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When you’re creating a video, one of the biggest challenges can be finding high-quality images to use. So we’ve put together a list of 31 sites with gorgeous stock photography, public domain images, and free video clips to help you find the right material for your next Animoto video. Take a look:

5 sites to get you started

Most of the sites listed below have images labeled cc0, meaning the photographer has waived their rights to the image. Translation? You can use these images and even change them in (almost) whatever way you want as long, as you don’t try to redistribute or sell the original work as your own. Just be sure to read all the fine print and use your judgement in using any kind of image that’s not your own.

  1. Pixabay: This huge site has hundreds of thousands images that are 100 percent public domain. It offers not only images, but vector graphics, illustrations, and short video clips like the one below.
    Use for: Education, Commercial, Personal
    License: cc0
    Pixabay
  2. Unsplash: This site offers high-quality images and lots of ‘em. Photos are arranged in collections, or you can use an easy search tool. For inspiration, check out their “Made with Unsplash” page.
    Use for: Education, Commercial, Personal
    License: cc0
    Unsplash
  3. Flickr: The Commons: The Commons compiles images with no known copyright restrictions from museums, libraries, and individuals  all over the world, including The Smithsonian, the New York Public Library, and the British Museum. Users can also upload images they own to Flickr under a cc0 license, and you can find these images through the Commons as well.
    Use for: Education, Personal, Research
    License: Images are “reasonably concluded” to be in the public domain; however, users should check with the source of the image to make sure they can post the image publicly.
    Flickr: The Commons
  4. Madeleine: This beautifully-designed collection makes it easy to find the right photo, either by color, category, license type, or a simple keyword search.
    Use for: Education, Commercial, Personal
    License: Most listed as cc0 (licenses listed with individual images)
    Magdeleine
  5. Animoto: Though you can always upload your own images and video clips to Animoto, we also have a selection of stock images and videos, courtesy of iStock, that you can access at the bottom of the “Add Pictures and Videos” screen.
    Use for: Education, Commercial, Personal
    License: Available for use in Animoto videos.

    Use Animoto stock images

Other stock image/video sites to check out

All sources below are cc0 unless otherwise indicated. But be sure to double check the license of any photo you download to make sure you can use the image the way you want to:

  1. Life of Pics: A large stock image site that also has a sister site, Life of Vids, with stock video clips.
     
  2. Pexels: Features 50 new photos a day and Pexels Video with free, video clips.
     
  3. Burst: Well-shot images curated especially for entrepreneurs by Shopify.
     
  4. Kaboompics: Beautiful, professional photographs with eye-catching composition.
     
  5. PicNoi: A site focused on providing stock images featuring people of color.
     
  6. Food Shot: Mouthwatering stock images of food.
     
  7. Gratisography: Traditional as well as whimsical and urban-themed images.
     
  8. Stocksnap: Highly polished images with a broad scope.
     
  9. Free Range Stock: A wide variety of photos, illustrations, and textures.
     
  10. Jay Mantri: Beautiful images — you won’t have to look long to find something you like.
     
  11. Realistic Shots: An emphasis on business-themed images and nature photography.
     
  12. Barn Images: Features more than 1000 beautiful photos that you won’t see elsewhere.
     
  13. MMT: Nature, workplace, and urban photographs by pro photographer Jeffrey Betts.
     
  14. Skitterphoto: Nice selection of images straight from the photographers who shot them.
     
  15. Mitch Martinez: A director of photography offering stunning stock video clips.
    License: Attribution is required if your video contains credits. Commercial users should contact Mitch to obtain a release before use.
     
  16. Videvo: The world’s largest source for free cinematic video clips and motion graphics..
    License: cc0 or Videvo license, linked at left (licenses are listed with individual video clips)
     
  17. FindA.Photo: A stock image search engine that lets you search by color, subject, or photographer.
    License: Check individual images to determine licensing.
     
  18. Snapwire: Posts 7 images per week with an emphasis on “authentic” photography
    License: Most listed as cc0 (licenses listed with individual images)
     
  19. Public Domain Pictures: The site includes clipart and textures in addition to its many photos.
    License: Most listed as cc0 (licenses listed with individual images)
     
  20. Nature Stock: Specializes in nature photography.
    License: Most listed as cc0 (licenses listed with individual images)
     
  21. New Old Stock: Culls pictures from public archives, mixing everyday images with photos of celebrities.
    License: Images believed to be in the public domain — double check before using.
     
  22. Reuseable Art: “Vintage drawings, paintings, and illustrations have been rescued from old print materials.”
    License: Images should be out of copyright (at least in the U.S.)
     
  23. Wikimedia Commons: Contains photographs, illustrations, and videos related to a variety of topics, including
    science, history, the arts, and almost anything else.
    License: Images believed to be in the public domain — double check before using.
     
  24. NASA: Your go-to site for images of the great vastness of space, or the equipment we use to visit it.
    License: Most images are public domain. A few are not and it’s best to check if you’re looking to use images for commercial purposes.
     
  25. The Smithsonian Institute: This resource has 1.4 million media files online, including records from just about every period in American history.
    License: Most content has no known copyright restrictions, though not all — it’s best to check the copyright status before using (this is easier to do on their Flickr account).
     
  26. The Public Domain Review: An interesting selection of images, films, audio files, and books in the public domain.
    License: Licenses vary, though many of the files are cc0.
     
  27. Europeana Labs: Links to more than 40 million records, including historical images and photographs related to European history.
    License: Many assets on this site are cc0, though attribution is encouraged.
     
  28. The Library of Congress: Many resources in the public domain, including its collection of maps and portraits of American Presidents.
    License: Not all images are public domain. Check the detailed image descriptions for copyright information.

Know of a source for public domain images that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below. Or if you’ve created an amazing video with stock photography, show us on Facebook or Twitter by tagging @Animoto.

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