Looking for the best stock photo solutions to take your brand or marketing strategies to the next level? We have got you covered in this blog post!
Using high-resolution images for personal and commercial purposes always grabs the attention but in return, there is an amount you have to bear in mind. As a marketer, content creator or eCommerce store owner, you would like to use eye-catching images to brighten up your work. If you can resource your own stock images, you are lucky then. What if you cannot? At this point, the best stock photo sites spark!
The stock images sites offer a rich library covering high-resolution photos, graphics, videos, audio tracks, vectors and illustrations that are more mostly royalty-free. So, you will not need to give credit to anyone. Especially in paid versions, you can even edit the images or videos depending upon your needs. Despite the free versions’ limited options, they still can help grow your business through striking marketing campaigns on a low budget.
In this blog post, we have drawn up both paid and free stock photo sites along with their advantages and disadvantages. Before we jump into the sites, you should consider their license and attribution requirements during your deciding process.
Quick Mention about Licenses
The stock photo sites provide the sheer number of stock images, videos or music that are free from copyright restrictions. This opportunity is known as the Creative Commons license (CC0) in public which gives you unlimited edit, copy, usage rights. Whether you use them for personal or commercial use, you do not need to get any permission. The free sites we have mentioned below offer stock images, videos and music that are released under the CC0 license.
If we have made it all clear, let’s dive into the best stock photo sites!
Best Free Stock Photo Sites
Unsplash takes the lead the top of the best free stock photo sites list. The platform has over 300,000 high-resolution freely usable images that are related to business & work, fashion, health & fitness, travel, arts, food, history, spirituality and much more. Each day the sheer number of free stock images are uploaded to the library to keep the stock images platform updated. Unsplash might remain limited when compared to paid stock photo platforms but you can still find numerous stock images for almost any kind.
The license reflects that you can download unlimited images with the right of editing, copying and using without permission. The red line is the images cannot be sold before turning into unique versions of them.
The best free stock photo sites list cannot be done without mentioning Pexels’ library that offers a vast number of stock images pleasing to the eye. Pexels gives you unlimited downloads for each stock image you like in different formats. Besides its rich stock image library, it also offers free stock videos shared by the community. There is a good point that you can donate the artist what your heart desires if you very much like the image. This opportunity gives the artist motivation to keep up their work.
The community also runs challenges related to different topics like travel, people, animals, emotion, art etc. There are also several challenges that raise awareness for the issues we have been recently coping with. One Ocean, One Future is such a remarkable one!
Another free awesome stock images platform, Pixabay, offers over 2.3 million high-resolution royalty-free images, videos and music for all tastes. The ability to easily reach free stock music opportunities can put Pixabay one step ahead of its competitors. The platform makes graphic designers satisfied in every aspect like providing free stock vectors, illustrations, graphics, icons and much more.
Although Pixabay mostly offers no attribution needed for stock images, there may be some exceptions. So, it would be better to check on the stock image, video or music. Thanks to the wide search capability, you can easily navigate what you are looking for.
In StockSnap.io, all high-quality stock images are released under the CC0 license. Keeping the platform up to date, each week hundreds of stock photos are added by the stock community to the library. StockSnap.io lists a vast number of stock images under different categories such as travel, business, office, work, design, art, social media, nature, food, drink and more.
Before downloading the image you like, StockSnap.io allows you to customise it within its own photo editor. You can also create your own photo library and so your favourite files can simply be added to it. This saves you time when you would like to reach these images.
Best Paid Stock Photo Sites
iStock has been the oldest premium stock images platform in the market created by Getty Images. The platform offers enormous search options to users that can easily and quickly find what they are looking for. Millions of stock images, videos, illustrations, clip art and audio tracks are available under the standard license. If you would like to use them for different purposes not covered by the license, you may need to get an extended license.
Once you get a file on iStock, you automatically get the license as well. So, it will give you a chance to use it for advertising, marketing, blogs, podcasts, videos and much more. Not only you can use them once, but you can use them as much as you want in any project as iStock offers royalty-free files. Of course, the pricing plans vary depending on the number of files you would like to get.
There is another premium stock photos site here, ShutterStock offers a vast number of stock solutions from images to templates. Over 1.5 million new files are added every week to the Shutterstock platform to keep it fresh. Plus, containing some unique features can differentiate ShutterStock from its competitors. In addition to its core features, the unique ones consist of an editor, image resizer, file converter, collage maker, ready-to-use social media templates and more.
The pricing range varies the number of images and there is also an exception for teams and enterprises. If you would like to get one of those packages, you may need to extend their license coverage for different uses.
Adobe Stock can beat its competitors on the best stock photo sites list. The platform offers stunning stock images, royalty-free templates made in Adobe Creative Cloud, inspiring vector graphics & illustrations, amazing stock videos and audio. Adobe Stock gives you a chance to review your edited images with a watermark before purchasing. If it satisfies you, then you can move forward with getting the required license.
Like every stock image platform, pricing plans at Adobe Stock vary depending on the number of images. The advantage here is that if the plan does not fit you well, you can get the extra credit packs to expand your usage.
With over 206 million files, Depositphotos is one of the fastest-growing stock image platforms in this market. So, there is no reason not to include it in the best stock photo sites list. What makes Depositphotos unique is that it offers a slightly low-cost pricing strategy. In order to avoid a misunderstanding, Depositphotos still offers royalty-free images, videos, vectors, illustrations, and music at more affordable prices.
Like other stock image platforms, Depositphotos updates itself with numerous stock photos, videos, audio tracks, illustrations and vectors every day. If we go on with the pricing plans, there are 2 options that appear. Both pricing options provide a standard license, so you do not need to think about the legal stuff. You can extend your license up to your needs for sure.
Dreamstime takes its place on this best stock photo sites list too. Over 163 million high resolution and royalty-free stock images are available for marketing campaigns, blog posts, social media shares, eCommerce stores, magazines and more. Dreamstime covers stunning images, videos, vectors, illustrations and audio tracks under a different span of themes and categories.
Llike the other paid stock image sites, Dreamstime provides usage-based pricing options too. The good point is that the 1-month pricing plan offers a one-week free trial which makes Dreamstime different from other platforms. Depending upon your needs, you can extend the license as well.
As you can see, the number of stock photo sites are going wider day by day. This diversity makes room for every unique need. Each stock platform has its own matchless features depending on the user requirements. It would be better not to limit your opportunities while choosing one.
The best one varies according to your needs and budget. If you are low on budget, the free stock photo sites offer stunning solutions. The only thing here you should consider is the license type the platform has.
If you are more into reaching more unique images, videos, vectors, illustrations or audio tracks, it would be better to go for the paid solutions. Checking on their pricing policy is a must here.
The final decision is yours!