23 Best Websites for Free & Royalty Free Images (2024 Update)

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

For presentations, websites, flyers and much more you always need good pictures. We’ve put together a list of the best sites for free royalty-free images to help you find the right photos for your projects.

Everyone has had the problem of needing a nice picture and not having one to hand. Using Google can quickly lead to a lawsuit, so if you want to get it right, you should avoid this. The solution is to use royalty-free images from certain image databases, which are best of all: free.

Databases offering CC0 licence-free images are also worth mentioning. For this reason, we have written a separate article explaining what CC0 means. Here are 12 websites for royalty-free stock photos – with CC0 and free of charge

Please read before using free pictures

It is important for everyone, but especially businesses, to be careful when using free images they find on the internet. Just because an image is freely available does not mean that it can be used without restriction. Many images are copyrighted and require permission from the copyright holder to be used (licence to use).

Before using a free image, check the licence terms to understand any restrictions or usage requirements. Some licences allow images to be used for non-commercial purposes, while others may require attribution or the payment of royalties. Failure to comply with the licence terms may result in legal action, such as the payment of damages or the issuance of a cease and desist order.

To avoid potential legal problems, it is advisable to use images with Creative Commons (best use CC0) or Public Domain licences. These types of licences usually allow the use of images without permission or payment of fees, as long as the terms of the licence are followed. Therefore, carefully check the terms of use for free images and obtain permission or use images under an appropriate licence to avoid potential legal consequences.

1. Unsplash (Editors Choice #1)

According to Unsplash, every 10 days they publish 10 royalty-free images that you can do anything with, as they are also CC0 and therefore licence-free for all projects. The images are really high quality and well selected. The database of royalty-free images is also nicely sorted and helps you 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 license agreement

2. Pexels.com (Editors Choice #2)

Great platform offering hand-picked royalty-free images under the Creative Commons Zero License, also known as CC0. This means that the images can be used for personal and business purposes without attribution. You can also use the site’s great search function to quickly find the image you need.

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 license agreement

3. Pikwizard

Pikwizard gives you access to high-quality free stock photography and videos. You can also take each image and edit it 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 license agreement

4. Vecteezy

Pikwizard gives you access to high quality, free stock photography and video. You can also take any image and edit it using your own graphic design tool. There’s no attribution required, so you can take any image and use it however you like for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Here you can find many images that you can also use for free and it is also worthwhile to search this image database.

Read the full license agreement

5. Freerange

The stock photos on the site come from a pool of photographers who contribute free and royalty-free images from their stock photo libraries. We are also slowly building a community around the site to provide additional content. The aim is to provide really good, 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 license agreement

6. StockSnap.io

StockSnap.io’s motto of “not being just another shitty stock photo site” is a very good one. You could spend hours scrolling through the great shots and viewing the hand-picked masterpieces of royalty-free imagery. Definitely worth a few views/clicks as you will find images that are not available anywhere else.

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 license agreement

7. New Old Stock

The New Old Stock image database has a great selection of black and white images and some really unique shots. If you like vintage you should definitely bookmark this image 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 license agreement

8. Pixabay

Really huge database of images, vector graphics and more, which can be filtered or sorted by orientation, media type, etc. Pixabay also offers royalty-free images & other content such as videos, vector graphics, etc. under the Creative Commons CC0, so you can use it anywhere 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 license agreement

9. Picjumbo

For larger projects like websites, blogs, etc. you can find everything here. Picjumbo has a lot of high quality images and the premium content packages and Photoshop plugins 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 license agreement

10. Startup Stock Photos

As the name suggests, this site is for start-ups. But don’t be surprised if you find images for your business, even if you’re not a start-up. The images are specially designed to showcase content, apps and other things, so you can look professional without having to spend a lot of money on photo shoots with models, etc. If you need to market a new app or website, or just need a nice photo for a presentation, this could be the best place to find your royalty-free photo.

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

Read the full license agreement

11. Kamboopics

Beautiful and unique stock photos by Karolina Grabowska. Thousands of images suitable for Instagram and social media. You are sure to find something special here. We recommend that you read 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 license agreement

12. Morguefile

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

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 the source.

Read the full license agreement

13. SplitShire

A huge selection of unique, royalty-free images that you can get for free. Best of all, you can really see and feel the love that Daniel Nanescu puts into all his images. With all these beautiful stock photos online, you are sure to find your image.

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

Read the full license agreement

14. Burst

One of the new sites is from Shopify (a web shop provider). The aim is to give entrepreneurs access to good images. Shopify makes many of its own images and makes them available under the CC0 licence. However, some images are covered by the Shopify licence. You should therefore check 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 license agreement

15. Reshot (Runner-Up)

Also new to the list is Reshot. All manually selected royalty free images for personal and commercial use. Great images 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 license agreement

16. FoodiesFeed

Looking for delicious images? Here is a great website with thousands of food, nutrition, ingredients and cooking images. Best of all, all the images are available under CC0 licences, so you can use them for whatever you like.

Great website for free pictures around food and all cooking related images.

Read the full license agreement

17. Negative Space

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

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 license agreement


Gratisography says about their royalty free image database that they have a “Peace Of Mind Licence” which allows the images to be used commercially but also personally for all projects. There are many photos in the database and some are completely unique and cannot be found in other databases.

Image database with many royalty free images with the promise of easy license.

Read the full license agreement

19. Life of Pix

Not one of the biggest platforms out there, but there is a selection of free images. Many images are provided by partner Adobe and are only available for a fee. Photographers can donate their images here and make them available to the public for free.

Smaller database where photographers can donate their images

Read the full license agreement

20. Flickr

Flickr is a great platform for putting images online and sharing them. With the handy “Licences” filter, you can also find images that can be used for free and for commercial projects. Just set the filter to “Commercial use & mods allowed”.

Large image platform, which also provides commercially usable free images

21. Free Images

Over 300,000 images online and a large database of unique free images. But be careful, as their own licence agreements may restrict use in certain areas. Read the licence agreement carefully before using the images!

Large database however you should read carefully for the image rights

Read the full license agreement

22. Iso Republic

Offers a wide range of high quality photos and videos, particularly useful for creative professionals. The site offers CC0 licensed media that can be used freely for both personal and commercial projects.

Good database with some unique pictures.

Read the full license agreement

23. SkitterPhoto

If you are looking for a niche player, this site offers a wide range of free stock photos licensed under CC0. The images are contributed by photographers from all over the world and cover numerous categories.

Great database for travel related pictures under CCO license.

Read the full license agreement

Guide: Using Google Image Search (without risk)

When using Google Images for creative projects, it’s important to make sure I’m using images that are free to use under a Creative Commons licence. Use the Google search bar to find images that match your search terms. When you see the images you want, go to ‘Tools’ and then ‘Licensing’. From here, I can choose to only see images that are free to use under a Creative Commons licence.

Once you’ve found the right image, click on it to bring up the preview on the right, then right-click on ‘Save Image As’. This will save the image to my computer so you can use it in my project.

How to find Creative Commons and royalty free pictures with Google Image Search7 steps to get free photos without royalty attribution from Google: 

  1. Search pictures with Google images search
  2. Go to “Tools”
  3. Click on the optioons of “Usage Rights”
  4. Select “Creative Commons licenses”
  5. Select the picture you like
  6. Check the copyright information
  7. Right click on the picture and select “Save Image As”

Please note: Don’t use an image on the internet without first checking that you have the right to do so. Even if an image is licensed under a Creative Commons licence, there may still be restrictions. For example, some licences require you to give credit to the creator of the image (called attribution), even if you’re using it for commercial purposes. So make sure you read the small print before using any image!

Our MoreThanDigital Favorites


You might also want to know what we like and use most. The MoreThanDigital editorial team likes to use Unsplash or Pexels for the beautiful images we use in our articles. Of course, as an NGO initiative, we also rely on free images. With our limited budget, we are happy to find such beautiful stock photos to make our articles look even better for you, but we have to respect the licences and rights of the stock images. That’s why both offer a great opportunity, as they can be used commercially in any way, so we don’t have to worry about our image choices.

More websites and an explanation of CC0 licences can be found in the related article: 12 websites for royalty-free images with CC0 and for free

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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