Free stock photography sources for your website

I am a firm believer that every website needs to have good, high-quality photography that represents who you are accurately. If you're reading this post, you probably believe this as well! Sometimes it can be really difficult to find what we need without paying a high price. If you're looking for something extremely specific, such as a photograph of a chiropractor doing a specific type of adjustment, you may need to bite the bullet and pay for an image from Shutterstock, or even pay a photographer to take the exact photo you need. But, if you have a little more lenience than that, check out my three go-to free stock photography sources: 



My all-time favorite. Unsplash is a large compilation of carefully-chosen photographs from a community of generous and skillful photographers.

Are you sure they're free and legal to use? YES.

"All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service."


  • High-resolution

  • High-quality, stylish, artistic photography

  • Easy to find modern and trendy subjects — stylish office spaces, coffee drinks, potted succulents, mountainscapes and other outdoor imagery

  • Very large collection

  • Not cheesy — very candid feel to most of the images


  • Difficult to find some very practical images such as a handshake, a posed family with kids, a standard car image, etc.


Overall, Unsplash is where I go to get images for graphics or large banner images on a website because they tend to be more artful and aesthetically pleasing.


With over 1,110,000, Pixabay boasts a huge library of completely free stock photography. It is a community of photographers and creatives who share photography, vector graphics, illustrations, and videos, and then vote on other community members' submissions. 

Are you sure they're free and legal to use? YES.

"All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes."


  • All images have to be approved for quality, and most of the images will have a very high resolution

  • Specs are displayed for each image including type of camera, ISO, and more

  • Extremely large collection (over 1.1 million images)

  • A good choice when a specific photograph is needed (a certain location such as a city, someone lifting weights, a person picking an apple, someone driving a car, a particular food item, etc.)

  • Also offers vector graphics, illustrations, and videos


  • Most photos tend to be a bit more "run of the mill" and not as artistic as those found on Unsplash. While the vast majority of Pixabay's images were taken with a nice camera and in high resolution, many of them are not quite polished with intentional editing and processing. 

  • Many of the photos are cheesy, posed, or have that quintessential "stock" look to them. 

  • You may have to scroll past a lot of "weirdies" to find what you really want. The image below is a good example of one when I searched for "driving":

Strange stock photography for small business websites

Seriously. What is that.


When I have a client who needs something very specific, I tend to find it on Pixabay. When searching for a "brand image" or something that is going to be behind text either in a website header or on a graphic, start with Unsplash.

Christian stock photography for church websites

These are finely curated photographs that are collected specifically for use on church websites and graphics. However! Many of the photos in this small collection do not depict any faith-related subjects and can be applicable to businesses and organizations, too! 

Are you sure they're free and legal to use? YES.

"All photos published on Freely Photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Freely Photos."


  • High-resolution

  • High-quality, stylish, artistic photography 

  • Finely curated, consistent style among images

  • A concentrated collection of faith-related images

  • Photos tend to be more candid, contemporary, and trendy (rather than the traditional religious stereotype) 


  • Very small collection in comparison to other stock sources

  • Most photos will have faith-based subjects


Freely Photos is a great source specifically for churches and faith-based entities, but it can also be a helpful for additional "brand photo" options as the images are artistically edited.


Do you have questions about photography licenses and laws about copyright? 

I strongly encourage you to educate yourself by visiting this website: Navigating the world of photo licensing can be tedious. Please be careful as you search the web for images to use on social media, your website, or other graphics. 

If you have any questions about this, feel free to reach out!