Small Business Tools: Truly Free Stock Photography

UPDATE: Stock.Xchng in now FreeImages, but the standard license remains mostly unchanged. Link revisions and other slight changes have been made below.

As a small business owner, you need access to great images for your website, blog posts, social media, print marketing, etc.  There is an abundance of “royalty free” sites out there that charge a nominal fee for their graphics.  But if you need a LOT of artwork, those nominal fees can really add up!  Well, I have discovered a site chock full (yep, I said “chock full”) of high-quality graphic art to dress up your Facebook page, blog, or what have you that is absolutely FREE.  There is a “standard license” for all their 300000+ images that states the following:

You may use the Image:

  • In digital format on websites, multimedia presentations, broadcast film and video, cell phones.
  • In printed promotional materials, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, CD/DVD covers, etc.
  • To decorate your home, your office or any public place.
  • For any type of personal use

You may not use the Image

  • For pornographic, unlawful or other immoral purposes, for spreading hate or discrimination, or to defame or victimize other people, societies or cultures.
  • In a way that can give a bad name to FreeImages or the person(s) depicted on the Image.
  • As part of a trademark, service mark or logo.
  • On products for resale (so you can’t put it on a mug, t-shirt, poster, calendar, CD or DVD cover, etc.).
  • SELLING AND REDISTRIBUTION OF THE IMAGE (INDIVIDUALLY OR ALONG WITH OTHER IMAGES) IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN! DO NOT SHARE THE IMAGE WITH OTHERS!

See the full content license agreement here.

For the most part, the only limitation you will find here is if you plan to sell something the image appears on. So go check out FreeImages, do a search for the images you need and grab some awesome, high-quality visuals like the ones you see below. Important to note: The top 2 rows and bottom 2 rows on each search results page contain sponsored image content – those are NOT free images!