Five sites to find free high quality images

29 August 2017
Samantha Garrett
Five sites to find free high quality images

Finding free, high-quality images that you have permission to use can be a challenge. However, photographers and artists are increasingly making their work available free for others to use. In this blog post I’ll share the five websites that we use regularly to find great images. They all have good searching capabilities, minimal advertising, easy to use interfaces and do not require registration.

All of these websites also make their images available under terms that allow you to download, use, modify and distribute them for both commercial and noncommercial purposes with no attribution required. However, it is always good practice to cite your sources, so you may still wish to provide an attribution. Below you will find links to the licensing terms for each website if you want further information on this.

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The ever-popular Pixabay features over 1 million photos, videos illustrations and vector graphics. Make use of the advanced search feature to filter results by media type, orientation, category, size and colour. Be aware that the first row of search results contains paid images from Shutterstock, so be sure to avoid these if you’re looking for free content.

You can read more about Pixabay and their licensing terms here.



Pexels specialises in stock photography, with over 30,000 images in their library. At least 3000 new hand-picked photos are added each month. You can search by keyword, filter by popular photos or browse through their many categories.

You can read more about Pexels and their licensing terms here.


Pxhere has a similar look and feel to Pexels. It also provides a growing range of stock photos. You can check out their collections, look through popular photos and search by keyword. After searching there are a range of advanced options you can use to filter the results.

You can read more about Pxhere and their licensing terms here.



Pixnio features a range of images in many different categories. You can also search by keyword and filter by tags. Pixnio encourages users to upload their own images, meaning there is a good variety of unique images you won’t find on the other sites. Be sure to use the search box in the site header, not the depositphotos box in the middle of the page (this is an advertisement).

You can read more about Pixnio and their licensing terms here.



Unsplash has more than 200,000 beautiful photos contributed by their community of photographers. You can search by keyword, view trending images or browse through their collections.

You can read more about Unsplash and their licensing terms here.


Update: Bonus 6th site!!

Since writing this post, I’ve since discovered a 6th site with more great images! PikWizard has over 100,000 free, high-quality images, of which 20,000 are exclusive to their site. You can read more about PizWizard and their licencing terms here.

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