Using good imagery across your platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter as well as your on-site blog is crucial. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is never more relevant than it is in the digital marketing space. Good images mean good content! Check out some of our favorite stock image websites to get quality (and not cheesy!) photographs for your online content.
Looking for some images you can use basically anywhere? Unsplash is the place to go, with a huge library of free imagery under a Creative Commons Licence (meaning you can use them anywhere, including commercial purposes, and not need to credit the original source). While Unsplash has limited search functionality, it is a great choice if you are searching for a broad topic like lifestyle, nature and landscapes.
Years ago, the creators of Death To The Stock Photo noticed that brands and bloggers struggled to find images that suited their vibes. Cue the creation of Death To The Stock Photo. This site does have a monthly charge of $15 where you have access to their entire collection with unlimited downloads or you can sign up for their free monthly emails where they send out a collection of their images for you to use.
Photodune is a purchase based website, meaning you can search for images and choose individual photos in your preferred size to purchase. With photos from $1, there are plenty to choose from! Whilst some are typical cringe-worthy stock photos, you will be able to find some quality image gems in their collection. Also, keep note of the licence you are choosing when you purchase as this will determine where you are able to use their photographs.
Yep, even Adobe have their own stock library! The images you will find on their site are extremely high quality with a creative feel. However, be warned - these don’t come cheap. Whilst they have options like their $35.99 monthly plan, you are limited to downloading 10 standard images per month. Adobe recently bought out Dollar Photo Club, which offered images for $1 each, so their stock image library is huge.
Another site that offers a library of free images is StockSnap. This site has a huge collection of copyright free images, all of which you can use in your content even for commercial purposes. Similar to other free photo websites, the search functionality is not ideal, so as a handy tip, search for broad categories using this website and take your time finding the perfect photo.
Another option for some free stock photo is Picjumbo, however, be prepared to sift through some cliche stock photos to get to the good stuff. These photographs can also be used in commercial projects, however, don’t redistribute them on any of your sites.
This site is one of the most popular stock photo websitse out there and for good reason with over 90 million pieces of content to use. Shutterstock offers a number of plans, with their most popular being their 1 year plan with 750 images at $199 per month. On their basic image licence, you can use their images in digital reproduction, commercial purposes and advertisements.
Another paid option, iStock has a variety of purchase options including credits and subscriptions. iStock has a large supply of images but be prepare to deal with those cliche stock photos here too.
Another great free option, Pexels offers a wide range of high quality and “natural” stock photos. With a Creative Commons Zero licence, Pexel’s images can be used for free for any legal purpose (yep, even commercial use!).
We love a good free image site, and Kaboompics is a new one we’ve come across but already love! All their images are free to download and use even for commercial purposes. They offer some great, unique shots that will make your content better.
- If you are struggling to find a picture to suit your needs, try switching out your search terms for some different terms and include words like “cute”, “hipster” or “fun” for some more interesting results.
- Use more specific words in your search terms, for example, instead of “living room” try searching “sofa” or “lounge” to narrow your results down or bring in different tagged images.
- Do not use any imagery direct from Pinterest! This could be breaking copyright laws and you could face some big fines!
- The term “you get what you pay for” resonates strongly with stock images. If you spend more, chances are you will get a better quality image and avoid those typical cringe-worthy stock shots. You also won't see the same image on different blogs, social media platforms and other media.
- Always double check the licence agreements from the site you are downloading from as there can be limitations in place.
- Use the advanced search options to narrow down your search results and to ensure you get exactly what you want.