15+ Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Want to download Shutterstock-like royalty-free images for Free?

Shutterstock is a premium royalty-free stock photography website, where you can get any type of original photography for your commercial usage. You can download up to 10 images for Free with the Shutterstock Free Trial. You can also get a Free Shutterstock Image every week. To download more images, you need to purchase their Paid Plans, which start from $49 per month for ten images (or $4.9 per image).

This can be quite costly to afford, and usually, if you do not have many investments, to begin with.

Well, lucky for you, there are a lot of Free Alternatives to Shutterstock where you can search and download stock images for Free. These photographs come with a Creative Commons License, so they are free to download, use, and even distribute.

Can this collection replace Shutterstock entirely?

Honestly, no. Shutterstock collection expands by millions every week. But don’t worry, I have more options than you can imagine! Here is a list of Shutterstock Alternative Stock Photo Websites where you can join and search for your Pictures.

The list is arranged in random order. So, make sure you check them all. Here’s an overview:


Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

The reason I kept is, in the beginning, is that I regularly use it for creating the featured images in HiTricks, our social media banners, and whatnot. It is my way-to-go storage for stock picture hunt. It has so far one of the most extensive collections of stock images, and the good thing is it collects pictures from several other similar free websites.

Okay, let’s talk about licensing. All photos from Pexels are Free to Download, Edit, Modify and Distribute in as many ways you can. And you do not need to credit the original owner for that. They are completely royalty-free. So, just go ahead and try.



Unsplash: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

I will put this just after Pexels, due to their quality of the collections. Unsplash images are provided by real users like you and me, who get to contribute their original photos. Quality is their priority, and you will get some great options over there. The pictures are broadly divided into three categories: Backgrounds, Images, and Wallpapers.

Backgrounds will comprise of landscapes, sea-beaches, city-life, and more such scenic beauties. Wallpapers are designed to give you a special sorted list of wallpapers for smartphones or desktops. Regarding licensing, they are the same as Pexels. You get to use the photos without giving credits. But if you give, it is appreciated. Check it out.



Pixabay: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Pixabay is a rare gem of royalty-free media. Launched back in 2010, it grew into a massive collection of stock photography. Not only standard pictures, but you will also get a dedicated space for illustrations and vectors. Apart from that, pixabay also provides royalty-free stock videos and audios.

Regarding licensing, you can use it for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, and may or may not give credits to the original owner. But selling the unmodified original photo in other premium photography networks like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock Photos is not allowed. Check out Pixabay below.



15+ Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Vecteezy has a prodigious collection of captivating stock photos that is available for free download both for free and commercial usage. Apart from photos, you can also download stock videos and vectors from different categories. One unique thing I liked about Vecteezy is that it puts a community-first attitude and has a ‘featured contributor’ section on the search dropdown. The free license permits limited usage, and you do need to give proper attributions in this case. It also offers a Pro plan which allows you to use all their images and vectors as much as you want without attributions. Check it out below.



Stocksnap: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Stocksnap has a curated catalog of high-quality stock photographs, submitted by original creators. It has hundreds of categories where you can browse, and hundreds of new pictures are added up every week. As with the other websites, all photos come with Creative Commons (CC0) License. Check it out.


Shopify Burst:

Shopify Burst: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

The giant e-com setup store Shopify also provides its collection of Stock Photography aimed towards their sellers. You will find a variety of stock pictures. They are targeted mostly for business owners and entrepreneurs, for adding into product listings both for commercial and personal usage.

What’s special is that there is a dedicated business ideas page which you can browse to get both new selling ideas as well as relevant pictures related to it. As always, the images are royalty-free and comes with CC0 License.

Shopify Burst



FreeImages: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images


Freeimages is a newer entrant in the stock photography genre and is now actively growing each day. Its collection is quite small compared to the ones above and contains only about 3Million images at the time of writing this post. But this website will also allow you to use some of the different images which aren’t used elsewhere. So, you can still search for your desired image here and hit a gem. Check it out.



Gratisography: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Two things to say about Gratisography: Firstly, they are original. You won’t find Gratisography images elsewhere on any other cross-platforms Secondly, Gratisography provides a curated collection of free to use stock pictures of the following categories only: Animals, Business, Nature, Objects, People, Urban, and Whimsical. Their whimsical collection is quite extraordinary, especially if you sell products where you might use them as a creative design. Check it out.



Kaboompics: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Kaboompics is unique in itself. Firstly, the collection is tiny, with even less than 20K photos. And secondly, they are mostly created from one team of people. But there’s a reason billions of people downloaded these: It fulfills your professional photoshoot purposes. All images are special and pleasing to look at. They are made for studio usage.

Honestly, the first time I saw these images, I was in awe. I was like, how could someone release these images with a royalty-free creative commons license? Go check them out. You are in for a surprise.



Canva: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

If you don’t know about Canva, then you are probably missing out on an entire world of photography and graphic editing. I use Canva for all our design works, banners, and posters. Canva has a wide collection of Royalty-Free Images that not only you can download, but you can also instantly edit them, add some texts or styles, and make your poster online for free.

Canva is more than just stock photos. You can create flyers, posters, resume, invitation cards, presentations, blog, and social media featured images, and much more. To use those features, you need to visit Canva.com and register. Since we are dealing with only stock images here, I will only link to their free stock photos below.

Canva Stock Photos


RGBStock: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

RGBStock is a small community with limited high-quality photography from some dedicated photographers. While you will get photos from all categories, their licensing is a bit different from the rest. While you can freely download them, they are not royalty-free. Means, they are copyright protected. You cannot use them for commercial purposes; you need to contact the owners and obtain their permission. Yes, you won’t be charged, but written permission is necessary. But due to these stringent policies, the photographs you will find here are of high quality. Check them out.



Stockvault: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Stockvault deals with both free and premium stock images. The premium ones will redirect you to Shutterstock, but the free ones come with a Creative Commons License. For publishers and photographers, it offers a unique way to earn, even by uploading stock images at Stockvault.

Firstly, you can accept donations via PayPal or Skrill. Secondly, you can place Google AdSense Ads on the pages where you have your images. So, if you have an existing Google AdSense account, you can place your ad-code over here. Any visitor who clicks your ads over Stockvault, you will get 100% of the revenue/impression on your Ads.  For this reason, Stockvault got a large collection of original, high-quality stock photos. Go check them out.



Negativespace: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Hosting over just a few thousand images, Negativespace is a small-platform for stock photography. Nevertheless, Negativespace has a unique color-based search option, which is helpful if you are decorating your room and need a suitable photo of your favorite color. It also helps brands with some colorful images that match their identity. I will recommend you to check out this unique search model. As always, Negativespace images come with the Creative Commons CC0 License. Check it out.



Picspree: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Picspree provides a wide range of royalty-free photography over three main categories: Regular Photography, Illustrations, and Vectors. The site speed is particularly on the slower side than most of the other websites I listed here, so you need to have some patience and wait till it loads properly. Regarding licensing, you are allowed to use the images for both personal and commercial use.



LifeofPix: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

LifeofPix is a whole community of Photographers, with their professional works. It aims to provide a platform for budding photographers to showcase their works. Each photographer gets their profile where they can add their photos. This website focuses more on raw photography, and not photoshoots or stock images in general. You won’t find illustrations or vectors over here. The uploaded photos are donated for public usage without attributions so that you can use them for your professional work.



Freestock: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

Freestock provides Stock Photos, Vector Images, Stock Icons, and Videos. As the name suggests, they are free to download and use. Well, one important thing to note about Freestock is that you need to give credits wherever you use their images. You can, however, use it for both personal and commercial purposes, after giving an attribution. Keep this in mind while using the images.



PxHere: Best Shutterstock Alternatives: Download Royalty Free Images

PxHere will be my last suggestion in this bunch of Royalty Free Stock Photography Websites. It has a vast catalog of original photographs from all genres. All photos come under the Creative Commons CC0 License and can be used for both commercial and non-commercial reasons. Check it out.


Last Words:

So, I hope your quench for stock photography hunt is over now, and you would be able to manage a stockpile of royalty-free images for your professional needs. Let me know if there are any other websites that we missed, which provides 100% free stock images. I will add it up.

As you can see, you don’t always need to buy premium images from Shutterstock or other platforms to get your work done. Sometimes, all it needs is just open minds, and you will surely get some good free alternatives.

That’s all for now. If you have further queries, then don’t forget to comment below. I will be happy to help. Also, do share this post with your friends. Use the social share buttons below.

Well, we are not done yet. In the next part of this post, I will collect Free Stock Video websites for you, that you can use for your project works, youtube videos, or more. It will be live soon. Keep checking HiTricks.

Nirmal Sarkar
Nirmal Sarkar

Nirmal Sarkar is a Biotechnologist from the city of Joy, Kolkata. He is the founder of this blog and covers a wide range of topics from Gadgets to Software to Latest Offers. You can get in touch with him via nirmal@hitricks.com

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