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What exactly is a royalty-free photo?

Photos labeled as "royalty-free" do not necessarily come without cost. Typically, you will need to make a single payment to obtain the license for using the photograph. You can subsequently utilize it an unlimited number of times. The term "free" in the context of "royalty-free" signifies that there is no obligation to remunerate the owner of the image with royalties for every instance of its usage.

Not all photos that are free of royalty have identical usage rights. Certain resources will be exclusively accessible for personal purposes, whereas others will be made available for commercial utilization. Presented below is a fundamental compendium of vocabulary that one should acquaint oneself with:

Rights Managed (RM) - the image is licensed for one client's exclusive use for a set length of time.

Rights Ready (RR) - similar to 'rights managed,' except the license can be extended.

Creative Commons (CC) - the image may be freely distributed.

Royalty Free (RF) - As previously said, royalty free photos can be freely used, although usage terms differ.

Extended licenses typically provide additional uses than royalty-free licenses at a higher cost.

10 Best Websites To Download Free and Royalty Free Images
The Most Famous Websites To Download Free and Royalty Free Images

Top 10 Most Famous Websites To Download Free and Royalty Free Images

1. Shutterstock


Shutterstock offers a vast collection of royalty-free photos and exclusively provides this type of license, ensuring that you are free from any limitations or extra costs.

Their photographs are systematically categorized into distinct categories such as Animals & Wildlife and Fashion. Additionally, a search box is conveniently located at the top of the homepage, enabling users to search for specific images using keywords.

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2. Picjumbo


All resources for extensive projects like websites, blogs, and more can be found here. Picjumbo offers an extensive collection of top-notch images, along with exclusive content packages and Photoshop add-ons.

Yet another vast repository of images, encompassing nearly 2500 stock photographs. This site offers a comprehensive collection of royalty-free photos in a single package.

3. Pexels


Pexels works in the same way as Unsplash and Burst do, with photographs given by the photographers themselves. Pexels has its own license that specifies what you can and cannot do with the photographs. You may use and alter the photos for commercial and personal purposes without attribution.

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4. Pikwizard


Pikwizard provides high-quality free stock pictures and videos. You can also alter each image using their own graphic design software. There is no credit required, therefore you are free to use each image for business or non-commercial purposes.

A fantastic resource that includes an image editor and over 100,000 high-quality photographs and movies.

5. Freerange


The stock photos on the website are provided by a group of photographers who offer free and royalty-free images from their stock photo collection. The community surrounding the site is gradually growing, contributing extra content. The idea is to provide extremely high-resolution photographs.

Great project for truly great images from amateurs as well as experts, who can guarantee to accompany you on some initiatives.

6. Unsplash


Unsplash offers its own license, which allows you to use the photographs for free in any way you like (except to start a competitive website). The site is fueled by a community of around 300,000 photographers, ranging from amateurs to professionals, who 'gift' their photos to make them freely available under Unsplash's "do-whatever-you-want" license with the images.

Unsplash, which is owned by Getty, is especially good for discovering exceptionally high-quality images: their team hand-picks each shot and, according to the website, "accepts only the best."

7. Kaboompics


Kaboompics has its own license, which is identical to Creative Commons Zero except that its photographs cannot be redistributed. I like Kaboompics for two reasons: one, it allows me to search by color, and two, it provides a complementary pallet of colors in the shot.

8. Freepik


Freepik aspires to establish itself as the foremost source for complimentary stock photos, vector designs, and PSD files. The platform offers an extensive assortment of high-quality and officially verified images and graphic design resources for a range of web design, blog, or marketing endeavors.

Freepik is a platform that provides a dependable opportunity for established and aspiring photographers to display their work and earn money from each download. It is deeply connected to an innovative community. Search optimization has been employed to streamline the process of locating the most accurate photographs for your project, guaranteeing an optimal user experience.

Subscribers will have unlimited access to exclusive content, as well as a higher daily download limit, without the requirement of attribution.

9. CreateHER Stock


CreateHER Stock is a stock photography website that features Neosha Gardner's realistic photographs of Black women. While the monthly fee is $10, there is a collection of "freebies" that comprises over 185 photos. Keep be mind that without an expanded license, CreateHER Stock is not intended for commercial use.

10. Startup Stock Photos


This website is intended for startups, as the name implies. But don't be surprised if you uncover images for your firm even if you're not a startup. The images are specifically created to display information, apps, and other items, so you can easily put on a professional appearance for photoshoots with models, etc. If you need a royalty-free photo to market a new software or website, or simply want a great photo for a presentation, this could be the ideal place to look.


It is essential that everyone, but especially companies, use caution when using free photos that they find online. An image's availability alone does not guarantee that it will always be useful. There are some photos that are protected by copyright and can only be used with the owner's express consent.

The websites on this list allow you to download royalty-free photos for free, so you can use them without worrying about copyright issues.

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