Top 15 sites to get royalty-free images

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Do pictures speak louder than words? Of course they do!

High quality free images on the internet are rare to find. Whether you’re running a blog, creating social media posts, or referencing images in your homework, you need high-quality images to upload and use as references. Most sites on the internet have a huge database of images, but they charge a decent amount to assign or upload them.

Shutterstock, the largest image distribution site, maintains a library of around 200 million royalty-free photos, vector graphics and illustrations, with around 10 million video clips and music tracks available for licensing . But what are the options if you don’t want to spend money on high quality images?

We’ve created a list to help you find some sites that have royalty-free images you can use.

1: Pexels

Pexels is the first on the list of websites that provide high quality, downloadable and completely free stock photos. All images are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which means the author has granted permission to share them for free on your blog, social media posts or elsewhere.

2: To burst

Burst is an image library resource from Spotify. Most of Burst’s images are licensed under CC0, but Spotify also keeps some under its own license. The platform was created to help designers, developers, and entrepreneurs with great stock photos that weren’t available on the internet otherwise. Images on the platform are mostly taken by Spotify’s global community of photographers.

3: Free stocks

Freestock is the site run by three passionate photographers who share beautiful stock footage on their site when they’re not hustling in their day-to-day work. The site collection is divided into several categories, such as people, nature, fashion, food and drink, etc. The site contains royalty-free images for commercial and personal projects under the CC0 license.

4: Pixabay

Pixabay calls itself a place for “great free images.” The site has a vibrant community of designers who share their amazing work without copyright. The Pixabay site is very well organized with a clear and intuitive search bar to navigate among more than 780,000 free photos, vectors and illustrations.

5: Stylized Stock

Styled Stock is an attractive site for any Instagrammer, blogger or entrepreneur. It offers free female stock photography in a minimalist style. Images are bright, crisp and as perfect as you’ve always wanted yours to be. Styled Stock’s collection is totally free for commercial and personal work.

6: SkitterPhoto

Skitterphoto is another site on the list that started as a hobby in 2014, by two amateur photographers, Groningen and Drenthe from the Netherlands. Later, Skitterphoto also started accepting contributions from photographers and now has thousands of photos on the site. All images are completely free to distribute and use.

7: Google image search

I know most of you must be wondering how free Google Image is, right? You can also get images for commercial use from Google search. On the search page, look for the menu below the search bar. Click on Tools and then on Usage Rights. You will see 5 types to choose from.

  • Not filtered by license
  • Tagged for reuse with modification
  • Labeled for reuse
  • Labeled for non-commercial reuse with modification
  • Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Choose “Tagged for reuse with modification”. You are allowed to freely use and modify these images and use them on commercial and personal sites.

8: Stocksnap

Stocksnap.io is another addition to our stock image platform. The site contains hundreds of high resolution images with a specific trending images section. You can also browse different categories to find the one that suits your needs.

9: Gratisography

Founded by Ryan McGuire, Gratisography isn’t just a stock market site. Here you will find the most eccentric collection of high resolution royalty free images, consisting of the best and most creative images in the world, designed by crazy designers. The collection on the site is totally crazy and yet totally free!

ten: Unsplash

Unsplash is a hidden treasure. This site has a huge collection of photos for almost every category. The collection is so beautiful that you will keep browsing the artistic angles and creative summaries of the designers. Not to mention that each photo is also under CC0 license.

11: Reprise

Reshot offers attribution-free and CC0-licensed images for startups, freelancers, and content creators. Reshot unifies creators through a free exchange of the world’s best visual content. As you browse, you’ll find some of the site’s most creative shots in hundreds of categories.

12: Picography

Picography doesn’t have a huge image database but even with limited categories, the collection is filled with beautiful, high-resolution photos. The site is only 3 years old and also accepts contributions from photographers and artists. All their images are free to use under CC0 license.

13: negative space

As the name suggests, negative space is a technique used in photography to take sharp photos while everything around them is blurry. Negative Space has great minimalist design images with multiple categories on the site. The site also offers all images free to use.

14: Free images

FreeImages offers over 300,000 free stock photos and royalty-free images. The site has a large categories section with thousands of photos in each category. All images are in high resolution and can be used for commercial and personal purposes free of charge, but in some cases you must obtain permission from the artist who uploaded them. Check the licenses on their site to get a better idea.

15: Startup Stock Photos

Take them, these things are free. Goes. Do something.”
With a Twitter bio like this, Startup Stock features and encourages startups, content creators, and professionals to use the awesome collection of their stock images. Although the name of the site seems specific to startups, you will also find a huge collection of photos for all other industries.

List of bonuses:

The 15 sites above are enough for you to browse thousands of royalty free images but… here are some more if you can’t get enough 🙂

16: divided county
17: Picjumbo
18: Stock photo
19: Pix’s life
20: craving for fantasy
21: FoodiesFeed
22: KaboomPhotos


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