Free stock photography websites are very popular these days, and there are literally hundreds if not thousands to choose from. Besides selection, quality, and featureset the one factor that is critical in evaluating these websites is the image licensing or terms of use.

It doesn’t matter how many images, or what quality the images being offered are if you can’t use them in your personal or commercial work (the way you want.)

What we found from analyzing the terms of each of these sites is that most; allow unrestricted use for personal works, restrict or do not allow redistribution, do not allow the use of the image to sell the item depicted, and do not allow the user to take credit for the image. The most important point to take into account is their policy towards commercial use.

Without further adieu, I present to you a list of 10 free stock photography websites (gathered and ranked by Google) with a quick reporting of their respective image licensing terms to help you decide which one is best for your creative work.


1. Stock.xchng

You may use the Image

* In digital format on websites, multimedia presentations, broadcast film and video, cell phones.
* In printed promotional materials, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, CD/DVD covers, etc.
* Along with your corporate identity on business cards, letterhead, etc.
* To decorate your home, your office or any public place.

You may not use the Image

* For pornographic, unlawful or other immoral purposes, for spreading hate or discrimination, or to defame or victimise other people, sociteties, cultures.
* To endorse products and services if it depicts a person.
* In a way that can give a bad name to SXC or the person(s) depicted on the Image.
* As part of a trademark, service mark or logo.
* SELLING AND REDISTRIBUTION OF THE IMAGE (INDIVIDUALLY OR ALONG WITH OTHER IMAGES) IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN! DO NOT SHARE THE IMAGE WITH OTHERS!

Read the complete terms…

2. FreeStockPhotos.com

* Every FreeStockPhotos.com photograph must retain the domain name FreeStockPhotos.com when used on the Internet, in a web page, in publications, or in any product, advertising, or packaging. This credit, however, may be cropped out or digitally removed from the photograph if it is included in readable type either near the photos, in the text or in the credits. Films and videos are considered publications for our purposes.

* FreeStockPhotos.com images may be used for both personal and commercial applications. Any publication or product they appear in may be sold or distributed in any way an unlimited number of times as long as the photographs alone are not offered as single, stock, art, or news photography. Photos must appear as part of a page with text or product with text, not alone.

* A limit of 10 images may be used in any one publication, web site, or product without charge.

Read the complete terms…

3. StockVault

* to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
* to Remix — to adapt the work
* Under the following conditions:
* Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Attribute this work:
Information
What does “Attribute this work” mean?
The page you came from contained embedded licensing metadata, including how the creator wishes to be attributed for re-use. You can use the HTML here to cite the work. Doing so will also include metadata on your page so that others can find the original work as well.
* Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
* Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

Read the complete terms…

4. FreeImages.co.uk

* A link (or textural credit in non-web applications) to this site is required where an image is used. Acceptable credits include ‘image: www.freeimages.co.uk’ or a hyperlink to the URL ‘http://www.freeimages.co.uk’. The credit shall be located in a suitably readable font on the same page as the image; Alternatively you may credit ‘size-isnt-everything.co.uk’ if you prefer. See Link to Us for banners, buttons and more information on linking from a website. View an example of how to link here

* When images are used in printed material or non internet-connected electronic media, a credit is needed on each page (or a facing page) where an image is used. The credit can either be at the bottom of the page or near the image i.e. in a caption. Many designers find the credit is less intrusive when it is printed sideways or at the edge of the page near the gutter.

* Images may also be used in other forms of digital and video media (games, demos, presentations, interactive systems, films etc.) a credit is required either where the image is used, or at the start of the presentation/film or on a ‘welcome screen’.

Read the complete terms…

5. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

General premise

* If you use a free version of a photo you must credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net
* If you purchase the photo you do not need to credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net
* Photos may be used for personal, educational and corporate use
* Photos may be used in products that are sold, but only where the photos are used for illustration or decoration
* Photos may not be used on products where the image is the sole reason someone would buy the product – for example greetings cards, mugs, calendars, T-shirts and so on

Read the complete terms…


6. Free-stockphotos.com

* You may use any of files downloaded from Free-StockPhotos.com free of charge or obligation for any commercial or personal design work (Please pay attention to point 3,6,7,8 regarding commercial/personal work).

* Credit for the use of materials downloaded from this site such as a link back to Free-StockPhotos.com is much appreciated. You can copy the following code and paste it on your website:

Image by Free-StockPhotos.com

* You MAY NOT resell or redistribute images downloaded from Free-StockPhotos.com in any other way, modified, unmodified, standalone or combined with another product without prior written (email) consent from us. Using the photos in website templates
, on postcards, mugs etc. doesn’t count as selling or redistribution, however you are not allowed to build a gallery using the photos you downloaded from here.

Read the complete terms…

7. morgueFile

You are free:

* Remix — to adapt the work.
* Commercial — to use this work for commercial purposes.
* Without Attribution — to use without attributing the original author.

Under the following conditions:

* Stand alone basis — You can not sell, license, sublicense, rent, transfer or distribute this image exactly as it is without alteration.
* Ownership — You may not claim ownership of this image in its original state.
* Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the contributor.
* Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author’s moral rights

Read the complete terms…

8. Public-Domain-Photos.com

Dedicator recognizes that, once placed in the public domain, the Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived.

Read the complete terms…

9. pixel perfect digital

PERMITTED USAGE

* In digital format on websites, multimedia presentations, broadcast film and video, cell phones.
* In printed promotional materials, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, CD/DVD covers, etc.
* Along with your corporate identity on business cards, letterhead, etc.
* To decorate your home, your office or any public place.

UNAUTHORIZED USAGE

* For pornographic, unlawful or other immoral purposes, for spreading hate or discrimination, or to defame or victimise other people, sociteties, cultures.
* To endorse products and services if it depicts a person.
* In a way that can give a bad name to Pixel Perfect Digital or the person(s) depicted on the Image.
* As part of a trademark, service mark or logo.
* In website templates that You intend to sell or distribute.
* For creating printed reproductions that You intend to sell.
* On “print on demand” items such as t-shirts, postcards, mouse pads, mugs (e.g. on sites like Cafepress), or on any similar mass produced item that would contain the Image in a dominant way.
* SELLING AND REDISTRIBUTION OF THE IMAGE (INDIVIDUALLY OR ALONG WITH OTHER IMAGES) IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN! DO NOT SHARE THE IMAGE WITH OTHERS!

Read the complete terms…

10. FreePhotosBank.com

Copyrights & Author Ownership
Any photos/pictures posted by the author “freephotosbank” are free to use as long as you are using them for a website, book, magazine, etc. You cannot download our photos to sell as is or modified from any source. To use our photos/pictures you must accredit us on the work that you used the photo/picture on/in for the use of them or we will consider it a copyright infringement.

Any photos/pictures posted by other authors remain their property and it is their decision to license the photo to you. We at FreePhotosBank.com do not retain the right to license other photographer’s/author’s material at this time. Please feel free to use our “contact” function within the photographer’s profile to contact them and ask permission.

Read the complete terms…