Royalty Free Photography and Stock Photos

Photo by  Markus Spiske  on  Unsplash

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

When working on a client project I don't always want to play photographer and would prefer to leave it to the professionals. While I totally appreciate the talents and skills of pro photographers sometimes budgets time don't permit and we need to look for other cost effective options.

Thanks to the world wide web and a plethora of generous photographer we now have access to more professional stock photos than ever before! I don't use stock photos all the time and I wouldn't recommend it, especially for a brand or content creator where I feel it's important to create your own authentic look and feel. But it's times like writing this article that it is more time efficient for me to use a stock image than spend my time styling a shoot, taking and editing the photos. This way I can focus on writing and leave the photography to the professional (who I am more than happy to credit - thanks Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash).

In this blog post I share some of my favourite online image libraries for royalty free photos and affordable stock image alternatives.


Always be sure to check the licence page so you are using the imagery according to their policy.


This site is a mecca of free high resolution photos gifted by a community of generous photographers. You are not even required to give credit but I think it is best practice as a lot of time and energy goes into content creation and your credit could be a lead to their next big job!

Unsplash Royalty Free Photos

The Unsplash licence states (as at July 2018):
All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.



Another amazing library of royalty free photos which you can use for personal and commercial use. From landscapes to desktops, the quality of their photos is second to none!

Pexels Royalty Free Stock Photos

The Pexels licence states (as of July 2018)
All photos on Pexels can be used for free for commercial and noncommercial use.
Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the the photographer or Pexels is not necessary but always appreciated.
You can modify the photos. Be creative and edit the photos as you like.



This royalty free photo library also has illustrations, vectors and videos for you to download and use.

Pixabay Royalty Free Photos

The Pixabay licence states (as of July 2018)
You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist. However, depicted content may still be protected by trademarks, publicity or privacy rights.




Here are some affordable stock image libraries I love!


Her Creative Studio Stock Images

This photography is so dreamy, beautiful and professional. Every shot is styled to perfection and has such a feminine and luxe look, guaranteed to take your content to the next level. Plus every month, proceeds from Her Creative Studio sales are used to sponsor two children from Mali, West Africa. So not only do you have fab imagery but you are helping those in need!

Sign up to the HCS mailing list and you receive a free image every month!



SC Stockshop Image Library

This is one of my all time fave sites for pretty and professional stock photos. While they may appear on the pricey side you have to appreciate the quality of these photos and the amount of ways you can use one shot. I also love how easy it is to search for images by colour, style or collection.

Sign up tp the SC Stockshop mailing list and you will be sent 20 free images to kick start your collection! Plus they send a fabulous and informative email series which gives you tips and inspo on how to use stock imagery.

They also have a sister brand called Social Squares which is monthly subscription service for unlimited styled stock photos for your social spaces - genius!



Creative Market Wordpress Themes

Not only is this site amazing for stock photos, graphics and fonts but they also have themes you can buy for your website or blog. With almost 1000 Wordpress themes in their store you can get a professional and user friendly site for less!



The Hungry JPEG Stock Photos

I love this site not only for affordable stock photos but graphics and fonts too. Using different fonts can totally change the look and feel of your website and marketing material and The Hungry Jpeg offer them for a really great price and in bundles so you get more for less.

They also have a freebies page where you can download free fonts, graphics and design resources.

I hope this post has introduced you to some new stock photo libraries you can use for your next project. If you have a favourite stock photo site feel free to share it in the comments below so I can check it out.


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Royalty Free Photography and Stock Photos


*This post is not sponsored in any way. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.