A close up of hands on a laptop's keyboard
In today's digital landscape, visually appealing content is more important than ever. Whether you're creating blog posts, social media graphics, or website designs, using high-quality images can instantly enhance the overall impact of your work.  
While it's always best to work with a professional photographer to create branded images that perfectly capture your brand's essence and appeal to your target audience, hiring a professional can be costly. This is where stock photography comes in, offering a cost-effective way to obtain high-quality images that can be used across various marketing materials. Stock photography platforms offer a vast library of images, including photos, vector images, and illustrations, that are royalty-free, allowing you to use them without any additional fees. These images can be easily incorporated into your marketing campaigns, helping you save money while still maintaining a professional and visually appealing brand identity. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know which stock photo websites are the best. In this article we look at sixteen of our favourite websites for free stock images, and then nine great websites for paid images. 

Free stock photos: a valuable resource for creating visually appealing content 

Stock photos are a great way to add visual interest and professionalism to your website, blog, or marketing materials. However, paying for stock photos can be expensive, especially if you're on a budget. That's where free stock photos come in. 
There are a number of great websites that offer free stock photos. These websites offer a wide variety of images, including food, nature, people, technology, and animals. The images are all high-quality and can be used for commercial and personal projects. 
In the next section, we'll introduce 16 free stock photo websites. 

1. Unsplash 

Photo by Eugene Golovesov on Unsplash 
Unsplash has become one of the most popular resources for stunning free images thanks to its large selection and easy-to-navigate website. The photos on Unsplash are curated by its team, making it easier to find high quality images without having to search through thousands of low quality ones. 

2. Pexels 

Pexels is another great resource that provides a huge library of free stock photos from a variety of sources. The site is updated daily with new photos, and you can easily filter by categories or search for specific keywords. 

3. Pixabay 

Pixabay has one of the largest collections of free stock photos on the web, with over 1.6 million images and videos available for download. You'll find a wide variety of photos here, from nature scenes to cityscapes to abstract art. 

4. StockSnap.io 

Photo by World Wildlife on StockSnap 
StockSnap.io is perfect for those who are looking for high-quality, royalty-free stock photos. The site has an extensive library of images from professional photographers, so you can be sure to find something that fits your needs. 

5. Stockvault 

Stockvault is a great choice for those who are looking for high-resolution stock photos. The site has an extensive library of royalty-free images from professional photographers, so you can be sure to find something that fits your needs.  

6. Freepik 

Freepik is a great choice for those who are looking for high-quality, royalty-free high-quality vectors, photos and videos. The site has a large selection of images from professional illustrators and artists, so you can be sure to find something that fits your needs.  

7. Morguefile 

Morguefile is perfect for those who are looking for free stock photos with a creative commons license. The site has over 350,000 images from photographers all over the world, so you can be sure to find something that fits your project. All photos are free to download and use, you just need to create a free account first.  

8. Picjumbo 

Photo by Viktor Hanacek on Picjumbo 
Picjumbo is a popular free stock photo website founded in 2013 by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek. It is known for its high-quality, creative, and minimalist images that are perfect for personal and commercial use. Picjumbo's images are all high-resolution and well-composed, making them suitable for a variety of uses. Their library is still relatively small compared to some other stock photo websites, but they regularly add new images to their collection. 

9. Startup Stock Photos 

Startup Stock Photos are free startup, office, and tech stock pictures Their mission is to provide completely free, useful, awesome photos for startups, bloggers, publishers, freelancers, designers, developers, creators, and everyone else.  

10. RawPixel 

RawPixel offers a mix of free and premium stock photos. Their free plan allows 10 downloads per day from their collection of over two million free creative resources and designs.  

11. Gratisography 

Photo courtesy of Gratisography 
Gratisography is a website that offers a collection of quirky and unique stock photos that are completely free to use for commercial and personal projects. Gratisography's collection of photos is unlike any other stock photo library. The images are often humorous, surreal, or just plain weird, and they can add a touch of personality and creativity to your projects.  

12. StockSnap 

StockSnap is a free stock photo website that offers a wide variety of high-quality images, illustrations, and vectors. The images on StockSnap are all high-resolution and well-composed, making them suitable for a variety of uses.  

13. Negative Space 

Negative Space offers a curated collection of high-quality stock photos. All of the photos on this website are free to use for commercial and personal use.  

14. Kaboompics 

Kaboompics offer high-quality, free stock photos. They have a wide variety of images to choose from, including nature, people, food, and technology. All of their photos are free to use for commercial and personal use, and they are constantly adding new ones to their collection.  

15. Freerange Stock Photos 

Freerange Stock Photos is a website that offers a collection of high-quality, totally free stock photos, illustrations, and textures. The images on Freerange are sourced from a variety of photographers and illustrators, and they all have a unique and creative style. 

16. ISO Republic 

Bird Perched Free Stock Photo on ISO Republic 
ISO Republic offers a a wide variety of high-quality, free stock photos and videos, including food, nature, people, technology, and animals. The collection is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means that they can be used for commercial and personal use without attribution. 

Paid stock photos 

Paid stock photo websites offer a vast collection of high-quality, royalty-free images that you can use for your projects without worrying about copyright infringement. These websites typically offer two main pricing options: 
Pay-as-you-go packs. These allow you to purchase a set number of images for a fixed price. This is a great option for occasional users who need only a few images per month. 
Annual subscriptions. These provide access to a library of millions of images for a set monthly or yearly fee. This is a cost-effective option for users who need access to a large number of images on a regular basis. 
There are many popular paid stock photo websites to choose from. Here are 9 of the most popular options. 

1. Shutterstock 

One of the largest and most well-known stock photo websites, Shutterstock offers a vast library of high-quality images.  

2. iStock 

A subsidiary of Getty Images, iStock offers a comprehensive collection of photos, vectors, and illustrations.  

3. Adobe Stock 

Part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, Adobe Stock offers a wide selection of images, as well as vector graphics and illustrations.  

4. Dreamstime 

Photo by Maksym Fesenko on Dreamstime.com 
Another popular stock photo website, Dreamstime offers a large library of images and videos, as well as a variety of pricing options.  

5. Alamy 

Alamy is a British stock photo agency that was founded in 1999. It is one of the largest stock photo agencies in the world, with a library of over 201 million images, videos, and vector graphics. Alamy's images are generally of high quality, with good resolution and composition. However, Alamy's pricing can be more expensive than some other stock photo websites.  

6. Depositphotos 

Known for its user-friendly interface and competitive pricing, Depositphotos offers a wide selection of images, vectors, and illustrations.  

7. Getty Images 

Getty Images offers royalty-free images, which means you can use them for commercial purposes without paying additional fees or restrictions. They offer a vast and diverse collection of images, including news, sports, entertainment, business, lifestyle, travel, and more.  

8. Jumpstory 

Jumpstory offers millions of images and videos, and their algorithm removes polished and staged images. Jumpstory claim that their content is proven to be more engaging, more exciting, and more impactful than anything else you’ll find.  

9. Stocksy 

Unlike many other stock photo websites that prioritise quantity over quality, Stocksy carefully selects each image for its originality and visual impact. The platform's stringent quality control ensures that only the best images make it to their library, resulting in a collection that is consistently fresh and inspiring.  


Stock images can transform your content into a visually engaging and professional presentation. When used wisely, they can effectively convey your brand message and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Whether you choose paid or free options, it's crucial to carefully select websites that align with your project's requirements and budget. By incorporating high-quality images, you can captivate your audience and elevate your content to new heights. 
While stock photography offers a cost-effective solution, there are times when hiring a professional photographer is the better choice. When your brand requires a unique and personalised touch, a professional photographer can create images that perfectly capture the essence of your brand and resonate with your target audience. However, it's important to weigh the cost-benefit ratio and determine whether hiring a professional photographer aligns with your project's goals and budget. 
Ultimately, the choice between stock photography and a professional photographer depends on your specific needs and budget. If you're seeking high-quality, versatile images at a reasonable price, stock photography is a great option. However, if your brand requires a unique and personalised touch, working with a professional photographer is the best way to achieve the desired results. 
A women smiling as she takes a phone call
If you would like help creating up a new, affordable website, please get in touch. it’seeze Windsor is a specialist website design company that offers businesses affordable website packages and ongoing expert support. Our high-quality, professional web design services are ideal for start-ups and small businesses in Windsor. Not sure if your existing website is working for you? We also offer a free Website Health Check that highlights the areas where improvements can be made. Call us today to create the website of your dreams and turn your business into a success. 
Tagged as: web design
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings