Hand-picked Sites With Free Photos and Images For Events
You might have been to a variety of websites offering free stock photos and images but going through each and every one of them can be a pain. Finding that perfect picture is already a hassle let alone navigating the licensing clause for each website.
Thus, we took the effort to cut down your work by recommending ONLY these websites that we truly vouch for and worth your busy schedule. We neatly divide them into different licensing categories – “do whatever you want” license and Creative Commons. We exclude other websites and public domain image sites due to a lack of choices for events and poor in quality. So, here we go.
Sites with “do whatever you want” licensed photos and images
Not to be confused with public domain license, this type of license is proprietary to the photo websites themselves. You generally have the right to do whatever you want with the images – use them commercially, edit or share, without giving credit (attribution) back to the author. And here are the buts. You cannot claim ownership over them. You also should not give the impression that the subject in the photo is endorsing your product or business or use the photos offensively. Reselling is clearly not allowed and you’re not allowed to create a competing site to distribute the photos or redistribute the images on another competing site. So, since you’re only using them for your events, you’re off the hook. Our top choices for good quality “do whatever you want” (almost) photos sites are listed below.
Come here for the quality of shots. This site is the undisputed choice for free contemporary photos for sore eyes. As of this writing, this free platform claims to have over a million dazzling photos. If you’re looking for trendy photos for events like concerts, festivals, art, this is your free photos Mekkah. There’s a collection option where users curate photos focusing on specific topics or themes.
The heavyweight champion for the most free photos and images on the planet, that’s over 1.6 million of them. And now they are adding free videos too! You may not get all the top-class photos like those on Unsplash, but their varieties make this site the de facto site to hunt for free images for events. Beyond free stock photos, you also get free clipart-like images as well.
If you still can’t find the right images for your event, you should consider Pexels. Although the choices vary according to the topic, you might hit on a perfect photo somewhere inside their database. But sometimes you might find identical photos that you found on Unsplash or Pixabay. Also note that the site is rather seamlessly integrated with ads, so at times you might accidentally hit on their sponsor’s paid stock photos while searching.
Sites with Creative Commons licensed photos and images
Here’s a recap of what Creative Commons (CC) means. It’s an open digital license initiative that allows us to use, share or modify the artistic content of creative authors and creators for free but with some small caveats. There are different types of CC licenses but most of them require you to provide attribution to the creator of the content with the exception of CC0 license. Not a big deal you might say, but a few license types do not let you use the content for commercial use. Yes, running events for profit is commercial exploitation but running a free event or for non-profit purposes might release you from the “commercial use” clause. Nonetheless, this type of license is very controversial so it’s best you consult your legal advisor. You can check out the list of Creative Commons licenses here.
The exceptional Creative Commons license that you should highly consider is the CC0 license – “no rights reserved” license. It’s the license do lets you virtually do whatever sh*t you want with the photo or image. Yes, it’s 99.9% completely free license – with the final 0.01% is left with the jurisdiction to define what is completely free in its copyright law.
So, below are some preferred sites with CC-licensed photos that are worth your sight.
Flickr gives you a convenient option to only search for photos with Creative Commons licenses or those that enable commercial use. To search, you need to firstly click on the magnifying glass on the top right-hand side search bar and you will see the search page. Then, select the “Any license” menu on the top left corner. See the image below for instruction.
A site that curates all public domain and CC0 licensed photos and images from other sites like Pixabay and Flickr. If you’re only interested in completely free photos, this site saves you the time of searching around multiple sites. Not a really well-known site but certainly worth your time for good quality free event photos. Please note the dash (“-“) in the domain name. There’s another competing site called FreeImages.com (without the dash) that is not on our shortlist.