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3 Platforms where to Find Free Stock Images

We’ve all heard the old adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. But have you ever wondered why? Visualization works from a human perspective because we respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

That’s why illustrating content is vital for grabbing attention and getting your message across. But sometimes, a diagram is not always sufficient to convey an idea or to transmit an emotion.

Where to find those images if you don’t have enough visual materials? Of course, platforms such as iStock (by Getty Images) and Shutterstock exist, but their content is not free.

Luckily, there are alternatives. I’ve compiled a shortlist of the 3 sites with free stock photos I’m using to illustrate my content.


Unsplah is my default goto platform to find free stock images to illustrate my content. It’s hard to explain why: maybe it’s because images look more natural than traditional stock images (they don’t look false)? Because they are shot and shared by photographers that know how to craft photos to create emotion?

Looking for a free photos to illustrate security

The photos on Unsplash are free to use and can be used for most commercial, personal projects, and for editorial use. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More info: Unsplash License.


With almost 2 millions images available, Pixabay is definitively one of the major players in that area. Another big advantage of Pixabay is that they also offer free vectors and illustrations.

Almost 2 millions of stock images on Pixabay

All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes.

Learn more on Pixabay.


Pexels is another great collection of free stock photos: they even provide free stock videos!

Pexels is another great collection of free stock photos and videos!

All photos and videos on Pexels can be downloaded and used for free. You can have a look to the license to understand what is allowed or not.

My Own Photos

Finally, I also sometimes use some of my pictures, taken over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, I don’t shoot as often as I would like…If you’re interested, you can have a look at my portfolio on 500px.com/romain.



Staff Technical Product Manager, technologist with 16+ years of Networking and Security experience in Data Center, Public Cloud & Virtualization (VMs and Containers). He is a double VCDX (DCV and NV, #120), VCDX panelist, frequent VMUG/VMworld speaker and contributor to the community via this blog or social media (follow him on Twitter @woueb).