Truth be told, there is no shortage of free image sites for commercial use.
Nearly all images on this site are sourced from free image sites.
For good reasons.
Not only the quality of images is good – in fact, the images are superb by any yardstick – the images are available in a wide range which wasn’t there even a few years back.
The demand for ready-to-use images for graphic design is huge mainly because of social media.
And so, don’t be surprised to find free image sites and paid sites living cheek by jowl on the web.
In fact, the ads put out by the paid sites seem to be a big source of income for the free image sites for commercial use.
The story of Unsplash is a pointer.
The creators were bankrupt when Unsplash came into being. They were like –
A marketing budget? Please. We were just trying to keep the lights on.
They tried all kinds of ads for their other products, but none worked.
And then, built in an afternoon, Unsplash brought thousands of visitors after it was announced on HackerNews.
That one action decisively turned the tide in favor of the company.
If you didn’t know, Unsplash is today one of the most visited free image sites for commercial use.
Here are a few magnificent images of sand dunes which I had collected from Unsplash some time back.
5 top free image sites for commercial use
If you search for free image sites, you will be spoiled for options available to you.
Everyone has his or her preferences, I’m no exception.
In our opinion, other than Unsplash, the top 5 free image sites for commercial use are as under.
By the way, you may find a lot of common photos in many sites, which, increasingly, is kind of par for the course.
Based in Germany, Pixabay is among the most popular free image sites for commercial use. As of September, 2016 it is said to be having over 750,000 free photos, illustrations, and vectors and 3,100 videos. The images it hosts are of high resolution unlike many others.
Although no image is categorized, but scrolling through the site may throw up surprises. The free images are often quirky and a bit uncommon, and that is Gratisography's high scoring point among the free image sites for commercial use.
Surprised? Well, Flickr tagged CC0 has over a million high quality free images which you can use. For many pro designers, Flickr CC0 is one of the most sought-after free image sites for commercial use.
Burst from Shopify is a relatively recent entrant as a free image site for commercial use. As it says - the images will empower designers, developers, bloggers and entrepreneurs to create stunning websites and marketing campaigns.
Stockio is like a mirror reflection of Pixabay. It too offers images, videos, vectors, etc. and it offers free fonts and icons as well. When you open an account, Stockio keeps track of your downloaded files and favorited items. It then builds your personalized portfolio of resources.
How to quickly search images that speak class
Sometimes you may spend a whole day looking for the right image for your requirement. It’s a strenuous work, there are just too many or just a few results depending on how you search.
I’ve found a few tricks that most of the time fetch me awesome images.
Take a look at the 4 images below. They are simple but classy.
Okay, here is one of the tricks I use frequently in the free images sites for commercial use.