* Image source: John: Flickr
You know what they say: "a picture is worth a thousand words". And thanks to social media and time poor consumers, now more than ever is this true. But as a small business owner, searching for and buying the perfect image to use on social media and your website is not only time consuming but can be expensive. Check out our top picks for FREE stock image sites and libraries.
Flickr is the largest online photo management and sharing application in the world. Not only is the site expertly designed, it's a brilliant resource for free images. Used by millions, including some of the world's best photographers, you are bound to find an image that fits the bill.
Not all photographers on Flickr allow their photos to be used commercially so check the image rights before downloading.
The user-friendly search tool bar makes finding any image you need a breeze!
StockPhotos.io is a high quality, high-resolution public domain and Creative Commons licenced free stock photos sharing community. Currently they have around 27,000 images on file - so plenty to choose from.
All photos displayed on the site have permission to use commercially as long as you give proper credits to the authors. Please visit their FAQ page about image acceptance criteria and more.
RGB Stock offers a huge number of high quality free stock photos and free graphics for illustrations, wallpapers and backgrounds, all of which are free for personal and commercial use.
Image library Openphoto began back in 1998 so it now has one of the most extensive collections of stock photos.
The simple layout makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for, with categories organised in neat thumbnails as well as a keyword search facility.
For a basic looking site, it sure packs a punch. We love FreeImages for its simplicity. Browse the site for an image you like and download it. If you use it in a design of any kind then you need to source the image, check the full terms for details.
The site is supported through advertising on each page (which they keep to a minimum). We also love that most of the 6,000 images on file were taken either exclusively for the site or were sourced from contributing photographers and illustrators.