Images play an essential part in creating a brand image. If you want to start a website, add posts on your business’s social media pages, or create an ad campaign, you need high-quality pictures.
Getting pictures taken by a professional in most cases is costly and impractical. Stock photo websites provide you with lots of fantastic images that can be used for these purposes.
However, you may find it hard to find the best stock photo websites with so many options. We can help you with our 2021 list of fantastic stock photo sites, both paid and free, to solve this problem for you.
Let’s dive in
1. Shutterstock (Paid)
Shutterstock is leading the stock photo and stock footage industry. The website has a library of over 300 million high-quality images, videos, and music with customers and contributors worldwide. It has more than a billion downloads.
Whether you’re a rookie or an expert, creating custom-made designs has never been stress-free. Shutterstock’s easy-to-use interface lets anyone get in touch with their creative side and do projects that pop.
Shutterstock offers various pricing models; their month-to-month subscription for ten images a month costs US$49 per month (or US$4.90 per image) and goes up to 750 images per month for US$249 per month (or US$0.33 per image). Shutterstock also offers multiple on-demand packs with enhanced licenses.
You can also avail a fantastic discount on Shutterstock images with the help of a coupon code.
- Free Plug-Ins for (Google Slides, MS PowerPoint, Sketch, WordPress)
- Supports Adobe creative cloud applications
- Access to Shutterstock Editor
- Supports multiple file formats (JPEG, PNG, TIFF)
- Access to image resizing tool
2. Unsplash (Free)
Unsplash is a Canadian corporation stock photo agency that provides access to millions of non-exclusive but hand-picked unique photos for individuals and enterprises.
The vast online repository features over 2 million free high-resolution and high-quality images. Unsplash claims it assists more than 65 million image downloads per month.
You can copy or download, modify, distribute, and use multiple photos for various projects without attributing unsplash or the photographers.
- Image library of more than 2 million images
- All images are free of cost
- Unsplash app is available on the iOS platform
- Supports apps and plugins (Chrome, WordPress, Apple tv)
- Photos can be used for all kinds of projects
3. Pexels (Free)
Bruno Joseph, Ingo Joseph, and Daniel Frese teamed up to create Pexels. It is a stock photo agency helping millions of creators worldwide with hundreds and thousands of high-quality stock-free photos to create unique products and designs.
You can freely download high-quality stock-free images and use them for commercial and non-commercial purposes under the pexels license.
- Pexels app is available on Android and ios platforms
- Supports Google Chrome Extension and Google Slides Add-on
- Supports Figma, Sketch, and WordPress Plugin
- Supports MS Office Add-In
4. Stock Photos (Paid)
Stockphotos.com is created and run by a veteran in the stock media industry Amos Struck.
Amos is also the co-founder of Microstock Expo, the first conference event specializing in the microstock sector. Stockphotos.com has a library of over 7 million budget-friendly royalty-free images, videos, vector illustrations, and fonts.
It offers various low-cost and flexible subscription plans. 99 club (limited time only) is the best subscription package of 200 images for US$99 per year without monthly download limitations. You can also get additional image downloads for 99 cents per download.
- Low-cost images
- Supports multiple plugins
- Extended licensing for low cost
- Offers exclusive deals, discounts, bonus offers from renowned stock photo sites
5. Istock (Paid)
Owned by Getty Images, iStock is the most senior stock photo agency. It’s a multi-billion dollar global e-commerce industry leader and a trusted brand.
The difference between iStock and other stock photo agencies is the former offers exclusive content from artists who work only with iStock.
From keyword curation to regional localization with the addition of new, updated, and trendy keywords added every day iStock makes your task to conjure up the perfect stock image, video, or illustration for your project easy.
Istock offers affordable pricing for value with industry-leading worry-free licensing for commercial-use content.
You can get ten images for US$29 per month using the basic plan and ten photos for US$70 per month using the premium plan. iStock’s premium images+videos monthly subscription starts from US$99 per month for ten photos and videos each month.
- Lowest prices on images and videos
- Boards to organize and share files
- Exclusive content available
- Access to istock editor
- Supports plugins for multiple applications
- Supports Adobe creative cloud applications
6. Pixabay (Free)
Pixabay was created by Hans Braxmeier and Simon Steinberger and launched in November 2010 in Ulm, Germany. They have a vibrant community of creatives sharing copyright-free images, videos, vector graphics, and music.
Contents released are under the Pixabay License, making them safe to use without asking for approval or giving attribution to the artist.
Pixabay has a library of over 2.5 million royalty-free, high-quality stock-free photos, vector graphics, videos, and music.
Besides a well-maintained and easily accessible library, Pixabay has a safe search feature that can block explicit content from your search result.
- Photos, vector art, videos, and music are available for free
- Safe search feature available to block explicit content from the search result
- You can use content freely on Pixabay for commercial and non-commercial use under the Pixabay license
- You can share photos on social media platforms
7. Adobe Stock (Paid)
Adobe Stock is a stock image service owned by Adobe – the design software giant – and built on the base of Fotolia’s photo library (a well-known stock photo agency acquired by Adobe).
Adobe has a diverse collection of incredible high-resolution, royalty-free stock assets. It is fully integrated into its Creative Cloud platform, allowing access to millions of images stored directly within your design apps, simplifying the design process.
Adobe stock is perfect for designers who use Adobe cloud apps, but it also works standalone from its website. All images are allowed for commercial use, as well as for non-commercial purposes.
Adobe Stock sells photos by subscription only, but they have a small plan of just three downloads per month, at just $29.99 — that’s $9.99 for an image. You can subscribe to the plan for a month and renew at your discretion.
You can also choose an annual commitment of 10 downloads per month at the same monthly price. Then you have higher plans for 40, 350, and 750 images per month, which you can subscribe to monthly or yearly for between $79.99 and $249.99.
You can also opt for credit packs which give you access to Adobe’s entire collection, including premium, templates, and 3D. Prices vary by asset type.
- One of the largest stock image libraries with over 100 million images
- Discounted subscription for creative cloud members
- Supports Adobe Creative Cloud Applications
- Rollover benefits
- Free trial for one month with ten high-quality free images download
Finding the right images for your campaigns and websites is crucial. High-quality photos related to your websites can be hard to find. But good quality stock photo sites help.
You need to ensure that you select photos that have been used less frequently and match your needs. You can get these from either a free or a paid website. But prior to using the images, it’s important to check out their licensing details.
You can increase your content quality without breaking the bank and bring your ideas to life by getting the right images.