They say a picture is worth a thousand words and undoubtedly it is true. Studies have seen a growth of 42% in click-through rate (CTR) when images are used, be it a blog post or a social media campaign. About a decade ago it used to cost money to get premium quality images from commercial stock photo websites, however, it is now far easier with several websites which offer top images which are royalty-free at no cost.
That’s right, you can simply download these images and use them for any commercial activity without worrying about any royalty. Most of these websites offer these images with a CC0 or a creative commons 0 license which enables the downloaders to download and utilize these images for commercial purposes without any restriction or paying any fee. In fact, the users don’t even need to mention any credit to the original creator of the work (ideally one should give due credits). The websites which don’t use the CC0 license have similar licenses based on it (we always recommend users to read the terms before using the images).
Not just for bloggers but photography enthusiasts who wish to reach out to a huge audience can also utilize these websites to share their content with the world. Unlike major stock libraries which have several criteria to be fulfilled by photographers to be allowed to join, these websites function more like a social network where signing up and uploading images takes just a few minutes. In a way, these platforms are like Instagram meets Getty as they enable photographers to upload images instantly but also allow other users to view, download and use these images for any commercial or non-commercial purpose.
A few such websites would be –
Probably the most famous website with more than a million images in its database. Unsplash is owned by stock images giant Getty.
Another big name, that has tons of high-quality premium images and videos. In 2018, Canva acquired Pexels.
With 2.5 million high-quality images, Pixabay continues to be another website with extremely high-quality images. Like Pexels, Pixabay is also owned by Canva.
Not just images, they offer templates and videos as well.
Created by Rudy and Peter, Skitterphoto is based out of the Netherlands.
This website offers free icons, images, and illustrations for free.
Isorepublic provides thousands of images and videos.