindful of the licenses for the images you choose, as this isn’t a website that’s devoted entirely to CC0 vintage photos.
Find everything from modern office photos to travel inspiration pics to foodie shots to fashion images on picjumbo. This site is filled with free-to-use images, but there are also premium options throughout, as well as advertised photos from other sites. Be sure to stick to the free picjumbo photos to use without paying.
Photo by Ruslan Petrov
Scroll through dreamy photo after photo and enjoy the artistic work available on Unsplash, or use the search bar to find specific themes, subject, or emotions. The Unsplash offerings are often stylized and tend to evoke a modern, artsy feel. Browse collections curated by brands or by users around themes such as “Negative Space for Lettering.”
Some of the photos include a line or two of context from the photographer—a very nice touch. You’ll also find analog photos for that vintage vibe for patterns and backgrounds.
Smart, irreverent, quirky, and unique—the photography on Gratisography will add personality to your professional creations. Photographer Ryan McGuire, whose professional tagline is “art that makes you smile,” created the site to spread creative love. Gratisography now curates scores of artists’ works, all of which are Creative Commons images under the CC0 license, allowing you to edit and use for commercial purposes. Browse by your search terms, or by categories such as animals, people, and whimsical.
The potential for creativity is as vast as the universe, thanks to the government agency. Illustrate abstract ideas with mesmerizing swirling galaxies or align your business goals with NASA’s reputation for innovation by featuring epic shots of space travel. Either way, this awesome free source is surely contributing to the rise of the out-of-this-world space imagery we’re seeing in contemporary design.
Unlike many of the other offerings mentioned in this list, the free pictures to use on Superfamous Images are available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which requires that you give credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
In addition to categories, users can browse photos by photoshoot, which comes in handy when you like the subject matter of a shot, but are looking for different orientation or composition.
Photo: Connor McSheffery; Magdeleine
Magdeleine specializes in earthy color palettes and captivating outdoor scenery. None of the photos here are kitschy or overly posed or styled. Like Kaboompics, Magdeleine generates a color palette for every photo. It also allows you to switch the background color from light to dark, which can help give you a better sense of how each photo will interact with your intended content.
Some of the photos are in public domain, but others require attribution and a link back to the license, so make sure to check before you download.
Need some great B-roll for your video or an eye-catching moving background for your site? Some stock websites specialize in video, making it easier to find the exact reel you’re looking for.
Video is crucial to your marketing success, but creating videos, especially for use as a background, takes time most small business owners don’t have. Enter Videvo, a stock footage and motion graphics library that offers a wide range of HD stock video clips. We whipped up the above video invite in about three minutes using Spark Video. We were inspired by the floating food and drink motion graphics collection!
You could also easily get sucked into browsing sweet close-ups of cute dogs or slick, subtle motion graphic movements that make for awesome video backgrounds for any project. Remember that video clips carrying the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, as marked on each download page, must be attributed to the original author.
Short Aerial Video from Life of Vids on Vimeo.
Created and maintained by Leeroy, an advertising agency in Montreal, Life of Vids and its better-known sister site Life of Pix bring you beautiful imagery that is designed with your content needs in mind. Life of Vids specializes in short videos that can be used however you like. A link back to Leeroy or Life of Vids/Pix is appreciated.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you can consider free-to-use designs and illustrations that add a little artistic flair to your site.
All of the listed stock photo sites collect photos, videos, and illustrations from artists who allow their creations to be used free of charge. Some of these photos are public domain, meaning there’s no restriction on how they are used, while other photos have some type of Creative Commons license.
To be a good digital citizen, and to avoid any copyright infringement potential, it’s important to understand Creative Commons photo licensing and what it means for you.
Creative Commons is like a pond full of artwork that everyone is allowed to visit and fish freely from. Artists put their media in the great fish pond of Creative Commons and allow anyone to access them for their own use.
Images in the fish pond with a CC0 1.0 (Creative Common Zero) designation are public domain, free-to-use images that can be modified in any way and used for any commercial or non-commercial purpose without permission from the artist.
After zero, there are six additional Creative Commons license classifications that range from the most relaxed to the most restricted rules of use. If a photo or video has a Creative Commons (CC) copyright license, it’s still free for you to use, it just means that the artists dictate how the photos must be credited.
Here are two examples of Creative Commons licenses:
- Attribution is the most relaxed type of CC license. An image with a CC attribution license allows you to change the art in any way you want and to use it (commercially or not) in any way you want, as long as you credit the artist.
- Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs is the most restrictive CC license. It allows you to use the art non-commercially, but only if you credit the creator and do not modify the art in any way.
Commercial use is when you use photos or videos in a for-profit way. This could include using stock photos on your e-commerce website, as backgrounds in a shoppable Instagram post, or any other way in which you are intending to earn money.
Even if you’re building a personal blog, it might be wise to choose stock images that are approved for commercial use, in case you ever decide to monetize your site. It’s important to respect the CC licenses of the images you choose and comply with their requirements. Just like you want credit for the work you do in your business, many photographers and artists want to be credited for their work. Everyone wins!
There’s a difference between a royalty-free image and a free-to-use image. Royalty-free images aren’t actually free. Instead, royalty-free means that you pay for usage rights of the image only once. After that, you can legally re-use the image as often as you like (meaning you can print it in your brochures, then on your website, then on your business cards, forever).
Stock photo sites often provide a mix of Creative Commons photos (free pictures to use—you just have to comply with copyright licenses) and royalty-free images (pay for usage rights of a photo once, then re-use as often as you like). It will be obvious which photos are free to download and which have a fee.
Ready to start adding stellar visual imagery to your marketing materials? Be sure to tag #AdobeSpark when you post it for a chance to be featured on our channels.