Royalty-free images are a type of license used by stock photography agencies to sell stock images. This type of license offers the buyer certain rights to use the purchased image in many ways, for a one-time fee. This means that you are buying the license only one time, and you can use it for as long as you want, within the T&C, without having to make any future payments.
Most people usually assume that the photos on the stock agencies are free because of the term ‘free’ in Royalty-Free. But this isn’t very true. There is a price for Royalty Free photos. The term ‘free’ only outlines copyright agreements and licensing use for the purchaser.
Royalty-Free Images can cost as low as $1 to $2. But if you own a subscription, the price could be as low as $0.32. The actual price of the Royalty Free photo will be determined by the credit package or subscription that you choose.
So, why is it essential to use royalty-free images on your website?
- You would be using stock photos legally that comply with international copyright laws.
- You can use royalty-free photos on many promotional campaigns, designs, and digital media.
- They are not expensive and fast to use.
- You don’t have to hire a photographer to create an image for your site — saving you time and money in the process.
- You can search, find, and use international stock photos fast, without any additional costs.
- You could enjoy many benefits from your chosen stock agency free memberships.
Understanding Royalty-Free Images Licensing
What you need to understand about royalty-free photos is that you are only purchasing the right to use a photo in a particular way, and not the property of the photo itself.
The photographer who captured the photo is still the rightful owner. He holds the copyright of the photo. Retaining the copyright allows the photographer or artist to sell their work as many times as possible to generate more income. So, royalty-free images are not copyright-free or free images at all.
To build a successful website, the quality of images uploaded or embedded on the site is vital to improve user experience and SEO. Low-quality graphics won’t portray professionalism to your viewers, thereby affecting the performance of your site on the SERPs.
Sadly, using the services of a graphic designer or photographer can be costly, especially if you are just starting out and on a budget. Thankfully, there are websites where you can access archives of Royalty-Free photos to help enhance the graphics of your website.
Websites You Can Get Royalty-Free Images
Stock Photo Secrets has over 4 million stock photos in their archive, making them one of the best sites to buy royalty-free photos. They have flexible annual and monthly subscription packages designed for small-to-medium scale businesses.
Over the years, Shutterstock has grown exponentially, offering the most extensive stock photo collection of over 190 million photos, vectors, and illustrations.
Getty Images own iStock. They have a massive selection of images and add to the collection daily. They have a pricing system that allows you to buy images on demand or based on subscription.
Adobe Stock integrates a photo collection in Adobe’s Creative Cloud to make the design process easier. They sell Royalty-Free photos under different subscription plans.
Why Use Royalty-Free Images on Your Site?
Truthfully, you may spend some time to find the right image. And you may even have to do a little editing to match your written content. But, this option is less expensive compared to hiring a graphic designer or photographer.
Nowadays, almost any image you need is available somewhere on the internet. All you need is time and patience to search through thousands or millions of available photos. Your search can be streamlined using the search function on the website. Search for your preferred images using keywords.
Going through the archives of these websites can inspire you to something different or better for your website. Depending on the independence and creativity of your graphic designer, coming up with a good image will be limited to your initial idea. But, on these royalty-free image websites, you may see something new that will spark a new idea for your website.
Most image galleries set a minimum standard of image quality to be uploaded to the site. Even though you may not find precisely what you need in terms of style and quality, you get photos with acceptable technical quality. Also, because stock photographers are usually pros, the image quality is typically high.
At some point during your social journey, chances are you’ll want to re-post photos. Reposting images from other users without express permission to use their content without payment can impact your ranking or the credibility of your site.
Using photos with the royalty-free tag or photos from companies that offer royalty-free images can help you save money when creating your content, while also ensuring that you are not violating the terms and conditions guiding the intellectual property of the rightful owner.