5 Free Image Sites To Keep Your Site Legal !

Posted : Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Post Author : Paul Crowe | 12 comments

It’s all too easy to head on over to Google Images and search for your target key phase, then poof! There we go, a brand new image for your site or latest blog post. Unfortunately, using these images will more than likely result in infringing upon someone else’s copyright. Not only that, but the artist or photographer will have worked hard to create that image and deserves attribution for their creation.

We’ve all been there; someone decides to copy your blog layout or latest post, removes your attribution and claims it for their own. So why is copying someone else’s image any different?

Fear not though friends, there are ways to get your hands on high quality images which are fit for most purposes without having to spend a penny!

Be aware, some authors still require attribution but a simple e-mail is usually all it takes to legally use an image.


Kozzi is a relatively small, unknown but high quality stock image site. They have a decent selection of free to use stock images some of which require attribution.

Users that sign-up via referral can take advantage of the 10 premium credits that they provide. It may not sound like much, but it’s the equivalent of $10 in free credits and it means you’ll be able to use legal images on your website.

In an economy where the purse strings are being pulled tight Kozzi offer a good balance of affordability and legality!

Cost Per Credit: $0.80-$1.00

Referral Link / Link without Referral


Sxc.hu is the self-proclaimed largest leading free stock photo site. Owned by Getty Images they offer users the opportunity to download a variety of free and attribution required images.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be an overly active community anymore, but the quality of images available more than makes up for it. The only down-side seems to be the relatively heavy push of their more popular platform iStockPhoto.


OpenPhoto is a slightly dated (1998) and more rustic platform than any of the other one’s I’m analysing today, but the volume of content available is superior to similar projects. With over 14k images available you should be able to find something usable for your task.

Thanks to the large user base OpenPhoto has grown year on year. This is in part due sheer number of images that are available without attribution. This means you can use these works commercially without fear of legal action.


http://freerangestock.com/ – A popular image sharing platform that offers contributors a revenue sharing platform for any images they contribute. They actively encourage contributors be incentivisng them and users that wish to download attribution free image hosting sites can do so simply by posting a comment.

Alright so it’s not 100% free, but follows the same principles as paywithatweet and other social incentives. Highly recommended due to the sheer volume of images available!

Flickr – Creative Commons Attribution

http://www.flickr.com/ – If you haven’t heard of Flickr then odds are you’ve been living under a rock. One of the largest free photo sharing sites on the net! Sure not all the images are available for use, but there are separate sections within the site that allow you to filter by attribution and Creative Commons license.

There’s also a fantastic free for use section that is frequently updated with fresh content. If you’re desperate to use an image, then get in touch with the author! Most authors will quite happily allow publication of their image after being contacted.

That’s All Folks!

So there we have it, with these free resources you’ll no longer have to feel guilty for stealing an image and fear any legal repercussions for using copyrighted images!

Do you have any other sites that you use on a regular basis? Feel free to contribute in the comments section.


  1. I used to use freedigitalphotos.net. They are free as long as you post a credit beneath the picture.

    The only problem I have with any of these free sites is that they post a caveat to protect themselves, stating that you are using the photos at your own risk, etc.

    Since I don’t have any proof that the photo really IS the photographers and have to take their word for it, I have to admit I get a little concerned that some people might be less than honest about where they got their photos, which puts me at risk if I use one of them.


  2. I can second the fact that you have to be especially careful when selecting photos.

    I did a search for a particular type of photo, found one that was perfect, and put attribution on my blog to the site I found the photo at. As it turned out, that site had used the photo with permission from the original photographer, who contacted me requesting that I take the photo down.

    Thanks so much for this list… now I know the best places to limit my future searches to!


  3. Great Post…


  4. A very useful post.. I have a question related to SEO- if I use my own pictures hosted on Facebook or Flickr and then hotlink them to my blog what is the impact on SEO. I do it sometime to save space but mainly being lazy to not upload images twice.

    Thanks a lot.





  5. Hi,

    I’d say the impact is minimum. If anything having the accounts connected could increase your social authority. The only downside could be a potential loss in referral traffic from Google images.


  6. Thanks Sebastian



  8. Excellent post. I always use Google images when I need in my blog. Yet, it’s still subjected to copyright. These sites will be useful to me. Thanks.


  9. I just use Google image search and select “Free to use or share” for Usage Rights under the Advanced Search options. This usually brings up images from most of the sites you mention here AND you are usually sure that they are not copyrighted (so no “use photos at your own risk”!).

    From the Front of the Choir


  10. Hi, thanks for excellent blog posting.


  11. Thanks a lot for this great tips Sebastian Cowie,i like this post very much and i used this sites to get images for my blog called No.1 Quiz Portal.


  12. Here is mine: http://www.idrathergiveitaway.com


  13. Hi…
    Your blog is very nice