Sheila B Robinson on Fantastically Free Photo Sites for Your Projects

Hello All! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with a bunch of Rad Resources – free photo sites for all your evaluation projects and presentations.

In case you haven’t heard, cheesy stock photos are out! Show me a stock photo of an office setting and I guarantee someone in the photo will be wearing a light blue button-down shirt!

cheesy stock photo

You can easily find much more interesting photos!

Rad Resources: 

1.) – my favorite go-to site. It claims to be “the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.” It features an easily navigable interface and the ability to filter results by license type. The downside? There are so many photos here you can easily lose time searching and scrolling for the one that suits your project best. also has an app for mobile devices.

2.) – No need to worry about copyright or attributions here. “All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty-free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.” While features billions (yes!) of photos, has a mere 560,000. While that sounds like a lot, it means that won’t always have exactly what you’re looking for.

3.) – Another site with no copyright or attribution worries. “All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.” features a curated set of stunningly beautiful photos. What Unsplash lacks in number of photos, it makes up in quality. It also features a free subscription service where you receive 10 new images in your email box each week.

4.) Wikimedia Commons – Featuring 30+ million freely usable media files, Wikimedia Commons is huge, but takes some sorting through to find what you want. Be on the lookout for licenses, because while the site is free, licenses vary here. “Everyone is allowed to copy, use and modify any files here freely as long as they follow the terms specified by the author; this often means crediting the source and author(s) appropriately…”

5.) New York Public Library Public Domain Collections – Here’s the newcomer in the ring. “On January 6th, 2016, The New York Public Library made over 187K digital items in the public domain available for high resolution download.” Even with a smaller number of photos available, this collection is definition worth exploring. Try their visualization tool with images searchable by century created, genre, and even color!

Do an internet search for free photo sites, and you will find many, many more! Enjoy!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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