Photos play a huge part in web design from major elements in the layout to product images and photos within pages or blog posts. We don't always have the time or resources to hire a photographer and so we can turn to stock photos.
When choosing an image to use on your website, you need to make certain that the image(s) you use have the correct licenses to ensure you don't get hit with copyright infringement. What does this mean? Basically, you can't do a Google image search and grab anything you find on there.
About image licenses?
You want to make certain that the photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
Here's some of the free sites that we like to use:
Over 960,000 free images and videos you can use anywhere. All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0
Each of the high-quality photographs you find here has been taken by a photographer from the NegativeSpace community. They have something for everybody, so be sure to check out their various categories.
The Unsplash license allows for photographs to be used for any purpose — both commercial and personal. Blogs, art, book covers, tshirts, and more — paid or unpaid — they’re all allowed under the license. They recommend giving a credit/link back to the original photographer if possible, but it's not mandatory.
All photos on Pexels are free for any personal and commercial purpose. The only restriction is that identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive, unless they give their consent. You should also make sure the depicted content (people, logos, private property, etc.) is suitable for your application and doesn't infringe any rights.
New Old Stock
Vintage photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions. No search available on the site.