Where Can You Find FREE Photos and Illustrations?

06 May




Even though I am an avid photographer, taking often several hundred images a month, from time to time the need for a certain motive arises.  The question was, where can I find inexpensive photographs?  A lot of research brought up a handful of online offers that I like to share with you. Maybe you need a certain image for your website, your blog or your book.  Please see some websites below that provide good deals on royalty-free photographs or even free ones.

But what is the difference between free, royalty-free and rights-managed?

Free images can be downloaded without any rules or agreement and are in the public domain. The creator offers his work public and free, there are no legal rights or restrictions for his or her work and it can be duplicated.  Images which have been copyrighted can still be considered as free when they are explicitly announced by the artist to be used, copied, distributed or modified.

Royalty-free images are given the right to use. There is an agreement that the licensee can use the photo without paying additional royalty charges, but it does not mean that the licensee can use the image for what ever he/she wants.

Rights Managed images means a contract between the licencor and licensee, regarding licensing the rights to use photographs, specifying to use the content in a certain way. This can include the length of time, the medium, the size, the format and the location of use. Unlike images under royalty-free licenses, the licencor is in control or has history of the rights granted involving the image.


I am only on page 15 of about 3,000 pages of free photos and have downloaded dozens of beautiful images that I can use for websites, books and yes, also for this blog. This is the best of all websites I found so far:

An amazing hidden treasure on the internet, ten, no hundred thousands of free images (almost 300,000) and you are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit and to adapt the work. No “accounts” necessary as on other websites, just go to “free photos”, choose an image and download it.
Some of the photos are in such a high resolution that you can use them for your book cover image.
A real treasure trove!


As you browse, pull any images that catch your eye. Don’t assume you’ll be able to return to that page later. Chances are, you’ll never find it again. (most sites are constantly rotating, to show new images) – save the ones you like and cull them later. 

What is your favored website for free photos?




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4 responses to “Where Can You Find FREE Photos and Illustrations?

  1. Yinan Chen

    October 28, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Please also check out for thousands of public domain photos you can use for any purpose, personal or commercial

  2. Athens

    December 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Another one site for free photos

    • ebooksinternational

      December 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      but it says very clear: only for personal interest!
      No one can use these photos for blogs, books or any other uses.
      Cheers, Doris


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