But first, it doesn’t hurt to remember some basic concepts of photography so as not to fail in our search.
Regarding the format, .jpg is usually recommended for photographs and .png for screenshots.
As for the size, if you are going to use your photo on a web page, it is not recommended that it exceeds one megapixel, since it would take a long time to load.
It is also important that the size in pixels is appropriate to your objective. An image that is too large will also slow down loading, while one that is too small will be unsightly.
But don’t worry, from most photo banks you can choose any of these features as a download option.
… and some tips to make it as easy as possible:
And now, so that you can find the perfect photo, we have selected what we consider to be the 10 best image banks.
What is an image bank and what is it for?
When you browse the internet looking for a photo, it is not recommended that you use any Google image without first consulting its conditions, since most are subject to certain restrictions of use (such as copyright), or simply, they are not particularly beautiful.
Luckily, there are some specialized pages to collect images, each site with its terms, and expose them to the public.
More professional people will surely pay a monthly fee, but if you are a beginner or simply an amateur and do not want to pay, here we recommend the best free image banks.
What should you keep in mind when using a free photo bank?
If you have taken the image from one of the many banks that are available, you will not have a problem, since in the vast majority it will appear that it has “ Creative Common ” licenses.
These are those where the author of the photo defines the use that can be given to his photograph.
But of course, this concept is very broad and covers many scenarios; since we can use the image for personal but non-commercial use, until we use it as long as we quote them.
That is why it is important that we pay attention to the fact that the type of Creative Commons License is “ CCO ”, which is the public domain specification , and therefore, we can do what we want with it.
If you want to delve deeper into this topic (which is of vital importance if you regularly use photographs from the internet) I strongly recommend the post:
As this can be a bit confusing, we wanted to make a classification for you, in which you will see a list of image banks where all their photos are royalty free and another, where most (but not all) have this license.
Free image banks vs. Image banks without copyright
The answer is no. A free image bank is, as its name suggests, free to download, but this does not mean that we can use photography as we want . That is to say, its author can demand from us from the platform that when we use his photo we attribute the merit to him.
An image bank without copyright means that we can use that image for the purpose we want , whether commercial or for our website.
This type of images has a license called CCO , but there are few banks where all their photographs have this license. Here are our favourites:
The best image banks without copyright
All the photographs that you will find in these image banks have the Creative Common License 0, so you can use their images for whatever purpose you want without worrying about anything.
Free images without registration on Unsplash
Unsplash is one of the best and most complete CC0 image banks not only because it has magnificent quality photos at no cost, but also because of the variety, quality and resolution of its images.
In addition, in the “+” button we have the information of the photo, such as the date of upload or number of visits and, also, the option to choose the download size of the photo (small, medium or large).
One thing to keep in mind is that if we browse better-known sites with a large volume of images, the probability of finding that same photo on other web pages is quite high.
Therefore, it is recommended to be able to view the number of downloads that the photo has, to get an idea of ??how many people may be using it online.
Picography, the bank of high resolution images
Picography is a photo bank full of color and a multitude of categories, among which you can find photos of all styles.
Another advantage of Picography is that it shows you images with similar content after selecting a photo, so if you’re not looking for something specific, you can browse that way.
Download the best copyright-free images on Lifeofpix
Life of pix is the closest thing to an Instagram for photographers, both professional and amateur.
In fact, there is a direct access on its main page to the “ photographers ” section and a weekly contest for the best photograph.
As indicated on its cover, here you can create your own portfolio, customize your photos and follow the photographers you like the most, although a negative point is that we have a small number of free images
It is an Adobe Stock partner and there is a direct link, but beware! The photos on this page are paid for.
Along with Pexel and Pixabay , they are the only ones that have videos that are renewed every week.
Not just photos; the bank of free videos on Pexel
Along with Unsplash, Pexel is undoubtedly one of the most used banks due to the high quality of the photographs, which are also beautiful.
But its strong point is that it not only has photography, we can also find a multitude of videos for our website.
They are short videos, about 7-8 seconds and in .mp4 format and the dimensions you choose.
When you select a photo or video you want to view and continue scrolling down the screen, the “ similar photos ” section appears . This is really helpful.
Updates are weekly, but not in all categories and all their images are licensed under a “ Creative Common 0” public domain license.
For photography lovers there is a ” challenges” area , where competitions are held for the best photo with the most votes. He also has a blog where photography topics are discussed.
Alternatives to royalty-free image banks
Not all image banks have all of their photos licensed under CC0, some, like these three examples, have most (but not all) in the public domain.
However, the only thing that changes is having to attribute the credit to the author (although we always advise it, whether you have an obligation or not, it costs nothing) and filter the search to find our goal.
Wunderstock, among the 10 best image banks
Wunderstock is a photo library that provides access to thousands of high-quality photos in the public domain, though not all of them are free.
A trick that I recommend is that you search for the keyword you have and then filter by license. Options include “ attribution and non-commercial ”, “ attribution ” and “ public domain ”.
The option that most interests us is the public domain option, since it is the one that allows us to do everything we want, although it is always recommended to attribute credit to the authors of the photos.
Magdeline, high resolution at a single click
If you are looking for a subtle and stylish image, this is your place! Magdeline has an elegant and minimalist style.
When accessing the page we find a range of filters on the right, and on this page the possibility of filtering by dominant color stands out .
The latter is incredibly useful if we have an idea of ??the characteristics that the photo we need must have, but we do not have a specific idea.
A disadvantage of this page is that the photos do not have a ” direct download “, but we must click on ” download ” and then from the menu of our browser select ” save as “, but it does not pose any added problem.
335 million free images on Foter
A selection of images with a sober but elegant style, in Foter you will find thousands of photos, most of them with a CC0 license. However, from the web it asks you to attribute the photo in your post and provides you with the code for your HTML .
According to its description, focused on interior designers and journalists, although the images are small in size.
One of the great advantages of this website is having the management of filters by license and color from the main page, which saves you a lot of time if you are looking for something specific.
Once you select the photo, on that same screen we have the information of the original photo, the choice of size and the link for its attribution in case you need it.
Free Vector Image Banks
If what you are looking for is not a photograph, but a clip art or a vector, you will love these two sites as much as we do.
Images and vectors to download on Freepik
Freepik is one of the favorite image banks of many content creators, since it has a wide variety of not only photos, but also vectors and clip art .
With a cheerful and casual style, its tools are very easy to use.
One drawback is that not all resources are free, so it will be very useful to filter by this field.
This page requires that your images be attributed to their authors, that is, to cite the author wherever we use their photo. The only way to avoid having to attribute the image is to become “ Premium”.
By clicking on “Download” a window opens in which we are given to choose one of the two options, free or paid.
As we do not want to pay, we click on “ Free download ” and a compressed folder containing the file in .jpg format and the licenses will be downloaded.
Pixabay, the high-resolution video bank you were looking for
Pixabay is probably the most famous image bank of all. It contains photos, illustrations, vectors and videos , so it is also one of the most complete websites.
From the search bar, we have the option to filter the results by content category, orientation, size and color of the photo.
When we click on “ Download ”, it asks us the dimensions we want.
As for licenses, if we click on ” Pixabay License “, it redirects us to the conditions of the page, where it indicates that its commercial use is allowed.
The best free icon banks
The common characteristic of icon banks is precisely that they contain this type of images or vectors, either individually or in packages, and many of them are free to download.
There is the possibility of becoming a “ Premium ” client, but we can also download some icons completely free of charge.
The best icons without registration in Iconfinder
Iconfinder is everything you were looking for when it comes to icon search. With more than 4 million possibilities, choosing which one you prefer is not going to be an easy task.
From the search engine, typing the keywords, we can find what we want. Once the search is done, we can filter by type of license, which is very useful.
One of the most interesting things on this website are the graphics packages, where we can find several that follow the same style (cartoons, 3D, drawn ” by hand” etc.)
The download format can be . png, .avg, .ai, .ico, or .icns; and you also have the option to choose the dimensions with which you are going to download the file.
Flaticon: the super icon search engine
Very similar to Iconfinder, in Flaticon , the icon sets are this time called “ Packs ”. The most striking difference from the previous one is that we have a Google extension to be able to include Google Docs and Slide , along with direct links to use these icons in online slideshow template pages such as Slides Go .
The only drawback of Flaticon is that you have to register to download the files, but you have more possibilities regarding the format (“Vector icons (SVG and EPS), PNG, PSD and Iconfont”); and at any time you can unsubscribe if you prefer.
The best payment image banks
To make it a complete post, despite its title, we wanted to add this finishing touch with three of the best paid image banks. They all work with a monthly subscription of about 30 euros, although there is the possibility of paying per download (about 3 euros).
If you constantly work with images and videos and you consider that the free banks that we have seen may “ fall short ”, you may have to rethink some of these subscriptions.
If this is the case, I leave you these recommendations:
Depositphotos: Stock Images, Music & Video
Depositphotos is a platform with a powerful and diverse free library , which has thousands of photos, vectors, illustrations and videos available that you can use for both personal and commercial projects.
You also have the option to subscribe to the Depositphotos newsletter, so you will receive weekly updates on free files.
One of the advantages of the platform is its AI-based search engine that adapts to your preferences, and a useful personal account with the option to save your Favorites.
Shutterstock, the best photo bank?
If you have already used a free photo bank several times looking for a photo, this image bank will surely sound familiar to you.
Shutterstock is one of the big ones , having a library with exceptional quality and 10+ content.
On the other hand, the variety of photographs that you find on a theme is much higher than what you find in any other image bank that is not paid.
Istock, the best-known image bank
Istock is probably, along with Shutterstock , one of the best-known payment image banks today. In it you can find thousands of original and high quality photographs.
It has a similar rate to the others, with a monthly subscription model.