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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Finding and Using Images

This guide introduces resources which can help you search for images to use in your projects and research.

Stock Photos

Stock photos don't contain specific artworks, people, or places, but can help you tell a story. Using images in your presentation can help to keep your audience more engaged. Corbis and Getty are the two most well known stock photography sites, but you will need to license their images. The two most common types of licenses are royalty free and rights managed. Royalty free in this context does not mean that the image is free to use or in the public domain, but rather it is free of royalties (paying each time you use an image). This chart helps to explain license types. However, there are many sites that offer stock photos and clip art for free. Below are several examples.


  • Burst:  Free stock photos powered by Shopify
  • Everystockphoto: The advanced search allows you to limit your search by license type
  • Gratisography: All images taken by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design, and free of copyright restrictions
  • IM Free: A curated collection of free resources, organized by categories 
  • Life of Pix: New pictures added weekly. Gallery is browsable by categories, such as beaches or construction
  • pixabay: Searchable and browsable public domain images made available by users across the globe
  • SplitShire: A collection of free-to-use photos taken by web designer Daniel Nanescu
  • Superfamous Studios: Photographs are available under a Creative Commons 3.0 license, and are the work of Folkert Gorter
  • Unsplash: Ten new images are released every ten days. Users may subscribe to stay on top of new content

Paid Upgrade:

  • Freedigitalphotos: "Genuinely free photos" with the option to buy higher resolution images
  • iStock: A product of Getty images. Users may purchase credits to obtain stock photos
  • Picjumbo: A collection of photos browsable by category 
  • Stock.xchng: In the drop down menu that says "Restricted OK," be sure to select "NO" to find images that you can use

Clip Art Archive of royalty-free vector clipart in the public domain

PDclipart: Public Domain clipart in browseable categories