Best source for restriction free photos


I need help finding images with the right licensing for my application.

I need to find images with a license that will allow me to:

  • Have the users of my web application change the stock photo (unlimited # of users)
  • Allow users of my application to share their version of the stock photo on Facebook

What licensing should I be looking for, and what sites are a good source for these types of photos with this licensing? I'm willing to pay to get what I need.

I also do not want to have to provide attribution to the original photographer/owner on the derivative works.

Licensing is so confusing on the stock photo sites, that I'm considering just taking the photos myself...

Thanks much!


Legal Licensing

asked Feb 23 '10 at 13:42
Jon Kragh
185 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans

7 Answers


It might be best to contact photographers whose work you find and like who have Creative Commons sources such as Flickr and see if you can negotiate something them with them directly. If you are willing to pay and explain your needs they may be flexible about the attribution if you are willing to compensate them a small amount. This way you can work with photos you have already selected, also they may have many more similar photos than they have displayed so contacting photographers directly can have other benefits.

answered Oct 24 '11 at 06:07
Laura Barisonzi
191 points

3 is the site that many agencies I've worked with have used. Free images plus cheap images.

answered Feb 23 '10 at 14:17
4,214 points
  • I'll second the vote for iStock they have a great set of images with very clear licensing terms. – Davidcrow 14 years ago


No easy options here. If you want professional stock photos, Fotolia and iStockPhoto are great choices - BUT they won't let you modify / reuse the images. Since you don't want to provide attribution to the original photographer, using Creative Commons sources (such as Flickr where many photos are licensed this way) is out of the question, too. You may want to change your thinking here.

answered Feb 23 '10 at 19:54
Tomas Kohl
276 points
  • This is right on from what I'm seeing. Since the major stock photo players will not let me create derivatives, maybe using creative commons with attribution is going to be my "safest" bet. I guess I would need to overlay some kind of "original photo by" verbiage. – Jon Kragh 14 years ago
  • Tomas, do you use creative commons images? I've never seen a site that actually uses attribution via creative commons. Can you do it without distracting from your site? – Scott 13 years ago


Some Low-cost sources:,,,,,

For free Images:,,,,,

answered Feb 11 '12 at 07:09
11 points


Maybe you should checkout

They have high quality free pictures that have no restriction on usage.

Hope that helps.

answered Feb 24 '10 at 11:53
Usman Sheikh
1,728 points


I have recently also included Fotolia in my stock searches. They are smaller but have very similar portfolios of images and a good base of creators.

answered Feb 23 '10 at 14:34
86 points


I use as they have really competitive prices and two different kinds of license. They offer a free trial (35 pictures in any resolution), however not on the extended license. Depending on what exactly you want to do with the pictures (there are five different types of extended license), you will pay from 20 to 60 USD per picture.

answered Feb 11 '12 at 08:58
452 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Legal Licensing