What are Royalty free Stock Images – A Beginners Guide to Stock Images

Website Design, Poster Design, Flyer Design or any creative design needs images or illustrations to convey the message. A plain textual design may not be successful all the time. Your freelance web designer Singapore must have advised you on the importance of images in the website. Not just images, quality images are a must. Not all business owners are willing to spend money on photoshoots, there are many cheaper options available over the internet and based on the budget we can choose the websites from where we can download the Royalty free stock images.

What are Royalty Free Stock Images - A Guide by Subraa, Freelance Web Designer in Singapore
What are Royalty Free Stock Images – A Guide by Subraa, Freelance Web Designer in Singapore

Website Design usually involves images which helps to detail your services or what the company offers to the visitors, websites which convert uses high quality images either it may be with a photoshoot or purchasing images from any of the stock image providers websites. However, there are also many free websites which provide images for free. You may have to check the copyrights of the images before you proceed to use them on your websites.

Images speak more than content, that is the reason many successful websites. Bloggers, designers use very high quality images, travel and do the photoshoot for their websites to attract visitors.

Understanding Stock Images

When you approach a website designer in Singapore or hire a freelancer for flyer design services then the first question your freelance designer would have checked with you is whether you have high quality images to be used in the website or design. Your freelancer would have also checked with you whether Stock images can be used in the website. But what are these images and how can they be used productively by businesses and individuals alike?

Stock images are pre-existing ready-to-use images. These images have previously been created, edited and made available for licence. Prior to circulating these images on the internet, both the producers as well as the stock agencies managing them have been paid a fee. Thus gaining permission to legally use these images while the author holds onto the copyright of their work. A common type of licenced Stock Images is known as ‘Royalty free Stock Images’.

Royalty free Stock Images come with a special licence. This permits individuals and businesses to obtain a one time licence, after which they can continue to use the image as they wish to. In essence, Royalty free Stock Images are images that you pay a small fee for and use flexibly without having to worry about copyright infringement and other legal issues.
Additionally, stock images are not only restricted to photographs but come in various forms such as video clips, audio files, illustrations and more.

What are the benefits of using Royalty free stock images?

The main perks of using Royalty free Stock images is that they are a cost savvy, yet quick and easy method to using quality images in business projects, etcetera.

Buying and using royalty free stock images reduces costs otherwise required to hire a cameraman, models and photo editors in order to capture and edit photographs for advertising images. Hiring a team of professionals to get photographs taken is a costly and tedious process. For example, the cost of purchasing a royalty free stock photo ranges anywhere between about $1 to $10. On the other hand, the cost of hiring a group of professionals to capture and edit a picture is way more expensive compared to that. Moreover, the time taken between hiring and the production of the final product can take up to even a few weeks. Thus hiring professionals to do the work compared to using royalty free stock images would be a long winded, time consuming process. Stock images are already premade and is ready to use condition. As soon as the licence is paid for, the images can immediately be put to use. Besides, royalty free stock images are very affordable and much less cost-consuming compared to commissioning a photographer and team of professionals for a project.

What are the uses of stock images?

Stock images can be used for a multitude of purposes such as commercial, marketing and personal use. Royalty free licences on royalty free stock images allow for a broad variety of uses. While using the stock images, however, it is important to adhere to the agency’s licence and use the images according to that. For example, certain agencies only allow a modified version of their images to be used. There are separate types of uses allowed depending on the agency and it is crucial to stick to the rules in order to avoid any unnecessary legal issues. Listed below are the accepted and restricted uses for stock images.

Here are the acceptable uses for royalty free stock images:

Marketing and Advertising
– Product Packaging
– Brochures
– Catalogues
– Commercials (Television, website, magazine, newspaper etc.)

– Social Media
– Presentations
– Product designing

– Web design
– Graphic design
– Digital design

Personal use
– Art
– Posters
– Printings

Here are the restricted uses for royalty free stock images:

– Large volume distribution
Most stock image agencies limit the number of copies to around 50,000 units as wholesale distribution of stock images requires a separate type of licence known as an extended licence.

– Resale/Redistribution
Without an extended licence, stock images cannot be redistributed and used for resale purposes as it is or in the form of wallpaper, design etc.

– Sharing with other users
Only the person who purchased the licensed stock images is allowed to use the stock images and is not permitted to share them with others unless multi-seat rights are granted(this can be done by purchasing an extended licence).

– Trademark design / Logo Design
A royalty free licence does not transfer ownership of the image and thus cannot be used in any work that is legally registered under the buyer’s name.

– Endorsement of products/businesses
Stock images with people cannot be used in a manner that associates them with liking a product or a business, or even depicting them in a negative light(illegal. malicious or defamatory purposes).

Also take note that the stock image supplier, as well as the artist/photographer, must be credited when stock images are used for editorial purposes.

What are the prices for stock images and where to purchase them?
The price of stock images differs based on the licence they come with and the agencies that they are from.

Here are a few different types of licences and their price ranges:

– Royalty free licence
The price for stock images with this licence ranges anywhere between $1 to $15 as mentioned earlier. This licence is a more flexible option

– Rights Managed licence
The price for stock images with this licence ranges starting from $50 and above. Stock images with this licence are more personalised for your unique needs and pricing may change depending on your individual choice of rights included in the licence as well as the image size and resolution.

Another cheap way to purchase stock images would be to subscribe to an agency’s ‘stock photo subscription’. These subscriptions give you a greater number of images for a flat rate per subscription period. Subscribing to these plans decreases the prices of the images quite significantly and some even go as far as bringing down the price of each image to $0.30.

Interested to purchase multiple stock images?

Here are some stock image agencies that offer subscriptions:
These subscriptions would be most suitable for individuals or smaller companies looking for an inexpensive stock image subscription service.
(Keep in mind that these agencies offer royalty free stock images only)

– ShutterStock
A well-known stock image agency, ShutterStock offers stock images at prices as cheap as $0.28 per image. Signing up would also allow access to the weekly free images and other exclusive items that they have to offer.

– iStock by Getty Images
A famous stock image website offering images from as low as $45/mo for 10 images. You could also check for annual subscription and premium subscriptions in their pricing.

On a tight budget, Get stock images for free from the below websites.

Not every business owner spends on stock images, many startup businesses have tight budget constraints they may look for some possible images from free websites which could fit their needs. Royalty free images are offered by many free websites and I have listed a few of the free websites which offer high quality images.

Unsplash is famous among bloggers, designers and web designers for their high quality images. All the images are licenced and free to use. Please read the copyright terms and conditions of each images before you proceed to use it in the design.

Pixabay is another popular website to download high quality images to be used in the websites. The website also helps to search your desired images.

Desygner offers millions of high-quality free photos that you can use commercially, which means they can be used and distributed without asking permission. Discover their extensive collection of free images from Pixabay, Unsplash, Photodexia, and Google, all in one platform.

Pexels offers images, videos from the creators, images and videos are free to use, please check on the licence of each image to use appropriately.

All in all, using stock photos is a cheap, efficient way to enhance your commercial and personal projects. I hope this guide has helped you find effective solutions to enhancing the visual appeal of your projects by using royalty free stock images! As a freelance web developer in Singapore, I would suggest conducting a photoshoot of your products if you have no budget constraints, however, if you are a business based on services then you may opt to purchase the stock images from any of the websites.

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