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The Best 20 Sites to Find Free Images for Social Media

Raluca
Raluca

CONTENT WRITER

Should you use free images for social media? 

Well, think about all the copyright restrictions you might end up infringing in case you don’t. It’s not a fun experience to receive a cease and desist letter. For this reason alone, we recommend that you start using free stock photos.

Not all of us are gifted photographers or cinematographers, and that’s totally understandable. Luckily, there are plenty of free image sites you can use to curate the perfect visuals for your social media strategy that also match your brand.

Additionally, you should use our social media strategy template in order to decide on your business goals and figure out the best use of royalty-free images for your brand.

Let’s learn more about the immeasurable potential of free stock photos.

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Table of Contents

How to Use Public Domain Images in Your Social Media Posts

What exactly are free stock photos? They’re basically high-quality images that are allowed for commercial use or that are licensed under the Creative Commons.

Either way, there are no known copyright restrictions for such imagery, meaning that you have full permission to use it precisely as you see fit.

Unsure about how you can enhance the typically generic royalty-free photos you may find online? If so, we’ve got some awesome tips for you.

Here are the top 3 tips on how to use public domain images in your social media posts:

  1. Customize your stock photos with Canva
  2. Go for less generic imagery
  3. Resize your visual content for each social media platform

1. Customize Your Stock Photos with Canva

Let’s be honest, most free stock photos are quite… bland. In fact, there are very high chances that your competitors might download the exact same photo you plan to use. 

Don’t let this discourage you! Canva’s customization features allow you to create amazing images without too much fuss. Use your brand’s colors and fonts for a personal touch. Then, get creative by experimenting with the templates, graphics, and stock images provided by Canva.

Have you heard about SocialBee’s Canva integration? If not, you should know that it allows you to create, import, and share your latest designs to your social media channels from the same dashboard. 

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2. Go for Less Generic Imagery

We know how tempting it can be to choose the first royalty-free picture you find. It’s quick and effortless. 

However, we’d like you to think outside the box. As mentioned earlier, it would be a real bummer to realize that your rivals are fans of the same free stock photo site you bookmarked, right?

3. Resize Your Visual Content for Each Social Media Platform

Yeah, you’ve probably heard this one before and we’ll say it again for the ones in the back ━ you must resize your impressive collection of free stock photos for each social media platform. 

Here are the image sizes for the most visual social media channels:

  • Instagram has three types of feed photos. When going square, always resize your free images to 1080×1080 pixels. Want to post a portrait picture? Go ahead and resize it to 1080×1350 pixels. You should know that Stories, Stories Ads, and Reels should all have 1080×1920 pixels.  
  • Facebook is pretty straightforward in terms of image sizes. Find free images and resize them to 1200×630. Ready to post your best free stock photos to your Stories? Then 1080×1920 is ideal. In case you’re ready to run some ads, 1080×1080 should do the trick.
  • Twitter recommends that their in-stream photos should have 1600×900 pixels. Curious about ads? Single and multi-image tweets are around 600×335. As for app cards and carousels, 1:1 and 1.91:1 aspect ratios are perfect.
  • LinkedIn goes by the 1.92:1 ratio, more specifically 1200×627 pixels. Don’t forget to resize your stock photos accordingly.

20 Sites for Free Stock Photos

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find high-quality images that are either free or part of public archives. Ready to download some free images? Perfect, we have the perfect resources for you.

Here are the best 20 sites to find free photos for your social media posts:

  1. Unsplash
  2. GIPHY
  3. Styled Stock
  4. Burst
  5. Adobe Stock Free Photos
  6. Pexels
  7. Depositphotos
  8. Picography
  9. Pixabay
  10. Picjumbo
  11. StockSnap
  12. Life of Pix
  13. Death to Stock
  14. VistaCreate
  15. Kaboompics
  16. Getty Images
  17. Reshot
  18. Freepik
  19. Foodiesfeed
  20. iStock

1. Unsplash

If high-quality photos are what you’re looking for, Unsplash is the ultimate resource for all things high-resolution. Their impressive gallery of free photos is certain to spark your creativity.

To make things extra easy for you, try out SocialBee’s Unsplash integration. That way, you’ll add any file from their website to your latest social media post in only a matter of seconds.

Unsplash Integration in SocialBee

Open Unsplash within SocialBee and add royalty-free images to your social media content with ease.

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2. GIPHY

Perhaps stock images are not your thing. That’s quite alright. How about a GIF to spice up your social media presence? GIPHY is the holy grail of animated photos and we’re here for it. 

Surprise, surprise! SocialBee’s GIPHY integration is here to help you create some head-turning posts. However, be aware of the fact that Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok do not support GIF files. 

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3. Styled Stock

Do you have a brand that aims for a more refined aesthetic? If so, Styled Stock offers a carefully curated selection of elegant images that are the perfect fit for commercial purposes. 

Styled Stock Website

They describe their gallery as ‘feminine styled images’. Do you have a female target audience? This website should be the obvious choice for you.

4. Burst

Powered by Shopify, Burst is a go-to resource for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and creative professionals.

Burst Website

Constantly updated with new free images, this free resource is guaranteed to catch your eye for all the right reasons.

5. Adobe Stock Free Photos

Premium or standard content, you get to choose. With Adobe Stock, you can choose your next favorite stock photo quite effortlessly.

Adobe Stock Website

Adobe Creative Cloud users are probably already aware of how easy it is to edit stock images in either Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator. With an awesome selection of stock photos, videos, templates, vectors, and even music, we’re certain that you’ll create some unique posts.

6. Pexels

Browsing through all those images and videos featured on Pexels should be quite the ride. Their comprehensive collections will help you find images by topic and even by color.  

Pexels Website

From art, fashion, food, landscape, and even animal photos, Pexels is a fan favorite for obvious reasons. 

7. Depositphotos

Launched in 2009, Depositphotos offers high-resolution photos, videos, music tracks, and sounds for commercial use. If you think that’s all, wait until you see their vector art and illustration collections.

Depositphotos Website

Looking for the perfect stock photo for your next Instagram post? You can now rest assured that you’ll find the right one on Depositphotos.

8. Picography

Licensed under Creative Commons, Picography offers its visitors a selection of vibrant public domain photos that are ready for sharing.

Picography Website

Some of their available categories include architecture, food, technology, or wildlife, depending on what your brand is all about.

9. Pixabay

Released under the Pixabay License, over 2,3 million free stock images are ready for commercial use. 

Pixabay Website

Their extensive library is nothing short of breathtaking. Similarly to all other websites we’ve shared with you so far, you can choose the image orientation, size, color, and even filter the images based on their date of publishing.

10. Picjumbo

Launched in 2013, Picjumbo showcases a huge free stock image collection that is as diverse as it should be. 

Picjumbo Website

With new images added every day and 8,709,799+ downloads from all across the world, Picjumbo deserves to be bookmarked. Some of their categories include people, business, abstract, and even sunlight.

11. StockSnap

Licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), the images that are readily available on StockSnap can work for any online business.

StockSnap Website

Emphasize the use and meaning of your products and services with a compelling stock photo. Unsure about which keyphrase to look for? Go ahead and check out the trending photos of the week.

12. Life of Pix

A photographer-oriented website, Life of Pix is a careful selection of high-resolution photos that can take your business’s social media presence to the next level. All you have to do is pick a unique photo without commercial rights.

Life of Pix Website

Perhaps the coolest thing about their website is that it features a page with all their photographers. This can make the image search quite fun. 

13. Death to Stock

Many businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs are getting tired of the stereotypical stock photos. There is a new era of free photography rising and Death to Stock is here to revolutionize the aesthetic of the internet.

Death to Stock Website

They offer state-of-the-art free and premium memberships. Free memberships are limited to email, while the premium ones feature a full-blown media library. Any modern brand known for its innovation must go beyond the regular stock photo search.

14. VistaCreate

With the internet viewed almost exclusively via the mobile phone screen, VistaCreate is ideal for those of you who want to make an awesome impression on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. Their free graphic design software is, simply put, a revelation.

VistaCreate Website

Look up a template and customize it for each of your social media profiles. Featuring 70 million+ free images, videos, and vectors, they only require you to create a free account for full access to all their website functionalities. Give it a try!

15. Kaboompics

Are you strict when it comes to the color palette you use? Fair enough. Kaboompics was created for businesses that take their visuals seriously.

KaboomPics

Choose the color you love and search through a library of 26,000+ images. Don’t worry, the Kaboompics license is similar to the Creative Commons one, so you are definitely allowed to use their content for commercial projects.

16. Getty Images

Who in the world hasn’t heard of Getty Images yet? Their brand history is legendary. They boast the ‘strongest legal protection in the industry and feature one of the largest libraries of royalty-free images out there.

Getty Images Website

Simply search for a key phrase that might fit and make sure to filter the results to only feature royalty-free content. That’ll do the trick.

17. Reshot

Every designer out there dreams of a world where illustrations and icons are free. Wait, have you heard of Reshot? It seems like dreams do come true!

Reshot Website

Instant downloads, no strings attached, no pesky newsletters or limits. These public domain icons and illustrations will look incredible once you’ll use them for your latest social media posts or website. 

18. Freepik

How about a website where you can download free vectors, stock photos, fonts, templates, and PSDs? 

Freepik Website

Freepik has been an industry favorite for quite a few years. Photoshop lovers will be pleasantly surprised while browsing through this impressive collection of must-have assets.

19. Foodiesfeed

The hospitality industry, particularly restaurant or bar owners, needs to pay close attention right now. Oh, if you’re a food fanatic, this one’s for you too. Foodiesfeed brings you free mouth-watering photos of delicious foods and drinks. 

Foodiesfeed Website

Do you have a vegan brand? The healthy category will prove useful. A concerned nutritionist on Instagram? How about a photo of a dangerously sweet cake to serve as a warning? Dig your fangs into this visual deliciousness!

20. iStock

Powered by Getty Images, iStock allows you to download up to 10 free images with their one-month trial. 

iStock Website

As expected, their gallery is diverse and abundant. Their AI-powered search is a benefit since it prevents you from wasting too much time browsing through millions of photos.

BONUS: DALL·E 2

OpenAI introduced DALL·E 2 to the world back in January 2021. Ever since it has become the prime example of the mind-blowing awesomeness that AI can create. 

DallE 2 Website Do you wish to provide your audiences with some futuristic and unique content? If so, create a free account, type in the kookiest text description you can muster, and behold the wonders of AI. 

I was terribly curious to see what DALL·E 2 could generate for an art fan like me, so I typed in ‘an Expressionist oil painting of a black cat using a smartphone in the style of Egon Schiele’. Here’s what I got.

DALL·E 2022-11-04 10.59.49 - an expressionist oil painting of a black cat using a smartphone in the style of egon schiele

Needless to say that I was shocked at the sheer accuracy of the generated visual. Am I terrified, impressed, or both? All fearless brands should consider giving DALL·E 2 a try!

Get Access to the Best Free Stock Photos

We are certain that you’ll bookmark at least one of the twenty websites featured in this article. As you can probably tell by now, there is no point in illicitly sharing copyrighted photos when there are millions of free photos to pick from. 

So you found the perfect images, edited them according to your brand’s visual identity, and are now ready to share them with your followers.

Go ahead and try SocialBee. You’ll find that our Unsplash and GIPHY integrations will prove most useful as you create mesmerizing content. 

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