A fully comprehensive guide of royalty free images

royalty free images

Royalty free is used by different stock photography agencies to distribute and sell stock images. The license gives typically a buyer a determined set of rights to download and use the image in many ways, usually for a flat or one-time fee. This means that as an interested party, you will be required to pay for a royalty-free images license just once before being allowed to use the products in different ways without any further payment obligations.

Understanding image licensing

If you are a blogger and wish to use royalty free images on your blog post, it is vital to know that the entire process usually involves acquiring the right to use a photo in any given way, not the property of the photo itself. Needless to say, as much as you will be required to pay for different photos, the photographer who created them will still be considered as the original owner, and he will continue to hold the copyright. In this case, by retaining the copyright, the photographer will have permission to sell his work multiple times and in the process generate more income.

Stock agencies are usually tasked with the responsibility of selling licenses that give buyers the rights to use the photos and videos in whichever way they want. However, the agencies are not usually allowed to transfer the copyright or general ownership of the images to third parties. The amount made through the sale of licenses is usually split midway by the photographers and the agencies.

Top 3 stock agencies to buy royalty free images.

StockPhotoSecrets Shop

With around 5 million curated stock photos, this is arguably the best option to buy affordable royalty free photos. The site offers flexible annual subscriptions which are tailored for small to medium-sized businesses.


This entity has grown exponentially in the past years and now offers the most extensive collection of stock images which are slightly over 190million in total. The site’s simple pricing include stock photo subscriptions and image packs which can be bought on demand.


Istock is owned by Getty Images which is the most renowned stock photo agency around the world. Istock has a vast selection of budget images which easily fit in different scenarios. What makes Istock stand out is its pocket-friendly pricing and credit option which allows one to buy on demand using his accumulated credit points.