I reckon there must be more royalty free stock photo sites out there nowadays than there is the number of times I’ve pressed the shutter on my camera. So how do you know which one to use? Whether you’re buying images for marketing purposes or you want to make some cash from those photos sitting on your hard drive, this article will help you decide.
A photographer I follow on Twitter introduced me to EyeEm. His name’s Jack Taylor and he’s super talented. He also wrote an awesome article for how photographers can grow their following on EyeEm.
In a nutshell, EyeEm is kind of like Instagram meets stock photography. It’s a community that puts the photographer in front of some major brands (and some not so major), and it’s a place for brands to find talent.
This is a win-win situation in my eyes…Em (sorry!). It means businesses get easy access to world class branded content at a reasonable cost, and photographers get paid for their work.
Another thing I like about EyeEm is that, if it’s deemed as a good enough quality, your images can end up on Getty. Which leads me to my next royalty free stock photo site.
No list of royalty free stock photo sites is complete without Getty. They’re one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) platforms for selling your images on. And they’re one of the best in terms of how much they pay.
The downside to this is it’s also one of the hardest to sell your work on due to its popularity and sheer volume of images available. Your images really have to be top notch to get noticed, let alone make a sale.
My Very Own Website
That’s right! I sell stock images myself. Better than that, you can buy collections of stock images, all with a similar look and feel. Which means you’ll have a bunch of images to suit your brand in a single download.
you can also contact me directly for individual image purchases.
What I really like about Adobe Stock is how it plugs in to Lightroom. I can add image titles, descriptions and tags all in the Lightroom Library module. Then all I need to do is drag and drop them in to the Adobe Stock plugin and hit publish from the plugin module.
There are a few other things you will need to finish off on the Adobe Stock website. Like model/property releases. But it’s by far the slickest platform I’ve used. They don’t pay as well but that’s the trade off I’m happy to make. I’d rather they were somewhere making money than sitting on my hard drive doing nothing.
Ok, this isn’t a platform you can actually ‘sell’ images from as it’s a free stock site. Good news for those reading this looking for images then! You may wonder why a photographer is promoting a free stock photo site. Well, there are a few benefits.
Yes, it’s that magic word that all creatives love. Exposure! But…
Unsplash actively encourage anyone downloading an image, to credit the photographer. A popup where you can copy the link makes it easy to do this. If you download an image from Unsplash, please credit the original artist. It’s a small price to pay and really helps us out. We’re all in this together, right!
If a business using your images likes your style and wants more, they can contact you to discuss hiring for more work.
The other benefit is their editorial feed. Unsplash are really great at pushing your content on to the editorial feed for increased exposure. This has put more eyes on my work than my marketing budget will ever stretch to.
I’ve had in excess of 500,000 views and over 2,500 downloads. I’ve been on the platform around 1-2 months.
Another free site you may wish to use when helping to raise your profile is Pikwizard. They have over 100,000 completely free images on the site, over 20,000 of those are exclusive to Pikwizard. An area where Pikwizard are strong is that they have A LOT of pictures of people, which tend to be rare in free stock photo sites.
All images on Pikwizard are free to use without attribution.
Let me know in the comments what royalty free stock photo sites you like.