9 Websites To Download Royalty Free Stock Images

Royalty Free Stock Images

May 27, 2015 • Product Success

It’s incredibly time consuming and hard to find the right creative images to go with your blog post or even to including them on your landing page or mobile app, isn’t it?

We understand, because we’ve been building apps and landing pages for a while and also running this blog to know the value of getting the right images and quickly!

But what if you didn’t have to worry about spending money or spending countless hours looking for the right or relevant high-quality stock photos? What if I told you just the right sources to go and get your stock photos fix, and for free!?

We’ve researched the net to find you 9 awesome websites for high-quality, royalty free stock images that you can download for free, without any watermark and they’re good even for commercial use. Click to tweet

Before we get to those 9 websites though, let’s understand how the royalty-free license works.

What is Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License?

This list covers websites which have photos published under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means downloading from these websites have no-hassle of copyrights and usability issues. You can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including any personal, commercial, or legal purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or that particular website. But you can’t sell these photos.

So, here’s the list. Make the most of it.

#1 Picjumbo 

This free stock photo website was started by a web designer; Viktor Hanacek in 2013 when he recognized the need for high quality photos in full resolution for web based projects. The site is a treasure for aesthetically appealing stock photos. The site uploads new photos everyday, mostly 3500+ pixels in wide. You can simply download and use them for web design, sliders, apps, backgrounds, or templates.

The site provides a quick search option by providing a list of 15 categories and many ready-made tags. If that’s not enough, you can type in your keyword in the search box to get the related images.

One interesting feature the site offers is ‘Test Drive’. This means some images can be showcased in 7 different variations, guiding users on how it can be used.

They have received over 1.5 million downloads since 2013.

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#2 Unsplash

We use this resource for our blog. The site offers 7 readymade categories for refining your search for stock photos. The categories are Building, Food & Drink, Nature, Objects, People, and Technology. If you are looking for something specific, just type the keyword in the search box or simply spend time going through their entire database of beautiful pictures.

The website also features some of the best web projects made from Unsplash for your inspiration. If you subscribe to their mailing list, 10 new photos will be delivered to your inbox every 10 days. You can automatically sync these photos to your Dropbox with Splashbox. Unsplash also allows people to submit their photos to their website.

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#3 Pixabay

Pixabay is another tool used by us for getting hassle-free good quality photos. To download a photo, you can browse through the 20 readymade categories or simply put your keyword in the search box. They have a gallery of over 390,000 high-quality free stock images, vectors and art illustrations.

Pixabay also have a sponsored images from Shutterstock (another website with paid images) to provide a choice of professional photos. Those images are marked with the Shutterstock logo.

Their Editor’s Choice section hand-picks and features the best images of the website.

Related Reading: 7 Steps To Creating A Mobile App Explainer Video For Under $100

#4 Stocksnap.io

Stocksnap.io is a repository of beautiful and free-to-use stock photography. The website curates the best stock images from around the web and also select photos from a number of daily submissions.

The site has a handy search feature making it easy to browse through the thousands of images available. In addition, the website categorises the photos on the basis of date, trending, number of views, number of downloads, and favourites, so you can find the most popular photos available.

#5 Pexels

Pexels is website which uses hand-picked curated collection of stock photos from other free stock images websites such as Unsplash, Gratisography, Little Visuals and many more. Currently they have over 2,000 photos and every week at least 70 new high resolution photos are added to their database.

The images with the most views in the last 30 days make it to the popular category on the homepage. Their search criterion is more refined with micro categories like Sun, Leaves, River, Night, Sky etc.

Along with the photographer’s details the site also mentions the minute technical details of the photograph such as camera used, ISO, focal length, etc. An interesting feature is to search photos via colour tone. When you click on any photo it shows different options of colours and similar photo available in that colour tone. This can be used to select photos according to branding needs.

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#6 Splitshire

Splitshire is a collection of stunning personal shots by Italian photographer and graphic designer- Daniel Nanescu. While designing graphics he realised it is so hard to find great pictures and started Splitshire.

The site has 17 readymade categories for browsing photos. The site features a beautiful collection ranging from landscapes to candid shots of people, all in high resolution. The website also has a small collection of HD quality videos which also can be downloaded for free.

A section of website features the best works designed using Splitshire photos. So the website provides you with resources to create your design and additional exposure on their website with more than 20,000 daily page views.

#7 DesignerPics

Like many others Jeshu John, an Indian web designer & developer also faced the challenge for the lack of free quality photographs. Thus, DesignerPics was started.

The website has 10 readymade categories for choosing and downloading high-resolution photos. An interesting category is ‘Concept’ where the photos are categorised as per some of the business concepts marketer’s use.

#8 Stokpic

They say ‘Not everyone has hundreds of dollars For Stock Photos’. That seals the deal. They offer high quality free photos, categorised in 16 different categories. Apart from they have a list of ‘Latest 100’ and ‘Favourites’ to refine the search.

An interesting feature is their sub categories, where they classify the photos further. For example, the architecture category has sub headings- Inside, Outside, Modern and Old Architecture.

They send 10 new photos to their subscribers every two weeks.

#9 Kaboompics

Another web designer from Poland, Karolina, struggled with the everyday issue of finding stock images and started this website. KaboomPics is a collection of good quality photos offered for free to bloggers, website owners, small businesses, freelancers & social media ninjas.

The site offers full resolution free stock images, mostly 3888 or 5472 pixels, everyday. You can use the search box or click #Tag under the photo or choose a category (total 5 categories) to find images what you looking for. The site also classifies the images on the basis of recent and popular category.

We would be happy to hear in the comments section below if you’ve come across any other fantastic additions to this list.

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  • Sergio Roldan

    Give an update to your list.
    Here’s my comprehensive list
    snapwiresnaps.tumblr.com skitterphoto.com jeshoots.com foodiesfeed.com uhdwallpapers.org & stokpic.com

    • @Sergio Roldan Thanks for the additions.

  • MarshallKohl

    I know Unsplash only from the list 🙂 Please check one more excellent source templatemonster.com – the biggest themes collection for website creating ( more than 40 thousands well arranged and categorized photos) Thanks!

  • Great article Nidhi!

    I recently started http://fancycrave.com/ as a side project a few months ago. The site consists of completely free stock photos all taken by me and other talented photographers. It’s basically a collection of images from my travels around South East Asia, North America, and South America (soon). My aim for these photos is to help designers and creative alike. People can use these images for whatever purpose they please.

    I keep things very simple. I list the photo, its tags, the author, and the download link. I don’t make people jump through any hoop, like signing up for an email newsletter or making them “Like” my facebook page.

    I also started to publish niche specific photo packs all for free.

    I hope you and others will find it valuable. I just want to contribute back to the wonderful blogging, design, marketing, and creative community. If you see it fit, I’d be very grateful if you could add Fancycrave to this list.

    Cheers!

  • Lisa

    Awesome post Nidhi. I’ll be using some of these sites to find images for my blog for sure.

  • Gaurav

    Nidhi, nice list!

    Its good to see new initiatives on web regarding the photo sharing,world will change for good when we all start chipping bit by bit. I have started a project in which I am adding two photos daily which are handpicked by us and sharing it under Creative Common Zero license. Do check http://www.sketchjar.com. If you like the initiative and encourage us

    Cheers!