(This article has been updated March 20, 2019, to be even more awesome!)
Pictures do far more for veterinary practices than fill up empty space in blogs. Pictures help attract more pet owners to veterinary websites. According to content marketing influencer Jeff Bullas, blog articles with images get 94% more views. In other words, pictures are a critical component of blogs, which remain a simple and effective way to improve your clinic’s online presence.
According to Hubspot, businesses that blog have 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages, all of which help boost website ranking in search engine to improve online discovery and attract more visitors. That’s why LifeLearn WebDVM custom veterinary websites come with built-in blogging functionality. And to make it easy for you to take consistent advantage of blogging, WebDVM also comes with pre-written weekly news to keep pet owners engaged on those days when you may not have enough time to post a blog, which also applies to taking photos.
While using images taken at your own clinic is ideal for personalizing and distinguishing your blog, you may not always have time to take photos. Or you may not have a photo on hand that suits your needs. For such occasions, you can easily find what you need without breaking your budget (or copyright law) from the following free image sources:
Cupcake is a small but beautiful collection of high-resolution images by Swedish photographer Jonas Wimmerström (formerly Nilsson Lee), all offered under CC0 licensing. Simply click on an image, then right-click and select “Save image as” to save it to your computer.
Death to the Stock Photo
You can’t access the Death to Stock archive of photos and videos without a premium membership, but you can sign up for their free email list and receive a monthly folder of high-quality images that the site promises “aren’t boring and overused.” Photos are free for use without attribution. For Death to Stock’s plain-English license, click here.
Free Digital Photos
Offering stock photos and illustrations, Free Digital Photos offers the smallest sizes of their images for free—provided you attribute both the website and image creator. You can also purchase larger versions of images, which do not require attribution. To download a free image, you’ll need to provide your email address and accept their terms and conditions.
Searchable by keyword or collections, Free Images offers over 380,000 stock images and illustrations according to their content licensing agreement. When used for editorial purposes or within an audio/visual production, images must be attributed to both the website and image creator. When used for commercial purposes, no attribution is required. To download images, you’ll need to create a free account.
Free Nature Stock
Free Nature Stock offers what the name suggests—free-use high-resolution nature photos by web designer Adrian Pelletier. Offered under CC0 licensing, Free Nature Stock includes free-use nature video clips.
Free Range lives up to its slogan: “Great photos. Totally free.” No attribution is required, and all images are free to use under the “common-sense, plain language” of Equalicense. Like many free image sites, you’ll need to create a free account with Free Range to download images, which includes a wide selection of illustrations.
Artist Ryan McGuire uploads creative new high-resolution photos to Gratisography weekly, making it the source of some of the most charming and goofy stock photos on the Internet, all completely free of copyright restrictions. We love getting photos here!
Designer and photographer Tom Eversley offers thousands of free-use photos at ISO Republic. Searchable by keyword, category, and popular tags, ISO Republic includes free-use video clips, and while no attribution is required for any downloads per the ISO Republic license, attribution is appreciated.
Graphic designer Jay Mantri’s stunning array of free-use photos are offered under CC0, meaning no attribution is required. Mantri only has one request, as stated on his homepage: “Do anything. Make magic.” To get started, just click on a photo.
Life of Pix
“Handmade with love” by LEEROY Creative Agency, Life of Pix offers free high-resolution photos by its impressive roster of contributing photographers. As the sister site to Life of Vids (which offers free videos, clips and loops), Life of Pix can be a bit tricky to navigate, but the quality of the photos are definitely worth it.
Magdeleine photos fall under two licenses: CC0 – Public Domain and Attribution Required. You can filter photos according to license group by clicking on Browse on the homepage, then clicking on the license filter choice on the menu on the right-hand side of the page.
Founded by designer Jeffrey Betts, MMT offers both free photos and videos under CC0 license. Searchable by keyword or collections, MMT photos can also be found according to tags or colors.
Founded in 1996 as a free-use image exchange between creative professionals and teachers, Morguefile now has over 350,000 free stock photos. Searchable by keyword, Morguefile images have an authenticity often lost in other stock image sites, and there’s no sign-up requirement to grab one. Just find the photo you want and click the Download button.
“Stunning” describes the overall collection of photos found at Pexels. Searchable by keyword, as well as general categories found under the Explore tab, Pexels includes a large library of high-quality stock video clips. To grab a free photo or video, you just click on it then click Free Download, and no attribution is required.
Picography’s collection of photos are free to use under CC0 licensing. Searchable by keyword or category, Picography’s library of high-resolution images simply involves finding the photo you want and clicking Download the Free Photo.
With over 100,000 rights-free and CC0 images, Pikwizard includes hundreds of high-quality pictures of people, which tends to be rare in free stock photo sites. You can search the entire Pikwizard library by keyword or you can scroll to the bottom of any page find thematic groups of photos, including over 780 images rightly labelled as “awesome.”
Pixabay features over 1.6 million photos, illustrations and videos, offered royalty-free under Pixabay’s usage license, which does not require attribution. Pixabay doesn’t require registration to use their free images. If you choose not to register, you have to do a CAPTCHA (one of those boxes with the warped characters you have to type to prove you’re a human) every time you download something.
Public Domain Pictures
Public Domain Pictures offers high-resolution CC0 images through Premium Download, which requires you to register with the site. Smaller CC0 images are quickly available by clicking the Free Download button. Public Domain Pictures also converts to other languages.
Curated by developer and designer Henry Reyes, Realistic Shots adds seven new photos every week to its collection of free high-resolution images, which have a natural, authentic look. All images are offered under CC0 licensing and attribution is not required.
SkitterPhoto is a collection of CC0 photos, all submitted directly to the website by contributors rather than collected from other sources. Searchable by keyword or category, Skitterphoto is a great source for photos you might not have seen on other free stock photo sites, and there’s no sign-up to the service. Just find the photo you want and click the Download button.
StockSnap.io offers a wide selection of high-resolutions curated from around the web and added weekly. Searchable by keyword or category, StockSnap.io photos are offered under CC0 licensing.
Photographer Ed Gregory offers his sizable and unique library of attractive Stokpic photos for free use without attribution.
The simple, clean design of the Streetwill website compliments its wide offering of free photos, vintage in appearance and all offered under CC0 licensing, meaning no attribution is required.
Unsplash encourages visitors to “make something awesome” with its collection of over 850,000 free “do-whatever-you-want” high-resolution photos. According to the Unsplash usage license, you do not need to credit photographers, although credit as always appreciated.