In 2023, marketers have become smart and understand the value of images on websites. They know that visuals grab the audience's attention and help convey messages that text alone cannot. Plus, web designs without pictures are marked as dull and dry by visitors. And if you fail to impress the target consumer, they usually avoid interacting with your business and move on to other well-designed websites.
But the question is: Where can you get the best yet appropriate images?
The answer lies within Stock Photo Sites.
In this guide, let's learn the benefits of using stock photos and the best places to acquire them:
» Why Should You Take Images from Stock Photo Sites?
Marketers have two choices for website photographs: Original Photos or Stock Photos. You can hire a photographer, set a location, and get customized photos as per your preference. Or you can take 'ready' images from a stock photo site.
The latter is a suitable option and chosen by many marketers because:
- Stock photos save your time: If you choose to shoot original images, imagine the time you will need to think of a concept, get a photographer on board, set a location, and take all necessary permissions. A single image will cost you significant time and peace of mind. Instead of going through all the hassle, you can pick an image from a stock photo site.
- They help you save money: While not all stock photos are free, they are definitely cost-effective compared to original images. You can easily get high-quality stock images at a relatively low price. And don't forget, many stock photo sites offer free pictures too.
- Stock photos are versatile: Stock photo sites give you access to a vast range of images in almost every category imaginable. You are not limited to a particular shooting style and are free to explore the creativity of many photographers from around the world. Additionally, many of these pictures are created specifically for commercial projects, so you will never be short of high-quality images to use in promotional material.
» The Top 15 Stock Photo Sites for Marketers
Now that you have learned the significance of using stock photos let's explore the best stock photo sites for 2023. The list contains both free and paid websites where you can get the most suitable photos for your marketing endeavors.
Unsplash is a world of stylish pictures that can convey your message without any text. Aspiring photographers publish their content in the hope of gaining exposure. The good part is the website allows you to modify, distribute or publish the photos for free.
Plus, the pictures are aesthetically shot in a real-world setting. They boast excellent quality and are available in smaller sizes if needed.
Unsplash has one of the most user-friendly stock photo websites. Its search feature is simple and easy to use. Even if you are unsure of the specifications of the picture you require, you can type in a few key phrases, and the image appearing on the search results will be a source of inspiration.
- High-resolution photos
- Constant addition of royalty-free images
- Huge database
Pikwizard is a dream stock photo website for any marketer. The two aspects its creators focus on are quantity and quality. The database contains a plethora of free images. All the pictures are safe for commercial use, with no liability to give attribution.
The pictures are also high-quality. You can also enhance them further with the online photo editor available on their site. Simply select the picture and modify the text, shape, filters, and more.
The website has organized photos in categories and tags, making it easy for marketers to discover the most suitable pictures. Moreover, if you want short video clips, you can easily find and edit them on Pikwizard.
Besides the free stock photo database, Pikwizard has a premium picture selection.
- Instant access / no sign-up required
- A wide variety of HD content
- Integration with DesignWizard
3. Stock Photo Secrets Shop
Stock Photo Secrets Shop is a fantastic world of beautiful images. It is a relatively small agency when compared to other stock photo providers. But once you discover it, you will realize it is a hidden gem. And the good part is that it offers photos at a very low price. So, if you are working on a budget, this is a trustworthy site to check out for amazing quality photos.
Also, the website's different search features work together to ensure that you get the desired image as seamlessly as possible. While the website has a sound library of images, they continue to add more to give users diversity.
Stock Photo Secrets also offers videos, vectors, and fonts. A helpful resource page is present on the website as well to help you navigate the stock photo industry trends and regulations better.
Stock Photo Secrets Shop Features:
- Multiple subscription plans
- Fantastic Buyers guide
- Snappy layout of the website
- Coupons and Promo codes
StockSnap.io is another stock image website that offers free stock photos. Also, the website has a handy "search feature" that allows you to look for your preferred image. Just type in a category, and as soon as you hit enter, several images related to your query will appear on your screen.
Since the website has a rich database of stock photos, you can find images from any category you can imagine. StockSnap.io continues to add hundreds of beautiful images to its bank, so you are never short of choices.
Another advantage is it does not require you to give credits to the original photographer or the StockSnap.io website. You can use the pictures for all personal and commercial projects with freedom.
- No attribution required
- High-quality images
- Different categories
5. Burst by Shopify
Burst by Shopify is another fantastic option for free images. Their database is primarily aimed at entrepreneurs and startup owners. It even has a specific category for Business Ideas, where you can find various styles of pictures suitable for eCommerce stores.
As the name implies, the stock photo website is managed by the eCommerce platform Shopify. The majority of pictures fall under the Creative Commons Zero license. This allows you to freely use the pictures in any way without worrying about legal restrictions and author attribution.
The collection offered by Burst is massive, and it's doubtful that you will not find images as per your specifications.
Burst by Shopify Features:
- Clean and minimalistic website layout
- Easy to use platform
- Super-quality images
Shutterstock provides high-resolution licensed photographs. The good part is many images are royalty-free, enabling you to use the pictures as many times as you prefer after paying a license fee. And the website offers multiple subscription plans so you can conveniently choose according to your budget.
It already has a vast treasure of beautiful stock photos. In addition, it adds thousands of aesthetically pleasing pictures regularly.
In addition to stock images, you can find vectors, music clips, and video footage on Shutterstock. The website's search bar ensures that you do not tread among irrelevant pages and directly land on your specified photos.
- A vast amount of royalty-free photos
- Affordable pricing plans
- Support different media types
- Customization of media
Another stock photo site that offers images for free is Pexels. It has thousands of photos under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license and allows users to access thousands of photos with freedom.
Pexel's search bar makes it stand out from competitors. Since all photos are appropriately tagged, only relevant images appear when you type a category. It saves you from the hassle of navigating through multiple pages on a stock photo site.
The website has mesmerizing landscape images that can serve as an excellent backdrop for your client's eCommerce store. You can also customize the photo to your preferred size before downloading it.
- High-quality images
- Free photos
- Exceptional and diverse content
The Picjumbo stock photo site is a dream marketplace for marketers. It has a massive collection of free and high-quality images ranging in categories from transportation, self-care, and tourism to healthcare, construction, and education.
What stands Picjumbo apart is that it shows images as collections. The feature allows you to view a single image from different angles. Thus, you can choose the best one for your projects.
Picjumbo offers pictures without any watermark. The designer Victor Hanacek launched the website in 2013 when other websites rejected his photos, citing quality issues. Fast forward to today, his website is one of the top websites in the industry.
- Top-notch quality photos
- Well-organized website
- An enormous collection of copyright-free photos
iStock has been on the horizon since 1999 and has a long history of providing high-quality, premium service. Today, you can find millions of photos, vectors, illustrations, and video clips.
The images are split into two categories: Essentials and Signature. The Essentials are your basic, everyday pictures, while the latter are exclusive material. It makes it easier for you to select photos as per your need and budget.
The website has a unique feature that allows you to track if your competitor has used the image you are interested in. Besides, it has a built-in search option that works efficiently and displays only the relevant images.
- Unique images
- High-resolution photos
- Excellent dashboard
- Promotions and discounts available
10. Adobe Stock
If you are looking for a super-quality stock image website, Adobe Stock, formerly known as Fotolia, is for you. The website has an extensive collection of royalty-free images at an affordable price. Moreover, the website has integrated a "collection" feature into their website that can help you find business-related pictures.
Adobe stock has a unique design that makes navigation easier for you. Another standout feature of Adobe Stock is it displays images tailored for mobile users in a separate category. As many users are shifting to mobile for their internet usage, this feature can help you optimize your website.
Adobe Stock Features:
- A vast library of premium quality images
- Multiple media types
- More targeted photos
- Reverse image search
Vecteezy has a collection of over a million stock photos and videos. They are all available for free. However, you have to give attribution if you are using free pictures. Or you can sign up for a pro plan and use pictures with more freedom.
The best part is they have a curator team that reviews every photo submitted. Whether you choose a free plan or the premium version, you will get the best quality pictures. They also allow the use of pictures in commercial projects, so you do not have to worry about any legal trouble.
The website features an intuitive search that allows you to filter images by color, style, orientation, and even contributors. Creative people upload their work to get exposure to a broader audience.
Found by Shawn Rubel and launched in May 2007, Vecteezy continues to provide users with brilliantly shot photos in various categories.
- Multiple free tools
- Different subscription plans
- Uncluttered interface
The unique aspect of Gratisography is that all photos are taken and edited by Ryan McGuire, who is an artist and a designer. Besides photos, he has added cool and creative vectors to the database as well.
Gratisography is different from other stock photo sites as the images are unique. Plus, it has quirky photos for almost every category under the sun. With their use, you can really stand amongst the competitors and offer your visitors a bespoke visual experience.
The library of Gratisography is small compared to other stock photo sites mentioned in this guide. However, Ryan McGuire enhances its data bank by adding new yet awesome images every week.
The website offers copyright-free images and allows you to use them for commercial or personal reasons.
- Multiple media formats
- High-resolution images
- Trending photo search topics
Reshot contains a massive bank of free stock photos, icons, and illustrations. You can also download the pictures in different formats, such as SVG and PNG. The images do not require any attribution. Thus, you can freely use them for professional or personal gains.
The website came for startups and entrepreneurs who wanted to bring something new to the table. The pictures here are pretty unique and curated with business-niche in mind. Such quality and diversity cannot be found anywhere else.
- Simple yet effective search engine
- Single-click image download
- Tight-knit curation process
14. Barn Images
The name may imply that the website contains images related to the farm niche. However, that is not valid. Barn Images have photos from several categories. They are all unique and have a personalized touch that makes them one of a kind.
Although barn images do not require you to give credit, they appreciate when users link them up. Also, it does not require you to pay for images, but they have an option open for donation.
Barn images may offer free photos, but they do not compromise on their picture quality.
Barn Images Features:
- A vast collection of photos
- Access from anywhere
- Free fonts, textures, and backgrounds link are available
Pixabay hosts a massive collection of free stock photos. The website has an ever-growing image library as they continue to add high-resolution images to the website.
The photos are released under their company's license, which is similar to the standard Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. With this license, you can use the pictures with freedom and no worries about copyright issues. There is no requirement to give credits as well.
The easy-to-use portal is a preferable choice, and a powerful search is another quality. Pixabay also offers stock video footage and soundtracks for free download.
- User-friendly application and website
- Vibrant photos
- Powerful filter option
- Excellent support system
High-quality, relatable, and appropriately placed photos can boost your marketing game. Stock photos can help you as they are easily accessible and allow use without much effort. Since they are created by photographic professionals, they allow you to deliver more to the customers. And ultimately, get more in return.
Give the above stock photo websites a try. You can also use a combination of these sites to add more diversity to your layout. Just remember to find relevant pictures and avoid compromising on quality. Good luck!
Author Bio: Ivanna Attié
Ivanna Attié is a content manager, researcher, and author for Stock Photos. She is an enthusiastic communicator with a passion for visuals and an endless desire to learn. She has a background in communication and journalism, and she also loves literature and performing arts.