8 Sources for the Best Royalty-free Photos

In an ideal world, you would have the time and resources for a photoshoot or hire an illustrator for perfectly curated images for your articles, content, website, or business. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, and there are times when you have to rely on other sources to find the perfect pictures to highlight your brand or drive a point across.

Thanks to the Internet, you can access a wide pool of free image sources. However, sifting through all of them to find the best ones can be a time-consuming process, and you can’t afford to lose precious minutes if you’re on a tight deadline. The good news is, we've already filtered them and compiled the places that offer only the best free photos out there. You’re welcome.

1. Pixabay

Pixabay offers a wide range of free tools that you can use for personal and commercial works without attribution or citing the owner. Their library includes videos, photos, vector graphics, and illustrations that you can filter by typing keywords into the search bar.

Pixabay also accepts photo contributions, but it needs to be approved before it appears publicly in their gallery.

2. Unsplash

Unsplash has a huge library of high-resolution photos in a lot of categories including architecture, nature, animals, and food. Every ten days, ten new pictures are added to their catalog, which means that you always have fresh and new images to look forward to.

3. Superfamous

If you’re looking for beautiful landscapes and agricultural photography, head over to Superfamous. Designer Folkert Gorter uses the site to share his images and allow people to use it for free in their works. All he asks is to be credited for the photos.

Superfamous is a scroll-through site, meaning there’s no search option. If you have time to spare, you can browse through the gallery and gain inspiration as you go along.

4. PicJumbo

PicJumbo features free high-resolution images organized in different categories, allowing you to easily find the photos that you need. Free images can be used for personal and commercial works, and don’t require attribution.

If you want access to more images and want them delivered right to your inbox, you can sign up for a premium subscription that requires a monthly fee.

5.IM Free

IM Free is not your typical online free image source because they offer more than that. Aside from photos, you can access Web design tools like templates, icons, and buttons.

If you’re going to use an image or tool from IM Free, make sure to verify the license, because some of them need attribution.

6. Gratisography

Ryan McGuire is the man behind Gratisography—a library of his well-curated images that evoke a specific message or mood. All of his photos are copyright free and don’t need citation or credit. But if Gratisography has helped you a lot in your projects, you can thank Ryan by sending him a few bucks for coffee via PayPal. He would appreciate that a lot.

7. Free Images

Free Images has a library of 388,083 free photos and illustrations that are organized into different categories. If you’re creating a health-related website, working on an e-book about the musical legends, or simply looking for images to add texture to your design, you will find it here.

Images are free, but depending on the rules set by the image owner, you may need to credit them or contact them first before you can use their photos.

8. Get Refe

Get Refe is the place to go to for natural-looking images that depict real life. If that’s what you’re looking for, their library of free photos can help you with your work.

Meanwhile, if you have a knack for taking nice pictures—even with your camera phone, you can sell images via Get Refe and earn extra.

You don’t really need to spend much just to get quality images for your projects. All you need is to find the best image sources out there. This handy list is a good start.

Meanwhile, do you know of any free image sources on the Web that we failed to feature in this post? Share them with the rest of the community through the comments section below. 

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