10 Best Sites for Awesome Stock Photos (Paid & Free)

Written by: Ivy Attie, Content Manager, Research & Author Stockphotos.com

You must have heard of the famous adage, “actions speak louder than words.” But in today’s online world, it is pictures that speak louder (and harder) than words or lengthy texts. The best way to send your message to the target audience is to simply attach a meaningful picture to it!

The human brain is known to process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This means you have a much better chance of grabbing your audience’s attention with amazing images than with plain, bland text.

So, where can you get these  “amazing” images from? 

Well, there are a number of websites that offer stock photos. These pictures are readily available in almost all possible niches. Plus, they boast high quality and can be used for all creative purposes. 

In this post, we will cover some of the best free and paid websites to get stock photos.

Paid Stock Photo Sites

If you have no budget constraints, consider making a small payment for better-quality content. You also get high-quality stock images with a legal guarantee. Meaning, no need to worry about violating any copyrights. 

Here are some of the best-paid stock photo websites:

  1. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is a stock photo platform owned by the software giant Adobe Inc. Just like their excellent Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign software programs, their stock photos website is a great resource for visual content too.

Why Choose Adobe Stock

  • The website offers a gigantic collection of illustrations, vector images, 3D assets, videos, and templates, apart from photographs.
  • You can easily access and manage your stock photos through the Adobe Creative Cloud apps – a handy option for designers.
  • In addition to royalty-free images, you can get unlimited stunning pictures through their subscription plans. You can choose a payment plan that best serves your budget.
  1. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is one of the first companies to offer public domain images and has the most extensive collections of stock images! With more than 400 million images in its library, you are sure to find the visual content you are looking for.

Why Choose Shutterstock

  • Shutterstock’s Curated Collection showcases images of the latest trends and events. They also boast an Offset Collection, which features award-winning visuals you can buy to steal the show!
  • The stock photos website allows the download of a limited number of royalty-free images at a flat price as a budget-friendly deal. They also offer several subscription plans. 
  • A 30-day free trial is available
  • The website integrates online editing tools for those who like a tinge of their creativity. 
  1. Stock Photos

You can choose from more than 7 million stock images on StockPhotos.com. The pictures include both premium and royalty-free images. All their photographs are protected under their license and are legally safe to use once you have bought them.

Why Choose StockPhotos.com

  • The images are available for download within seconds at as low as $1 and can be used for commercial purposes.
  • Only a few stock photos websites offer costs this affordable.
  • The stock collection includes images and photographs along with excellent illustrations!
  1. iStock

This stock photos website showcases a wide range of stock images you can use for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Backed by a royalty-free license, the images on iStock can be used freely as much as possible.

Why Choose iStock

  • iStock offers iOS and Android apps to download images straight to your mobile devices.
  • It is also integrated with Dropbox and offers Adobe Creative Cloud, WordPress, and Chrome plugins.
  • For easy access, the visual data is sorted into different categories like landscape, nature, holiday, science, technology, etc.
  • Here’s the best part! You can avail a fantastic discount at iStock by using a promo code
  1. Alamy

Alamy packs a diverse collection of some 145 million photos, vector images, and videos available to everyone around the globe.

Why Choose Alamy

  • The visual content comes from 173 countries, contributed by more than 60,000 photographers and 600 agencies. They make Alamy no less than a flagbearer of diverse photographs and visual content.
  • Around 100,000 new stock images are added to the platform daily to keep the variety up-to-date.
  • You can buy personal prints starting from $19.99. Seems like a lot? Not if you check out how extraordinary their stock photos collection is! And anyway, we believe great things come at a great price.

Free Stock Photo Websites

Nobody can say no to free stuff, and nobody should either! It’s always nice to get things for free when your budget is already heavy in your pocket. 

Below are some of the best websites to get free stock photos:

  1. Unsplash

You can find over 300,000 marvelous, great-quality images on Unsplash for free. This stock photos site is updated daily with hundreds of excellent pictures by more than 50,000 contributors.

Why Choose Unsplash

  • The pictures you will get are absolutely free under the Unsplash license.
  • The search tool is very helpful in finding the right pictures. Also, users have sorted out pictures under different themes, which you can access in the “Collections” tab. You can also make a collection of your own for future projects.
  • You can use these images as your own. Plus, there’s no need to give credit. However, we believe it’s courteous to give simple credit to the photographer.
  1. Pexels

When it comes to free stock images, we cannot exclude Pexels! It would be unfair to this excellent website that is home to the best and most well-curated stock images on the internet.

Why Choose Pexels

  • Anyone can upload pictures on this platform. The curators select the best shots available for search among its public domain images.
  • You can search for images under specific themes based on locations, emotions, moods, scenarios, genres, and whatnot.
  • The website offers decent images for interface mockups, making it a good choice for web and app designers.
  1. Pixabay

The Pixabay website packs millions of high-resolution images that you can get for free. If you are looking for high-quality images that are more marketing and business-oriented, then this should be your go-to resource.

Why Choose Pixabay

  •  In addition to great pictures, this platform has a remarkable collection of vectors, graphics, and illustrations that are up for grabs.
  • The landscape shots are pretty inspiring as well. You can check out the editor’s Choice to help pick the best pictures for your project.
  • Their SafeSearch box ensures that nothing explicit appears in your search results.
  1. Gratisography 

Proudly wearing the badge of the “world’s quirkiest collection of high-resolution free stock images,” Gratisography is definitely a great place to get bespoke stock photos.  

All the pictures are captured and owned by Ryan McGuire, a graphic designer, and talented photographer. Compared to its peers, you won’t find many stock pictures here. 

Why Choose Gratisography 

  • It is an excellent website if you are looking for the best and most unique content.
  • Whatever images you find will surely be different and “quirky,” unlike those typical, cliche images that are just everywhere on the internet.
  • The images are the epitome of photographic brilliance and surrealism. 
  1. Pikwizard

For a website that has free stock images, Pikwizard sure has a lot to offer. Thousands of pictures encompass a broad range of subjects, scenarios, and situations. 

Why Choose Pikwizard

  • If you are looking for some stunning urban landscape photography, Pikwizard is, hands down, your best bet! Their cityscape photos are just astonishing!
  • The website also offers a free basic editing tool online if you want to add a touch of your own creativity to the pictures.
  • The premium options come at a cost, but it’s not more than a few bucks.

Final Words

While there are a great many stock photo websites out there, you cannot simply trust them all. The ones mentioned above are the most trustworthy sources. You not only get high-quality stock images but also save yourself from committing copyright infringements that you might not even be aware of.

From free stock photo websites to paid ones, these websites will definitely have what you are looking for. Good luck!

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