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Great Resources for Royalty Free Images

Royalty Free Image Resources for Your Social Media Presence

In today’s time, there is so much focus being placed on standing out on social media, which adds pressure to ensure you have great graphics. While having a great photo is important for your post, you also want to make sure that you are using a royalty free image as well. We’ve seen several lawsuits recently in where photographers and other copyright holders allege that companies have used their images and content without permission and the number seems to be growing. 

To help, we’ve compiled a few great resources where you can find royalty free images that don’t require payment or attribution. 

Before we begin this blog post, please take note that we are NOT offering legal advice. We are merely collecting information from the web and attempting to inform our readers so that they can perform the necessary due diligence on their own. If you have any legal questions, be sure to contact your attorney for advice. 

Usage of an Image Online

The subject matter of online copyrights as they pertain to images is somewhat complex and could take up a series of blog posts. There are many different rules and guidelines that govern copyrighted images.

In a nutshell, you cannot post an image that someone else created to your website, blog, or social media profile without their permission. 

This means that if you are looking online for images for a recent blog post that you wrote, you can’t just head on over to Google Images and use any old picture that you find.

Copyrights are a legal theory that protects the owners of the photos that you see online. Many photographers feel that it is unfair if a business uses their photos and profits from it without compensation.

There are, however, certain instances where you can use a photo.

Paid Image Sites

There are many different websites out there that have tens of millions of photos that are available for purchase. The costs per photo can vary from site to site and photographer to photographer. Each site will have its own rules as to how a business or individual can use their photos.

Free Image Sites

Also known as “royalty-free” images, these sites offer free photos you can use on a website or social media profile. In some cases, they may require that the image have an attribution, or they may prohibit it from being used commercially. Each image site will have different rules for each photo.

Ten Great Royalty-Free Image Websites

Unsplash.com Cat Search

“cat” search on Unsplash.com

The following websites offer royalty-free, high-quality images. Be sure to check the details on each site because some pictures may still require attribution or different licenses.

  1. PexelsPexels offers free stock photos that fall under the Creative Commons Zero license. Simply go to the site, type in your search, and multiple images will show up. Click the “Info” button to learn more about individual license requirements.
  2. UnsplashUnsplash is another popular free image site. A search for the word “cat” returned over 8,000 images. You can also submit your photos on Unsplash.
  3. PixabayPixabay boasts over 1 million free high-quality images, vectors, illustrations, and videos in its repository. 
  4. Shutterstock – The only downside to the “freebie” image sites is that they sometimes don’t have as diverse of a selection. This is where the paid royalty-free image websites such as Shutterstock are useful. It offers millions of photos for sale.
  5. Adobe StockAdobe Stock photos is another paid site where you can find images for your website, blog, or social media profile.
  6. FreePhotos.ccFreephotos offers just that—free online photos. Be sure to check the licensing requirements for each photo that you select.
  7. BurstBurst is another excellent royalty-free image website.
  8. PicJumboPicJumbo is a rapidly growing image repository site where you can find many free and paid royalty free images.
  9. New Old StockNew Old Stock features older images from various public archives that are free of known copyright restrictions.
  10. ISO Republic – Choose from thousands of unique and royalty-free images at the ISO Republic.

Marketing Help in Raleigh

At AlphaGraphics of Raleigh, we’re much more than a print shop. We’re also marketing experts who you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can help with your content marketing needs, you may email us or request a quote or call us at (919) 832-2828.

Mike Linden

Posted by Mike Linden

Mike Linden is the Vice President of Operations at AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh. He focuses on client relationships, daily operations, business development and digital marketing initiatives. Mike joined the firm in 2008.

Mike is a graduate of the University of North Carolina where he earned a degree in Economics.