My favourite places for finding free images

free images

At the moment I am working on a fairly interesting project. It involves writing blogs for a bunch of businesses throughout the United States, with topics ranging from life coaches through to water doctors. Each one wants free images, which may seem off-putting when you don’t know where to find them.

Fortunately, the Internet has an abundance of free images that you can grab without receiving a legal letter from Getty’s team. Yes, that did happen to me once. I accidentally pulled an image from an Iranian news site in 2008 and received a £125 bill for doing so. That was one pricey lesson learned.

Anyway, if you have clients who also want free images, or if you just want to use them on your own site, I’m here to offer some resources. Let’s get started.

Why use free images at all?

First of all, if your clients are going to pay you to source images from Shutterstock and the like then you don’t need to grab free images. If you do come across a project like the one I’ve described or you want to beautify your blog, finding freebies is an excellent way to save money while looking professional.

If you need a little persuasion for why images are important, try the following statistics:

  • 80% of marketers use ‘visual assets’ as a part of their social media campaigns.
  • When you use an image, 65% of the information associated with it is retained three days later compared to 10% when you use text alone.
  • 52% of B2B marketers prioritise the use of visual content, which includes images.

Essentially, by not grabbing free images, you’re missing out on a juicy marketing tactic.

To demonstrate why I love each site for its free images, I’m going to focus on the most recent topic I wrote about: reverse osmosis water filtration systems. Yes, that one was particularly thrilling at 6am. I decided to find images of water (no surprises there).


Unsplash is one of my favourite sources of free images because it’s a little bit quirky. Although I adore Pixabay, sometimes the human images there seem a tad fake.

free images
CC: Christoffer Engstrom at Unsplash

Now, although Unsplash is an excellent resource for natural pictures of people, it isn’t my favourite when it comes to the practical images I need. As much as I love pictures of clashing waves, they don’t quite match the topic (water filtration systems) and the picture above is largely representative of what was available there.


As I just mentioned, Pixabay is great for practical stuff. It also has a few carefully crafted graphics, so you can diversify your approach to free images.

free images
CC: Bella67 at Pixabay

This was the image I eventually used for my client. It takes a simple approach and matches the practical nature of the article.


I rarely use Compfight, although I would probably use it more if I wrote about destinations rather than people and things. Much like Unsplash, it didn’t produce the results I wanted this time.

free images
CC: Andreas Komodromos at Compfight/Flickr

A lot of the images are pulled from Flickr, so I’m not always certain over their commercial use. However, if you want user-generated photos of destinations around the world, it’s a good shout.

There you have it; three different sites for sourcing free images. If there’s a site you love, feel free to pop it into the comments below.

Do you need to hire a freelance copywriter? With experience in writing for global brands such as Avis and eBay, I can tackle almost any topic. Contact me here to get the ball rolling. 


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