The Best Royalty Free Image Sites

The Best Royalty Free Image Sites

Following on from last week’s blog about copyright and the use of other peoples photographs to promote your business, we’ve had a look around on the internet to find the best ‘royalty free’ image libraries.  Stipends and rates vary from site to site depending on the regularity your company may need to source such a site.  You may regularly need to find pictures in your job so an on-going ‘all you can eat’ account is probably what you need and vice-versa – should you rarely need to do it.

Each image usually appears as a web version and a print version. As you know – print versions have a higher resolution because ther amount of detail and memory needed to make a picture sharp on a page is far larger than that of a web file.

Here’s the top three image libraries Priory Press would recommend using, although there are a lot more out there (some of which actually specialise in specific industries or sports).

iStock by Getty Images


iStock by Getty Images offers millions of affordable, unique, royalty free images and stock photos. Images can be downloaded using iStock credits, which are sold in preset packages. The site features a simple search facility as well as a ‘browse by category’ function, making it easy to find what you’re looking for amongst the thousands of images it holds. 




With over 33 million royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos Shutterstock,is a global marketplace for the creative community. The site is extremely easy to navigate, with images organised into popular categories and featuring a useful keyword search tool. To download content, a subscription or image on demand package is required. Updated with more than 20,000 new images daily, you’re sure to find something inspiring every time you visit this photo library.




Alamy prides itself on doing things a bit differently. It has a strong philanthropic agenda with over £2.8 million to good causes since 2007 and a commitment to give students 100 per cent commission from the sale of their images. Which is jolly decent, but even if you’re not bothered about the philanthropic angle you’ll probably be keen on its library of over 45 million images and nearly 300,000 video clips. You can also download a free iPad app that’s updated daily with images from its collection.

If you need any further advice on copyrighting images call our friendly team today before you print your promo materials.