Finding the right free stock images can be essential to communicate a message. We get asked regularly about our recommendations for finding the ‘right’ stock images – and these are the websites where we start!


Unsplash is one of the original sites that provide super high-quality free stock images, even for commercial use. This means you can use these images anywhere, anytime, for any purpose without having to credit the photographer or pay any royalties.

Best for:

  • Consistently high quality
  • Instagram style travel photos
  • Abstract architecture
  • Heavily touched images while keeping their authenticity.


Pexels has grown in recent years to a fantastic offering of free, professionally shot images that are shared under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means all images are free to use, and attribution to the photographer is not required.

Best for:

  • Collections and groupings of similar images
  • Processed and colour treated images


Pixabay has a massive library of public domain images that are free for any use. It has more than just photos, with illustrations, vectors, videos and music as part of it’s collection.

Best for:

  • Beautiful Landscape photography
  • It has some good animal photos too
  • Vectors can be a little cliche, but a good place to search for anything specific

Envato Elements (Not free!)

We’ve thrown this into the bottom of this list as Studio Twofold can licence any of the photos found on Envato Elements on behalf of our clients. Let us know if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the above free stock image sites and we can escalate the search to paid sites like iStock, Shutterstock, and Adobe Stock.


  • You will find almost anything else you can’t find on the free sites.
  • It will cost from $30-$50 to hundreds of dollars per image.

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