When it comes to creating content for websites or social media, visuals are just as important as the text. High-quality images can make a huge difference in catching the viewer’s attention and conveying the message effectively.
However, not everyone has the time, resources, or skills to create their own visuals. This is where stock photo websites come in handy. From business presentations to blog posts, stock photos are a practical and affordable solution for those who need professional-looking visuals.
1. Envato Elements (paid)
Envato Elements is an all-in-one marketplace that offers access to millions of stock photos, graphics, videos, and other design resources for a monthly subscription fee. Here are some pros and cons of using Envato Elements for your stock photo needs.
- Unlimited downloads: With Envato Elements, you can download as many stock photos as you need without worrying about additional fees or limits.
- Affordable pricing: The monthly subscription fee for Envato Elements is reasonable, especially considering the vast library of resources available.
- High-quality content: Envato Elements offers a wide range of high-quality stock photos from talented photographers and designers.
- Easy to use: The platform is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it simple to find and download the photos you need.
- Limited selection: While Envato Elements offers a vast library of resources, the selection of stock photos may not be as extensive as some other stock photo websites.
- Subscription-based: If you only need a few stock photos, a subscription-based service like Envato Elements may not be the most cost-effective option.
Overall, Envato Elements is a great option for those who need access to a wide range of stock photos and other design resources on a regular basis. However, it may not be the best choice for those who only need a few stock photos or who require extended licenses for their projects.
2. Adobe Stock (free/paid)
We have found Adobe Stock to be one of the best stock photo websites available. Adobe Stock has an extensive library of high-quality images, videos, and other multimedia assets. Moreover, it is an excellent resource for designers, marketers, and other professionals who need to create compelling visual content.
- High-quality assets: Adobe Stock offers a vast collection of high-quality images, videos, and other multimedia assets. The platform has a rigorous review process to ensure that all assets meet its quality standards.
- Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud: If you use Adobe Creative Cloud, you can access Adobe Stock directly from your favorite Adobe apps. This integration makes it easy to find the perfect asset for your project and import it directly into your design.
- Flexible pricing options: Adobe Stock offers flexible pricing options to suit your needs. You can purchase assets individually or subscribe to a plan that gives you access to a certain number of assets per month.
- Royalty-free license: All assets on Adobe Stock come with a royalty-free license, which means you can use them in your projects without worrying about paying additional fees.
- Pricing: While Adobe Stock offers flexible pricing options, it can be expensive compared to other stock photo websites. However, the quality of the assets and the integration with Adobe Creative Cloud may justify the higher cost.
- Limited free assets: Adobe Stock offers a collection of free assets, but the selection is limited compared to other stock photo websites. However, the quality of the free assets is excellent, and they are a great way to try out Adobe Stock before committing to a paid plan.
Overall, we highly recommend Adobe Stock for professionals who need high-quality visual assets for their projects. The platform offers an extensive collection of assets, flexible pricing options, and integration with Adobe Creative Cloud.
3. Shutterstock (free/paid)
Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock photo websites out there, and for good reason. In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of using Shutterstock for your stock photo needs.
- Vast library of images: Shutterstock boasts an impressive library of over 350 million images, making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
- Affordable pricing: Shutterstock offers a variety of pricing plans to fit any budget, including subscription and credit-based options.
- High-quality images: The images on Shutterstock are of high quality and resolution, ensuring that your final product looks professional.
- Easy to use: The website is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it simple to find and download the images you need.
- Limited free options: While Shutterstock does offer 10 free images, the selection is limited and may not fit your specific needs.
- Not exclusive: Since Shutterstock is such a popular website, there is a chance that the images you choose may be used by others, potentially diluting the uniqueness of your final product.
Overall, Shutterstock is a reliable and affordable option for finding high-quality stock photos. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it’s the right choice for your specific project.
4. Unsplash (free)
Unsplash is a popular website that provides free high-quality photos. It has a vast collection of over 1 million photos, all of which are available for free. The website is easy to navigate, and you can search for photos by keyword, category, or color.
- Free: Unsplash is completely free to use, and you can download as many photos as you want without any restrictions.
- High-quality images: The photos on Unsplash are of high quality, and you can use them for both personal and commercial projects.
- Wide variety: Unsplash has a vast collection of photos, and you can find images on almost any topic.
- Easy to use: The website is user-friendly, and you can easily find the photos you need.
- Limited editing options: Unsplash doesn’t offer many editing options, so you may need to edit the photos using other software.
- Limited selection of videos: While Unsplash offers a selection of videos, it is not as extensive as its photo collection.
Overall, Unsplash is a great resource for finding high-quality photos for free. It is user-friendly and has a vast collection of photos on almost any topic. However, it may not be the best option if you need extensive editing options or a wide selection of videos.
5. Pixabay (free)
Pixabay is a popular stock photo website that offers a vast collection of high-quality images, videos, and illustrations. Here are some pros and cons of using Pixabay:
- Free content: Pixabay provides a large collection of free, high-quality images, videos, and illustrations that can be used for personal and commercial purposes without attribution.
- Easy to use: The website is user-friendly, and the search function is straightforward. You can search for images by keywords, and the results are displayed quickly.
- Large collection: Pixabay has over 1.8 million images and videos, making it one of the largest free stock photo websites available.
- No registration required: You don’t need to sign up or create an account to download images from Pixabay.
- Limited selection of premium content: Pixabay does offer premium content, but the selection is limited compared to other stock photo websites.
- No exclusive content: Unlike other stock photo websites, Pixabay doesn’t offer exclusive content, so you may find the same images on other websites.
Overall, Pixabay is an excellent option for those looking for free stock images and videos. While there are some limitations, the website offers a large collection of high-quality content that is easy to use and doesn’t require registration.
6. Pexels (free)
We highly recommend Pexels for anyone looking for high-quality stock photos. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Free to use: Pexels offers a vast library of over 70,000 free stock photos that can be used for both personal and commercial purposes.
- Easy to navigate: The website is user-friendly and has a simple search bar that makes it easy to find the perfect photo for your project.
- High-quality images: All of the photos on Pexels are of high quality and are taken by talented photographers from all over the world.
- Large selection: With over 70,000 photos to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect image for your project.
- No attribution required: Unlike some other stock photo websites, Pexels does not require attribution when using their photos.
- Limited selection of videos: Pexels offers a limited selection of videos compared to other stock photo websites.
- Limited editing options: Pexels does not offer as many editing options as some other stock photo websites, which may be a drawback for some users.
Overall, we highly recommend Pexels for anyone looking for high-quality, free stock photos. While there are a few downsides to using the website, the benefits far outweigh any negatives.
7. Kaboompics (free)
Kaboompics is a free stock photo website that offers authentic and always consistent free stock photos – curated with creatives and professionals in mind. The website takes a different approach to stock photography, and its entire collection of photos derives from the work of a single photographer, Karolina Grabowska.
- High-quality images: Kaboompics offers high-quality images that are perfect for use in various projects, including web design, graphic design, and social media.
- Easy to navigate: The website is easy to navigate, and users can search for images by keyword, color, or category.
- No attribution required: Kaboompics does not require attribution for its images, making it easy for users to use them without any legal issues.
- Exclusive photopacks: Kaboompics offers exclusive photopacks that users can download for free by visiting the website.
- Limited collection: Kaboompics has a limited collection of images compared to other stock photo websites.
- No advanced search options: The website does not offer advanced search options, which can make it difficult for users to find specific images.
In summary, Kaboompics is a great option for users who are looking for high-quality, free images for their projects. While the website has some limitations, its easy-to-use interface and exclusive photopacks make it a popular choice among designers and creatives.
In conclusion, finding the right stock photo website can be a daunting task, but it’s important to consider your needs and budget before making a decision. Some websites offer a wide range of options, including royalty-free videos, music, templates, and special effects, while others may specialize in specific types of images or cater to a particular audience.
Based on our research, Envato Elements, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock, and iStock are some of the best options for those looking for a comprehensive library of images, illustrations, and vectors.
Unsplash, Pixelbay, Pexels and Kaboompics are great free alternatives with a large library of images, vectors, and videos, making them a great choice for those looking for a wider range of options.
Ultimately, the best stock photo website for you will depend on your specific needs and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best stock photo websites for beginners?
For beginners, some of the best stock photo websites include Envato Elements, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock. These sites have user-friendly interfaces and offer a wide range of images in different categories. They also offer affordable pricing options and free trials, making it easy for beginners to get started.
Where can I find high quality stock images for free?
You can find high quality stock images for free on websites such as Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, and Kaboompics. These sites offer a wide range of images in different categories, all of which can be used for personal or commercial purposes without any attribution required.
Is it legal to use stock photos on my website?
Yes, it is legal to use stock photos on your website as long as you have the appropriate license for the image. Most stock photo websites offer different types of licenses, including commercial and editorial licenses, which determine how the image can be used.