FYI - Use Royalty Free Images or Pay For Them


When I got the email, I took down the image immediately…didn’t matter. They still kept pushing and emailing…Womp wommmm. BUT, I’m glad that I could at least warn the rest of you! This has turned into a great string of resources!!


I use mostly Pixabay to find images and use Stencil to add title and some effects. Besides that I use google search with filtering by Settings -> Advanced search and set usage rights to “free to use, share or modify, even commercially”. But still have to check after that the license type. Adding “public domain” to the search could help. The only case I have concerns about are memes which I am creating with’s memegenerator. Not sure if using the source images from the site is ok, but they are all over the internet so I assume it should be.


This is sort of a hack that I used. I bought one month with Big Stock Photo for $99 and got 300 photos. The rough part is you can only download 10 a day so it probably isn’t worthwhile unless you are going to go in each day and download your 10. I managed to download 290 during my subscription. For $169 you can down load 20 a day for a total of 600. There is no penalty for cancelling after the month. I think the selection and quality were good. Here is a link to their plan page (not an affiliate link):


Out of curiosity, I’m surprised that so many people are paying for their images when there are so many CC0 image sources, like Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash. Are you finding that the quality through paid sources is better? Or, are you looking for specific photos that these CC0 photo sources don’t provide?

I’m not criticizing your decision to pay, but I am curious!


I got into a legal dispute with Getty images years ago. They wanted, and an obscene amount of money for some pictures the vendor who made or website failed to renew. Luckily we worked it out and didn’t have to exchange money; I have now resorted to buying images. I have a friend who is an amazing photographer and his images are very reasonable


For me, it’s:

  1. Never having to worry about the issue @LifeAndMyFinances ran into.

  2. Pretty affordable (40 cents an image). That’s about $60 a year.

  3. VERY easy to find the right images.

  4. They look GREAT.


Like Steve I’m wondering the same, but I guess there could be a scenario where a site like Pixabay goes away and then you get a complaint and can’t prove that the image was listed as CCO. But then again a paid site could also go under and the same thing could happen I guess. But in that case I guess you could show your $ transaction that you paid for it at one point even if the site is gone.


Actually, I could. Once a website is public (especially one like Pixabay), there are all kinds of archives available that show exactly what the website looked like and their legal stipulations. Nothing is truly private any more. :slight_smile:


I have read that paid images do better on Pinterest. I don’t think this has to do with the image so much as it does that the image is more unique. When I was using free images, I would often find a ton of other pins using the same image for a wide-range of topics. I believe this confuses the Pinterest search algorithm. This can still happen with paid images but its less likely. And as mentioned above, it’s not that much money for the peace of mind that you won’t later be notified that the image was not royalty free.


Not a bad point. Too bad I have no clue how to make Pinterest work for me. I’m having success with FB though! And I think your point is still spot on there. A unique FB image can really catch the eye of the scroller and cause them to stop, read, and click!


For those of you who also follow the Fin Con Facebook page, here’s another situation similar to this one:


I’ve never had a problem finding free images. Pixabay is my go to but I’ve also been looking through Burst ( which I just recently heard about from Desirae at Half Banked.


I’m interested. I picked up a couple deals when they offered them through AppSumo but would definitely like more.


Got an email from Deposit Photo just today that they are having their 100 pics for $100 sale for Easter. There wasn’t a code so I don’t know if you need to be on their email list.


I believe the deal they run is with App Sumo, so you need to be on that email address.

That said, when the deal is offered, I will post it here for all to take advantage.


I just signed up with my email and that Easter special showed up at the top of the website.


Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep my eye out. I use my own to avoid issues, but I’m not the best photographer… So, will watch out for Deposit Photos sales in the future.


Where do you buy images from? Your comment sounds like you buy access to a site rather than individual ones? Any recommendations for a nice guy!?


I buy mine from Depositphotos.


I’ve been using free images from websites such as Pixabay.
Question: Where do you guys think is the right place within the article to give them credit? Is giving credit really mandatory for free images?