Free Stock Images: 5 Easy & Legal Ways To Get Pictures For Your Blog

5 Easy & Legal Ways To Get Pictures For Your Blog

Almost every new blogger seems to make this same mistake when it comes to their blog, thinking all pictures on the internet are free stock images. They type a keyword into Google Images and save the best image that works for their intended purpose and uploads it into their cool, new blog.

The problem is a little word called copyright.

It’s interesting to imagine that so many people would accidentally break a fairly well known law protecting intellectual property that has existed longer than we have…but it happens and it will likely continue to happen.

As long as you are in the know, you should take advantage of the different great options for getting free stock images online that you can use in your blog. I personally make use of these methods on a regular basis and find them to be quite handy!

5 Ways To Get Free Stock Images For Your Blog

 1. stock.xchng

This site offers free stock images online but I must warn you, they aren’t exactly keyword-friendly. If you have ever used major pay stock image sites, you might be familiar with their uncanny ability to smartly keyword graphics so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

Although stock.xchng doesn’t have a great selection and can be tough to find an image that works, it’s free. Don’t ignore it but don’t depend on it too much!

free stock images

 2. Stock Free Images

Definitely a step up from stock.xchng, this site features a better selection for free stock images that will work great in your blog. The one (minor) downside is that you have to register and be logged in to download any. It might be a silly thing to complain about, but when you have as many passwords and sites to login to as I do on a daily basis, you start to appreciate the little things.

free stock images

 3. Google Images – Advanced Search

Do not fret, dear Google lovers – there is a way you can use the beloved Google Image search to pinpoint some great (and legal) free stock images to download and use for your blog.

free stock images

The key is making use of the advanced search option and selecting “free to use and share” under the ‘Usage Rights’ section near the bottom. You can select other options if you want to modify or use commercially, etc.

free stock images


This one might be my favorite just because it doesn’t require you to login to download and has a CAPTCHA system that doesn’t make me want to throw my computer out the window every time I see it.

They only allow their smallest resolution photos to be used free for blogs but that is likely good enough for the intended use. I prefer to put bigger photos in my blogs than they provide but they can get very costly since high rez isn’t generally free to use and download.

free stock images

 5. Creating Screenshots

The easiest way to get free images to use in your blogs is to create them and the easiest way to create images is by creating screenshots. It isn’t realistic to do this for every blog but for anything that requires explanation or instructions of any sort, screenshots are fantastic.

Using a simple photo editor (I use Acorn for Mac) will let you put text on the photo or make small edits, if needed. For what it’s worth, every blog that I have done that uses screenshots has outperformed less visual posts.

Keep It Visual. Keep It Legal!

Next time you are looking for great free stock images online, use one of the aforementioned sites in this post. If you know a great place to get free stock images that wasn’t mentioned, leave a comment below to let us and other readers know!



  • Great tips thanks and as I was asking a question on my page about free images just the other day I hope you don’t mind if I share it!

  • I love this post Melonie, especially about the Google Images because so many people think they can just go ahead and take them. Great info, thanks.

  • Great post, Melonie! My favorite free site is, which has an amazing set of free hi-def stock photos, as well as some great textures, flash galleries, PSD templates, etc. I use the textures a lot. is a paid site, but it also has some free stuff available.

  • Thanks Melonie, the google search tip was really useful. I didn’t know about the filters just avvoided google search all together. I use it’s a search engine for free images and is fairly good.

  • Melonie, great post. I use MorgueFile and Creative Commons Search a lot, as well as Wikimedia (not Wikipedia).

  • Great post Melonie, thank you. I am off to investigate the options you have listed. x

  • One could check out – I haven’t found a picture that suited my requirement yet but nonetheless it’s a good site to check out. But thanks for these sites Melonie, I’ll be sure to check them out as well 🙂 Merry Christmas to all!

  • Thanks for the tips. I can definitly use them. Is there any place to get free video clips? Such as a sailboat sailing, or waves on the shore, people walking, that sort of thing.

  • Thanks for the tips. I can definitly use them. Is there any place to get free video clips? Such as a sailboat sailing, or waves on the shore, people walking, that sort of thing.

  • A great list Melonie, especially the advanced search tip for Google Images (one I hadn’t considered before!). I’d also add MorgueFile to that list.

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