To illustrate your website, an advertising campaign, or a mailing, you have certainly already downloaded images online. Did you know that not all images on the web are free and that you need to obtain permission to use them?

Maybe yes or maybe no! But, you might as well tell you right away, there are paid images and free images on the web under the CCO ( Creative Commons zero ) license .

If you don’t want to shell out a single penny, you can always direct your research to free image banks. In this article, discover the best sites that offer royalty-free photos, images and illustrations.

What Is a Royalty-Free Image? Why Use Them?

Under Article L111-1 on Law No. 2006-967 of 1 st August 2006, “the author of an intellectual work enjoys his work, the mere fact of its creation, a right of exclusive intangible property and enforceable against all ”. A work can be an image, a photo, a graphic or a drawing. Either way, a free image is always submitted with a license to use. Images Chile Email List licensed under the “Creative Commons” public domain are known to be royalty free.

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In this context, it is possible to use them without any constraint. We say of an image that it is free of rights when it can be used, while taking into account certain terms of use such as details relating to the source of the chosen image. The annotation is often written as follows: image credit (photo credit): pixabay images, Pexels images…

It is important to remember that the fraudulent use of a non-royalty-free image available online constitutes an offense punishable by law. If you do, you risk a 3-year prison sentence followed by a fine of 300,000 euros. Now it is very easy for authors to find out if their images are being misused on the web. Bots like “Copyrith trackers” can crawl and track down people who infringe online copyrights.

That’s it, you now know what copyright is and the importance of using free and royalty-free images. Now, we give you the best image banks to find free photos under the “creative commons” license. Follow the leader :


With more than 800,000 images and photos, Freeimages is one of the most coveted free image banks. Every day, many bloggers and webmasters use it to boost their website. The free photos are split into 26 themes, which undoubtedly reduces your search time.

However, Freeimages requires you to create an account in order to upload royalty-free images to it. You can use the images imported to the site both individually and professionally. Getting started with the site is quick and easy. Finding free images is just a few clicks away. To do this, you must click on a category or enter a keyword directly in the search bar located above the image bank.

Launched by Danièle Bourcier and Mélanie Dulong De Rosnay in 2003, is a French search engine which facilitates access to free images belonging to the public domain. It thus offers the possibility for third parties to use and share their photos or images online freely. One of the main advantages of CreativeCommons, but not the least, is the quality of the images offered. In addition, the illustrations published in the image bank can be used as wallpapers and backgrounds for phones and tablets.

3. Freepik
Freepik is a site that lives up to its name. The platform is a graphic resource where you can find royalty-free photos. Download over 200,000 high-quality images for free, published by professional photographers. Photos are available in several formats: PSD, AI or JPG.


Flickr is one of the largest image exchange sites on the Internet and also one of the most famous. The platform offers a wide choice of free images, most often from amateur photographers. Its use is very simple. You just need to do a search to find free photos licensed under the Creative Commons basic license.

There you will find more than 10 billion photos divided into more than 2 million groups. It should be noted, however, that people who want to operate in free mode can only post 1000 images (no more).

5. Fotomelia
Fotomedia offers you the possibility to download a wide range of royalty-free images or photos for free. The site offers free and quality images. Images may be copied, edited, or shared for commercial or personal use. However, there may be times when the images or photos are protected by trademarks or privacy protections.

In addition, there are more than 1600 pages of images. To find interesting photos, all you need to do is enter a topic in the search bar. When it is done, the image bank will open with a panel of free photos adapted to your needs.

6. Pixabay
Pixabay , translated into French, is a popular site for downloading royalty-free photos. The free image bank brings together more than 1.3 million free images and high definition photos. These can be used for commercial or personal purposes.

In addition, Pixabay offers the ability to download free and royalty-free images by category: orientation, color, size. You can also enter a keyword, in order to better orient your research. If you’re looking for an image bank that offers vertical, horizontal, colored, or black / white photos, Pixabay will do the trick.


Compight is a toll-free, click-through image search engine. If you need free blog or website images, you can get there easily. Even though the site is not affiliated with the Flickr API, it makes good use of it. However, you must search for Creative Commons-like images to have free access to them.

8. BigFoto
Illustrate your site with BigFoto , a royalty-free image download site without any rules or complicated laws to follow! Its image bank allows the free download of images or photos to bring dynamism to your website or blog. Since its creation, the site has grown steadily, offering themes of all kinds.

Even casino operators are welcome to download the images for their websites. The images can be used for individual or economic reasons, as they are not protected by copyright. No need to register to download them. With just a few clicks, you enter the topic of your research and download the photos of your choice.

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