How to Find Free Images for Your WordPress Blog Posts


Image provided by Tambako the Jaguar.

New bloggers always want to know where to find free images and paid images for their WordPress Blog Posts.   Most people think you can just search Google Images and just see what pops up and use those images on your own blog.  In most cases,  that is probably illegal.

My friend and fellow blogger, Kimberly Castleberry, wrote a great blog post on the legal and proper use of images on one’s blog entitled, “Picking Pretty Pictures Could Send You to Jail.”

Here’s an important excerpt from Kimberly’s blog post:

When it comes to the images you must:

1) Own purchased rights to all images you use, and know the license limits, or….

2) Be using public domain images, or

3) Be using “commercial use allowed, creative commons, attribution required” and providing a link from that page to the author as specified in that image, or…

4) Create the image yourself!

Random images taken from Google should NEVER be used (on Facebook, your blog, wherever) as you are at high risk of violating copyright.


For the convenience of my blog followers, I have compiled a list of free and paid image sources.  Most of these sources were gleaned from Kimberly’s blog post on that subject or the comments of that post:


List of Free Image Sites

Please NOTE: Some Links have PAID and FREE images!


  6. (link for free images is at bottom of this page at this time)
  9. (totally free but NOT for commercial use!)
  13. (no attribution needed, commercial use is fine!)


Buy Royalty-Free Images



Free Background Textures


Let us know if you use any of these sites or if you would like to suggest some to be added.  

Article Written by Jim Landers aka “Jupiter Jim”



Meet the Author

36 comments… add one
  • Julieanne van Zyl Apr 12, 2013, 7:08 am

    A comprehensive list of photo sites Jim, so many people just take images and don’t realize they can get sued for doing that. I suppose it seems to most people, that it’s okay to copy images, and they don’t know it’s actually stealing. Thanks for putting all these in one place.

  • Evan Apr 12, 2013, 9:31 am

    As they always say: a picture’s worth a thousand words. I like to use Flickr to find and edit Creative Commons images – it’s amazing how many great photos people have made freely available))

    • jupiterjim Apr 13, 2013, 9:12 pm


      That’s another great resource I might end up doing a post on! Thanks for sharing!

  • joe arrigo Apr 12, 2013, 9:46 am


    Actually, only one of the sites you have listed in your article about using photos, is free.


    • jupiterjim Apr 12, 2013, 2:17 pm


      I could be wrong. But some of the sites listed under FREE have PAID and FREE images options. Please let me know which ones do NOT have any free options. Thanks so much and thanks for following my blog!

      ~ Jupiter Jim

  • John Cusack Apr 12, 2013, 12:19 pm

    very good post….thanks

    • jupiterjim Apr 12, 2013, 5:20 pm


      thanks for the compliment and thanks for dropping by! Keep in touch!

      ~ Jupiter Jim

  • Linda LS Apr 12, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Hi Jim – thanks again for sharing helpful information on how to get the most out of the Internet and Word Press ….

    • jupiterjim Apr 12, 2013, 5:19 pm

      We do our best! 🙂

  • Jewel Apr 13, 2013, 9:51 am

    That’s what I was searching for. Flicker also can be a source of free image. I see one, you are using in this post. Shutterstock has a huge & nice collection but we have to pay for it.

    Offtopic: I see you are very friendly and helpful. You got a little follower man

    • jupiterjim Apr 13, 2013, 5:31 pm


      thanks for sharing and thanks for the compliment!

  • Yorinda Apr 13, 2013, 6:05 pm

    Hi Jim,
    thank you for the helpful information and links.

    What about images that other people have shared on Facebook they maybe some they picked up from Google? If we reshare those images (and we won’t be able to tell where the came from) are we liable?

    I like the ‘Creative Commons’ images on Flickr, even though it isn’t always easy to find one there for the keyword I am searching for. Out of courtesy I always like to link the image to the creator.

  • Chery Schmidt Apr 13, 2013, 10:32 pm

    Hi Jim! This was a good reminder not to just go and copy any picture that you see because you can get into trouble. Thankfully I didn’t!!! When I first started blogging I didn’t know I couldn’t do this, after all they were on Google Images, but then I purchased a blogging course and found out differently. I would like to Thank You for your help tonight Jim, it was very nice to talk to you.. Thanks for all you do. Chery 🙂

  • Clare Apr 14, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Hi Jim,
    I am amazed to say that I knew about the list of places for photos you provide here – probably because you told me already – LOL!
    You will see that I use a lot. Most of my images come from there. I know it is so important to have images in each post. The confusion over paid images is probably due to the sizing. As far as I know, most large images online are paid but you can get thumbnail images for blog posts free easily. And that is your topic here. That is my understanding and use of images.


  • DeAnna Troupe Apr 14, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I LOVE That’s the only site I really use. They make it so easy and tell you how to give proper credit when you use the photos.

    • jupiterjim Apr 14, 2013, 10:22 pm


      I think it’s really important to my followers that they hear from other followers, like yourself, who can relay their personal experiences with each of these sites. It makes it more real for everyone and not just a list of links!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  • Lorne Marr Apr 21, 2013, 6:15 pm

    Hi Jim, I’ve found your blog thanks to Kim. The list looks interesting, I guess I’ll take a look at those sites I’m not familiar with. I usually use Flickr, but recently they’ve been experiencing some technical issues, so it’s rather annoying. Anyways, every author should clearly say what bloggers are allowed to do with his/her pictures and what they aren’t. Because if someone wants me to pay for some pictures, I’m okay with it. But if the author doesn’t note anything specific regarding the picture and suddenly decides to sue you, that’s something I refuse to accept.

    • jupiterjim Apr 22, 2013, 12:36 am


      so glad you found me! And thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Flickr can be an excellent source of images. You can even search images according to the rules of sharing set up by the author of the images for instance, for commercial or non-commercial use only, etc.

      Keep in touch!

  • Lorne Marr Apr 22, 2013, 3:32 am


    I’m glad I found your blog! The rules of sharing is exactly what I use when searching for some images. But as I already mentioned, Flickr seem not to have been able to cope with some technical issues recently, which is a shame. Still, it’s one of the best sites.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Jack Apr 26, 2013, 7:00 am

    Thank you for the list of free image sites well now I can find free images for my blog posts.

  • Sarah Harper Apr 28, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for pointing out the free image sites, I’ve one question how to know if the image is allowed to use for commercial purpose or without any copyright issue?

  • Dr. Erica Goodstone May 4, 2013, 9:57 pm


    What a valuable list of sites for getting images. I have used several of these sites and it is helpful to be reminded that they are here for future use.


    Dr. Erica

  • Kristine May 6, 2013, 10:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing this list. I have tweeted it to my followers as I’m sure that they will find it as useful as it is for me. No one wants to get sued.

  • Steve Borgman May 11, 2013, 9:05 am

    Jim, thanks for the reminder of the quality images out there for use if we use them correctly. I like the Creative Commons search tool, and I usually search on Flickr. If I had the time and motivation, I would create my own images, but I opt for a mix of paid and free photos.

  • Eric Jul 15, 2013, 11:03 pm

    Thanks for the great post Jim! It’s always a good idea to get your images from a safe place! Thanks for the list of resources.

    -Eric Out-

  • Nile Sep 15, 2013, 3:18 pm

    A lot of times I just create my own graphics. This is a good list. I’ve been building a free thumbnail images section on my site… many I have used, and some that can be used as a base to put words on.

    Bloggers need as many resources as they can, but its great that you remembered to cover the etiquette too. 😀

    • jupiterjim Sep 17, 2013, 4:59 pm


      Thanks for your comment. I have seen your list of free graphics and they all look great and are very helpful resource for people who don’t have time to scour the Internet. Thanks for the help to the community!

  • AmondaRose Feb 3, 2014, 9:00 am

    Hi Jim. I love the list. In the past, I have used free Microsoft Clip Art. It does have its limitations as far as the amount of images. It is great to have your list as a back up. I will share this with my assistant too!

    • jupiterjim Feb 3, 2014, 7:00 pm


      Thanks so much for dropping by! This list will give you access to lots of pics and not just Clip Art, so that’s a huge advantage. The list of Microsoft Clip Art is another great resource that many people forget about as well! So thanks for sharing that!!! Keep in touch!

  • Nica Mandigma Nov 13, 2014, 4:48 am

    Great compilation, Jim! My favorite to use is Pixabay and Unsplash. The problem with Unsplash is it’s a little hard to search for photos. Thank goodness I discovered Pexels, which is like a search engine for all photos with CC0 license. It’s really great!

    • jupiterjim Nov 13, 2014, 1:16 pm


      Thanks so much for the feedback and ideas of other sites!

  • Linda Nov 14, 2014, 7:59 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to compile these! I’ve looked thru them and am certain they will be very useful for my creative and/or business projects. I really appreciate you and all your useful tips and help.

    • jupiterjim Nov 14, 2014, 12:39 pm


      Thanks for your comment! It’s nice to know that all my hard work to provide free information to my blog followers is appreciated! Have a Great Weekend!

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