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5 Quick Resources for Royalty-Free Images

Tara M. Clapper

When it comes to marketing your content or even wishing your customers a happy holiday on your Facebook page, an expressive image can really grab their attention. It’s increasingly important on Facebook and absolutely essential on social networks like Pinterest.

Here is a list of five quick and easy resources for royalty-free images.

Royalty-Free Image Sources


Pixabay is an extensive repository of images – and it’s searchable. Pixabay includes high-res, colorful photos, artistic photos, clip art and computer renderings. While this is the most impressive searchable resource for images that do not require attribution, it lacks in a few areas. You’ll see a lack of diversity in the people represented in the photos.

Pixabay also includes an editor’s choice section. Head straight here if you’re looking for something striking.


PublicDomainPictures.net is another searchable stock photo resource. Like on Pixabay, you can browse a photographer’s particular portfolio if you like her style or subject. PDP gives you the option of buying the photographer a cup of coffee – just click the coffee mug icon to offer them some money for their work.


How could you say no to this face? Photo by Photographer Anne Lowe, PublicDomainPictures.net


MorgueFile is home to some really beautiful, free, creative images. Unfortunately, many of these images are square or vertical, making them poor choices for header images or featured images if you’re using a WordPress blog. If you’re a creative type, morgueFile is a wonderful place to go just to find inspiration.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is home to brilliant photos. Each photo contains different licenses, though, so read carefully. This is your best resource for U.S. government photos — many of which are in the public domain.

If you need a cool, free photo of outer space or the ocean, head straight to Wikimedia Commons. NASA and other government agencies are excellent resources for public domain pictures.


Cupcake is a small repository of free, high-quality images for any use. If you’re looking for something specific, this isn’t the place to go — but if you want a general pastoral, scenic, city or animal photo, this is a fantastic resource.

Did we miss your favorite public domain image resource? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.

Tara M. Clapper is a technical editor for SEMrush and senior editor at The Geek Initiative, a website celebrating women in geek culture. Connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Tara M. Clapper is Content Development Specialist at Express Writers and Senior Editor at The Geek Initiative, a website celebrating women in geek culture. Tara is a prolific content creator and an accomplished editor, having written and edited thousands of blog posts, small business websites, and other inbound marketing content through the course of her career. Tara enjoys blogging about SEO copywriting, content management, corporate culture, personal branding, networking and LinkedIn. She has over a decade of experience in digital publishing. Connect with her on Twitter @irishtara
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