Where Can You Find Free Stock Images?

Are you managing your social media, website, day to day runnings of the business, plus a home, a social life and trying to find time to eat and breathe? Life gets busy, doesn’t it?

I totally get that, as a small business owner myself, I’m here to help you transform your businesses online presence and become the real deal on social media.

Have you ever been sat looking blankly at your Instagram and thought, oh my god what do I post? Or scrolled through your feed and noticed how many beautiful images are on social media and can’t quite understand where these accounts get these unreal images from and how you could possibly keep up?

Well first things first, let’s get this one out of the away here, with many brands and large businesses there is a huge scope that their feed is made up of professional images taken by a photographer, which is absolutely awesome if you have the budget to do so and definitely something to aspire to! But what about these early days in the growth of your small business and you just don’t have the funds to invest in a photographer but want your feed to be full of beautiful images?

I’ve been in your shoes and had the exact same problem before and thought to myself: ‘wow this image I need is so specific and there's no way I can take it myself….where can I find one??’

Teleporting doesn’t exist AND I don’t have an all singing all dancing camera, BUT I do know what kind of look I’m after...

WELL, let me tell you a little secret about how YOU can use high quality, free images on your social media starting today.

(ps. There is no catch, simply one small business owner sharing tips and tricks to another)

You’ve probably heard of some of the large stock image sites such as Shutterstock right? This might surprise you but, stock image sites don’t have to be painfully cringy and generic, I mean, let’s be real here, we’ve all seen the terrible forced images of people sat around a meeting table with very cheesy exaggerated expressions or the clipart style images using those old school smileys. I can safely say that if you are trying to create a unique image for your brand, this is exactly what you want to avoid!

But, hold with me here… There are some amazing stock image sites out there that have beautiful imagery taken by real photographers, some amateur and some professional for all genres, styles, locations, and themes. Phew! Even better, these sites are totally free to use, some you have to create a log in to access the images but it’s definitely worth it and there’s no catch.

  • Why are the images free?

  • What’s the catch?

  • Where can I find these?

You have a lot of questions right now, I get it. So let me tell you the how, why, where and what, and let’s get this show on the road and find you some great images.

The images on the websites that I’m about to give you below are all free images from generous communities of photographers. How awesome is that! They ask for no credit or fee and you are free to use the images as you wish with a couple of restrictions that we’ll talk about below.

Is there a catch?

NOPE - Unsplash states that ‘All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.’

TIP - never ever use images saved from Google, these may have copyright associated to them and this could turn into a whooooole legal situation you absolutely want to avoid.

Let’s take a look at my favourite 3 free stock image sites


This is without a doubt my favourite out of all the free stock image sites, they have a huge varied range of images and videos, and describe what they offer as the worlds most generous community of photographers which is exactly what they are! You can use the search terms to find what you need and easily download in a small, medium or large size.

Examples of the type of images you can find on Unsplash:


This site is very similar to unsplash and has the same rules, all images are free to use! ‘You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist.’

Just be aware of the adverts for shutterstock at the top of the search results, you’ll be redirected to the shutterstock website and have to pay!

Examples of the type of images you can find on Pixabay:


You got it, same type of website, same set of rules. Pexels offers free stock images that you can use wherever you like, royalty free.

Examples of the type of images you can find on Pexels:

Golden rules with stock images


  • Don’t resell them exactly as they are

  • Don’t redistribute them onto stock image sites

  • If there are people in the images, don’t show them in a bad light.

  • Don’t imply that they are endorsing your product or services


  • You CAN use them on your social media, website, blog AND even in printed materials such as flyers, adverts etc

  • You CAN modify the images to use how suits you best.

Are you ready to make your social media and website stand out but don’t have the time to invest into finding the perfect images or even uploading them to your social media profile? Don’t panic!

That’s exactly how I can help, I help brands and small businesses make their social media profiles stand out from the crowd, engage their audience, look the real deal and ultimately, increase brand awareness and sales.

Sophie x


I'm Sophie, I'm a countryside girl from the South of England who has travelled the world whilst working from my laptop helping brands with their marketing and social media. 

Social By Sophie is made for small business owners who are looking for awesome advice to improve their Instagram profiles and increase sales and awareness!

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