My Top 8 all time favorite stock photo websites. Create captivating content using high quality images that are Free to use and Free from copyright restrictions.
If creating content that captivates your reader’s attention wasn’t hard enough you will be horrified to learn that it is now recommended you add quality images to support what you are writing. What? Why? I hear you ask.
We are a very visual society. Just look at Instagram and Pinterest. Two very successful social media sites developed specifically to look at other peoples lives and loves through images. Facebook has even stated that people that use images in their news feeds experience higher engagement and interaction.
With these facts to support the benefits of using images in your social media strategy I have cut through the mind numbing small print and listed my top 8 Best Stock Photo Websites that supply top quality images that will save you hundreds of dollars a year and make your content come to life.
This is my go to Stock Image website. Unlike some websites Pexels does not require you to sign up to use it. Simply describe what you are looking for in the search bar and the photos that match your request will pop up. Simply click download on the image you like and it will be saved. There is even the option of image size that you can choose from. It really is super simple.
If you are unsure whether you want to join the pexels community here are a few benefits that may help you decide:
- Adding the image to your favourites to use at another time
- Can donate to the photographer
- Create folders for your photos
- Larger photo library to choose from
Life of Pix is what I would describe as a boutique stock image library. It doesn’t have the mass amount of images that Pexels has but what it lacks in quantity it certainly makes up for in quality. It features a photographer each week showcasing their work on the “Life of Pix” homepage. You will notice the clean layout of the website and it is super easy to navigate and use. Again you do not have to join up to use but if you do you have the benefits of
- Saving the photos you like to your personal library
- Sharing the photos directly to your social media pages
Hundreds of high resolution images added weekly. Free from copyright restrictions. It really does sound too good to be true but it is. Stock Snap has an extensive library of images. You can look them up by typing in what you are looking for in the search bar or you can browse their categories. If you decide you would like to join Stock Snap the process can be a bit more overwhelming than the others that I have previously mentioned. Once you have provided your email address and chosen a password it automatically takes you to your profile page where you can upload a photo and other details like your name, business name, URL etc. I chose not to fill this part out as it wasn’t relevant to my needs but if you feel it serves a purpose go ahead, it won’t hurt.
Unsplash is a minimalistic, clean designed site that is easily navigated. Again it is only a matter of typing in what you are looking for and images relating to your search are displayed. Unsplash also gives you the opportunity to say thanks by Crediting the photographer once you have uploaded one of their photos. It isn’t required but is appreciated and allows the photographers to gain exposure. By joining up (FREE of charge) it will
- Keep a history of your downloads
- Join the community and contribute to their blog
- Share your visual designs using the images supplied by Unsplash
- Tag Photos
If you had a passion and talent for photography and wanted to come up with a way to travel and get paid to do it all at the same time then Picjumbo is what you would get. Viktor (not sure of his last name) is the founder and owner of Picjumbo. He travels around the world taking photos of literally everything and posting them to Picjumbo for humble folk, like me to use copyright free. The photos are of high quality and although the majority of them are free you can join as a premium member. Starting from $10 a month up to $39 a month you will receive:
- -Access to all Premium photo collections (over 4500 images)
- -Unlimited downloads
- -Thematic photo collections each month
- -30+ extra stock photos every month
This site does not have a huge back log of photos but there is a good reason for that. Gratisography is a unique platform that offers interesting, quirky and different images. Boring stock photos that you find everywhere will not even be considered on this site. They curate only the most interesting pictures, the ones with a personality, a perspective, a story to tell. To become a Gratisography image a picture must be truly unique, stand out from the rest. The right amount of exposure and the correct lighting is just the beginning. If quirky, different and unique are words that resonate with your business or blog then definitely check this one out. You do not have to sign up to use this site. There is no premium package or benefits just a newsletter that is optional.
Splitshire is another boutique sized stock photo website created by a photographer that wanted to give life to his unused but high quality array of photos. As you browse the categories available you will notice that the image content is limited but don’t let this discourage you. There is no joining up or join the community options and you don’t even have to shout him a coffee. Just go ahead and use his images for free. There are certainly gems in there that are worth the browse. The site itself is easy to navigate and beautiful to look at.
This is your no frills media library that has thousands of images, some good and some bad. Simply type in what you are looking for and you will be presented with a lot of images to choose from. My experience with Creative commons is limited because the sites I have mentioned above have yet to let me down. I find that this type of stock photo site contains “stocky” photos that look like you have just borrowed from the web library. Stay away if you can but in times of need and frustration always have it in the back of your mind.
To Put It All Together
Coming up with great content doesn’t just mean writing killer copy or posting a great image or photo it is a combination of everything. Capturing an audience using an image is usually the first thing that will draw them in or encourage them to read on. These top 8 stock photo sites are just the tip of the iceberg but are the ones that I use and are familiar with. They will make finding images to jazz up and support your content so much easier than ever before.
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