Best Free Stock Photo Sites in 2020 – What is Royalty-Free?

Best Free Stock Photo Sites in 2020 – What is Royalty-Free?

Mark Raffan

Whether on your website, blog, or social media platforms, eye-catching images breathe life into your brand. And you don’t need to hire (or be) a professional to create them.

Finding the perfect royalty-free images can help your brand stand-out. And high-quality stock photos don’t have to come with a big price tag.


What are royalty-free images?

When something is “royalty-free,” it means you can use intellectual property (like photos) without paying royalties or licensing fees. If the royalty-free image is permitted for commercial use, you can use it for your business: websites, social media, brochures, or anything you want to energize with colorful pictures.

Note: Royalty-free images are not the same as copyright-free images, which don’t have a copyright—anyone can use them. Royalty-free images generally do have a copyright. Even though you don’t have to pay royalties, there might be conditions on how you can use them. For instance, you may have to credit the artist when you use the image. Make sure to check.


Here is a list of 10 excellent free stock photo sites in 2020.

All of Negative Space’s photos are free and without copyright restrictions. So you’re able to use them however you please. They also offer new stock photos every week. The easy-to-browse gallery is sorted by category, copy space position, and color.

HubSpot offers free, high-quality photos for creative and marketing professionals. Many of their employees even appear in the images. Feel free to use these photos how you wish—though HubSpot appreciates an inbound link to their photos.

This artist-owned co-op offers authentic stock photos and videos. You’ll need to sign up for their newsletter to access their free images. Then, they’ll deliver 20 new pictures to your inbox a month. There is an option for a premium membership for $15/month or $180/year. The paid membership uses a percentage of the profit to fund photography trips and other creative projects to keep the resource evolving.

Thousands of free and easily searchable stock photos are available for commercial use on Pexel. And they add a range of new high-resolution images every month.’s selection offers dazzling free images for any creative project. And they’re exciting and versatile. They curate high-quality photos from a large pool of submissions and make them easily searchable through a tag-based category system.

With new photos added daily, this stock photo site has a wide selection of free high-quality images. Make sure you check each image’s licensing terms as some have copyright or other restrictions. There are also paid packages for bloggers, designers, and agencies (starting at $10/month).

Unsplash offers pages of free, unique photos (one million-plus) from photographers around the world. It is licensed under Creative Commons Zero. This gives users the ability to copy, alter, distribute, and use all of the photos without permission or attribution.

It’s easy to navigate your way through Pixabay’s diverse collection of free photos, vectors, and illustrations. The main search bar allows you to filter by factors like orientation, media type, color, and minimum dimensions. No attribution is required.

All of the photos on Freerange come from both in-house photographers and a growing community of external contributors. There are tons of superior quality photos to choose from.

New Old Stock offers unique vintage photos from public archives via Flickr commons. The site has dozens of photos free of any “known copyright restrictions,” according to the site. That said, you’ll want to read up on the rights and usage before using them for commercial projects.


There are endless opportunities to spice up your brand materials with visuals—without costing you a fortune. Check out these free stock photo sites to find images that attract attention to your brand.


Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.