Top 17 Sites For Copyright Free Images (2022) – Free Royalty Free Images

Images form a major part of the web! You can find images over every platform, be it a personal blog or a social media advertisement. The importance of copyright free images has been recognized by everyone from large corporations to individuals today! 

If you are a content creator, you would relate to the struggle of finding the perfect image for your blogs, websites, YouTube thumbnails, and other creative projects. 

Well, don’t worry, because in this article, I’m going to reveal 17 Best Copyright Free Image Websites where you can find high-quality photos and other assets like videos, audios, sound effects, vectors, illustrations, and more! 

I will also help you understand the basics of Image Licensing and the different licenses that creators use for their work. So, let’s get started! 

What is Licensing? 

Licensing is a process that helps the owner of a creative work define how his/her work is used by the public

What is Licensing

Under Licensing, you essentially grant others the permission to use your creative assets like images, videos, audios, etc for personal or commercial purposes. 

  • Personal usage might include using your creative work (image, video, etc) on a blog, personal website, header image, newsletter, social media, etc. 
  • Commercial usage might include using your creative work on printed media like books, magazines, etc, using it for advertisements or on promotional content, or using it in any way that earns you money!

Thankfully, we have a lot of licensing types available today. So, as a creator, you can decide the degree of rights you want to provide to the users and then choose a license accordingly. Wondering how that would be useful? 

Well, every license comes with specific terms and conditions of how you can use the creative asset. It also mentions the restrictions of what you cannot do. So, if a user purchases an image with a license, they can only use your stuff as per the agreements in that license.

Let us look at the types of licenses available. 

Types of Licenses

There are several licenses that offer varying degrees of rights to the users. Because this article is mainly focused on beginners, I have only discussed the most popular ones below. 

Commercial License

A Commercial License permits you to use any creator’s images for commercial projects like advertisements, banners, catalogues, or printing over newspapers, novels, t-shirts, etc. 

Non-Commercial License

Non-Commercial License, as the name suggests, lets you use a creator’s images for anything that is not related to business or money making. Some example use cases might be personal blogs, social media, school diaries, newsletters, etc.

One-time Use License

One-time Use License covers a single client and the creative work may be used only on one website. For example, it might include images or graphics designed exclusively for a client. 

If the client wishes to use it on other projects, they need to purchase the license again.

Royalty-Free License

People often confuse royalty free images with copyright free images. But let me tell you, they are not the same!

Images falling under a Royalty-Free License are copyrighted by the owner, but anyone can use them by paying a one-time fee. This essentially means that you pay for it once and keep using it forever. 

For example, when you download an image from a stock image website, you don’t pay for the image. But that doesn’t mean it’s free! 

The platform purchases a license from the image owner by paying a one-time fee and makes it available to a worldwide audience for free!

Under a Copyright-Free License, the creator releases their images completely free of cost and grants permission to the users to use them in whatever way they like!

A copyright free image does not offer any restrictions and you are not even asked to attribute the creator. 

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization with an aim of enhancing the availability of creative resources online. 

The Creative Commons Licenses are of many types, like CC0, CC BY, CC BY-SA, etc. They basically make a creative asset available for free around the world.

However, they impose certain restrictions ranging from ‘attribution required’ to ‘no modifications allowed’. 

The Creative Commons license lets creators specify exactly how their works should be used. It is also a great way to bring more exposure to your photos! Their most popular version is the Creative Commons CC0 License

CC0 means “no copyrights reserved”. So, the owner of the creative work gives up his/her copyright and makes the work available freely under public domain. These works can be used by the public however they want!

What is Attribution? 

Attribution simply refers to acknowledging someone as the creator of a piece of art or creative asset. There are different ways of attributing soundtracks, logos, videos, etc. 

But, if we specifically talk about image attribution, you need to mention the image URL along with its title and the name of the Author directly under where you use the image on the web!

There are a lot of advantages to using copyright free images for your projects. Let’s check out the most important ones. 

Advantages of Copyright Free Images

Saves Money

Copyright free images are essentially “free”. This means that you won’t need to spend a dime on these images. Simply hit download and use them!

Diverse Use Cases 

Copyright free images are not governed by any licenses. So, you are free to use them on your personal blogs, social media, advertisements, prints, and anything else you can think of.

Images taken from copyrighted sources might incur legal action on you. Whereas, if you use copyright free images that do not fall under any license, you are safe from any troubles in the future! 

Now that you have understood the different licenses and their advantages, let us look at the best websites to find copyright free images for your projects. 

1. Unsplash

Unsplash has an enormous collection of 3 million+ high resolution photos that are copyright free. The Unsplash License lets you use all the images personally and commercially. However, you may not sell them without any modifications. 

Attribution: Not Required
Image Collection: 3 million+ images

Unsplash image

You get multiple options to search for relevant images. Either type your keyword in the search bar, explore their 30+ unique categories, or use the Visual Search feature to search similar images.

I loved the professional quality of their images and the variety of sorting options available. 

2. Pixabay

Pixabay is an all-rounder platform for finding a creative collection of illustrations, photos, videos, sound effects, vector graphics, music tracks, and more!

They have an extensive collection of over 2.4 million free images that fall under the Pixabay License. 

Attribution: Not Required
Image Collection: 2.4 million+ images

Pixabay image

Under this license, you are free to use their images for personal and commercial projects. However, you may not redistribute or resell their assets without modification. 

I loved the wide range of categories and filters on Pixabay ranging from beauty, health, education, and more. The vector graphics and illustrations downloaded from Pixabay can even be edited within Adobe Illustrator, which is a huge advantage!

3. Pexels

On Pexels, you get access to millions of free stock videos and images! All these assets fall under the Pexels License that permits them for personal and commercial usage. But you cannot resell them without modification or redistribute to other stock platforms!

Attribution: Not Required

Pexels image

The images found in the Pexels and Pixabay libraries are quite similar. Even though the search options are limited, their high quality images are impressive!

Their popular collections help you search for anything from nature photos, to food, to background wallpapers! 

4. Gratisography

Gratisography is a great platform for finding copyright free images and vectors. Though their collection is quite limited, all the images available are of premium quality and somewhat hilarious!

For example, look at the search results for the query ‘Business’. 

Gratisography image

Attribution: Not Required

The Gratisography License lets you use their images and vectors for personal and commercial use like ad campaigns, brand logos, books covers, personal blogs, etc. But you may not redistribute them or claim them as your own. 

I personally found the interface of Gratisography quite overwhelming and the images not quite relevant. It is loaded with ads and also lacks filter options and download quality settings!

5. StockSnap

StockSnap is a copyright free photos platform where you will find an impressive collection of images and 100+ relevant categories!

Attribution: Not Required

StockSnap image

All images on this website fall under the StockSnap CC0 License. It permits the usage of these images for personal and business purposes.

However, you cannot imply any endorsement or claim liability against the image creator.  

StockSnap features good filter functions along with a decent image editing tool. The only con was the intrusive Shutterstock ads covering the entire page and the lack of setting a download size!

6. Burst.Shopify.com

Burst.Shopify is a copyright free image platform offered by Shopify. All the images fall under the Burst Photo License that lets you use them for commercial and non-commercial uses. 

But selling, claiming ownership, or replicating the image to compete with Burst is prohibited.

Attribution: Not Required

Burst.Shopify image

Burst offers quality images specifically focused around entrepreneurs. Their collection features excellent premium images you can use in your ads, banners, website header images, etc. However, there are no filter options available!

7. PicJumbo

PicJumbo is a stock image platform created by professional photographer Victor Hanacek in 2013. You get over 20 categories on this website, all comprising images of superior quality. 

Attribution: Not Required

PicJumbo image

These photos are free for personal and commercial use. However, you may not resell or upload them on other image platforms. 

8. Ynotpics

Ynotpics is a stock platform for finding Indian images! Manually searching for a keyword generates limited results. But when you choose from their collection of 30+ categories around Indian celebration, transportation, religions, etc, you get some phenomenal images!

Attribution: Not Required

Ynotpics image

Their license allows you to use these images for personal and commercial use with no copyright restrictions at all! Go for this website if you want to create a website, product, or advertisement around Indian audiences. 

The only downside was that this website is brimming with ads all over!

9. FoodiesFeed

FoodiesFeed, as the name suggests, is a website for finding food images.You get 2000+ tempting food photographs under 5 popular categories. All of them are available under the CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) License

Attribution: Not Required
Image Collection: 2k+ images

FoodiesFeed image

The CC0 licensed images are free public domain images that can be used for personal and commercial purposes. So, you can use them on your recipe app or food related blogs, ads, banners, and more.

10. Flickr

Flickr is an online media platform comprising tens of billions of free resources, including photos and videos. You can filter your search results by 6 licenses. So, the copyright restrictions and attribution depend on the type of license selected. 

Attribution: Depends on the License
Image Collection: Billions of images

Flickr image

With advanced sorting options, multiple download sizes, and a SafeSearch feature, Flickr really stands out. But, it lacks categories and is not super professional as you can also find hand-clicked images here!

11. Freepik

Freepik offers a gigantic library of 15 million assets, including Photos, Icons, Vectors, and PSD files. If you sign up for a free plan of Freepik, you can download 10 assets per day.

Attribution: Required

Freepik image

If you have a Freepik subscription, you can download unlimited images under the Freepik Premium License. It allows users to modify and use their assets for personal and commercial works. However, it restricts users from reselling, sub-licensing, and redistributing them on other media platforms. 

I was impressed with their image quality, advanced filter options, and their decent photo editor. The only two drawbacks that I observed were its lack of categories, and a limited 10 downloads per day, even with the free account!  

12. Canva

Canva is a popular online designing tool where you can find a vast library of 1.2 million+ images under the Canva Free Photos tab. 

Attribution: Not Required
Image Collection: 1.2 million+ images

Canva Free Photos

These resources fall under the Canva Free Content License that permits using them for personal and commercial purposes. But reselling, sub-licensing, and trademarking are prohibited. 

I personally liked the qualities of their images. The only downside is the lack of categories, filter options, and the sign up required for accessing these images.  

If you wish to know more about this popular design tool, you can check out my Canva Review.

13. Crello

Crello is a renowned online graphic designing tool launched by DepositPhotos. It features an enormous collection of 650k+ photos, 32k+ HD videos, and 3k+ audio tracks! All images on Crello are free to use for personal and business purposes.

Attribution: Required
Image Collection: 650k+ images

Crello image

The Crello Unlimited tab comprises unique and superior quality resources that will help your content stand out! However, you need to sign up for a free account in order to access them and also attribute the artist. 

Crello is not just famous for finding free photos. It is a fully-developed online designing platform. You can check out my Crello Review article to get an in-depth information about this design tool!

14. PikWizard

PikWizard has a huge library of freely downloadable stock images and videos that follow the Standard User License (which is CC0 License).

So, you can use them for personal and commercial purposes like printing, advertising, broadcasting, etc. However, selling, redistributing, or sub-licensing are not permitted.

Attribution: Not Required

Pikwizard image

What’s unique about PikWizard is its image editor. But for downloading your edited image, you need to either sign up for their 7 days Pro trial, or pay $2 upfront!

Another drawback is that you will find a lot of Adobe premium images on their page, which makes it difficult to differentiate the generic ones. 

15. Reshot

Reshot is a platform that features free images, illustrations, and icons with a Reshot Free License. This means you can use their assets for personal use and for your business.

Reshot is best for icons. You can find diverse icons here for your projects in SVG format & it can be used without attribution. I don’t know why this website is not popular yet.

However, reselling, trademarking, or building a similar product is prohibited. 

Attribution: Not Required

Reshot image

The images on Reshot look premium and of high quality. It also offers decent filter options and multiple download formats but lacks download size settings. 

16. Rawpixel

Rawpixel features a variety of free digital resources, like images, wallpapers, PNGs, graphics, stickers, PSD mockups, etc.

Attribution: Not Required for Free License

Rawpixel image

All of them are free for use, personally and commercially. But reselling, redistributing, or printing without modification is prohibited. I liked its variety of download sizes and formats, along with advanced filter options. 

17. FreeImages

FreeImages is a stock platform with a collection of 382k+ images, vectors, and illustrations. You can freely use them for personal and commercial purposes, but reselling, redistribution, and printing without modifications is not allowed. 

Attribution: Ony required if using content for Editorial purposes
Image Collection: 300k+ images

FreeImages

I liked their 25+ categories covering a lot of topics, their advanced filter options, and multiple download formats.  But the quality of images available was not satisfactory.

18. Free Stock Photos

On Free Stock Photos, you will find a good collection of copyright free music, photos, icons, and illustrations. All assets on this stock photo site fall under Universal Multimedia License

Attribution: Required

Moose Stock Photos

It allows the usage of assets for personal and business purposes. But you cannot redistribute, sub-license, or trademark them. Their website also displays 60+ categories, along with decent filter options. 

Conclusion

I hope all the above free stock photo websites would help you create better and high-resolution images for your social media posts, ads, newsletters, and blog posts. Copyright free resources are essential for every profession, be it a freelancer, a blogger, or an advertising agency!

You can also check out dedicated designing tools like Canva or Crello to design attention grabbing graphics within minutes. Placeit‘s enormous template collection can even help you design professional logos, graphics, and mockups for your brand.

Alternatively, Envato Elements can be used to find a variety of unique digital assets for your creative projects.

Anyway, which copyright free image platform is your favourite? And what do you use the downloaded images for? Let me know in the comments box below. For more such interesting posts, you can join my weekly newsletter. 

This is Kripesh signing off! See you in the next article. Take care and keep learning. 🙂

Leave a Comment