17 Top Websites for free and royalty-free photos (2020 Update)

Here you find the best websites for free and royalty-free stock photos on the web for 2020

Everyone has had the problem that they actually need a nice picture and don’t have one at hand. If you use Google, it can quickly lead to a lawsuit, so this is something you should definitely avoid if you want to make it proper. The solution is royalty-free images from certain image databases that are accessible for best of all: free of charge.

Worth mentioning are also databases that offer CC0-license-free images. Therefore we have written an extra article and also explained what CC0 means. Here are 12 websites for royalty-free stock photos – with CC0 and free of charge

To help everyone in creating beautiful website content as well as great content and marketing brochures, here is a short list of my favorite sites for beautiful photos that you may legally need for all kinds of things. As mentioned above, especially for royalty-free images you should pay attention to the license terms. Therefore, although they are all databases for free and royalty-free images – always read the license terms and keep the license of each individual image in mind. Then you should be able to enjoy the free images without worries.

1. Unsplash (Editors Choice #1)

According to Unsplash they publish every 10 days 10 royalty free pictures with which you can do everything, because they are also under CC0 and therefore license free for all projects. The pictures are really very high quality and well selected. The database of royalty free images is also nicely sorted and helps to find the right stock photos quickly.

Especially at Unsplash the selection of really high quality images is excellent and has made it to MoreThanDigital’s personal favorites, which we use regularly.

Read the full licence agreement

2. Pexels.com (Editors Choice #2)

Great platform that offers hand-picked royalty-free images under the Creative Commons Zero License agreement, also called CC0. This means that the images can be used for personal and business purposes without attribution, i.e. mentioning an author etc. The great search function of the site also allows you to quickly find the desired image.

Definitely one of the best platforms for free royalty free images for everyone, but the stock photos on the platform are used by many people so you will see some good images more often.

Read the full licence agreement

3. Negative Space

Negative Space makes many photos available for free use every week. Again, the photos are handpicked, easy to find and the categories are helpful to quickly get to your desired images.

Negative Space has some images that you won’t find on other royalty free platforms. If you need more special pictures, you should have a look here.

Read the full licence agreement

4. Death to the Stock Photo

The basic idea of the founders was to provide high resolution and beautiful royalty free images for everyone. As a premium member you also help to finance further photo trips and projects to make more great stock photos, which are then made available to the community for free.

Here you will find pictures that have not necessarily been used 1000 times and you can stand out with your own picture language.

Read the full licence agreement (version of 2014)

5. Freerange

The stock photos on the website come from a pool of photographers who provide free and royalty-free images from their arsenal of stock photos. Slowly the community around the site is also being built up, providing additional content. The goal is to provide really good and very high resolution images.

Great project for really great pictures from amateurs but also professionals, which can accompany you for some projects guaranteed.

Read the full licence agreement

6. StockSnap.io

The motto “not to be some shitty stock photo site” is implemented by StockSnap.io really nice. You could spend hours scrolling through the great shots and viewing the hand-picked masterpieces of royalty-free images. Definitely worth a few views/clicks, because here you can find pictures that are not available elsewhere.

StockSnap is a little insider tip for royalty-free images that are otherwise not so easy to find or otherwise expensive to pay.

Read the full licence agreement

7. New Old Stock

The New Old Stock image database has a great selection of black and white images and really unique shots. If you like vintage, you should definitely bookmark this picture platform. Please note that some of the images are not completely free to use, read below the image to find out more.

Really great platform which is specialized in nostalgic, old or old made pictures. Please read here exactly the picture rights, because there are some not license-free pictures.

Read the full licence agreement

8. Pixabay

Really large database of images, vector graphics and much more which can be filtered or sorted by orientation, media type etc. Pixabay also offers royalty free images & other content like videos, vector graphics etc. under the Creative Commons CC0, so you can use it everywhere without any problems.

Pixabay should be a favorite with anyone in the “Royalty Free Image Databases” who is often looking for beautiful stock photos, as it is one of the largest databases for stock photos and even offers other content such as videos.

Read the full licence agreement

9. Picjumbo

For bigger projects like websites, blogs etc. everything can be found here. Picjumbo offers a lot of pictures in highest quality and also the packages for premium content and the plugins for Photoshop are very nice.

Another large image database with over 2500+ stock photos. Here you can download a huge selection of royalty free images in one place in one package.

Read the full licence agreement

10. Startup Stock Photos

As the name suggests, this website is designed for startups. But don’t be suprised if you also find pictures for your company even you are not a start-up company. The pictures are specially designed to display content, apps and other things, so that you can put on a professional appearance without much effort for photoshoots with models etc.. If you need to market a new app, website or just want to have a nice photo for a presentation, this might be the best place to find your roaylty-free photo.

For all those who need mockups or nice pictures from time to time to place their website etc.

Read the full licence agreement

//Update 2019

11. Kamboopics

Very beautiful and unique stock photos from  Karolina Grabowska. Several thousand pictures especially suitable for Instagram and Social Medial. Here you definitely find a special shot. We recommend reading the licence agreement to be on the safe side.

The royalty-free pictures of Karolina Grabowska are definitely something special and stand out well from other sites.

Read the full licence agreement

12. Morguefile

Started as a smaller project, this platform for royalty-free images already has a considerable collection of stock photos. More than 350,000 images are included in the collection, which has the motto “for creatives, by creatives. was founded.

Morguefile is a large photo database with thousands of pictures from amateurs to absolute professionals. If the image should not be changed (e.g. by a logo etc.) then you should name the artist as source.

Read the full licence agreement

13. SplitShire

Large array of unique licence-free pictures you get for free. Best part is that you can really see and feel the love Daniel Nanescu puts in all his pictures. With all these beautiful stock photos online, you will definitely find your picture.

Definitely a tip for royalty-free images that nobody else has so quickly.

Read the full licence agreement

//New Arrivals for 2020

14. Burst

One of the new websites is from Shopify (a webshop provider). The goal is to give entrepreneurs access to good images. Shopify makes many images in-house and provides them under the CC0 license. However, there are also images that are covered by the Shopify license. Therefore you should pay attention before using an image.

On Burst you can find great royalty free images, some of which you can download under CC0 license. (Pay attention to the license for each image!)

Read the full licence agreement

15. Reshot (Runner-Up)

Also new on the list is Reshot. All manually selected royalty free images for private but also commercial use. Great pictures are available. You won’t find “normal stock photos” in the wide selection.

Great selection of hand-selected royalty-free images for private and commercial use.

Read the full licence agreement

16. FoodiesFeed

Looking for mouth-watering pictures? Here you will find a great website with tousands of pictues areound food, nutrition, ingrediences and cooking. Important to note is also that all pictures are available unter CC0 Licences and are completely free to use for whatever you want to do. 

Great website for free pictures around food, “food-porn” and all cooking related images.

Read the full licence agreement

17. Pikwizard

Pikwizard gives you access to high-quality free stock photography and videos. You can also take each image and edit on their own graphic design tool. There’s no attribution required, meaning you can take each image and use it as you please for commercial and non-commercial use.

A great resource with over 100,000 high-quality images and videos as well as an image editor.

Read the full licence agreement

//Our MoreThanDigital Favorites: Unsplash.com and Pexels.com

Probably you also want to know what we like and use the most. We from the MoreThanDigital editorial team like to use Unsplash or Pexels for our beautiful pictures on the articles. As a non-profit oriented initiative we are of course also dependent on free content. Though our limited budget, we are happy to find so beautiful stock photos and make our articles even better for you. Hope you like our picture selection as well, because we always try to find suitable pictures for you to make the articles more beautiful!

Of course, as always this list is not exhaustive and if you know especially good sites for free royalty-free pictures, then we are very happy about a message or mail. We are happy to extend this list with other databases who you love and where you get your free and roaylty-free photos from.

Stay digital!

Serien-Unternehmer seit er erfolgreich mit 13 Jahren die ersten Firmen gründete. Seit jeher hinterfrägt er den «Status Quo» und setzt sich für Innovation, Disruption und neue Ideen ein. Als internationaler Keynote-Speaker, Berater für Firmen und Staaten, Dozent und veröffentlichter Digital Transformation Experte versucht Benjamin international die Themen der Digitalisierung, digitalen Transformation und Innovation voranzutreiben.

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