The 5 Best Stock Photo Sites of 2023

The concept of a stock photo website is fairly straightforward. Images are split up into relevant categories and you’re shown results based on the search term of your choosing. However, many websites are designed in a way that’s visually cluttered, turning your search into an exhausting endeavor.

  • The platform offers thousands of free images you can use to strengthen your content, including a large selection of business-oriented photos (e.g., retail, eCommerce, money, and products).
  • We create unique Lightroom & ACR presets, Photoshop actions, ebooks, and video courses.
  • With 1.7 million stock images, Dissolve is based in Canada and licenses stock footage and images for royalty-free and rights-managed uses.
  • They also include interesting features such as photography challenges, encouraging contributors to submit fresh images by offering them cash prizes.
  • Shutterstock is the absolute winner in the number of stock photos, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find good variety elsewhere.
  • This straightforward approach makes it easy to pick the best option for your needs.

Pixabay also hosts contests and challenges that offer the opportunity to win prizes and get featured in their curated collections. As you type in the search bar, Pixabay will suggest relevant keywords. Once you receive search results, their algorithm will suggest related keywords to help you explore further. You can also refine your search results by orientation, size, color, and publish date. Once your work is accepted, you will earn money for each download. However, Shutterstock has a minimum payout threshold that must be met before you can cash out, so be sure to review their disbursement policies before getting started.

Stocksy focuses on authentic, atypical stock imagery, and it really excels in this. Just one look at the curated gallery is enough to see that you’re dealing with top-tier photographers. If the contributor chooses the non-exclusive option, it means that the photographer can upload the images not only to iStock, but to other stock sites as well. The best free stock photo sites are the ones that are serious and trustworthy because then you are a bit safer when it comes to the legality of their images. We recommend a few in this guide, such as Unsplash, Pixabay, or Pexels.

Envato Elements is a top choice for budget-conscious creatives. With an impressive library of Data not available assets, it’s a haven for designers, video editors, and developers. Its affordability and unlimited downloads offer tremendous value. You should consider subscribing to a stock photo site if you’re currently searching for free photos that often don’t meet your needs or quality standards. Low-quality or unoriginal photos reflect poorly on a project and brand.

With 60 million high quality images, the company touts its quick downloads for one-time purchases. With websites in 23 languages, Getty provides content to media outlets, advertising agencies, and public relations firms worldwide. Pricing begins at $175 per download for small images and low-resolution videos. Jumpstory boasts an 80% better performance than other stock photo websites.

How to find the best websites with 100% free stock photos

Jumpstory is one of the most affordable quality stock photography websites that offers both photos and videos. They do not allow AI-generated content and clearly state this on their website. While they don’t sell credits for single downloads, their subscription plans start at $20 for unlimited use. Stockphotos.com is a smaller stock site specifically aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. For us, this is one of the best stock photo websites, perfect for blog posts or social media.

  • If the photographer goes for the first option – submitting exclusive content – the commission can reach 45%, depending on the number of downloads.
  • By uploading to Fotolia you also get the chance to be featured in their premium collection, which is hand-curated and contains high-quality images that are absolute eye candy.
  • Marketers and designers searching Vecteezy for stock photos also have access to high-quality stock photos from Shutterstock’s library.
  • Even if it’s a simple subject, stock image websites save you a ton of time.
  • You can also search by popular collections and by color (which is helpful if you’re planning to use a specific color palette in your final product).

The photos are consistently high quality, and artists are paid for their contributions. There’s an excellent selection of filters that you can use to find exactly the right stock photo, and you can even upload an existing image to find similar pictures. Canva and Envato Elements include unlimited downloads with active subscriptions, so the only way to get a discount with them is through annual subscription discounts. Envato Elements’ annual discount is 57% ($16.50/mo from $39.00/mo), while Canva’s is 23% ($9.95/mo from $12.95/mo). Both platforms also offer student discounts—Envato Elements’ price drops to $10.50/mo for eligible students, while Canva is entirely free for students and teachers, and educators.

Minus 1. StockUnlimited

Either way, this is an excellent site to get unexpected results. This clarity can be helpful for people who don’t know the details about copyright. This is done with independent photographers and Getty Images (iStock). Their on-demand packages begin at $29 for two images and go up to $575 for 250 images.

Best Niche & Trendy Stock Photos Agencies

You can also reference a specific period with the outfits and props. In the 90s, it was popular to see people with CD players and flip phones or bulkier ‘dumb’ phones. One of the easiest ways to keep your images trendy is by following a color palette. Pantone releases a color of the year that you can use as a starting point.

How we analyzed the best Stock Photo Websites

Since 2020, we’ve downloaded thousands of photos from more than 50 stock photo sites. For each update, we evaluate new sites, rising competitors, and additional features from our recommended picks. If you want to spend less—or just want unlimited downloads—Envato Elements is an excellent choice. For just $11.70 per month, you can get unlimited downloads of photos, videos, fonts, templates, and more. This makes it the perfect choice for freelancers and creatives. In life, it is often true that nothing is free, and even if it is being offered as “free” there is usually a catch.

If it’s in your head, it’s on Shutterstock

They provide images you can download and use free of charge, that they crowdsource from users. They have amassed a collection of over 1.4 million files and counting offered on a very professional, “stock-photo-agency-looking” best stock photography sites site that includes a blog and a community forum. TONL is a stock photo agency looking to bring diversity to stock photography, through accurate and modern representations of people of color, their culture, and their lives.

With a Ph.D. candidacy under his belt, Matic is passionate about making the stock media world a safe and better understood place. When he’s not creating, you can find Matic exploring the great outdoors, hanging out with dogs, and diving into the exciting world of AI research. Indemnity is, therefore super-important as it effectively protects you from harm. Inadvertently, it also shows you how much stock photo sites trust that their images are legitimate.

This integrated access might be why you want to pay for a service like Jumpstory. This agency is quite different from Shutterstock itself and from any other microstock site. It targets clients who are all about great imagery and are not very concerned about prices. This brings down the value of a single photograph to $0.48, which can be quite discouraging from a psychological point of view if you’re a professional photographer. Despite this, there are still many who sign up to become a Shutterstock contributor. With every new submission the photographer decides whether the photos will be used exclusively by Westend61 or if the agency is authorized to distribute them to their international partners.

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