Creative Commons

Creative Commons Licensed Images

Creative Commons

Updated: March 7, 2020 (originally published Dec 14, 2013).

Here are some sources of creative commons images (free to use). You should always provide an attribution to the image, which usually includes the photographer, the license, and the source (see below for legal concerns).

My current favorites for Creative Commons images

  • Unsplash – beautiful free images
  • Pexels – free for commercial use – nice site!
  • Visual Hunt – a very nice Creative Commons search engine!
  • PikWizard – free for commercial use
  • Foter – 335 million stock photos
  • Creative Commons search engine
  • Pixabay – “Free high quality images you can use anywhere”
  • Photos for Class – these are mostly flickr images, with attributions automatically added to the bottom of each image (the attribution can be cropped from the image and placed elsewhere on the page.)
  • Flickr – select the desired license in the dropdown.
  • Stockio – no attribution required

For Video, try

For Audio, try

For auto-downloads directly to a WordPress website, try the following plugins

For inexpensive stock images, try

  • 123RF – currently $1-3 for website-sited images. The minimum payment is $20 worth of credits (select last option). Note that under the standard license, High Peaks Media can purchase and license the images for use on a website on behalf of a client, but we cannot transfer the images to the client.
  • offers individual images starting at $3.

For social media image editors, with free background images

If you are searching for an image for your WordPress blog, try Creative Commons image plugins (summary by Elegant Theme), including Image Inject and others. Elegant Themes also published Beautiful Imagery For Your Website: What It Is, Where to Find It, & How To Use It, as a resource guide to finding creative commons images.

Reverse Image Search, to see where an image has been used before, try

Legal Concerns

Please note the legalities of using images from the internet on your site, especially photos! Some excellent posts on this topic are below:

On Referencing Web Materials

Other search engines (sometimes yielding images from mixed-license and free/paid sources)

Sources of free images include (often licensed by the source site)

Please share your own tips for acquiring such images!

In a bind and can’t find a creative commons image? Check this site for some inexpensive stock photos: 5 Most Popular Sites to Buy Cheap Stock Images

Image Attribution: By john randell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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