Royalty free images can make or break an article. No matter how interesting your article is, if it has nothing but blocks and blocks of text to scroll through, no one is going to read it! As someone who runs a travel photography blog, I know that producing your own photos for every post you write can be time consuming! So, to help out my fellow bloggers and photographers, I’ve put together a list of the 10 (free) best stock photo websites for photographers and blogs.
I’ll openly admit that if I click on an article and it’s nothing but text, I’ll click off it. I just won’t commit to reading something that looks long and boring on the eye.
I also think that where possible, it is always best to use your own photos, especially if you are blogging, as it helps to make your blog stand out and give it personality.
That said, if you’re struggling to take good photos, or you don’t have time to be out snapping your camera for every single article, then royalty free stock photos can be a blogger’s or photographer’s life saver.
Choosing Royalty Free Images with Value
The general rule of thumb for articles is that the most successful posts tend to have an image around every 75-100 words.
That being said, the pictures need to relate to your post. They should add value to the content. Not distract the reader from the point you’re trying to make.
Anyway, I’ll elaborate on that in another post. Let’s get to the good stuff!
The Best Site’s for Royalty Free Stock Images
Using other people’s photos from paid stock photo websites or on a commission basis can often come with a hefty price tag. Which, if you’re a new blogger or photographer especially, you probably can’t afford to be wasting your money on. All of the websites I list below offer FREE photos for you to use.
This is by far my favourite site for finding free stock photos for our blog. It’s easy to use, and you don’t even have to make an account! You just hop on, find the image you want, and download it. Simple as that.
The layout of Unsplash is so well designed as well. You can do a direct search for whatever image you want in the search bar. Or for inspiration, you can browse through the themes.
The thing I love about Unsplash as well is that, although it isn’t compulsory, you can credit the photographer. Unsplash give you an option to copy the photographers’ details for the image caption, or embed their details in your images.
This way, you’re supporting them by getting their name out a bit which I think is fantastic.
Pixabay is another great one, and works in a similar way to Unsplash. A great thing about this site is that you can choose the image size before you download it too.
One of the issues I have with the free stock images on Unsplash is that they are usually so big! If you care about your blog or website’s loading speed, then you’ll know that unnecessarily large image files will slow your page right down. Thus, having the option to reduce the file size on Pixabay is a real plus.
Pixabay users also get 30 free days of Adobe Stock!
This is again very similar to the other two. I love this site because of the many categories to browse through! I use this site less than Unsplash or Pixabay, but its one to add to your armory if they aren’t delivering.
Pexels is one of the best sites out there for royalty free stock photos simply because of the quality of the photos. You’ll find high-resolution photos only.
This site also offers the option to browse through the photos via a ‘most popular’ section as well.
It also has a leaderboard, where photographers can post their photos and you can vote for your favourite ones. This is great if you’re a photographer and want to try and get your name out!
Another free stock image website where you can search for your photos through colour! This is great for bloggers that follow a colour theme on their posts and images.
With Flickr you have to create an account but the images are all still free. Another great site for high-resolution photos. I do use this less on my blog, but again it’s worth noting.
You’ll find fantastic royalty free photos here as well as free videos!
Free stock videos are much harder to come by than images, and so Splitshire is one to bear in mind if you want some free video footage for your blog or photography social media account.
The name says it all. A site for start-up photographers, bloggers, journalists, and just general creators.
The owner of this site publishes two photos a day, so you won’t struggle to find new images!
These images are free like the rest stated, but you have to credit the source when you use them.
This is an important point to make, as you could land your blog in trouble if you don’t credit the source of the images you find here.
There you have it!
10 websites that you can find royalty free images stock images for photographers or bloggers, totally free of charge.
Just try to remember to choose unique images that add value to your points.
Remember that while not all of these sites require you to credit the photographer, some of them do! Make sure you do check the licensing or you could end breaking the law.
Of course, there’s more websites out there for royalty free images. But for now, this should be enough for you to get on with!
One of the founders of People of the Planet. Psychology graduate, digital marketer, and lover of travel and exploring new places!
This is amazing I didn’t realise there were sites out there that offered royalty free photos at no extra cost, thanks for enlightening me
Yeah there are some fantastic sites out there for bloggers! Glad the article was useful for you.