Our add-in suite will make MS Office easy, efficient and brand compliant.


Our add-in for MS PowerPoint with a slide library, corporate design check and productivity tools


Our add-in for MS PowerPoint to create professional charts like waterfall and gantt charts in no time


Our add-in for MS Word to create consistent documents with all legal information up-to-date


Our add-in for MS Outlook to manage email signatures for enterprises


Our add-in for MS Excel to create highly professional Excel spreadsheets in no time


Integrate empower® with your existing applications


Learn more about our clients and their success stories


Get practical office tips, inspirational stories, and exclusive market assessments of the MS Office world


Find MS Office related guides, e-books, whitepapers, videos, infografics and more 


Our empower® Best Practice Series shows empower use cases in short 15min videos


Download our global PowerPoint Study conducted by GfK and learn howPowerPoint is used in corporations


Our support is always there for you. You can also reach out to our Help Center. 


Learn about our values and why we get out of bed every morning


Find out more about our very unique relationship with Microsoft


An overview of the press releases about empower


Contact us at any time if you have any questions or feedback


Find out now about the most important reasons for a career with us! Apply now!

10 free stock photo sources for PowerPoint presentations

Theresa Spiller
November 3, 2020

Are you looking for free stock photos for your PowerPoint presentations? In this article we highlight 10 free stock photo sources, so you can quickly find a source of free images that suits you. Images from these stock photo providers may be used freely for personal, editorial, or commercial purposes. In addition to our list of free stock photo providers, we will show you a faster way to insert pictures in PowerPoint presentations.

Stock photo sources with free images

There are a growing number of websites with thousands of impressive free stock photos appearing all over the Internet. And you need not spend anything. Here are the most popular providers of free images.

10 free stock photo sources for PowerPoint presentations

Top 10 providers of free stock photos

  1. Unsplash
  2. Gratisographay
  3. Pixabay
  4. Pexels
  5. picjumbo
  6. Burst
  7. StockSnap
  8. Foodiesfeed
  9. Life of Pix
  10. SplitShire

1. Unsplash

  • Thousands of new pictures every day 
  • Modern and youthful style
  • High and consistent quality
  • More than 250,000 photos
  • Unsplash iOS App
  • License: CC0


Information about Unsplash?

One of the best-known websites for royalty-free images is Unsplash. It offers a large collection of free high-resolution photos and has become one of the best sources for stock photos. You will not find the average "stock photos" here. The content is donated by experienced photographers and some of them are real unique pieces. The Unsplash team combs through new submissions and presents the best photos on their homepage.

The Unsplash search function is the fastest way to find a picture. In addition, collections offer a way to view sorted content. For example, you can find pictures on specific topics such as nature, office, work, and more. It is even possible to create your own collections after you have created your own account. Custom folders are useful for collecting inspiration and resources for a project, for example.

Which license model does Unsplash use?

All photos on the site can be copied, modified, distributed, and used under the CC0 license, mostly without asking permission or mentioning names. However, Unsplash suggests that you voluntarily credit the photographer and as a courtesy add a simple link back to a photographer's Unsplash profile. For example: "the picture shown here was taken by Max Mustermann."

Unsplash directly integrates into PowerPoint – with empower®!

The PowerPoint add-In empower® slides offers the possibility to search for Unsplash images within PowerPoint. Through our unique Unsplash integration, you can search for Unsplash images, icons, and more directly in PowerPoint, and insert them immediately. If you want to fill an image placeholder, the empower® library opens with the integrated Unsplash search.  You can try out a free trial version of empower® slides at any time and test the advantages yourself. If you are interested or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

stock library in PowerPoint


Icon library in PowerPoint

2. Gratisography

  • High-resolution and high-contrast photos
  • New photos weekly
  • Unique photos
  • More than 500 specialty photos
  • Fun-loving style
  • License: CC0


Information about Gratisography?

Gratisography is the world's weirdest collection of high resolution free stock photos, by photographer and graphic designer Ryan McGuire. His photos often have a surreal touch and offer a good change when you cannot stand to see yet more boring, clichéd stock photo. They fit perfectly into Instagram posts or visual communications aimed at a young audience. Gratisography may not have as much content as some other free stock photo websites, but McGuire's creative eye balances this out and he adds new images every week.

Which licensing model does Gratisography use?

Gratisography uses a custom license, similar to Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which is free of copyright restrictions. Again, it is not necessary to mention McGuire when you use his work, but he appreciates it if you do.

3. Pixabay

  • Photos, vectors, videos, and illustrations
  • Nearly 2 million public domain images
  • Clearly arranged website
  • License: CC0


Information about Pixabay?

Pixabay is a community of photographers who have uploaded a huge collection of public domain photos, illustrations, vectors, and even a handful of videos. The quality of the photos is not consistently high but the more than 1 million files are updated regularly so you can usually find new and less-used images. The selection of landscape photographs is particularly large and the "Editor's Choice" is worth a look if you do not have anything specific in mind. Otherwise, the content is a bit more focused on business and marketing, which can often be helpful for content marketers and bloggers.

Despite a lot of content, Pixabay is easy to navigate. Pixabay's picture search is in German as well as English. You can browse by photographer, camera type, and "Editor's Choice". Even better: You can filter by orientation, category, size, and color. When you download the images you want, you can also specify file size (print projects require a much higher resolution than online projects).

Which license model does Pixabay use?

Pixabay employs a proprietary license agreement that allows commercial use for both digital and printed materials without the need for attribution, similar to CC0, but introduces a sensitive-use clause that restricts redistribution and resale of unmodified images. Pixabay also strongly reminds you to check that the content displayed on the images does not infringe any rights.

4. Pexels

  • Fast search results
  • Current pictures
  • Professional website
  • Apps and Photoshop plugin
  • 6,000 photos
  • License: CC0


Information about Pexels?

With this provider you will find a wide variety of stock photos, and they have free videos that you can use. Some pictures are kind of cheesy but the vast majority are creative and original. One great feature they offer is a Leaderboard tab that allows you to see the contributors with the most views of their photos. Beyond the Leaderboard search function, you can search for something specific or browse other topics. All photos are tagged, searchable, and easy to find. Pexels is a particularly good choice for web or app designers as it includes an excellent selection of device images that are ideal for displaying mockups.

Which license model does Pexels use?

Pexel uses the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. You can use and modify the images free of charge for both commercial and personal use without attribution. Pexels also has its own license, which defines what you can and cannot do with the images.

5. picjumbo

  • Commercial images
  • Premium content for Insta-stories
  • 2,500 photos
  • License: CC0


Information about picjumbo?

At picjumbo you can download a huge selection of royalty-free images in a summarized folder. Every day they add new photos in a variety of categories such as abstract, fashion, nature, technology, and much more. picjumbo offers many high-quality images and premium content - it even contains vertical images for story content. The plugins for Photoshop are very nice.

picjumbo is run by a 24 year old photographer who was tired of his photos being rejected by the big stock sites and decided to start his own website. Today the site is one of the most popular stock sites.

Which license model does picjumbo use?

picjumbo relies on the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. You can use the content freely for commercial projects.

6. Burst by Shopify

  • Very commercial
  • Stylish pictures
  • Modern website
  • Suitable for Shopify Accounts
  • License: CC0 and Shopify Photo


Information about Burst?

Burst's goal is to give entrepreneurs access to good images to help them develop better products, websites, and marketing campaigns. Most of the images are original photos taken in-house and revolve around modern business niches. You can also find more general photos, all in a very contemporary style covering topics such as lifestyle, fashion, technology, etc.

What licensing model does Burst use?

All images can be used freely, whether within Shopify or elsewhere. There are two licenses: some photos are under the Creative Commons License (CC0), while others are under the Shopify Photo License. Be sure to check the license for each image. There are no copyright restrictions other than a compilation prohibition.

7. StockSnap

  • Very good search function
  • High-resolution images
  • New pictures weekly
  • Suitable for blogs
  • License: CC0


Information about StockSnap?

This site is really an insider tip for royalty-free pictures that are otherwise hard to find or expensive to pay for elsewhere. The library is built on user contributions and all images are free. StockSnap is especially suitable for social media and blogging as well as for advertising and other commercial purposes.

A well thought-out search function allows you to browse through many categories and images. Some topics include companies, people, office space, fashion, landscape, animals, and much more.

Which license model does StockSnap use?

StockSnap uses the Creative Commons license CC0. Photos from StockSnap can be downloaded, edited, and used for commercial and non-commercial projects for free.

8. Foodiesfeed

  • Free source for food images
  • Diversified within one topic
  • German and English language search function
  • Food groups
  • License: CC0


Information about Foodiesfeed?

Foodiesfeed is, as the name suggests, a collection of free food images that do not look like stiff, fake food stock photos. Their photos show everything from baristas and people cooking to carefully arranged meals and products. Foodiesfeed is the perfect stock photo provider for food bloggers with high resolution images.

Which license model uses Foodiesfeed?

Foodiesfeed uses the Creative Commons Zero license (CC0). All images are free to use, modify, and edit for commercial purposes.

9. Life of Pix

  • High resolution photos
  • Special designs
  • License: CC0
life of pix


Information about Life of Pix?

Life of Pix was created by the creative agency Leeroy and offers high-resolution photos. The content has a strong artistic feel and new images are added weekly. This provider also has free videos and a really appealing website. They have weekly competitions where the best photographers are awarded, so contributors continually upload high-quality images.

Which license model does Life of Pix use?

CC0: all files can be downloaded and used completely free of charge. All photos are in the public domain, i.e. not subject to copyright. This allows free use for commercial purposes without the need to mention them, but the provider prohibits mass distribution.

10. SplitShire



Information about SplitShire?

SplitShire is definitely a top tip for royalty-free images, with more than 1,000 free stock photos and free video content. This unique collection of the photography by Daniel Nanescu offers high-quality content that you will not find anywhere else. The The photos are artistic, trendy, and professional quality with great commercial value, ideal for websites, ads, blog posts, or artistic projects.

Which license model does Splitshire use?

Similar to other providers, Splitshire uses the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License - free use for commercial purposes with a sensitive-usage clause. You cannot resell images as downloaded: you must modify the image for resale.

Beware a common mistake when using free images in PowerPoint presentations!

mistakes free images


Are you looking for free images on Google that are available for royalty-free download for use in your blog posts, PowerPoint presentations, or social media content? If so, be sure to avoid a common mistake.

Using random photos from the Internet can quickly lead to litigation. All images on the Web are protected by copyright. Even if the copyright is not mentioned, you should assume that it is. Using these images without a license is illegal. There are cases, for example, where fines have been levied for using an image without a license.


Short note on licenses

As mentioned above, you should observe the license terms for images from the Internet. Although all mentioned photo libraries are cost- and royalty-free images. Always read the license terms and observe the license for every image. After that you should be able to copy, modify, distribute, and use free images without restriction, even for commercial purposes.

Almost all free stock providers use the Creative Commons Zero license (CC0).

The CC0 license allows copyright holders to share their works without any restrictions. This means that you can copy, adapt, or distribute the images - even for commercial purposes - without having to ask for the author's permission.


Wich stock photos cost money?

iStockphoto (Getty Images), Adobe Stock and Shutterstock are the most popular sites for paid stock photos. These providers offer a large selection of different images. But with a little effort you can find these kinds of photos at royalty-free providers. If you are still unsure about the use of royalty-free images, you can buy images, including licenses, from these providers. In the long run this can be quite expensive, so you should take a look at free stock photo providers.

Inserting images efficiently into PowerPoint presentations:

Now that you have found the perfect image, you want to include it in your PowerPoint presentation. Regardless of which stock photo provider you use, you should save your images optimized for the web or your PowerPoint presentation so that your homepage / presentation always loads quickly.

Brief instructions on how to insert images easily into your presentation:

Step 1: Select a slide template

Decide which slide you want to use the image in, and select the appropriate layout template.

select template


Step 2: Use image placeholders

Click on the image icon in the middle of the image placeholder in PowerPoint to open your image collection. empower® slides opens the photo gallery on the right side of the PowerPoint window, including Unsplash integration.

image placeholder


Step 3: Insert the image

Select the image and click on Insert. Now your image appears inside the image placeholder.

empower image library


With empower® slides you can choose from an Image Library and the Unsplash stock Library.

change Stock image
stock library in PowerPoint


Step 4: Adjust image size

If the image does not fit exactly in the placeholder, you can adjust the image size.

adjust image size


Efficient search and free use of stock photos

There are a lot of amazing pictures out there. We hope that this article has helped you find the right sources of free images and that you will be able to insert and adjust them in the right place in your presentation. You may also want to read our article about how to create a world map easily in PowerPoint for free

We have integrated Unsplash directly into PowerPoint and will integrate even more providers of royalty-free images in the future. In addition to stock photo integration, empower® slides offers many other smart functions that boost your productivity and effectiveness. If you would like to learn more about our PowerPoint solution empower® slides, please visit our "empower® slides" webpage. On our "Get started" page you can also talk directly to our experts or request a demo.


PowerPoint Expert Hacks

You May Also Like

These Stories on PowerPoint

Subscribe by Email