Working on a blog article, web design, social media post? Then need great images, preferably free ones. Looking for copyright free images in 2021? There are hundreds of websites out there, many with low-quality imagery. These are the three websites I use daily as a graphic designer and content writer.
Unsplash was founded by Michael Cho is 2013. This year the company was taken over by Getty Images, but the website and conditions for the use of images haven’t changed. More than 17 billion images are uploaded on Unsplash. I personally think it is the best website for copyright free images of landscapes, nature and business, such as people working, using their laptop, in a meeting, …
The website is very clear and user-friendly. In the menu, you can search by topic or theme. You can log in with Facebook or manually fill in your personal details. The images are available in three sizes (between about 600 and 2400 pixels in width), plus the original size, which can be larger, e.g. 8000 pixels wide. Since most images are available in big sizes, you can not only use them for web applications, but also for print applications.
Pexels was founded in 2014 by Ingo & Bruno Joseph and Daniel Frese. Right now, Pexels is part of Canva, a very famous graphic design platform. You can find free images and videos on this website, all copyright free, both for personal and commercial usage.
There is no attribution required, but you can donate money to the photographer to support him or her, if you want. This website is targeted at designers, bloggers and other creatives. However, the images are not per see more arty-farty than images from Unsplash for example.
I use Pexels mainly for images of people, landscapes and food. I particularly like their photos of individual persons and groups. You can search Pexels easily by keyword, after making a free account. A nice feature is the option to customize the image sizes. What I also like are the automatic tags that appear and help you find an image quicker. When you type in ‘food’ for example, a wide range of tags appear – like ‘burger’, ‘salad’, and ‘coffee’, which you can click to find images corresponding with that tag.
Founded in 2010, Pixabay is a German website where you can find and upload images, vector illustrations, vector graphics and videos, all 100% copy-right free. Today the company is owned by Canva, just as Pexels. You can also download MP3 music files, mostly rather generic. But this can be handy if you are making short social media videos, which you want to pimp with a nice generic tune.
I use Pixabay sometimes for images of animals and nature photos. However, the quality of most of the images is a bit lower than the quality of the images you can find on Unsplash and Pexels. With quality, I mean the composition, the colors, attractiveness, … The amount and diversity of images is also a bit lower compared to the other two websites.
Do you need help finding the right images for your website? Don’t hesitate to contact me!