However, most images are copyright-protected. If you want to use an image that you did not
create, you generally must obtain permission from the person who did
What is Royalty-Free?
user pays a one-time fee for a royalty-free image license and can
then use the image as many times and in as many places as they
choose. The "free" in royalty-free does not mean the
license is free, just that the user does not have to pay future
royalties to use it.
This is a non-exclusive use,
which means that others may use it and you might even see it
elsewhere on another site or in a brochure. Make sure you read and understand the
(Note: If you
want exclusive or more restricted use, that is called a
"Rights-Managed" license. A Rights-Managed image is
priced according to how you are specifically planning to use it and
can be much more expensive.)
Where can I find Royalty-Free images?
There are many
places to find stock photos (just Google stock photo websites). Stock
illustrations, fonts, videos and audio files are also
can browse the photos and prices without registering. When you
register you can save photos to a lightbox area for future reference.
Questions to ask while looking at a site: Is the site easy to
use? Do you like the photos? Do they match your budget?
How much do they cost?
Price range varies. Ways to purchase stock photos
- Subscription by
day, month or year which allows you to download a set amount of
images during that time period. This is a smart option for
someone who uses a lot of stock images or is working on a big
project (or several projects) that will need many images.
are also pay
as you go options where you can purchase images
a-la-cart or by using credits. A-la-cart is good when
you only occasionally use a stock photo or image. Paying with credits
is a good option when you are working on a project where you
know you will be buying multiple images because you can get a
discount for buying credits in bulk. Credits usually expire
after a year from purchase date.
are also stock photo sites that are free; however these can be
hit or miss as far as quality and/or selection. For me it
makes more sense to pay a few dollars to quickly find what I am
looking for, rather than to waste hours looking for a free
Some good quality and affordable stock sites are listed
below. I have found these to
be easy to use and provide good quality images for those who are
are a great resource for websites and other design projects!
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