The Best Free Stock Photos of 2021

Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash | Photo by Nicolas Horn on Unsplash

Photo by nrd on Unsplash | Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

When it comes to generating meaningful content for your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts, you will need high-quality images. It makes your content visually appealing and engages your readers/followers. You may think that obtaining high-resolution images is a pain, but we have news for you.

Today, we will share with you eight of our favorite stock image websites that provide free high-quality photos! 

Also, if you are a busy professional with multiple social media accounts to handle, the solution you are looking for could be It will take tons of time off your hands by not only providing a repository of high-quality images, but also by automating the repetitive and mundane tasks of generating content.

You will have loads of time to work on your marketing strategy. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?


Royalty-Free and Creative Commons

Before sharing the list of free stock photo sites, there are a few terms to look out for. The most common ones are royalty-free and Creative Commons. 


Royalty-free means that to use an image, you are required to pay a one-time fee to acquire it. You may use the image in perpetuity after that without having to pay any royalty for it. However, the image is not exclusively yours. It belongs to anyone who acquires the royalty-free license.


Creative Commons

The Creative Commons (CC) license is a little trickier. There are many types of CC licenses ranging from one that essentially forfeits copyright to those that require attribution or restricts any modification to the image. For CC licenses, it is best to read the fine print before using the image.


Eight Websites with Free Images

In no particular order, below are what we think are the best stock photo websites of 2021:

1. Unsplash 


Images are high-resolution and free. The 2 million (and growing) library of images is contributed by a generous community of photographers. You can use the images any way you please – attribution is not required but appreciated. However, Unsplash lists two ways of use that are not permitted. You can find the Unsplash license here.

This bank of photos is also accessible at


2. Pexels


The site not only provides photos but videos too. Images are contributed by their community of photographers and they come under a Pexels License, which allows free use of its images. Again, attribution is appreciated but not required. You may be creative and modify a photo or video to your heart’s content.

The best part is, Pexels is also accessible at


3. Pixabay


A site that provides free images, videos and music – all contributed by its community of creatives. The Pixabay License states that all photos can be used for commercial and noncommercial projects. Again, attribution is not required but appreciated. Modifications can also be made to the images. 


4. Free Images


Like in all other free image sites, the photos at Free Images are for commercial or noncommercial projects. Images are non-exclusive but can be used in perpetuity. There are a little more than a handful of restrictions though, and they are listed here.



5. Canva

A graphic design tool that has ready-to-go templates for Instagram and Facebook posts, just to name a few. The free version has about 250,000 templates for your social media, presentations, letters and more.

For their free photos, again, attribution is not required but appreciated. However, the license does state that you are not allowed to resell the photos to competing platforms



6. Adobe Stock Free

In its efforts to “democratize creativity” Adobe launched its Free Collection in October 2020. It contains about 70,000 photos, illustrations, videos, vectors, etc from talented Adobe Stock artists.

The license allows individuals to use content for commercial and non-commercial projects



7. Gratisography

Once in a while, you may need a quirky image. For instance, a T-Rex on the loose or a fish looking into a catbowl (!). If that is your cup of tea, go to Gratisography, which is founded by Ryan McGuire, a community artist.

The whimsical, high-quality pictures are free of charge and can be used for non-commercial and commercial projects. Its free photo license, however, cautions that if there is uncertainty, due diligence should be carried out especially for commercial projects. 



8. iStock 

Technically, this is a paid site. Subscribers are given all access to the stock images. So why are we listing it here? The catch is, you have to have the patience of a saint…and a free member account.

Every week, iStock releases a beautiful photo from their library and that image can be downloaded for free. 




Now that you have your beautiful high-res images, it’s time to generate content for social media. We know how time-consuming it can be to create a quality post. But there is a way to spend less time creating or even posting them. allows you to do just that.  

Firstly, our template is integrated with Unsplash and Pexels, giving you a plethora of high-quality photos to choose from for visual content. There is also a text-to-image API function that makes it a breeze to change/customize the words on your post for different social media platforms.

Also, the communicates with no-code platforms such as Zapier, n8n and Integromat. Repetitive tasks such as posting to your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts can easily be automated and scheduled. 

Quality photos, automated generation of content, scheduled posts, no codes needed – creating meaningful social media posts could not get any easier.

To learn more, check out to see how it saves you time to focus on your marketing strategy.

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