07/07 2015

14 Best Sites for Royalty Free Stock Images – Getting Free Pictures for Commercial Use was Never this Easy!

It isn’t a secret anymore. Most bloggers, social media users, business owners, and website developers are aware of the significance of eye-catching imagery. Luckily, the present age is quite easy going with a huge number of reliable sources available for online users. The only problem is the price associated with them and complex licensing laws one must abide by. To add to the problem, many FREE stock images host the same pictures and clichéd images.

At Smanik, we realise the importance of visual content and immense capability it holds within. Following immense success on our regular blogs and articles that are presently enjoying phenomenal number of social shares, we have decided to post this heavily researched and critically analysed list of Best Sites With Royalty Free Stock Pictures Apt For Commercial Usage:


1. Snapographic


This site is all about substantial series of high-resolution downloads organised and streamlined by category. The pictures posted here are captured by Thomas Mühl. One can download photos as a .zip file. A donation amounting €10 will be asked by the site. The pictures are completely free of Copyright Restrictions (CC0 1.0 Universal). Attribution isn’t compulsory.


2. Pixabay


This is a stupendous source of around 250,000 photos, art illustrations, and vectors that one can avail for free! Equipped with superb search functionality, the site promises easy access to what you are looking for, in no time. Uploaders have waived all copyright rights to images on the site. Hence, you are free to adapt as well as use images here for commercial purposes. There is absolutely no requirement for attributing the primary source or original author of pictures. A link back to the site is highly appreciated (not compulsory).


3. Picography


If you are looking for an eye catching array of pictures online, simply visit this site. Here, you will find an incredible selection of high-resolution photos arranged by Dave Meier. Although the number of pictures are less, the selection presently stocked are fantastic and one of a kind. It will be beneficial to subscribe yourself to the mailing list. This will help you receive latest photos straight to your mailbox on a monthly basis. The pictures published here are licensed under Creative Commons Zero. Hence, you can copy, modify, distribute, and utilise the pictures for commercial purposes sans taking a formal permission.


4. Public Domain Archive

Public Domain Archive

Matt Hobbs has done a fabulous job by putting various beautiful pictures together on the site. The homepage is loaded with captivating pictures. The categories are simple. You can subscribe to their email letters to find the latest free stock photos added each week. The photos published here are licensed under Creative Commons Zero. Hence, you can copy, modify, distribute, and utilise the pictures for commercial purposes sans taking a formal permission.


5. Gratisography


The site is reckoned for its high-resolution images. All of these are captured by Ryan McGuire. Since the website uses one-page design without any categories, one may face tough time locating a specific photo genre. The photos on site are licensed under ‘Creative Commons Zero’. This means that users are allowed to copy, modify, use, and even photos for commercial purposes without having to take ant formal permission.


6. Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri

The website has an awe-inspiring collection of photos arranged by Jay Mantri, the designer. Each Saturday, you will see an addition of around 7 new photos. For regular updates and reminders, simply subscribe. You will get mails as soon as new stock is added. The pictures published here are licensed under Creative Commons Zero. Hence, you can copy, modify, distribute, and utilise the pictures for commercial purposes sans taking a formal permission.


7. Unrestricted Stock

Unrestricted Stock

This beautiful site enjoys an edge over other websites owing to its offering of free stock vectors and icon sets. With an aim to provide the world with outstanding quality images, vectors, and videos absolutely free of cost sans any limitations on usage, you can do anything with the stock on the site. Make sure you check ‘usage agreement’ on the site.


8. Stock Media

Stock Media

This is a highly useful source for generic stock images. Simply visit this site for pictures of any random object that comes to your mind. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported, all images of the site should be attributed to “http://stockmedia.cc”.


9. Superfamous


The Los Angeles-based studio belonging to Folkert Gorter (Dutch interaction designer) has all photos incredibly beautiful. You simply can’t take your eyes off splendid landscapes and captivating vistas of nature. Accessible upon adherence to the conditions of a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, the design work of the site are simply amazing. So you can easily use these for your personal and commercial purposes.


10. Lock And Stock Photos

Lock And Stock Photos

The site offers a beautiful series of images. Right from fruits, flowers, and cute animals to nuts, seeds, electronics, mechanical stuff, and police, you get everything ready on the site. One of the star attractions of the site is its ‘tag’ system. It facilitates users to view all images of a specific genre. All of the images published on this website are released under the Creative Commons License ShareAlike 4.0. Hence, it is important that you link back any photo you use to personal website of AJ Montpetit.


11. Creativity 103

Creativity 103

Cr103 serves as untapped library of a huge number of free design ideas, abstract backgrounds, and amazing textures. The stock images available on the website can be used in almost anyway you wish to. Here, you must credit the website as the source for commercial use of images.


12. Photo Everywhere

Photo Everywhere

Well, this is an awesome site offering an amazing selection of around three thousand travel pictures categorised into geographic location. In case, you have been looking for stock images to be able to write an impressive article on Japan, London, or Australia, this is just the space to be. A Creative Commons license is required. Customers are given, pictures on a royalty free basis. There is also a condition used by site for pictures. You require hyperlinking to this site.


13. Big Foto

Big Foto

This is huge selection of pictures and fabulous contribution by amateur photographers who wish to see their images online. Although the overall quality of these pics may not be all that great, it is one of the best sites to get a gallery full of tourist tips and ideas with free photos. All pictures can be used free of cost. All you require doing is providing a link to the bigfoto website on your own blog or website in return.


14. Magdeleine


This site has been categorised under ‘FREE – No Attribution Required’ section. This is true! However, he can still work on it.The pictures offered are of highest standards. The design work here is also available under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. So as long as credit is available, you can use it for your own purposes such as commercial usage.

To Sum Up

What does the list mentioned above proves? Well, it is a clear proof that not every blog, website, or business requires paying for services such as Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, or varied types of paid-for stock photo services. All one requires doing is to look for striking images available free for commercial use.

The sites featured above possess some strengths and incredible areas of expertise. Simply explore these and finalize on some of your favourite ones. This will help you get equipped latest resources to turn your work ultra fresh and captivating.

In case, we have missed out on any, feel free to inform us. We welcome all kinds of recommendations and advice. Also share the post it on Social Media if you have found it any useful.

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