The continuing growth of visual platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, confirm that incorporating visual content into your social media strategy is a must. Not only do these platforms drive more traffic and shares, research has shown that tweets and Facebook posts with images encourage more engagement. Don’t be tempted to use an image you have sourced from a Google search unless the image is licensed “Creative Commons”. If you are looking for free high-quality images to use in your content strategy, here are my go-to sources.

When Can You Use Images?


  • You’ve taken the photo yourself.
  • You’ve received written permission from the photographer to use the image.
  • The photo is in the Public Domain (copyright expired).
  • The photo has a Creative Commons license.
  • You purchase royalty-free photos

If you’re looking for free high-quality images to use in your content strategy, here are some of my go-to sources.


  • Foter hosts over 220 million free Creative Commons images from many online sources and the entire system is also available as a WordPress plugin for seamless use within the WordPress platform.
  • FoodiesFeed hosts over 1000 free food pictures.
  • Free Nature Stock hosts royalty free nature stock photos.
  • Pixabay hosts over 650,000 free stock photos, vectors, and art illustrations free of copyrights under Creative Commons. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.
  • Unsplash gives you access to a bank of 50,000+ free-to-use photos . No attribution is required.
  • StockSnap hosts photos released under Creative Commons and do not require attribution.
  • The New York Public Library collections. This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

Where do you source images? Can you add to this list with your recommendations? 


You might also like to read: Let’s Get Visual With Social Media 


Bonus Tip Finding Images To Use Online provides a comprehensive list of image sources.