The Best Royalty Free Image Sites
Have you ever needed photos for presentations, websites, or a blog, but had trouble finding good images that you didn’t have to pay to use? If you simply use Google to find images, it could lead to a lawsuit due to the image’s license terms. Fortunately, there are many royalty free image sites that might just come to the rescue.
This article will review 10 of the best royalty free image sites.
With Unsplash you can download, copy, customize, distribute, and use photos for free. The images can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes with no permission needed. However, photos can’t be sold unless adapted, and you can’t use them for a competing service.
This is one of the best sites out there and the photos are of the highest quality. Sign up for Unsplash+ to receive members only content, such as exclusive new content every month and enhanced legal protection. For a one-off fee you get everything, with no bundles or add-0ns.
- Easy to use
- Searching for a specific image can be complex
On Pikwizard, photos can be used for personal and business purposes, royalty-free. There are over 1 million high quality images and videos to choose from, so you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for. They have an image editor and a free design wizard feature, where you can add fonts, logos, and customize color palettes.
- Great for traditional photos
- Easily find images
- Not all images are free
Stocksnap.io offers images that are free to download, edit, and use. You won’t find these photos anywhere else. The site’s motto is “not to be some shitty stock photo site.” Get Pro and you can contribute photos and save favorites, along with other features.
You can submit images for approval, but you’re limited to only five. Authors are identified and there’s a link back to their profile. The site also has a tag-based category system to browse and locate images easily.
- Searching for photos is easy
- Great choice of images
- Limited to only five images
There’s is large database of over 4 million images on Pixabay. These photos are unrestricted for use, even for selected commercial uses. All images are free, but you may still have to get permission to use photos with logos or brands. Note that you do need to be a registered user to access the photos.
You can also find videos and music on Pixabay. These images are stunning. There are curated collections, which makes it easy to find photos for holidays or specific images you’re looking for. The images are free, but they allow users to make donations to contributors.
- Wide choice of resources to choose from
- Donations can be made to contributors
- You need to register in order to access images
You can download and use photos on Pexels for free. Furthermore, you’re able to customize and edit the images for your own use. If you create an account, you’ll get a variety of features including the option to follow photographers, create collections, contribute photos, and have a curated homepage.
- High-quality images
- Curated homepage
- Advanced image search is lacking
PicJumbo is great if you’re working on big projects. There are lots of free photos to choose from on the site, but you can also get new images if you sign up for their newsletter. Plus, you have the option of buying a premium package that includes 50+ new images sent to your email each month, new collections monthly, and plugins for Photoshop. There’s also a loyalty bonus of three fonts with commercial license for free after one month of membership.
- Offers free and premium packages
- Great selection of free photos
- Images are mostly business focused
Flickr is an image hosting platform that allows you to use photos for commercial purposes. You can refashion the images, and the filter function for “licenses” allows you to find photos that are free of charge. Many of the photos are one-of-a-kind. You can sign up for Flickr Commons, but at present they’re only open to cultural heritage institutions. Flickr PRO features ad-fee browsing, unlimited uploads, and advanced stats on your photos.
- Original images
- Third-party tools available to improve your photos
- Flickr Commons is only accepting photos from cultural heritage institutions
Life of Pix
Life of Pix is a smaller platform. There are some photos for free, but the site partners with Adobe Stock to provide many of the images. What’s more, you can only acquire for a fee. However, photographers can donate their work and make it free for creators.
- High quality images
- Site dedicated to free videos
- Can be difficult to find a specific image
Canva is an online graphic design tool. You can get over 1 million stock photos for free and are able to customize them. You can then post them on your blog, YouTube, Instagram, etc. There’s also a paid Canva Pro option, which helps you produce higher quality content and features a brand kit, background remover, and more.
- Easy to use
- High-resolution photos
- Free photos difficult to find
Photographs from Getty Images can be used on non-commercial websites for free, you just need to embed them first. You can’t just download the image and upload it without embedding it. However, if you have a blog this option might work for you. There’s also an option to buy premium access, where you’ll get more images and videos, collaborative tools, and have the ability to select usage rights.
- High quality images
- Great premium option
- Expensive if you can’t find the images you want for free
What are royalty free images?
These photos and other forms of media have a copyright owner who licenses the property but doesn’t sell ownership. This allows you to use the images for whatever you wish for free in most cases, but a small fee may occasionally be charged. You’ll be able to use the photos on social media, YouTube videos, billboards, etc. The images are non-exclusive so others can use them at the same time as you.
What is copyright?
Copyright protects original authorship. It also grants the owner the right to allow others to implement the same rights, as long as there are no legal limitations.
What is Creative Commons?
It’s a non-profit organization that allows people to share and use several types of media for free with licenses called Creative Common licenses. These allow the original creators to choose different permissions while still keeping their copyrights.
What is Creative Commons Zero?
This is a no copyright reserved option, which means relinquishing all copyrights that you hold on a work and dedicating those rights to the public. Exclusive rights are automatically granted to creators and can be used for business or personal projects. They can’t be sold on their own.
Finding the Right Image
Royalty free images are a great option to use for any of your personal or business projects. But don’t use any old picture from the internet without first checking that you’re legally entitled to do so. Even if an image is labelled with a Creative Commons License, it might still have certain restrictions.
Have you ever used royalty free images? If so, were you happy with the results? Let us know in the comments section below.