Searching for that right image for your creative project can be tiresome. You put in a lot of time, patience and dedication, and when you finally find the perfect one, it is copyrighted and you cannot use it for your client or your friend’s commercial project. On the other hand, even worse, the resolution is so bad that you can barely see the shapes as soon as you zoom. Sounds familiar?
Well, struggle no more; you have come to the right place. Today we list ten of our favorite photo directories whose photos you can use stress free. They are all high quality and free from copyright restrictions. They all fall under the CC0 – creative commons license that allows you to use them without the previous permission of the photographer for both commercial and personal projects.
We list them in no specific order, as they are all special in their own way. Tell us which one is your favorite!
Unsplash is fueled by a community of generous photographers that give away their high-resolution photos free of charge. The site’s main values are sharing, caring and creating. Even the big companies like Squarespace, Medium, Slack and Trello use these photos. On Unsplash you can find different categories of photos ranging from landscape to business and food photography. Alternatively, you can explore their curated collections.
All of the photos you find here are high-resolution images placed under sixteen curated categories, which makes it easy to find exactly what you are searching for.
If you are searching for royalty-free stock photo database, you have come to the right place. Kaboompics is currently a photo directory containing almost 6000 images, with more than 80.000 users visiting it every month. All the photos are presented together with a 6-colours palette that is generated from the image itself followed by HEX codes and ready to be used instantly. A great thing you find on Kaboompics and do not see on many other photo directories is the data about the details of how the photo is taken: aperture, ISO, exposure and the lens type. These options and their blog can be of great help to everyone learning photography.
Stocksnap’s photos will surprise you. You will be able to find various imagery from animal photos to business and fashion. Many already have applied filters so if you like them as they come, you can use them without additional editing.
Besides by using the search bar, you can search through images by categories, number of views and downloads, date or how a photo is trending and you can see the most favorite photos on the directory.
Ryan McGuire created and curates the awesome directory that is updated once a week with creative, fresh images. Gratisography is very specific in its content as all the photos are unpredictable, quirky and funny. You can search through six categories (animals, nature, objects, people, urban, and whimsical) or subscribe to get weekly bundles. He also offers bundles containing an unpublished bonus photo which you can buy for as low as 5$ to help him cover his expenses.
Pexel is a directory with a goal to empower the creators giving them the freedom to use not only CC0 licensed photos but also videos. They currently have over 40,000 photos and upload around 3,000 high-res photos per month. Another awesome thing you can find on Pexels is the design break, a website that helps designers take five and amuse themselves by stumbling upon random inspirational stuff: watch topical videos, discover new websites, guess colors and much more.
If you are blogging about food or you need high quality photos of food for a cookbook for instance, you can find those on Foodies Feed. There are plenty of food images to choose, whether you are searching for indoor or outdoor images, with or without people in the shot. The website was founded three years ago and it had more than 1 million downloads since.
“Free pics. Do anything. Make magic.” is how the founder and main contributor, Jay, welcomes you to the site. You can choose from various content, including videos and quotes. Seven new photos are uploaded every Thursday.
Bucketlistly is actually a platform where you can list your bucket list goals and become inspired by the goals of other travelers, but its photo gallery is still an invaluable asset with more than 5000 images shot at different locations around the world. It is the go-to photo directory for travel bloggers, travel companies and guides. You can search by simply clicking on the world map or selecting the country tags below it.
And last but not the least, Life of Pix is a platform that promotes one photographer/collaborator each month on social media and website. This directory, besides offering royalty free high quality photos, lets you be a part of a big community of photographers: customize your public profile to create an online portfolio, follow favorite photographers and have a look at all the photos you have liked.
It also offers CC0 video content.
Let us know which one you like the best. Is there any other CC0 directory you would like to add to the list?
About the author:
Ana Maksimovic is the community manager and editor at Colorlovers. Part-time traveler and part-time web and graphic designer, she loves working with sustainable brands. She supports circular economy and good businesses and writes about social entrepreneurship. She is passionate about photography and nature - a never-ending source of inspiration.