Free Stock Photos for Blog Posts and Articles

Posted on March 2, 2011


If you need a free digital picture or photo for your blog post or article, you’ll find plenty available online. Some require attribution, but others have no strings attached at all.


I’ve used Stock.XCHNG (SXC) for years and never paid a penny to use any of the photos, but I always use the free ones. The site offers highly targeted ones that you have to pay to use, but they are prominent, so you can easily identify them. I’ve even uploaded many of my own to share with the SXC community. It’s turned into a bit of a social network. People follow your picture uploading activity and you can follow theirs, too.

Users are bound by the site’s Terms of Use that require users to allow other users to use their uploaded pictures for free. I believe the only exception is that you cannot insert the picture on a particular product for sale. I always do a “Print Screen,” use Paint to crop the picture, save it on my hard drive, then upload it into my blog here. I do that, because SXC’s system won’t let you download it directly onto your hard drive and WordPress won’t let you link directly to it.


My daughter told me about Photobucket and I love it. Because of the broad range of users, you find a broad range of photos. The Terms of Use for the site legally allow anyone and everyone to freely use any photo uploaded and made public on its site  … for free. Everyone who uploads a public picture on the site is bound by the site’s Terms of Use.


I learned of Morguefile some time back by a writer who swears by the site. It does have a variety of very good quality pictures. I’ve used it at times and have found it to be helpful. It’s also easier to use than SXC, because you can download the files directly onto your hard drive.

Other Free Photo Sites

Digital Image Magazine posted an excellent article in 2008 listing 25 different free stock photo sites; although, I don’t know if some may no longer exist. The article — 25 Free Stock Photo Sites — includes an update of 18 more from May 2010. Photos on some of these sites require attribution and others require payment, but all of them contain photos you can download for free.

Got a favorite free stock photo site you regularly use? Please share it with us here.