A key part of great website content is good imagery. We know how hard it can be to find good photos, so we’ve collected a list of 46 stock photography websites here.
Some of them are paid.
But here’s the best part: most of them are free!
From this list, you’re sure to find a good photography for nearly any topic imaginable.
Best Stock Photography Websites
There are many stock photo sites out there, and they are all vying to become the leader in this particular market. Even though Getty is still on top for now, the following sites may have more to offer in terms of free stock photos, high-quality images, or as a potential marketplace for photographers to sell their work.
StockSnap.io is one of the best sites for high-quality images. It is a popular choice for many website and business owners, since countless new royalty-free images are added on a daily basis. It is also easy to find a free stock photo you like, as you can filter by the amount of downloads.
It is worth noting that the StockSnap.io photos are released as creative commons. In other words, their photographs are free to download for commercial use.
Pexels prides itself on providing the best quality photographs only. So, while you will find less stock imagery overall on this website, the stock image quality you do find is unmatched by most free stock photo websites out there. It’s one of my go to sites for photos for websites.
Unsplash is not as widely known as Getty Images or Pexels. That being said, this public domain website does offer some amazing stock photos of high-quality. The site is particularly popular among website developers.
One of the downsides to Unsplash is that the keywords for their stock photos are somewhat lacking. While you may find what you need by entering your chosen keyword, the website uses so-called collections, which can sometimes hide the best stock imagery.
Contrary to the other stock imagery sites, you need to use another site in order to use Burst. In fact, Burst needs to be accessed to Shopify. This also makes their free stock photo offering a little more complicated. Some of the stock photos are released under a creative commons license, while others actually carry a Shopify photo license.
Burst is also quite a niche provider of stock imagery. The site was created specifically for business owners and entrepreneurs, so the free stock photo offering is quite centered around business in general. So, while not everyone will see Burst as one of the best providers of stock photos, this site could be favorited by many business owners.
When you want one of the largest libraries with stock photos at your disposal, Reshot is the place to be. The site provides you with a large stock photography offering with various themes and categories. So, even if you are looking for stock photos to support a niche site, you will most likely find it here.
One of the other things that stands out about Reshot is that their photography offering is a little different from most commercial sites. Stock imagery is quite original and is bound to make your website stand out from all the rest. In other words, Reshot is extremely popular for new startups and websites.
Pixabay is arguably one of the best-known websites with free stock photos. Since the site has been around for a long time, you can expect an amazing stock image library with tons of free photos.
One of the unusual things about Pixabay is that the site does not solely offers stock imagery. In addition to a range range of photos, the site also provides art illustrations and vectors.
When you need some excellent free photos of food, you need a public domain like FoodiesFeed. The site provides stock imagery that is completely centered around food. So, restaurants, hotels, and even food bloggers regularly obtain stock imagery from this site.
While most stock photo websites obtain their free photos from various photographers, Gratisography only uses free photos from the same photographer, Ryan McGuire.
You might believe that a site offering stock imagery from the same photographer may be quite limited, but this is not the case for Gratisography. In fact, you can count on free images being added every week.
Another great site for stock imagery is freestocks.org. The stock imagery provider does not stick to a single niche and has a widespread offer of stock images.
Freestocks.org has enjoyed some mainstream success, so many businesses and individuals go to the website to find their free stock photos. Images on the website are free to use and can be downloaded without much trouble.
When you want stock imagery from well-known photographer Dave Meier, then you should head over to Picography. Whether you need an original stock image or something a bit commercial, the stock imagery from Dave Meier and other well-known photographers is bound to please.
11. Foca: FREE
Some stock imagery sites focus on particular topics and this is the case for Foca. Foca provides a stock image selection from photographer Jeffrey Betts, who focuses on topics such as workplaces and nature.
All photographs on Foca are of the highest quality, so you will not find any average images here. So, even the harshest photography critics can find some amazing stock imagery on Foca.
While some sites focus on niche images or limit their amount of topics, other sites pride themselves on providing the most diverse topics possible. One of these websites is Picjumbo, who offers a wide range of stock image categories.
Picjumbo offers available images under categories such as fashion, nature, technology and more. By placing them in these categories, visitors can easily find a large stock image selection that is suitable for their sites.
Like other websites that offer a stock image selection, Kaboom Pics allow users to grab images and use them for commercial ends. However, images that are obtained from Kaboom Pics cannot be sold or redistributed, so this is something that users must take into consideration.
As we mentioned already, most sites that offer photos for commercial use get them from various photographers. However, this is different for SkitterPhoto, as the images provided are taken by the owners of SkitterPhoto.
While you may expect a limited style where photo offering is concerned, this is surprisingly not the case. There is a wide variety of images in various themes, and even the photographer styles are quite diverse. So, you will find all sorts of images on SkitterPhoto, even though they are offered by a limited number of photographers.
Life of Pix is offered by the LEEROY Creative Agency. The agency specialises in high-resolution photos without copyright restrictions.
On Life Of Pix, users can also find numerous Adobe Stock images, which has been integrated with Life of Pix. Adobe stock is a service similar to all the other providers of free images mentioned today. All photos on Adobe Stock are royalty-free and curated by the Adobe team.
Nic Jackson is the man who started Little Visuals. He regularly uploaded amazing photos that could be used by the public. Unfortunately, Nic passed away unexpectedly in 2013. Since then, his family has maintained the website and keep the photos available for the public.
While Little Visuals is not as known among the the general public, it is certainly known among developers and blog owners. The website has 3.4 million users and a whopping 130, 000 subscribers. Once you see the photos from Nic Jackson, it won’t take you long to figure out why this site is so popular.
We already mentioned that some websites are quite niche, but none is more niche than New Old Stock. As the name of the site already indicates, New Old Stock focuses on old images and photos, something that is not easy to obtain from other websites.
Some stock sites are named after the photographer, and this is the case for Jay Mantri. On his website, you will find some lovely photos with a variety of themes.
While the photos are offered for free and there aren’t any fees involved, it is a little difficult to find what you are looking for in terms of themed photos. You often have to scroll through an endless amount of photos before you find what you are looking for. That being said, the photos are well worth scrolling through, as each and every single one is amazing.
This is one of our personal favorites for free photos. Picspree has an immense offering of free photos with a dominant nature theme. Interestingly, this site is backed by Getty Images.
We must mention that while the majority of photos at Picspree are completely free, there are some premium photos as well. Still, there are many photos you can obtain without having to pay a single cent.
Another great suggestion is ISO Republic. If you are looking for a stock images site that updates its selection of photographs daily, then this is the option for you. All photographs are published with a CCO license as well, so you don’t have to pay anything to obtain photos for your blog or site.
Some websites that offer stock photos make their money through advertisements, and this is most certainly the case for StyledStock. To make the majority of their images free, StyledStock uses lots of advertisements throughout the website. While this could be seen as a negative, it does provide you with a large range of photographs that are ready to use and won’t cost you anything.
StyledStock does provide a premium service as well, this in the form of a premium packs offer. The premium packs offer users a bundle of photographs under a specific theme. At the time of this article, premium packs included themes such as breakfast, bathroom and wedding.
Shutterstock is arguably one of the largest providers of stock photographs. They have one of the largest libraries, suitable for niche markets as well as large cooperations. Of course, such a big library comes with a price.
To use the photographs offered by Shutterstock, you must create an account. But even with a free account you won’t get far. In fact, Shutterstock asks a monthly fee to use their photographs, although you can get one month free. Still, the overall costs of their images is acceptable with a small monthly fee. And, if you use stock photographs on a regular basis, then Shutterstock might just be a tiny investment for you.
Fotolia has been around for quite some time and was quite popular among users. However, the website was obtained by Adobe in 2019, which means the site has transformed into a license only photography provider.
While the offer of photographs is quite impressive on Fotolia, the prices for photo licenses can sometimes be shocking! As soon as the average user looks at the cost of an extended license, it is usually enough to turn that person away. We can’t say we blame them, as some of these licenses go over $50 per photograph.
Some users value quality above all other things when they look for photographs to use. At Dreamstime, these users find all the photographs they could ever need, as the website has one of the strictest quality standards in he industry.
Photographers who work with Dreamstime get 25-50% of the sales prices, which is substantially more than other sites. If you like to use stock photography and want to support photographers are the same time, you can most certainly use this site.
Dreamstime works with a subscription system. Over the course of a month, you pay a free that gives you access to a certain number of image downloads. The lowest subscription pack offers you 10 images. The largest gives you a whopping 9000 images.
On the flipside, the subscription costs to get and use photographs from the website are not exactly cheap, although you are paying towards the hard work of the photographers. You can also obtain a one week free trial to use the service before you purchase it.
If you have not heard about Stocksy before, you are not alone! Stocksy is a relative newcomer in the world of stock photo websites, but the site is quickly getting noticed.
Stocksy was founded by 2013 by Bruce Livingstone. If you use stock photos regularly, this name may sound familiar, as Bruce was the original founder of iStock. Like Dreamstime, Stocksy focuses on paying its photographers a fair price for their work, giving them up to 50% in commission. Of course, this also means that you can expect to pay a fair price for the photos you use. On the flipside, you do support the photography profession.
Small bloggers are unlikely to use Stocksy due to the associated cost. However, larger businesses looking for advertiser materials and photos for their website can turn to Stocksy.
Those who want to save some money on stock photography can head over to Crestock instead. The website offers in excess of 2.5 million royalty-free creative images and makes it easy to find the photos you need.
The cost for photos on the website can vary greatly by artist. Crestock also provides you with three payment options, including pay & go, subscriptions and credits. The pay & go option is suitable for those who need a minimum amount of photos, while the subscription option is great for popular bloggers who want a minimum of 20 downloads per day. That being said, the monthly subscription fee is not exactly cheap, so new bloggers and hobby websites are unlikely to use this stock website on a regular basis.
Bigstock is one of the biggest photography websites in existence today. Interestingly, the website was founded in 2004 but eventually taken over by ShutterStock in 2009. So, while you may not see the registered trademark of ShutterStock everywhere, this website is most certainly owned by the ShutterStock people.
Aside from high-quality images, BigStock provides videos and vectors too. It also provides an impressive library of more than 95 million files, which goes far beyond any other stock photography website today.
The files available for download at BigStock can be obtained for free during the initial trial period. However, be warned that the number of files you can download during this time is limited and that you are expected to pay a fee as soon as the trial has ended.
As for payment methods, BigStock provides several options to its users. There is the daily subscription plan for those who only need a small number of photographs and a monthly subscription plan for anyone that requires a larger number of photographs for their website.
Compared to most websites, BigStock is not less or more expensive when it comes to the cost of their photos. However, BigStock still stands out because of the amount of files they have on offer, which puts all other photo websites to shame. Still, if you don’t want to spend money to obtain royalty-free photos, it may be best to look elsewhere.
If you’re looking to contribute to these sites, you can even get started with a simple point and shoot camera.
As the name suggests, this website was created to provide new businesses with photographs for their website. The images are free to download and are easily found on the main page.
On the downside, Startup Stock Photos does not have a handy search feature, which would enable you to easily find the photographs you are looking for. Still, if you don’t mind a little scrolling, this website can help you with your startup.
While most larger database require a fee to use their photographs, Finda.Photo provides you with access to more than a million photographs free of charge. The photo supplies is available through the chamber of commerce website, through which you can also access other stock photo suppliers.
Some sites can be hidden where photography is concerned, and Magdeleine certainly fits that description. While it is not the largest stock photography website out there, it does provide some amazing images. Plus, you get a new high-resolution photograph every day.
On IM FREE, you can find anything from templates to categories such as business, technology, health, icons and loads more. All can be used for commercial purposes without the need of investing your own money.
Superfamous is probably the least user friendly option in our overview. That being said, it does provide some amazing pics if you know how to find them. Still, new users may find it a little tricky to navigate around.
Getrefe is the most unusual supplier of photographs in this overview, as it is quite different from the other sites. In fact, the photographs are offered on a tumbler blog! Nevertheless, finding photographs is quite easy.
When you like to choose photographs from a slew of categories, or simply want a user friendly website to find them, then JeShoots might be the option for you. Spanning categories from casino and love to summer and coffee, there is something suitable for all kinds of people.
Those who don’t like a lot of browsing and want to find things immediately will appreciate this one. Simply check the website to view thousands of images that don’t carry any royalties!
Snapographic has quite the diverse offering, bringing you stock photography as well as celebrity photographs, graphic design templates and graphics. So, if you need more than just stock photographs, Snapographic is the place to be.
This website provides countless stock photographs, but gets its revenue from advertisements. If you have adblock installed, be sure to disable it for this website before accessing it. If you keep your Adblock turned on, you might not gain access at all.
Realistic shots is a great place to get your photographs. However, it could use some more filters for easier user navigation. That being said, Realistic Shots has some of the best and most original photographs we have seen.
Stokpic is a little unusual, as they send 10 photographs to their subscribers every two weeks without any extra charge. Some of the images can also be downloaded for free on the website. Be careful though, as some are not cleared for redistribution.
Morguefile gives you instant access to tons of stock photographs, but not all of them are of the highest quality. Before you download, always check the quality of the photo, as some photographs leave much to be desired. Aside from that, you can find the occasional gem there.
If you are looking for free photographs, but don’t want the fuss of registering or subscribing to a service, then you need Free Images. The website delivers a large database filled with free photographs, but you don’t have to register to download them.
Do you need a historical photograph, but not really sure where to start looking. In addition to one of our previous suggestions, you can choose Historical Stock Photos. As a search engine for stock photography, you will quickly find the historical pics you need.
Don’t want to mess around with several sites to get the couple of photographs you need? Choose Every Stock Photo, a search engine that will deliver suitable results in a click of a button.
Splashbase is one of the more diverse sites in this overview. From historical photographs to nature photography, you can find it all here. It also features some illustrations from impressive artists.
Don’t want to wade your way through countless photos to find that one free one you are looking for? Well, look no further than Image Base, as all the photographs on this website are completely free. There is one downside though, as not all of the photos are of the best quality.
Do you need patterns instead of photographs covering a specific subject? Look no further than the Pattern Library. On this website, you can find patterns suitable for commercial use. Just go to the start page and scroll down.
How Do Stock Photo Websites Make Money?
Stock photography is extremely popular for the reasons we mentioned earlier. These websites basically make money by selling licenses for uploaded images. While the artist still gets a cut from the original sale, the majority of the profit goes to the stock photo website.
Of course, you can also find free stock images online. So how do sites offering free stock images make their money? Well, there are several ways for these sites to make money. Some of these websites only offer a limited amount of free images for commercial purposes.
Once you have reached your limit, you need to buy a license. Websites that solely offer free stock photos use advertisements to get their revenue.
How Much Money Can You Make With Stock Photography?
There is money to be made for a photographer in stock photography, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can simply upload stock images and receive lots of money in return.
When you head over to a stock photo website, you will quickly notice that your stock images must be “sellable”. Otherwise, your uploads will be refused and you won’t make any money at all. That being said, some photographers have built their entire business on stock photo photography for commercial use.
There are lots of things you need to know before you upload your best stock photographs. For example, you need to determine the right keywords for your audience, check out supply and demand for free stock photos, rule out popular brands and logos in your stock images and more.
Some photographers create their own brand where stock images are concerned. Every photographer has his or her own style, and sometimes this style can be a massive hit among people who need royalty free stock photos. So, you don’t have to conform to mainstream stock images.
The amount of money you can make from your stock photo efforts depends heavily on your commitment. If you master keywords, supply and demands, but also use the best stock photo sites, you can make a living as a stock photographer.
Things To Remember About Stock Photography
If you are considering getting into stock imagery, be sure to do your research first. Even though there is a big market filled with stock photo sites, you do need to know what you are doing when it comes to your uploaded stock photos.
We recommend researching keywords, supply and demand, but also to take a thorough look at our recommend stock photo websites to find a place where your stock photos will stand out.
You can make a business out of stock photos as a photographer, but it always requires a bit of research. Hopefully, you will find the process a little easier thanks to our overview.
Those who aren’t photographers but are looking for the best free stock photos will now have plenty of options, since our overview contained some of the best free options out there. Of course, it also contains some websites that ask a small fee for photos. Nevertheless, you should easily find countless photos suitable for commercial use.