There are millions of beautiful images on the internet, but not all are royalty free for you to use on your blog post. People perceived any material that find its way to the internet is free for all to use. That is no longer true.
There are laws guiding the use of virtually any material you can think of on the World Wide Web. Breaking these laws ignorantly does not exempt you from the impending consequence. This of course includes the unconscious abuse of copyrighted images.
However, there are still thousands of materials available for free, some in the public domain while others may require adherence to a very mild attribution under creative commons licenses.
Don’t worry about all these. I have helped you search through the internet and compiled below places you can get royalty free images for your next blog post. That should reduce the pain associated with the extra time needed to search for good image after your post is set for publishing. Because it is more or less imperative to include picture that can draw the attention of visitors to your content.
Before I dabble on the list, let’s try to define what royalty free image is and then run through the different laws guiding the use of image under creative common licenses so that you know how to apply them whenever you use an image associated with it.
What is royalty free image?
Royalty free images (RF) are images that you do not have to pay for before you can use them. They are available for use free of charge, but managed by law through creative common licenses.
What are creative common licenses?
Creative Common is an organization saddled with the responsibility of controlling the use of royalty free materials through the issuance of different categories of licenses that protect both the owner of the original work and the user.
Types of Creative Common licenses.
Below are the available licenses as it applies to the use of royalty free images.
1.0 Attribution (CC BY): This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
2.0 Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
3.0 Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND): This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
4.0 Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
5.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
6.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): This license is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially. (Source: Creative Common)
Now that you’re equipped with how to identify and distinguish between these licenses, let’s go straight to places you can find royalty free image for your website.
Royalty free image sources
1. Dreamstime: They have a vast collection of free images that is searchable, but you have to open a free account to have access to their free images.
2. Free Images: This site has huge collection of royalty free images, but the constraint might be the long registration form required to open an account.
3. Image Free: Has limited image collection for free photo section, but its worth trying.
4. Free Range Stock: They have good quality photos with high resolution, but require you to have a free account to access their stock photo library.
5. Free Photo Bank: You can access the collection of their photos without necessarily having account with them.
6. Free Digital Photos: I personally like the way this site organize their photo collection. You don’t need an account to access their royalty free images, but the free image come in relatively some size and an attribution is required that credit the photographer and the site. E.g. Photo credit: Alvan via freedigitalphotos.net
7. Pixabay: Is the place to go for truly free image that does not require attribution to use their collection of images in any way that suits your purpose. But, registration is required.
8. Morgue File: Requires a short registration to access their variety of artistic materials submitted freely by artists. Attribution is required to credit the author.
9. IM Free: One thing I like about the free image on this site is that they are free for commercial use.
10. Rgb Stock: Is a collection of great photos and graphic designs. You have to register a free account to download images.
11. Stockvault: It’s more of photo sharing site used by photographers, designers and students to share their creative work among themselves. These images can be used for personal and non-commercial purposes and does not require registration.
12. Curated Quotes: If you want image with exciting quotation, this is the site to be. They have tools that are so simple to use with many template to choose from.
13. Ancestry Images: As the name suggests, they have image collection that date back to the 16 century and beyond. If you need historical photos or artifact, this is the place to go.
14. Pickup Image: It has more of outdoor scene and nature view pictures. Their photos are free for use for any purpose even for commercial use.
15. Public Domain Pictures: As the name implies, it contain huge varieties of public domain pictures i.e. photos that can be used for any purpose.
16. Good Free Photos: Is a collection of high quality public domain photos. It can be used for both personal and commercial purposes.
17. Force Media Goo: They allow the use of their material any how you want it; print, modify, commercial use, etc. There is no registration required.
18. Wikimedia Commons: Is an open source media website in which any one can contribute to its development. They have large media library of more than 21 million.
19. New Old Stock: This website parade more or less public domain photo archives that is already free from copyright laws.
20. Image Party: Is a large collection of visual content and photos for use. You need to register to have access.
21. Big Foto: Is another good image site that arranges their images base on geographical location and no registration is required.
22. Super Famous: Allows any kind of use of their images as long as credit is given according to creative Common license #3 above.
23. Unsplash: They send 10 royalty free images of high quality to your email address every 10days to be used for any kind of purpose.
24. Little Visuals: Just like Death of stock photo, little visuals sends 7 free images to your inbox every week to be used any way you deem fit without restrictions.
25. Karenswhimsy: They have a page dedicated for public domain image archive from old books.
26. Openclipart: It contains huge variety of images and it requires log in to access images.
27. Death of the Stock Photo: Is a monthly updated photo site. You have to subscribe to get new photos delivered to your inbox monthly. The site is managed by David Sherry.
28. Gratisography: Is a well maintained photo website that adds new images on weekly bases. They have high quality photos, but you need an account to access download page. You can use their photo for both personal and commercial use at no cost at all.
29. Image Source: Is another image source finder that parade beautiful photo collection with high resolution. Free account is required to have access to the image.
30. Vintage Printable: Is a collection of printable artistic images on public domain. You can use it the way you like.
31. Picjumbo: Is a collection of free images that can be accessed without registration. You can also their photo any way you like.
32. Stokpic: The pictures here are totally free for both personal and commercial use. You get 10 free images sent to your inbox when you subscribe.
Image Credit: Trainerize