Creative Internet

Top 10 Sites for Copyright and Royalty Free Images and Photos

Christian Bonilla Updated 01-10-2018

Maybe you’re an aspiring photographer looking for inspiration. Perhaps an up-and-coming entrepreneur trying to find stock photography to add to your website and build your brand How to Build an Online Brand as a Freelancer Here are the steps freelancers need to consider when building an online brand on social media and elsewhere. Read More . Whatever your profession, it’s never a bad idea to have some stock photography websites at your disposal.


That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best websites with copyright and royalty free images online, to ensure that you have access to millions of free stock pictures and photos instantly.

These stock image sites go great with these free clip art download sites, which you may find useful when you need something other than photographs.

How “Free” Is a Free Photograph?

Some websites allow you to download pictures for private use (e.g. background wallpapers) yet disallow images to be used commercially. This includes instances as business cards, websites, or posters. The websites below are protected under Creative Commons CC0.

“The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.” —

The following websites either support, or are fully composed of, CC0 images available in the public domain. The owners of these images have allowed users to modify, edit, and use their images without copyright backlash.

creative commons license
Image Credit: WikiImages

Two things concerning common courtesy when using CC0 images: 1) although you do not have to give credit to the creator, it’s recommended that you do so in order to publicize the artists’ efforts, and 2) these websites often have a Donate page or splash screen. If you use free image hosting sites often, consider donating to their cause.

Now that that’s all out of the way, here are the websites you need to bookmark for quality, copyright-free images.

1. Freerange

freerange stock photos

Once you register for a free membership at Freerange, thousands of high-resolution stock photos will be at your fingertips at no cost. All of the website’s images can be used for personal or commercial projects. For photographers, Freerange also offers Google AdSense revenue sharing when you contribute.

In addition to thousands of unique images, the site also has about 20,000 CC0 photos, most of which have accurate keywords and descriptions.

The team behind the project has also launched another free site specializing in vintage images called Vintage Stock Photos. The content previously required payment, but now you can find more than $25,000 worth of quality vintage photos available at no extra charge.

2. Unsplash

City Photography Unsplash
Image Credit: Patrick Tomasso/Unsplash

Unsplash is a side-project started by Crew, an online marketing agency dedicated to making your design dreams a reality.

Besides providing free stock photography, Unsplash also showcases graphic design work How to Be a Profitable Online Graphic Designer If you're a graphic designer struggling to turn a profit, all is not lost. Here are some tips for getting your freelance career back on track. Read More done by users with their MadeWith section.

3. Pexels

Mountain Range And Clouds Pexels
Image Credit: eberhard grossgasteiger/Pexels

Pexels is a website that wants to help. Started in 2015, it has grown to develop a reputable stock photo library. Its mission statement phrases their aim best.

We help millions of designers, writers, artists, programmers and other creators to get access to beautiful photos that they can use freely which empowers them to create amazing products, designs, stories, websites, apps, art and other work. We call it: “Empowering Creators”—

Pexels is also unique in that it doesn’t only display images located on the Pexels website. It also outsources images from such high-quality websites as Gratisography, Little Visuals, and more.

Best of all, Pexels screens their images to ensure the highest quality images available. Note that you can also download high quality stock videos The Top 6 Websites for Quality Copyright-Free Stock Videos When you need stock video, you don't want to break the bank to get it. These sites provide high-quality stock videos that are completely free. Read More from the site.

4. Flickr

Run Down House Flickr
Image Credit: Bernard Spragg/Flickr

Although Flickr is not dedicated to public domain images, they have an extensive library of high-quality public domain images.

Flickr is, and has been for a long time, one of the greatest image libraries on the internet. With over 3 million, high-quality public domain images alone, I doubt you’ll run out of stock photography anytime soon.

5. Life of Pix

Skyscraper Architecture Photography Life Of Pix
Image Credit: Tuur Tisseghem/Life of Pix

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve spent hours at a time scouring through the beautiful pictures on Life of Pix.

Created by LEEROY advertising agency in Montreal, Life of Pix is a haven for free, public domain photography. Better yet, their Life of Vids website contains even more impressive stock video footage, completely for free!

6. StockSnap

Sunset Photography StockSnap
Image Credit: Asaf R/StockSnap

StockSnap provides an excellent and extensive library of free stock imagery. With hundreds of high-quality photos added weekly, StockSnap isn’t your casual photography outlet.

Created by the good people at Snappa, every single image in StockSnap is free for you to use. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better image repository.

7. Pixabay

Old Painting Of General Pixabay
Image Credit: WikiImages/Pixabay

Pixabay is another image repository which integrates images from other image hosting sites. They attempt to gather the very best of free stock images for your own personal or commercial use Concerned About Copyright? A Guide For Legally Using Images On The Web Copyright is a complex subject. A fair amount of understanding makes it easier. If you're wondering under what circumstances you can use someone else's creative work -- expect some answers here. Read More .

Pixabay also allows easy access to camera search, which allows users to explore images based on the camera used to take them. This is a great resource for both beginner and professional photographers alike.

8. Wikimedia

Presidential Photography Wikimedia
Image Credit: Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office (WHPO)/Wikimedia

Wikimedia provides a truly stunning image repository, spanning everything from lush landscapes to historical events.

Touting over 34,000,000 freely usable media, including videos and sounds, Wikimedia is a necessity for graphic designers, photographers, and artists looking for free, high-quality images. Wikimedia is also part of a much larger organization dedicated to free images, education, and information.

9. Burst

Nature Photography Of Fish Burst
Image Credit: Ryan Bruce/Burst

They say something works well when you hardly notice it at all, and that’s exactly what Burst provides. In the same vein as Unsplash, Burst not only provides a sleek interface to explore but a very wide selection of images and categories to choose from as well. Better yet, it provides both low and high quality images depending on whether you’re adding images to a website or using images for graphic design.

If you need a vast online repository of high quality images, bookmark Burst immediately.

10. KaboomPics

Classic Car Photography KaboomPics
Image Credit: KaboomPics

KaboomPics is a legitimately impressive undertaking. From the UI design to the vast reservoir or stellar images, you will find yourself combing through images you don’t even need.

If it were just about images, KaboomPics’ selection would already be top of the class. Then, they also feature both a color picker search engine and color palettes for their images as well!

That’s just scratching the surface of what KaboomPics has to offer. From photo shoots to informative blog entries, it’s overall one of the most impressive free stock image websites around.

High-Quality Copyright Free Images Without Watermarks

Through the concerted effort of a select few, it’s now easier than ever to view, enjoy, and use high-quality royalty free stock images. However, please remember that there are some measures of common courtesy that shouldn’t be avoided for the benefit of the creators.

And if you’re also looking for available music to use for YouTube videos 5 Sites to Download Free and Copyright-Free Music for YouTube Videos Don't use music in Youtube videos from a copyrighted source. Instead, use one of these sites for copyright-free music. Read More , this list of sites is perfect:

Explore more about: Image Editor, Image Search, Photography, Stock Photos.

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  1. QuestionUnanswered
    September 7, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Awesomely helpful compilation. Thanks

  2. Anand Singh
    April 7, 2019 at 11:13 am

    thanks for sharing

  3. Eduardo
    August 25, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    My favorite place for free, royalty free images is FreerangeStock. I even have an account with them:

    May 20, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks very nice information. I am using snappa images for my blog. Awesome

  5. Anita
    April 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks for mentioning Pixabay :)
    BTW, please update the list of free stock photos: Quite a few appeared on the market since this article was published.

  6. vinh
    February 13, 2017 at 9:12 am

    great guys, many useful stuff

  7. vinh
    February 13, 2017 at 9:11 am

    great. thanks

  8. Emelia
    February 7, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    cool intel you have at this point how anyone's opinion on here web site
    with regards to case clicker 2 hack no download

  9. Franck
    November 15, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Just to let you know that I'm sharing more than 4000 downloadable photos on Flickr, all available for free under the CC0 license :

  10. J.
    November 8, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for this found just what I was looking for, it took of doing buyt I've a great image and am making it into a Wattpad book cover.

  11. stockword
    September 2, 2016 at 7:16 am
    100000 free "signs" images

  12. Hemantkumar
    August 15, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Hey John...!!
    Thanks for this awesome info, you have made it really easy to understand. I'm sure it will help out lots of people looking for free stock photos sites.

    Thank You :)

  13. Anna Phipps
    June 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Theres also Pixabay

  14. Anonymous
    November 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Great Post!! In you can download thousands of high quality free photos, available for personal and commercial use with model an property releases.

    • tony
      August 31, 2016 at 7:40 am

      This is not free

    • John
      September 1, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Tony!
      Please, check it again. ALL this images are FREE!! And are thousands!!
      Click on the images and you will see it.

      • AL
        October 22, 2019 at 2:57 am

        Bullshit, not free, it's scam !!

  15. Mihir Patkar
    September 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

    This is actually really cool! Are you hand-picking the photos every day?

    But I don't see high-res versions of the photos. Since it's CC0, I assume there is no attribution needed for these?

    • Anonymous
      September 16, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Yes Mihir ..that is correct . Bit by bit we would like make it a big success :)

  16. Anonymous
    August 2, 2015 at 1:56 am

    I use its fast and has tons of cc0 and public domain photos and designs

  17. freeimagebay
    May 4, 2015 at 11:49 am is a great place to find free images without copyright restrictions and no registration requirements. New images are added daily.

  18. John Deevy
    March 17, 2015 at 2:04 am

    For completely free photos for personal and commercial use with no attribution required check out Great images and most are not available elsewhere.

  19. Tobias
    February 11, 2015 at 8:51 am is olso a great website for find creative commons photos. The images are licensed under Public Domain license, so they are free for use.

  20. ?ooper
    December 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Here are the most recent:


  21. ?ooper
    December 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Invitations to quickly understand. Here are the most recent:


  22. ?ooper
    December 10, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Free photostocks – it’s good. But they definitely lose paid. Shutterstock istokphoto and – apart from the competition. However, all this is expensive. But there is one site that helps all who wish to download at a substantial discount from pay photostocks. This site is called Several times used the services of the site – everything honestly.However, registration on this site – only for an invite. Here are three free invitation:


  23. Michael Garmahis
    January 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    My version of Top 10 Free Stock Photos Sites

  24. dissertation
    December 20, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Excellent web site the great work don keep it up

  25. Sacha
    December 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Number 6:
    other free quality photo on niffylux

  26. AllOurStock
    October 29, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Plug here, but I really think you’ll like this one. It’s a completely 100% free stock photo, design and vector website.

    Our site, is not spammy, it’s built around a nice, easy-to-use functional layout with easy drag-and-drop interface, and has a lot more planned for the future. Currently we have about 500 images but we have a database of over 7000 yet to be added and growing everyday. I personally shoot photos myself and create custom designs as well. All are available for person OR commercial use, most of which do not require attribution.

    check us out on twitter as well,

  27. G.A.L.E.S.L.
    September 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    (BTW the above and below comments are just about reuse permission, I haven't yet had time to check the quality and variety of the photos themselves)

    Some of the sites mentioned in the comments:

    Morguefile - NOT copyright-free actually, but a very permissive license, so I'm pretty sure I can use their stock. Allows commercial use, no crediting required. Looks like I might be using Freerange and Morguefile.

    Photovaco - minimal info on their site, basically just this from their front page:

    We provide free stock photos with high resolution for both personal and commercial projects. You can use our free photos in websites, video, TV production, forum, blogs, school projects and print medias including newspapers, magazine, books, CD covers. OK, let's say, you can download, edit and use all photos anywhere and anyhow you like except for abuse.

    Fotolia - as original poster said, you have to pay. Yes, the prices are probably reasonable for many people, but I would have to pay out of my own pocket, which rules it out for me.

  28. G.A.L.E.S.L.
    September 10, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I create online exercises for use through an LMS, for a private university that charges tuition. So I appreciate sites with photos that allow commercial use, and thanks for these links.

    Some comments upon further investigation of these sites.

    Freerange - NOT copyright-free actually, but a very permissive license, so I'm pretty sure I can use their stock. From their license page:

    License Summary: You can do nearly anything with the images, commercial or not. Just don't redistribute them - this means don't host the images or repackage them, just post a link and let others download them, just as you did.

    {i.e. you can't make your own clone of freerange, imo}

    Stockvault - NOT copyright-free actually, CC BY-NC-SA license. Poison for my situation: no commercial use (e.g. private university that charges tuition), viral Share Alike clause.

    Freedigitalphotos - NOT copyright-free actually, but a fairly permissive license, so I can use their stock if I provide a credit and hyperlink to their website.

    Stock.xchng - NOT copyright-free actually, but with somewhat permissive licenses. I've used their stuff before, thinking all I had to do was credit Stock.xchng. But upon further research it seems a little more complicated than that. First, photos are covered by a variety of restrictions; most of them are "Standard restrictions", which are the ones I used. But some have more restrictions: be careful.
    Secondly, the usage summary seems to indicate I have to credit each individual artist (not the site) AND notify them too. That would a *real* pain for me.

    Flickr CC content - NOT copyright-free actually, but with a variety of Creative Commons licenses. Of the 5 licenses there, the ony one I'm sure I can use is the CC Attribution License (BY). And that requires me to credit each individual artist per their requirements. A pain.

    In short, none of these sites are offering truly copyright-free photos (i.e. public domain). But they all offer copyrighted photos with a license allowing some re-use if you comply with certain conditions.
    For me, the "free-est" is Freerange (commercial use, no crediting required) and I think I'll be using it in future.
    Next comes Freedigitalphoto, which requires a credit & link just to the site.
    Flickr & stock.xchng offer some possibilities but frankly the requirement to credit each individual artist (or even notify them!) means I won't bother.
    And Stockvault is out of the question for me: not only no commerical use, but also the viral "Share Alike" factor that means the exercises I make that include such a photo also become CC BY-NC-SA. My employers would not be happy with that!

    Please note I'm not an expert, so my understanding may be wrong. And please note that I have specific needs; yours may differ, so a license that's bad for me might be good for you.

  29. Saw Htoo
    August 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    For free photos, check out

    All photos are high resolution and absolutely free to use for both personal and commercial projects.

  30. Online Cash
    July 30, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Its a great collection of lovely photographs available online. I always look for some useful photos for my website, now you made my task easier by providing these websites.

  31. Yvette Francino
    July 29, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Great list! I've been looking for this! Thanks!

  32. UPrinting
    July 29, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Cool! Thanks for sharing these sites. After all, no one wants to be accused of being a photo thief... if there's such thing!
    Have you heard of

  33. Tim Lenahan
    July 29, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Is down for the count?

  34. Andy Commons
    July 27, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I enjoy Not free, but $1 - $3 for photos I can legally use in my websites.

    • Aristarkhos
      July 29, 2009 at 5:47 am

      I agree with Andy. Fotolia suits those who are willing to pay a very nominal amount for their images. Legal and economical. The image gallery is very good too.

  35. Tim Lenahan
    July 27, 2009 at 8:56 am

    OOPs, seems Morguefile's down! "morgueFile is experiencing technical difficulties, we are working on the problem." - straight from the site!

  36. Keith Kmett
    July 27, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I second for great high-res shots!

  37. Tim Lenahan
    July 27, 2009 at 6:24 am

    How 'bouts

  38. Lee
    July 27, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Nice sharing. Great post. You can share your article at: to gain more views.

  39. Tristan Bethe
    July 27, 2009 at 2:53 am

    You might want to check out as well. Free for use in commercial projects

  40. Patrick Braga
    July 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm is also a great free resource for stock photos.