Photos are a great way to grab your reader’s attention and make the content more appealing. Good quality visuals also help make a lasting impression on the viewers and convey information more effectively.
Research claims that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. As a designer, marketer, or content creator, incorporating high-quality visuals into your work is an excellent way to make it stand out and connect with your audience.
Thankfully, the digital landscape is filled with a variety of online platforms where you will find a vast collection of stock photos. These make it possible for you to fill in the visual gap in your content quickly and within budget.
To help you navigate the vast sea of options available, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best sites for stock photos in 2024. From stunning landscapes to captivating portraits, these platforms offer visual treasures to ignite your creativity.
Most of these websites have a Creative Commons Zero CC0 license, which means that it is possible to use the images in the way we want and for any purpose, without having to mention the author. In any case, it is advisable to check this before using the images, since it may be the case that they have another type of CC license.
With all this in mind, I show you below the list of the best free stock photography websites, so that your work takes a leap in quality.
Best Websites to Download Stock Photos
1. Stock Photo Secrets Shop
Stock Photo Secrets Shop is a stock photo agency that offers affordable and flexible subscription plans. With a focus on providing high-quality visuals, Stock Photo Secrets Shop caters to a wide range of creative needs. You can access royalty-free images, vectors, and fonts covering various themes and styles.
They have competitive pricing with different subscription options, allowing users to choose a plan that fits their budget. As a subscriber, you will be eligible for exclusive discounts and bonuses.
Some users may find the collection to be not as extensive as some larger stock photo platforms. However, Stock Photo Secrets Shop emphasizes quality over quantity. And, therefore, curates a carefully picked out selection of visually appealing images.
Freepik is a platform that provides a wide range of graphic resources, including stock photos, vectors, icons, and PSD files. It caters to designers, marketers, and creatives looking for both free and premium assets.
If you are using the free stock photos, you will find the resources limited. Plus, the users will lack control over the pictures and will be required to provide attribution to the creators.
However, Freepik provides clear guidelines on attribution and offers premium options for users who require more freedom in usage.
Nevertheless, the site has a user-friendly interface with convenient filter options allowing for seamless navigation and quick access to specific types of visuals.
3. Stocksy United
Stocksy United is a cooperative stock photography platform that prides itself on curating highly creative and unique visuals.
It emphasizes fair compensation for its contributors and offers a curated selection of high-quality images. The collection of unique and original visuals makes it stand out from other stock photo platforms.
Its user-friendly search interface with categories tailored for creative exploration helps users discover unique and engaging images.
Due to the premium quality and exclusivity, prices are higher, but the pricing structure reflects the value placed on its curated and unique content.
Canva, known for its easy-to-use design tools, also offers a huge library of stock photos, illustrations, and templates. The collection of visuals, templates, and elements caters to various design needs and provides creative inspiration.
It is a one-stop shop for both graphic creation and access to visuals. Users can use Canva’s design tools for effortless image incorporation and direct editing within the platform.
The drag-and-drop functionality and intuitive controls of its user-friendly interface make it perfect for beginners and professionals alike.
In terms of pricing, Canva’s free plan offers limited access to premium stock photos. However, Canva Pro provides affordable access to a wider range of premium visuals.
iStock, part of the Getty Images family, is a well-established platform offering millions of premium stock photos, illustrations, videos, and audio tracks.
It caters to both professional and non-professional users, providing a wide range of content for diverse creative needs.
The platform’s flexible pricing options, including credits and subscriptions, accommodate different user needs and budgetary considerations.
Users can choose from an extensive range of additional media types beyond photos, such as illustrations, videos, and audio tracks, making it a comprehensive resource for multimedia projects.
Some people may find the pricing to be higher compared to other platforms, especially for premium content. However, iStock’s pricing structure offers options for both small budgets and those seeking exclusive, high-quality visuals.
Pixabay is a widely popular platform offering a vast collection of over 2 million stock photos, illustrations, and vectors.
With a strong emphasis on user-generated content, it serves as a community-driven resource for creatives.
Pixabay prides itself on the quality and variety of images available, ensuring that users can find visuals that suit their specific needs.
All content is licensed under Creative Commons, allowing for commercial use without needing attribution.
Thanks to the easy search and filter options, you can find the perfect image quickly by narrowing down results based on image type, orientation, colour, and more.
However, some images might be overused or lack uniqueness due to their popularity. You may need to put in more effort to find truly distinctive visuals as a user.
7. Adobe Stock
Integrated seamlessly with Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Stock offers a vast library of high-quality images, videos, and templates. This makes it a favourite among designers already using Adobe products.
Moreover, Adobe Stock presents a user-friendly website. The users can search for assets using keywords, and filters and even upload their own images to find similar results.
The licensing options for Adobe Stock are pretty flexible, with different plans to accommodate the user’s needs and budget. The selected picture can be edited directly on Adobe Software, saving time and effort in the editing process.
Perhaps one of the best places to find free photographs on the web. Unsplash administrators screen submitted content to deliver the highest quality photos possible. We use it quite often for many of our designs.
It boasts a vast collection of over 3 million photos, all available for free.
Unsplash is renowned for its carefully curated and artistic images, making it a favourite among designers and creatives looking for inspiring visuals. The collection is contributed by talented photographers worldwide, ensuring a diverse gallery.
The simple and user-friendly interface allows for easy exploration and downloads so you can focus on finding the perfect image without distractions.
The best part is no attribution is required for most images, simplifying the design process and saving time.
9. Getty Images
Getty Images is one of the most renowned and respected stock photo agencies, featuring an extensive collection of premium visuals.
It serves as a go-to platform for professionals seeking high-quality and exclusive content.
Getty Images is synonymous with top-notch visuals and offers a range of licensing options to meet diverse needs. It partners with leading photographers and agencies to provide exceptional quality and breadth of coverage.
For commercial projects, you can use exclusive licensing which ensures uniqueness. Users can narrow down choices based on specific requirements with its advanced search functionality that uses refined filters and offers precise results.
As one of the most popular stock photo platforms, Shutterstock offers an extensive library of images, illustrations, and videos.
With over 300 million assets, Shutterstock is ideal for professionals seeking a vast and diverse collection of high-quality visuals.
You can choose from an unparalleled selection of images covering a wide range of themes and styles, from everyday scenarios to niche subjects.
To ensure precise results, the platform offers advanced search filters, including colour, orientation, size, and even specific image characteristics.
If you are looking for premium content, you can get access to exclusive and high-end visuals that stand out.
Shutterstock operates on a subscription-based model, which may not be ideal for occasional users or those on a tight budget.
However, it also offers a pay-as-you-go option for more flexibility.
Finding high-quality stock photos online is easier than ever before.
Thanks to the internet, you can find a vast library of stock photos on thousands of platforms online.
Whether you seek free images, a premium collection, or seamless integration with design software, there is a platform to suit your creative needs.
Remember to consider factors such as pricing, image quality, licensing terms, and curation when selecting a photo for your project.
Use our list of the top ten stock photo platforms and choose the one that’s best for you.
Bring your projects to life with captivating visuals today!