Royalty free stock images


If you are in any way connected to web design or desktop publishing you probably spend a lot, I mean A LOT of time browsing for the suitable images for your projects. No matter how good your initial idea is if you don’t have the right images to bread some life into it, your work will go unnoticed or your customers wont be satisfied.

Of course, there are huge online photo collections available for (usually not so small) monthly subscription or download fee. Some of the most famous are ShutterStock and iStockPhoto.

However we all have been in a situation when it’s not possible to buy photos from these sites (tight budget, for example :D) or it’s just not rational choice. Sometimes we just need photos to show the best version of a product to the customers (like when you are making a template of any kind) or to illustrate some of the features and functionalities.

Thanks to the 21st century and the Internet, now we have free stock photos or royalty free images (however you want to call them) to help us. What this means is that the author who made the photo gave up on all copyrights and that you (potential user) can do with the photo whatever you want. Great thing about these photos are that they can be found in high-res and nowadays collection of these images through Internet became really huge.

Here is the list of the sites we regularly visit when we hunt good images.


Top 5 free stock sites



Unsplash is a huge collection of free high-resolution photos and has arguably become the best source for stock images. Here you can find great atmospherical photos, landscapes, travel photos and nature. However, don’t expect clean product shoots on a white background 🙂




StockSnap  has a large selection of beautiful free stock photos and high resolution images. The site also has a very handy search feature making it easy to browse through the thousands of images available.



Life of Pix

Life of Pix is a resource created by the LEEROY creative agency offering free high-resolution photos with no copyright restrictions. New pictures are added weekly.




PicJumbo  is a collection of some free and some premium photos for your commercial & personal works. New photos are added daily from a wide variety of categories including abstract, fashion, nature, technology and much more.


Jay Mantry 

Jay Mantry   posts some really nice photos with a variety of different themes. Check out his Tumblr.




Edit>> Recently we have started our own project regarding free stock photos – RightLight photos. Please check it out. The site still doesn’t have large photo collection but we will add photos so eventually it can really become helpful resource for a web designers. All photos are organized in sets and available in high-res. Please comment if you like.