Stock photos can be expensive. Especially when you take into account the US Dollar / Rand exchange. The only really good stock image databases charge US Dollars.  Print quality images (300DPI) which are relatively royalty free.  Can cost around U$10.00 / R140.00 for a once off purchase. (There are of course bulk and monthly purchase plans available.) eg 50 Images at R1400 Monthly.

There is also the “royalty free” issue as well. Take this account for example. One of my favourite pay stock image website “Adobe Stock”  have several licence types to put you into perspective. Say I were to purchase a standard licence for a stock image at U$10.00 – R140.00 these are the limitations.

  • Up to 500,000 copies or views of the asset (I may only print half a million flyers for example)
  • Unlimited web views
  • Use the asset in email marketing, mobile advertising, social media, or a broadcast program
  • Cannot use asset prominently in merchandise or products for resale

And this doesn’t guarantee that I won’t see the image crop up somewhere else. I have purchased the right to use the image, but it’s not mine.

THE GOOD NEWS! – There are many free stock photo image websites on the web. You just need to check the Creative Commons licence details before you run a huge campaign with an image.

  1. Pixabay – Definitely my first source for free images. (they claim to have over 1.2 Million free stock images and videos)
  2. Pexels – Also a very good resource for images, you may find duplicates on Pixabay and Pexels, but there are still plenty available
  3. – Hundreds of images available here. The website has some pretty good search features as well
  4. Unsplash – Great images, but a limited on search functions
  5. Burst (By Shopify) – Great collection of images, everything on here seems to have soft filters on it. NICE
  6. Gratisography – Nice images, not a great search facility but, if you got time browse here for sure
  7. Foodiesfeed – as the name implies, plenty of high res food images here
  8. Negative space – New photos added every week. Has great search functions
  9. org – Another good resource
  10. PNG Tree – Some very handy images with transparent backgrounds – 3 Free downloads per day
  11. Pikwizard – These guys offer over 100,000 completely free images on their site, over 20,000 of those are exclusive pikwizard.


Quick Note About Licenses -Many of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. However, some photos may require attribution. We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.


MMT STock | SkitterPhoto | Life of Pix  | Death to Stock Photos | Picjumbo | IM Free | New Old Stock | Jay Mantri | Kaboom Pics | Epicantus | ShotStash | StyledStock 


Depending on your requirements you can be sure the above the list will have just about any image you desire.