Download Free Clip Art and Stock Photos

Category: Photography , Webmaster

If you're a student working on a school project, a volunteer creating a brochure, or a webmaster for a personal or non-profit website, you need clip art images, icons and stock photos to make it look professional. But your budget is limited, or zero. Fortunately, the Internet is a treasure trove of free artwork and photography. Some can even be used for commercial uses as well. Here's where to look for free clipart and stock photos...

Where Can I Find Free Clip Art and Stock Photos?

The world can never have too much free art, can it? In my previous article Free Clip Art, I listed a bunch of websites where you can find free artwork, images, photos, as well as free software for drawing and image editing. I've also written about Where to Download Free Fonts. But wait... there's more! Here are a dozen more unique sources of free clip art and stock photos.

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular suites for producing newsletters, brochures, annual reports, etc. The Office suite comes with a clip art library, but Microsoft also offers a large online library of clip art images, photos, illustrations, animations, and even sounds. The files are in standard formats; you don't need Office to use them.

The University of South Florida hosts the ClipArt Etc Collection. These are not cartoons, but very elegant black-and-white images reminiscent of antique woodcuts. Over 66,000 images are organized by academic topic, and they're all free for non-commercial use. USF also offers ClipPix ETC, a collection of photos for student reports, art projects, school websites, and teaching aids. Teachers and students may use up to 25 free photos in non-commercial projects.

Free stock photos

The Teacher Files site has a page full of links to educational clip art including a sign-generator. You can type in your own text and download a custom sign.

Over 25,000 free images, animated GIFs, backgrounds, icons, and other clip art await you at If you don't find what you need here, click through to the site's affiliate,, where a flat-rate $12.95 subscription will buy you a week's worth of downloading from a library of nearly 8 million items. Longer term subscriptions are available as well. is a large library of vector and raster clip art, with some stock photos mixed in. Clip art can be downloaded in PNG (low, med, hi), SVG, or even ODG formats. You can also upload your own creations, but not those of other artists.

Free Stock Photo Sites

MorgueFile was created in 1996 by a community of creative design professionals. Fortunately, it's nothing like the name implies. The site hosts nearly 10,000 pages with 24 stock photos per page. Categories include Business, Sports, Nature, Textures, Scenes, Objects, Animals, and People. The photos are of fairly high quality, too. MorgueFile has a unique license for those who wish to use photos found on the site. You are free to use the images, without cost, even for commercial purposes, and without attribution. The only catch is that you can't use MorgueFile photos "exactly as is" without modifying them in some way. So adapt, remix, crop, rotate, add a border or whatever it takes to make it unique, and it's yours.

RGBStock has over 80,000 photos that are free for both personal and commercial use. Use them on your website, blog, brochure, book and other types of projects. There are a few usage restrictions, so check out the license and terms of use before downloading.

Kozzi offers free "unlimited" high quality photos, clipart and even video clips. All content is created by professionals employed by Kozzi, and is exclusive to the site. Kozzi is completely free for personal uses such as school projects, scrapbooking, personal websites, posting on Facebook, and basically anything non-commercial. Commercial users can pay $44.95 for one month of access, allowing 5 image downloads per day. Other plans are also available.

Here's a new site that offers free stock photos, for both personal and commercial purposes. The over 100,000 images at StockPhotosForFree are not high-res, but should be good enough for most online purposes. Most photos on this website are still frames from HD videos, but the proprietors are also adding high-resolution photos from professional photographers. is a sharing community for photographers. Commercial use is permitted, but the photos provided online are not of the highest resolution. If you need high-rez versions, you can buy them. Apparently, such sales keep photographers contributing to this site. is a shareware stock photo site. Photographers upload their pics (over 39,000 so far) and you can download them free of charge. Donations are accepted and split with the photographers.

Previously, I highlighted several excellent free online photo editors. Even if you have image software on your hard drive, you should check out these alternatives that run in any web browser. No download or installation required, and you'll be amazed at what you can do with a few clicks!

In closing, keep in mind that most clip art and stock photos found using a general purpose search engine are copyrighted, and will either require a royalty payment, or be free only for non-commercial use. Using copyrighted or licensed images without permission and/or payment can bring you trouble. Don't assume that an image can be freely used unless you download from a site that specifically states the licensing terms.

Do you have a great site for free photos and clip art? Post your comment or question below...

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Posted by on 14 May 2013

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Most recent comments on "Download Free Clip Art and Stock Photos"

Posted by:

Mary Axford
14 May 2013

I am the co-author of a blog. The blog is free, there's no charge for it, though we hope to use it for purposes of proving professional development for our jobs. For the purposes of licenses that specify only non-commercial uses, does our blog count as non-commercial, even though it can be viewed by anyone with net access?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Generally, "non-commercial" means you're not running a for-profit business. Whether it's a public website or not has no bearing.

Posted by:

25 May 2013

Good Day!
I would like to ask if you can add my clip art website to your list of free clip art websites. I would really appreciate it. Thank you.


Posted by:

Jay Simmons
24 Sep 2013

Thank you for paying attention to
Rgbstock is growing quickly and has more the 90,000 totally free stock photos on line at the moment.

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