Since I started blogging several years ago, I had spent hundreds of ringgit purchasing photos online. It is quite a massive amount for me considering how much return (of profit) that I got on those investment, which is not much really. 😀
However, the idea of purchasing photo and images online is one of the ways to improve the quality of my websites plus as a show of respect and support for someone else’s work and copyright. These people spent a lot of time and money just to create that quality photo shot and it will be unfair to use their work for free or not give credit to them.
Taking My Own Photos
Although I have my own DSLR camera, there are many shots that are beyond me and my camera’s ability. Underwater shot (like the one below) or shots that require models posing in them are examples of photos that I’m unable to capture.
Therefore I have to thank stock photos websites for providing me with such images although I still need to pay them for their services. 😉
Royalty Free Stock Photo
It must be noted here that I’m only using these photos for my websites. Therefore, I don’t need to purchase exclusive rights of the photos which are a bit pricey. Website owners or bloggers like me normally purchase the royalty free licence (RF licence) for use of image/photo on websites or blogs.
This right is for a limited use only and it does not hand to you the ownership of the photo. You can use the photo but you can’t sell it to someone else plus there are other restrictions that you must adhere to.
Do read the TOC carefully before using them.
Top Royalty Free Stock Photo Websites
There are so many websites that provide royalty free image photos (RF licence) on the internet. You just need to pick the one that suit your need and budget. Here are some of my favourites:
Dreamstime is without doubt my personal favourite! This website has one of the largest libraries of stock photos on the net. At the time of writing, they have more than 26 million images, and about 100,000 contributing photographers.
The quality of the photos here are excellent. So, I bought them mostly for use in my niche websites. Only a few are used in this website. Yup, those underwater shot and one with a model in it.
Most free photos require no attribution to the photographer in your design/usage. Photos at Dreamstime remain on the site indefinitely.
Browsing for photo is easy in Dreamstime. Just enter the relevant keyword and walla, you’ll find the one you’re looking for (most of the time). See the screenshot below:
Unfortunately, you can only search photos by keyword; there are no advanced search filters like orientation, color or model options, etc. Still, it’s not a big problem, is it?
To learn more about DREAMSTIME, visit their website HERE.
Big Stock Photo
Another excellent website to find royalty free photos for my websites. This site has 20 million stock photos, illustrations and vectors – a huge collection of images that you can download at the tip of your finger. Plus, it is cheaper than Dreamstime too.
Most images are fairly clear, but their quality is pretty run of the mill and cannot compete with top notch photographic artists. Still, it is good enough for your business and niche blog, I think.
Big Stock Photo offers reasonably priced images and have good search options. You can also test run their website by registering for their 7-Day Trial. It’s really a very good offer. Trust me on this!
To learn more about BIG STOCK PHOTO, visit their website HERE.
Fotolia is one of the oldest stock photo sites on the net. Their free section is quite good, but changes every day and the free photos that were there yesterday, may not be there the next day.
They offer ten to twenty free photos every day. If you have the time to download and tag all of them every day, you could build quite a library of photos.
To learn more about FOTOLIO, visit their website HERE.
Can Stock Photo
Can Stock Photo probably offers one of the cheapest photos in the market, especially if you are NOT buying photos in bulk or intent to be a subscriber. The quality of the images aren’t bad and it has a lot of Malaysian photos. So, it is a good place for Malaysian travel bloggers to find photos to use in their posting. That will make your blog more impressive!
One great thing about Can Stock Photo is their website is so simple and fast loading. You can easily navigate the website and browse for photos. Downloading is fast and payment can be made via Paypal.
The only weakness in their website is probably their content. They don’t have large image library like the others and their image is not up to the standard like in Dreamtime or Fotolio. Still, it is good enough for me to fork out a couple hundred ringgit for their services.
To learn more about CAN STOCK PHOTO, visit their website HERE.
To be honest, I don’t normally use iStockphoto but I know that this is one of the most popular royalty free stock photo website on the internet. They have excellent quality photos that are often Photoshopped to within an inch of their lives already (which is either a good or bad thing).
Plus, iStockphoto has a responsive helpdesk and a comprehensive FAQ.
You can find so many images in this website. It has a huge library with millions of photos inside. They also offer one free image a week, but it is always high quality.
Note that free images from the last three weeks are kept available for download. Similar to Fotolia, you’ll have to make it a habit to download and tag these photos yourself so you can search them on your own computer.
Their price is a bit steep for some. One photo will cost you minimal USD 15. However, if quality is what you are looking for, then price should not be an issue, I think.
To learn more about iSTOCKPHOTO, visit their website HERE.
Well, that’s FIVE royalty free stock photo websites that I normally use to find photo for my websites/blogs. There are many more that you can find online. Just google the keywords “royalty free stock photo” and you’ll find tons of them. However, these are the ones that I normally use and I highly recommend that you try them too.
Do check their sites and tell me what you think of them.
– Recommended Royalty Free Stock Photo Website