In these days when the overwhelming amount of information out there overwhelms even the most information-hungry consumer, the old adage that “a picture says more than a thousand words” carries more and more weight .
When creating a website for your company, writing articles on your blog and creating posts for your social networks, the use of images is necessary, but … time is short and resources are generally famished , so it is usually chosen for launching the website or publishing articles with very poor images “borrowed” from other sites , turning a blind eye to both copyright and the quality of these.
In order to give you a graceful and professional solution to this problem , I will detail below the best free image banks with professional, quality photos and, something always ignored and of utmost importance, that you have permission to use them: either from the author, or by the type of license.
What images can be used without legal problems?
The images that you can use are those whose author has given you written permission, or those that have a Creative Commons License that enables you to do so. Creative Commons is a Non-Profit Association that is dedicated precisely to providing “free” dissemination to authors (be they photographers, video editors, writers or any generator of a creative piece), through the creation of licensing regimes ” free of rights ”… I put it like that in quotes, because although there are certain limitations and restrictions, it could be said that the vast majority are free of rights almost entirely… almost!
There are many types of Creative Commons Licenses , some allow you to give them a personal but non-commercial use, others for personal and commercial use but with attribution (you have to include the author’s name and send him a link), others do not allow you to edit or modify it in any way. aspect … well, the combinations are many and will make you dizzy, for something you are reading this.
In order to simplify your life with these legal intricacies of rights, and so that you do not have any problems, ONLY limit yourself to using the following types of images :
Those whose author has given you written permission : either in an email, in the Flickr message box, wherever, the case is that you have their permission in writing, virtual or on paper.
Yes, Google is the best free “image bank” you can find. And I put it in quotes, because it is actually a search engine, but thanks to a simple option it has, it will become your first place of reference when looking for CC0 (public domain) images.
It has images of everything, and although they are not CC0 licenses themselves, they behave as such: commercial and personal use, you can modify, distribute and edit them, without having to ask for permission or attribution. At times it is somewhat annoying that when you see details of licenses, or certain sections, it opens advertisements … but come on, let’s bear in mind that they are giving us free images, they have to live on something. See images from freepik.com
Excellent free image bank, with a large community of photographers that allow Pexels to add 5 high-quality photos every day.All his images are licensed under the Creative Common 0 (CC0) public domain license. Something that can get you confused is that under each listing, in a separate line, they show smaller photos from ShetterStock (known bank of paid images), as a way of obtaining passive income.You just have to limit yourself to the large photos above, which are the free ones. See images from pexels.com
One of the few that is in our beloved mother tongue, which is no small thing, added to the fact that it has a search engine that, although it returns results in Spanish, never equals the overwhelming number of images when we search in English.The licenses for all your images are in the CC0 public domain, which will give you the freedom to do whatever you want with your images without asking for permission.Recently, it has incorporated, in addition to photos, illustrations, videos and vectors, a detail that makes it a very useful bank. See pixabay.com
Stokpic is a complete image bank since it has high quality images, great creativity, sustained and constant growth (10 new photos every 2 weeks), very easy to navigate and search for photos, and a Creative Common license in the public domain with only one limitation: you can do whatever you want, except redistribute them.Undoubtedly a favorite of many. See photos from stokpic.com
One of the best free image banks that exists, since it merges images of excellent quality, of a great variety of subjects (city, people, nature, landscape, abstract, etc.), with a good search engine and aCreative Common license of public domain that will allow you to give personal or commercial use to the photos, edit, modify or distribute them without permission or attribution.Highly recommended with its more than 800 images, and adding new ones almost daily. See photos from stocksnap.io
Although it is relatively new and, at the moment, small, it has free high resolution photos so that you can use it under a CC0 license, but with certain modifications (for example: do not use it on pornographic, criminal websites, etc.).These are properties of Ryan Macguire, professional photographer, and present a great job of editing and, some, with visual effects of his style. A simple click on each image is enough for them to be downloaded in their maximum resolution. See freeograophy.com
This bank has images of extreme quality, very professional and of a very varied type, predominantly landscapes and nature.According to its home page, all its imagesare for public use (CC0 License), totally devoid of restrictions.Something interesting is that they religiously publish new images on a weekly basis. See photos from lifeofpix.com
This bank has a strange combination of images of the city, nature and office interiors, which are very useful… except for the excessive photographs of flowers.All these images are in the public domain (CC0), and therefore totally lack of rights.Also like Lifeofapix, they add new free photos weekly. See bank of mmtstock.com
The people of Magdeleine have a wide variety of high resolution photos that go from the abstract (ideal for backgrounds), through nature, city and people among others, playing heavily with contrasts.The promise is one new photo per day, and the vast majority of them are in the public domain (Creative Common 0), so you can do whatever you want with them, without asking permission or giving attribution.Only some images havea Creative Common 4.0 license, which enables you to use them for personal or commercial use, but granting correct attribution to the author (name and link).This can be verified once you click inside each image, in the upper right corner you will see an icon: if it has a 0 it is in the public domain, and if they do not have it, simply do not use them. View royalty-free photos from magdeleine.co
One of the best and most complete CC0 image banks that exist, not only because it has excellent quality photos at no cost, but also because of its constant growth while maintaining the quality of the photographs.If you want, you can click on the authors, and you will have a list of all the images they have uploaded.This is particularly useful when you are looking for a specific style, or images of the same theme or format. See photos of Unplash
Good stock of royalty-free images (CC0), where you will find a large number of images of landscapes, city and nature, playing with a lot of contrast.Something negative is that it does not have a search engine, so you have to navigate the site to find what you are looking for.On a positive note is the fact that a simple click will make you download the image in its highest quality. See photos of cupcake
Excellent high-quality images, touching themes such as city, landscape and abstract. He religiously adds new photos every week. Regarding their license: for public use (Creative Commons 1.0), so you can use them without asking permission for personal or commercial use. It does not have a search engine, so one is forced to go through them. See bank of jaymantri.com
This new, rapidly growing image bank (it adds new photographs monthly), mainly deals with topics such as urban landscapes and lifestyles.Its Creative Commons Public Domain CC0 license will allow you to use them for personal or commercial use, modify, edit or distribute them without providing attribution.Something that adds a lot in these times of limited hours, is its simple but efficient search engine. See photos from picography.co
The old Stockvault will be present in the vast majority of the best free image bank listings you find.Here you will find high quality images, and the vast majority of these will be in the public domain (CC0 license).To keep you calm, each photograph has a box with its details, and in “License” it must have “Creative Commons – CC0” to be in the public domain.Those that are paid, Stockvault lists them on the right side (you will notice because they are smaller). See stockvault.net
This image bank has as its audience startups, bloggers, developers and websites related to the technological world.Its high definition images are royalty free (CC0), and therefore can be used for any purpose. See photos from startupstockphotos.com
This image bank born in Italy, has photos of the highest quality, and categories of all types.Although its License is not a Creative Common in the public domain (it never mentions which license they have), ALL of them are free as long as you respect the uses that can be given to each one of them.Under each image they detail what you can use it for. See photos from splitshire.com
Super Famouse is a site that, among other things, has a not very numerous image bank of landscapes, natural and abstract photographs ideal for backgrounds. The images are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license , which means that they can be used for any use, including commercial, as long as they are given attribution: send them a link, add the author, and notify them of any change made in the picture. See bank of superfamous.com