Royalty-free photos for social media and blog posts

stock photos

Great photography is increasingly important, as social media becomes a major point of contact for customers. While a quick Google search is simple, unfortunately it’s not legal. You risk receiving “take down” notices from companies who make more money by threatening lawsuits than they do selling the images in question.

So how do you find quality, risk and royalty free photos?

Two of my go-to sites are:


Pixabay has photos, illustrations, even video clips for free. A lot of European photos are available, if you have an international market. They even have an app for your mobile device.

How do they make money? You’ll notice a strip of photos from paid stock companies at the top and right of the results page.


Free photos and videos, including green-screen video in which you can add your own background.


In a short time, Unsplash has gone from an artsy photo boutique to a great source of quality photos that are much easier to search these days. They do ask you to credit the artists, but it’s not required. How do they make money – I really don’t know.

There are some ways to search Google, Bing and Flickr for creative commons photos, but they don’t guarantee your right to use the image they way the two sites above do. Getty has a way to embed photos in blogs that give them credit. If you are a massive blogger, that may be worth signing up for. But for social media use, it’s not very helpful.

Be safe. Bookmark these sites and always check them first for appropriate images.

And just so you know, I am not an affiliate and get nothing out of recommending these sources.