Your Projects Deserve the Best

Your project - whether it's a web design, magazine layout, highway billboard, print advertisement or any other kind of work - deserves the best images available. This is why we, here at Dreamstime, take great care to ensure that the royalty-free images, contributed by our thousands of talented, professional photographers and graphic artists are of superb quality in both concept and execution.

Browse our diverse stock image categories or simply search for exactly what you need. The world`s best stock images from the world's largest community of professional creators is at your fingertips!

If you're interested in learning a lot more about stock photos, either as a contributor or a buyer, you're in luck! You can read through our full FAQ section.

Or visit our bustling blog section where the largest and friendliest community of professional stock photographers in the world are always sharing tips and advice for contributors and image buyers alike.

Royalty-Free stock photos are not copyright free; they are licensed. When you purchase a stock image you are purchasing the ability (given license) to use the image as you wish within certain bounds as outlined in the information above, but the copyright to the image remains with the photographer or designer who created it. So, while you are given the ability to use the stock photo you've licensed in a wide variety of ways, you don't own the photo itself, but only the license.

Importantly, the same is also true for free stock photos. Although you can download and use photos from our free section just as you can images you purchase a license for, they are still made available under the same Royalty-Free license as our premium images.

Some stock photos can be used for commercial use and some cannot. Most stock photos you will find on Dreamstime can be used for personal or commercial use, including images with models. We require signed model releases for all images featuring models granting permission for their likenesses to be used in stock photography. This ensures you can purchase them and use them without worry.

However, editorial images cannot be used for commercial use. At Dreamstime, we clearly mark any images that fall into this category as "Editorial Stock Photo" and keep them in a dedicated Editorial Images category so you will never have to wonder whether or not an image can be used commercially or only for editorial use. As a rule of thumb, images that cannot be used commercially but only editorially are typically images that feature:

  • Celebrities (singers, actors, politicians, athletes)
  • Brand names (e.g. Nike, Canon, Disney)
  • Images that prominently feature people who have not signed a model release

There are two types of commercial use: direct and indirect.

Direct commercial use means using an image for a clearly commercial reason such as in an advertising campaign or as an integral part of a product or services branding.

Indirect commercial use means using an image in a way that implies that the image is associated with your product, service, or brand. For example, having a picture of Tom Cruise on your law firm’s website would not be allowed because images of Tom Cruise would be Editorial and not legally applicable to commercial use. However, using a stock photo of scales or a model dressed as a judge who has signed a model release would be permissible.

Stock photos have a wide range of uses, which is why they are not only popular among people who need images, but also between people who want to sell images. There is almost no subject matter that can’t be improved with a good stock photo for illustration. Just a few examples of situations where you might want to use stock photos are:

  • Blog posts
  • Magazine articles
  • Images for social media profiles and posts
  • Creating custom posters or decorative art for your home, office, or store
  • Company presentations
  • Advertising materials
  • Website design
  • Still imagery for video production (Hint: we also have amazing stock video footage and audio clips for your video producers out there)
  • Online advertising campaigns
  • News articles, using our editorial images

As you can see, the avenues for using stock photos are far-reaching and can benefit everyone from major media producers and advertising agencies to bloggers and hobbyists. And with rates as low as USD .20 / image with convenient credit or subscription options you don't have to worry about breaking the bank for high quality, professional stock photos.

In addition to providing publishers a wealth of great stock images, we also offer many tools that can help publishers put their newly licensed images to use, including mobile apps, MS Office and Google Docs plugins, and an easy-to-use WordPress plugin.

Stock photos are made by people just like you. Talented photographers and graphic artists upload their images to Dreamstime every day where those in need of great stock images can find them, purchase them, and use them. Our customers find amazing images and our contributors earn commissions on every image they sell. Everybody wins!

Stock photos can either be actual photographs of people, places, or things or they can be artistic illustrations that represent objects or concepts. When you purchase a stock photo you can use it under a standard Royalty-Free license allowing the use of images across many forms of digital and print media with certain restrictions. A standard Royalty-Free license covers most needs of most people, but in some cases, you may need to purchase an Extended License to use the images you need. To determine exactly which license is best for you, you can have a look at our detailed breakdown of Royalty-Free (RF) and Extended Licenses (EL).

Many times, a stock photo you need may feature amateur or professional models. Images that prominently feature models need to be acquired and sold with a model release, which grants the photographer, and the stock photo buyer, the right to use the model’s likeness in stock photography. Rest assured that all stock photos at Dreamtime featuring models are fully documented with signed model releases so you can use these images without worry.

You would like to become a Dreamstime stock photography contributor?

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  • 181 million stock photos
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  • 3,314,336 monthly images