Sources of free stock photos: for the best marketing images to improve your content and email

Nov 13, 2023

Share this Article

Top sources of free stock photos | Find the best marketing images to improve your content and email

Well, it’s true: a picture is worth a thousand words. In the life of a content marketer, who writes words for a living, that matters. Even with ChatGPT in the back pocket. Substituting and complimenting text and thesis of blog articles or white papers with meaningful images and illustrations is vital for their success.

In fact, today visual content plays a pivotal role in capturing your audience’s attention and conveying your message effectively. Posts with images pull 35% more retweets than those without an image, according to Twitter/X.

Whether you’re crafting a compelling social media post, blog article, or designing an engaging email marketing campaign, high-quality images are essential. However, not every SME has the budget for / initially understand the value of premium stock photos. That’s where free stock image sources come to the rescue.

In this article, I’ve curated a list of top sources of free stock photos to find your best marketing images for your email campaigns. These resources not only offer an array of stunning visuals but also comply with licensing agreements, ensuring you can use them legally without any copyright concerns*. (*Do read the fine print for every image you use – the case is different).

Wait…. How about AI-generated images?

Sure, you can always use OpenAi and many other free sources of AI images. What I’ve found is that free AI-generated image often leave me feel ‘wanting more’. And personally, I have only very little time to get an image for an article. A. free AI-image generator can help you on your way to come up with which image would best complement your story. And you can use ChatGPT prompts to help you search and find the best images at the sources below. The more I look at AI, the more I am convinced that it’s critically important to add a good dose of your own creativity to design with authenticity and create a compelling visual story.

Top sources of free stock images

Define your identity with quality design resources — even when on a budget.

These sources of great free stock images most are available under a Creative Commons Zero licence (CC0). This means that they are free from copyright and the need for attribution. However, attribution is still a common courtesy and can help these sources stay afloat.

Some free stock photo sites deliver photos monthly and some are available 24/7. Here’s the overview:

1. Pexels

sky free stockphoto images

Pexels offers a diverse selection of free stock photos and videos. Their library is constantly growing, making it a reliable resource for fresh and captivating visuals.

It is my favourite source of high quality, meaningful photos that you can use as backgrounds or illustrations for professional business work.

The images are of extremely high quality, unique and … free for you to use. Of course, donations and paid packages are also options for your there.

I do think that photographers ought to be paid for their work, eventually, so you really might want to hit that donation button once and a while, as well as promote the photographers.

Learn more:

2. Unsplash

See the beautiful feature photo by Patrick Tomasso for this article. All Unsplash images are simply stunning photos you can use without a fuss. There are many photos to choose from sorted in curated sets rather than by keyword.

Some consider Unsplash to be a treasure trove of high-resolution images contributed by photographers from around the world. Indeed, it has a vast collection; so you’re sure to find visuals that resonate with your content and email marketing goals.

Learn more:

3. Life of Pix

Free high-resolution photos, that are donated to the public domain. These images have no copyrights restrictions. They are for personal commercial use.

The Leeroy advertising agency in Montreal and its photographers add new photographs every week.

Learn more:

4. All The Free Stock

This site brings together the images from other image banks.

Learn more:

5. IconJar

For amazing free icon sets, check out

We love this site.

CloudAnalysts' top 17 sources of free stock images for content

6. Reshot

Reshot is a platform that emphasizes authenticity and showcases images from emerging photographers. It’s a great choice when you want to infuse your content with a genuine feel.

Website: Reshot

7. Iso Republic

Nice photos and videos. Seems interested in selling you photos from other photo sites/ a bit of an aggregator. Learn more here:

8. New Old Stock

Unique, vintage photos – which seem copyright-free. Worth to have a look at.

Learn more here:

9. Pixabay

Pixabay boasts a vast collection of images, vectors, and illustrations, all available for free. Their user-friendly interface and advanced search options make it easy to find the perfect image for your needs.

Learn more:

10. StockSnap

11. Death To Stockphoto

Interesting brand name.

12. Picjumbo

adaptive design :: top 17 sources of free stock images for content

These are seventeen sources that involve professional or at least very good amateur photographers. And here’s a bonus that I came across after this article was written originally, that I also have found to be excellent.

13. Pikwizard

Not sure if I leave the best for last, but this website has over 1M free images. A portion of those are exclusive to them. The first few images they’ll show you are from a paid service, mainly Shutterstock. So, just scroll down and there you see a wealth of free images for your use. The style of the images are not always to my taste, but by the same token, they might have that image you’re looking for that as not available on other sites.

Learn More:

14. Negative Space

Sign up for new beautiful, high-resolution images every week, free in to your inbox. Or browse the site: the photo gallery is easy to filter and sort by by category, copy space position, and color. Free to use.

Learn more:

15. Freepik

This is an excellent source for vector graphics and illustrations. While they offer free downloads, it’s important to credit the original creators when using their content.

Learn more: Freepik

16. Gratisography

For unique and quirky visuals, Gratisography is your go-to destination. This source is perfect when you’re aiming for a distinctive and memorable look.

Website: Gratisography

17. Burst

Burst provides a wide range of high-quality images tailored for e-commerce and product-related content. It’s a valuable resource if you’re in the online retail industry.

Website: Burst by Shopify

18. Designer Pics

:: top 17 sources of free stock images for content (This site is not updated with SSL security, but is still active)

19. SplitShire

SplitShire offers a collection of artistic and visually striking images. If you’re looking to make a bold statement with your visuals, this source is worth exploring.

Website: SplitShire

20. FoodiesFeed

Perfect for food bloggers and businesses in the culinary world, FoodiesFeed specializes in mouthwatering food photography.

Website: FoodiesFeed

21. Kaboompics

Kaboompics offers a versatile collection of images that can work well for various types of content. Their color search feature allows you to find images that match your branding.

Website: Kaboompics

Integrating Stock Photography into your Content Marketing & Storytelling

‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it.’

Ansel Adams

His quote applies to images for content marketing and photo art. Socially sharable images that are click-worthy require a close connection between the image and the article. And that’s something you ‘make’.

As stock photography usually does not directly reflect the text or Call-To-Action, your content creators will have to make these mental links for the reader. You or they can do this by adding other images, image overlays, shapes, forms, colours, text and icons – or a combination thereof.

How to Alter Stock Photography?

With a favourite tool, PicMonkey!

First, choose your professional photo material from these top 17 sources of free stock images.

Then head over to PicMonkey Pro to do the rest.  

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

PicMonkey has many features so you can create, export, save and share your professional-grade images. Membership starts at a very low cost if paid annually. Worth every penny.

Creating a Professional image like this, with double exposure is actually easy to do in PicMonkey. Try it FREE!

Why free stock image – conclusion

Stock photography can save you a significant time delay of getting photos made specifically for your article, as well as photography cost obviously. However, it is important to give your team time to transform these stock photos into tailored visual storytelling assets. It won’t cost as much time as it would take to to write a 1000 words, or as much as it would take to organise a photo shoot, and you’ll be pleased with the results.

With this ever growing list of top sources of free stock images at your disposal, you have a wealth of resources to promote your content effectively and elevate your email marketing campaigns. Remember to review the licensing agreements of each source and, when necessary, provide proper attribution to the creators.

Incorporating visually engaging images into your content and emails can significantly enhance engagement and resonate with your audience. Don’t let budget constraints limit your creativity; leverage these free stock image sources to make your content and emails truly shine.


Interested to learn more?

We would be very happy to help you.

We use cookies to make our site better for you. By using our site, you agree to our terms and conditions, including the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.