Free Downloadable Pictures

Michele Wanke

Computer users looking for images to use on their websites or as desktop wallpaper often search out free downloadable pictures. Thanks to millions of amateur and professional photographers from around the world, the Internet is teeming with royalty free photo sites that offer breathtaking images free of charge.

What to Know Before You Start Downloading

Free downloadable photo sites allow you to obtain images you wouldn't typically be able to gather with your own camera. In most cases, the use of the photos is 100 percent free. However, it is critical that you read the user policies posted on individual websites prior to downloading photos. The posted terms detail the agreement you enter into with each site. If you do not accept or agree to all of the terms stated in the company's written policy, you are not allowed to download any image or digital creation found on the site.

Generally, the terms of the policy address copyright issues. If you intend to use the free images featured on these websites for personal use, you should have no problem accepting the terms of the agreement. If you plan to use free images for commercial purposes, however, most free photo sites require that you credit the picture's source. In addition, the majority of these sites also prohibit the use of their photos on obscene, criminal or immoral material.

Types of Free Downloadable Pictures

The sky is the limit when it comes to the types of photos available for free downloading on the Internet. They include:

  • Animals
  • Fictional Characters
  • Vehicles
  • Food
  • Art
  • Landscapes
  • Landmarks
  • Holidays
  • Religious

Popular Royalty Free Photo Websites

The Internet provides access to hundreds of websites that specialize in free downloadable pictures. Some of the most popular sites include:

  • With more than 3,400 image categories, FreeFoto boasts the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet. The site is user-friendly, organized, and features hundreds of thousands of high quality color and black-and-white pictures. Non-commercial users are allowed to download images for free, while commercial users are subject to certain usage terms. The site also adds new images each week.
  • This site specializes in landscape photos taken in America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. More than 5,000 images are available on this site free of charge. Most BigFoto pictures are taken by amateur photographers who enjoy sharing their images with other Internet users.
  • The site boasts more than 600 million photos, including vast collections of celebrities, pets, sports, vehicles, landmarks and houses. Members can download amateur and professional images for free. The company offers two types of memberships: Free and premium. Free members are limited to downloading five professional pictures per day while members with premium status are able to download an unlimited amount of professional images for a small fee.
  • Freepixels offers thousands of free images for screensavers and wallpapers, including signs, flags, architecture, tools, electronics, landmarks, beverages and furniture.
  • This site is devoted to images of paintings and other art forms. The company allows free use of all images for private purposes. However, none of the pictures on the website can be sold or used for commercial projects without written consent from the site's owner.
  • Stock.XCHNG: This website features a huge image gallery containing more than 350,000 high quality pictures taken by nearly 30,000 photographers. The site caters to individuals who are looking for images to use on personal blogs and those with commercial websites. SXC is comprised of photographers who generously offer their works to those who need them free of charge. In addition, the site also allows other amateur shutterbugs the opportunity to share their photos by uploading images onto SXC galleries.

Choosing to Download Free Pictures

Most individuals don't have the ability to take a variety of high quality photos to use in school projects, church bulletins, cards, leaflets or programs. Downloading free pictures from the Internet is an affordable way to add illustrations to your personal projects. While most of these websites offer their images at no cost, it is important to read the fine print so you don't violate copyright laws.

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Free Downloadable Pictures