12 websites for royalty-free stock photos – with CC0 and free of charge

We will show you the best websites for CC0 royalty-free stock photos on the web

A visual language is very important for all companies. Therefore it is also very practical if you can use royalty-free photos which don’t cost you anything. With the help of these free available stock photo databases, pictures can be downloaded fast and simple. CC0 is also perfectly suited to use in your own materials without copyright problems.

It has become very important for all entrepreneurs, designers and freelancers to adapt their own visual language. But who must buy the pictures on portals, will spend fast a lot of money. However, this is not really necessary for most smaller companies, because there are enough websites where you can download images for free and use them everywhere thanks to CC0 license – Free and royalty-free.

In particular, companies should pay attention that simply copy any images via Google etc. together. This content is automatically protected by copyright in some countries and may have legal consequences plus high fines. To avoid this, you should use royalty-free images or buy them in stock photo databases.

Here is another article with other databases: 21 Top Websites for awesome free and royalty-free photos

What is CC0? Why use CC0 in particular?

The CC0 license agreement is the easiest and safest way to find content on the Internet. This is material to which there is no longer any right at all and therefore can be used for everything without having to fear legal consequences. This makes CC0 the best option for all your company content without having to fear fines. If you come across software, images, documents, templates or the like marked with CC0, there is no limit to the use of this content. All pictures placed online under CC0 can be used worldwide without legal consequences.

Copyright and other laws throughout the world automatically extend copyright protection to works of authorship and databases, whether the author or creator wants those rights or not. CC0 gives those who want to give up those rights a way to do so, to the fullest extent allowed by law. Once the creator or a subsequent owner of a work applies CC0 to a work, the work is no longer his or hers in any meaningful sense under copyright law. Anyone can then use the work in any way and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, subject to other laws and the rights others may have in the work or how the work is used. Think of CC0 as the “no rights reserved” option. – Creative Commons Wiki

12 free image databases for CC0 royalty free images

We have listed the best databases for free royalty-free stock photos, which we like to use ourselves and which also work with CC0 free content. So you can confidently use the pictures, modify them and enjoy that you can use free pictures for your marketing materials and create great visuals.

1. Unsplash

One of the most popular databases that regularly uploads many new free images from all areas including simple search. (One of our personal favourites)

2. Pexels

Another of our favorites. A great and easy to use stock photo database with some pictures to choose from.

3. PDpics

PDpics is another site with many unique pictures. It is easy to browse and you will definitely enjoy the collection of premium public domain pictures.

4. Pickup Image

Well maintained database that allows easy searches and has categorized all royalty-free images. The selection is not the largest but very beautiful pictures.

5. Public Domain Archives

Extensive database with some pictures you normally only get in paid databases.

6. New Old Stock

As the name suggests, here are special pictures with a vintage touch. For all those who feel a bit nostalgic and still need free royalty-free pictures, this is the right database.

7. 1 Million Free Pictures

A great database with allegedly over 1 million free royalty-free stock photos. Here you can really find extraordinary pictures and very artistic ones. You should also have a look if you are not looking for just any pictures.

8. Pickup Image

Extensive database that provides not only free images but also clipart and graphics. Due to the clearly arranged tagging system the search is also very easy here.

9. Gratisography

Another database that is easy to use. Here you will surely find some nice pictures.

10. The British Library

The British Library makes all works from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries available on Flickr. All these works can be used freely thanks to CC0.

11. SplitShire

A photographer publishes his pictures here under CC0 license and you also have great videos to choose from.

12. Libreshot

This is the website of a talented young photographer who puts all his pictures with CC0 attribution on the internet. Here you will surely find something if you are looking for creative pictures.


13. PikWizard

Great Database with a lot of unique pictures under a CC0 licence. If you are looking for some more pictures, then this is a great site with thousands of pictures for free.

14. StockSnap

Great addition to the 2020 list is also StockSnap with their extensive database. All pictures are available for free and with CC0 license.

15. SkitterPhoto

Every uploaded Picture has the CC0 attribution. So you can use every free picture from the website with all your materials, privately or for your business.

If you haven’t found what you are looking for, you can of course also search for other databases on Google. Various photographers and also projects have uploaded free pictures online under CC0. Have fun searching and enjoy the great pictures of the photographers!

Benjamin Talin, a serial entrepreneur since the age of 13, is the founder and CEO of MoreThanDigital, a global initiative providing access to topics of the future. As an influential keynote speaker, he shares insights on innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship, and has advised governments, EU commissions, and ministries on education, innovation, economic development, and digitalization. With over 400 publications, 200 international keynotes, and numerous awards, Benjamin is dedicated to changing the status quo through technology and innovation. #bethechange Stay tuned for MoreThanDigital Insights - Coming soon!

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