What is a free royalty free stock image?

What is a free royalty free stock image?

Free photos can be found online like sand by the sea, but only in the rarest of cases is it advisable to simply use them for your own purposes. In today’s media world, we can no longer do without images. Anyone who runs their own blog or website knows the problem. It’s just ugly to overload the reader with text. Photos can offer a good loosening up. Of course we can also take our photos ourselves. Be it in the photo mode of a game or with a good smartphone camera. Of course, an in-house photographer is also an option to enhance your own content with good pictures.

However, if you want to save yourself the effort and costs, you can alternatively use stock photos. This is usually cheaper and saves time. However, it is not always easy to find good and above all free stock photos. Also, there is always a risk of using the stock photos that everyone else is already using. That’s where Google’s reverse image search can be a great tool to see who else has used a particular image. We show you how you can easily find high-quality stock photos and what you should pay attention to.


What is stock photo?

Before we get to the best sources for stock images, a quick explanation of what exactly stock images are. These are images that are not made as needed, but in stock. They are also not for a specific customer, but can be used or bought by several. As a rule, stock photographers take their pictures on many different topics. If you are then looking for photos on these topics, you can use these stock images.

How do I find good stock photos?

Stock photos are often distributed or distributed on online platforms. You have to distinguish between rights-managed and license-free images. The former may not simply be used by everyone. Here the license to use the image is subject to conditions. How and under what conditions a stock image may be used is usually stated on the respective stock page. Platforms like us (www.hevvie.com) Adobe Stock, for example, work with subscriptions. Licensed stock photos can be purchased here for a monthly fee.

Below we will present a few sites, all of which feature good, free, and often very unique stock photos. However, there are still some general tips we want to give you when looking for free stock images:

Stay true to your design

If you have your own blog or website, it will usually have a specific design. A website has a certain look and nothing is worse than generic stock images that destroy that look. If your site is rather playful, then look for corresponding pictures. A clear and straightforward business page also needs appropriate photos.

There are images that you can tell at first glance that they come from a stock database. For example, when it comes to cybersecurity, many like to use images like this one:

Think about alt texts!

All those beautiful pictures won’t do you any good if your website can’t be found on Google. You can influence this with a number of factors that we cannot list all of them here. However, it helps if you describe your stock images with alternative texts. This is actually there to describe the content of images for people with visual impairments or loading problems. But it also helps Google to understand the content of your images.

Watermark on stock photos

Some stock photo sites have watermarks on the photos. This is usually an indication that the site doesn’t offer free stock photos. The watermarks are a means of protecting the photographers’ image rights. So if you as a photographer plan to offer your photos on stock photo sites where licenses have to be purchased and thus protect yourself from theft, watermarking your photos is a good idea to protect your intellectual property! In addition, the watermark also serves as an advertisement for your brand, as it will be seen by many on the photo pages.

One way to watermark your photo is to use Logaster. On Logaster you can create your own logo and not only use it as your company logo, but also as a watermark on your photos and images to protect them! All you have to do is create it and then download it as PNG with a transparent background.

You can now easily add the logo as a watermark on the image using a site like Watermark! However, you should always keep in mind that a watermark can of course detract from the aesthetics of your picture. Also, of course, it’s not allowed to watermark and pass off as your own images that you didn’t take yourself.

Check out different platforms

Not every platform has the same images in the database and that’s a good thing. To find a really good free stock photo, you should search all platforms. In this article we present you what we think are the best sides:

  1. Pixabay
  2. Unsplash
  3. Pexels
  4. Barnimages
  5. Picjumbo
  6. Gratisography
  7. Lifeofpix

Find free stock photos on Pixabay

Finding free stock images on Pixabay is easy. You can also find free illustrations, vector graphics and videos here. On the start page you will be presented with a random selection of stock photos. To find the right stock images, you can also search for keywords.

You will then be presented with all the images that match your keyword. You have the option of sorting the arrangement of the images. So you can not, as is set by default, display the most popular but, for example, the newest pictures. You can also determine whether you are looking for horizontally or vertically aligned images. You can also filter by a superordinate category and the size and dominant color of the stock images.

Find free stock photos on Unsplash

Unsplash differs very little from Pixabay. The site is an equally good resource for finding free stock photos. The pictures here often have a little more retro and Instafilter charm. On Unsplash you get a search mask on the start page in addition to various random-looking stock images and somewhat subtle advertising.

You can now filter the results of your search by color, orientation, relevance and even by somewhat smaller subcategories in order to find the right stock image. However, you won’t find any videos or vector graphics here. In addition to the very obvious stock photos, you will also find very unique and good photos here.

Find free stock photos on Pexels

You can also find free stock images and videos on Pexels . Here, too, the structure of the site is not significantly different from that of the competition. A start page with a search mask and a results page full of results. Only the filter options are not available here to the same extent as with Unsplash or Pixabay. This can make it harder to find the right stock photo. The possibility of filtering according to the dominant colors in the image can be very practical.

Find free stock photos on Barnimages

Barnimages is also a good source for free stock photos. Here, as on the other platforms, you have a search mask that you can use to search for keywords. Barnimages differs a little from the conventional stock portals. Because the images that are uploaded here are more than the usual stock images. You can find them in different portals. Instead, the stock photos on Barnimages are mainly photos taken by the operators Igor Trepeshchenok and Roman Ditris themselves. There are also photos of her colleagues. The goal of the site is not just to look like stock photography, but to share really great photos and appreciate the work of photographers.

In terms of usability, however, the site is still a little behind. For one, there is no way to filter the images found. On the other hand, there are simply fewer pictures on Barnimages. However, this is because only really unique photos are uploaded here. You won’t find the usual stock dregs here.

The stock images are also freely available.

Find free stock photos on Picjumbo

Picjumbo is also a great place for free stock photos. Here you will also find free design templates for various graphic tasks. You can download mockups for app screens, business cards or Instagram stories here. You can find the stock photos on the start page using the search mask. Furthermore, the selection of free images here, as well as with barnimages, is somewhat smaller than on the large sites. The projects are similar to each other and so Picjumbo tries to spread more unique photos as well.

Also practical: you can download all of the more than 3,000 free images at once and sort them according to your preferences. So you always have the pictures available, even if you are not online at the moment. The stock images on Picjumbo are all available for free use. Here, too, it is not mandatory to name the author.

Find free stock photos on gratisgraphy

On gratisography you will also find good stock images that you can use completely freely. You can find the detailed license here if you are unsure whether you are allowed to use the images for your specific purposes. The usual suspects from the world of stock images don’t necessarily show up on gratisography either. You can already find them on many other large sites. Instead, the stock photos appear much more selected and selected. But that also means that the total number of images is somewhat smaller.

Find free stock photos on Lifeofpix

Class instead of mass – Lifeofpix also relies on this with regard to its selection of free stock images. Here the platform itself presents “Photographers of the Week” and photography seems to be valued a little more here than is the case on other sock photo platforms. The search is very comprehensive. Filter options by category, color and orientation are given. If you want, you can also search for the photographers themselves and follow them. This is especially great for photographers themselves to show off their work.

Find free stock photos on Piwizard

You can also find a lot of free stock photos on Pikwizard. The selection is large and very well structured with tags. Using the search function, you can not only find free stock photos for many different keywords, but also videos. However, because Pikwizard is sponsored by Adobe Stock, a premium stock photo service, the results occasionally include photos that direct you to Adobe Stock. However, most of the free stock photos on Pikwizard are free and are offered under the CC0 license.

Attention with free license

There is a small pitfall to using free stock images freely. All platforms mentioned in this article allow the free use of the images, both commercially and non-commercially. But that doesn’t mean you own the pictures. The copyright still lies with the photographer himself. So you can’t just resell the pictures.

Be nice and give credit

Even if the stock images on all these platforms are completely free and can be used freely, we think it is good manners to give the photographer credit. It is enough to mention the name of the photographer and the respective platform. However, it is not necessary to give photo credits.

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