Using images in your blog posts helps with reader engagement. In social media and blogs, content with imagery gets more attention than without. The question I hear most often is where to find royalty free images.
You can always take your photos on your own and use them in blog content. That can be time consuming and you may not have the setup for the type of imagery you need.
This post will show you a list of free stock photo sites. You’ll also learn about copyright infringement and how you can avoid it.
What are Royalty Free Images?
Royalty free images means being able to use copyright images or photos under a licensing method which grants you the rights to use the image.
There are many websites where you can purchase images for a fee and then have the right to use them on your blog or elsewhere according to their licensing policy.
There are also free royalty free stock image website where you can find images that are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This license grants creators the right to make their creations publically available with “no rights reserved.”
This means that you can use these stock photos on your blog or in social media without concern about copyright protection.
What is Image Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement is when you use a copyright image without permission of the creator. You may find lots of images in Google Image search but those are usually copyright. If you do download and use any of these images, you are leaving yourself open to a copyright infringement lawsuit by the creator.
How to Find Out if an Image is Copyright Protected
An easy way to know if an image you found on the Internet is copyright protected is to look for a watermark or copyright symbol. Another more intuitive method is that if you found an image that you did not create it’s probably copyright protected by the individual who created it.
Avoid these situations altogether by downloading royalty free photos.
Best Websites to Find Royalty Free Stock Images
Here’s a list of free stock photo sites that you can use for your blog or social media. Using royalty free photos has made it so easy to include imagery in content.
Pixabay is my favorite to find high quality images for free. A message on the home page lets you know right away that “All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.”
You can find beautiful images in 20 categories. If you are looking for something specific use their handy search menu where you can perform a query on:
- Media type
- Larger than
You can also explore their editor’s choice of incredible images across various categories. I check this sometimes and am always surprised by the gems I find.
You can also download images in a number of sizes depending on what the creator made available.
If you want beautiful photography collections, then stop by Unsplash. They feature a number of collections that you can peruse and you can also perform a search for something specific.
To download a photo, click an image and then click Download. Only one size of the image is available and downloaded to your computer.
PhotoPin has a large collection of photos that you can download and use on your blog. Use their handy search box to find your perfect image.
You can filter images for commercial or non-commercial usage. If you are monetizing your content, that is considered commercial use.
Pay attention to the search results. The top row or two includes sponsored images from other websites.
For any image, you can either Preview or Get Photo. A separate browser window will display download size option. You’ll also be presented with the HTML for Attribution.
Whereas some royalty free sites do not require attribution, PhotoPin does. Attribution gives the creator credit for their work. If you don’t want this to appear with your photo you’ll have to get your photos elsewhere.
New Old Stock
New Old Stock has a lovely collection of vintage photos from the Public Archives. You can scroll through the images or there is a tiny search icon in the upper left to perform a search.
If you love vintage photos this is the royalty free website for you! You can find both color and black and white imagery. I love old photos although they are not always congruent with my blog content. But I have found a way to work one in here and there.
To download a photo, right-click on the photo and select Save image as …
Pickup Images gives you high-quality stock images that you can download for free. You can search on Photos, Clipart or both.
If you are looking for location specific images, Pickup Image is the place to get them! They feature photos from locations around the world that are stunning! You can also find images that are not location based.
They also provide a series of tags that you can browse through to find what you need. When you click a tag, pages of beautiful photos display from the tag category.
To download, click the image you want. You can then choose from size options before you download.
SplitShire has millions of great photos to choose in 18 categories. They also provide videos all under the Creative Commons license.
There are a lot of ads on the page. Be aware when searching as the large search boxes are for paid stock photo sites. If you want to search SplitShire, the search icon is in the top right corner.
It’s easy to download a photo. Just click the photo and a new download window will open. Click the Download under the photo. One photo size is available.
Be aware that there are ads on the download page that say “Download.” I downloaded all sorts of things before I actual figured out which button to click!
StockSnap adds new photos every week. Although there are no categories, I like that you can look at the photos that are trending at any given time or sort through by downloads.
It was interesting to see what others are downloading and looking at!
You can easily search for something specific and then sort according to:
To download a photo, click it. On the page that appears, click Download. They will tempt you with ads too!
It is a one-size download with no size options. You can click the photographer name to the right of the photo and view their whole collection.
I really loved some of the photos on this royalty free site! Be sure to check them out.
If you are a food blogger, you’ll love Foodiesfeed! This free website features over 800 delicious looking food photos. You can download a photo in full resolution. The size is listed under the download button.
The photos are tagged and you can click a tag to find other images with the same tag. If you like the author’s work, click the name and see other great photos.
If you have a lifestyle blog, then Styled Stock is for you! These beautiful girly stock photos are free to download and use for commercial and non -commercial use. Choose from 8 categories and filter by 9 colors if you wish.
To download, just click a photo, then click the Download button below the photo.
I found plenty of beautiful images that I plan to use in social media. Enjoy using Styled Stock!
Kaboom Pics features nearly 5,000 high resolution images that are royalty free and free to download. You can perform a search on:
I really enjoyed the search options. Especially being able to search on vertical images which is a better fit for some social media websites.
Here’s the cool factor with KaboomPics. They display the color palette for each image with corresponding HEX colors. This makes it so easy to choose the right colors for text overlays. And you can choose from other similar photos that were taken during the same photoshoot.
You can also choose from three sizes for download.
Do you love this?
If you are looking for unique photography, visit Jay Mantri. Free to use under the Creative Commons license, new images are posted each week in a variety of themes. Just click Download below the image as you scroll through.
You’ll find lots of gorgeous black and white photos as well as stunning color!
LibreShot is full of awesome royalty free stock photos for commercial use. Use them in any content you are monetizing. Be aware of search boxes that are ads and will take you to another website.
LibreShot provides you will 13 categories to choose from. You can also perform a search query for something more specific.
To download an images, click it to go to the download page. You have three options:
- Download – the full size of the image.
- Download small – a smaller version of the image.
- Edit & Download – opens a new browser window at Picozu, an online photo editor. The photo you selected conveniently opens in the free editor. That is pretty cool!
There are some really breathtaking photos on this stock image site!
Final Thoughts on Finding Royalty Free Images for Your Blog
Today I gave you lots of options to find royalty free images for websites. Copyright infringement is serious so always make you aren’t infringing on one. If you are not certain about the copyright status of a photo, just don’t use it.
The resources here will help you find plenty of images for your blog post and social media content. Which of these did you like best?
Looking for styled stock images? Check out this collection of beautiful design content!
Victor Courville says
Great Blog!…Awesome tips and thanks for the places to find images.
Victor Courville recently posted…5 Affiliate Marketing Tips to Become Successful
Great post! Thanks for sharing these. I already use a few of them. I will be adding these to my favorites.
sakeenah aleem says
Wow I didn’t realize there were so many places to find free stock photos. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely use these resources!
Cash Flow Celt says
I have nearly all of the links you provided saved in my Blog tab; however, you forgot one! I also use freerangestock.com for photos. I generally find the image I’m looking for using them. Great list though! Took me forever to find these websites and you just threw them out there for all to see.
Cash Flow Celt recently posted…How to be a Happy and Successful Working Parent
Karolina Grabowska says
Wow! That’s great! Thank you for featuring Kaboompics! <3
My pleasure. It’s wonderful website for photos!
Awesome post, really useful!
Have you heard about rawpixel? You’ve probably seen our images all over the place. We’re the leading stock photo contributor in the world. We’ve just launched our website http://www.rawpixel.com, where we give away the best free design resources out there. We’d be stoked if you could add us to this list.
Looking forward to you joining our community of creatives.
BE INSPIRED. BE RAW.
Abdul Muneeb says
Great list, a few weeks back, I also posted a list of free stock photo resources. But, here I have found new websites too!
Thanks for Sharing! 🙂
Abdul Muneeb recently posted…SEO: Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Thank you for sharing such awesome list. Getting images without royalty has been such a pain for a blogger like me who is an beginner. Thanks a lot this will help me a lot.