TOP 20 photo stocks: choosing the best option for yourself
When developing any website, a huge number of different nuances are taken into account. The structure is thought out to the smallest detail, the design is chosen, and the content is written. But another very important point when creating a resource will be the selection of pictures. The fact is that materials supplemented with images are better perceived by the audience. The visual images present in it help people better understand what you wanted to convey to them, which will ultimately help increase their interest. This means that the likelihood that an order will be placed on your website will be higher. That is, filling the page with visual content – this is one of the required stages of SEO optimization of the site.
So, according to the recommendations of experts, for most of the content it is optimal to provide about 80% of text material and about 20% — images. Such a solution will be optimal from the point of view of the ratio of information content and visual perception.
But those who have already encountered attempts to select an image for a website have probably encountered how difficult this process can be. Where can I get an image for a website without resorting to the services of designers? Not everyone has the knowledge that will allow him to perform these works independently and at a sufficiently high professional level. So what to do in this situation?
The first solution to the problem that comes to mind — This is the image section from the Google search engine. That is, in this case, it will be enough to simply write a request, adding the word “picture” to it, as an example: “women’s ski clothes pictures.” As a result, you will see a huge catalog with images of different types of clothing intended for skiing. Get acquainted, choose the option that suits you, add it to your website or post. But everything is not so simple here.
Firstly, such images are already too common, which in itself reduces their value. Agree, it’s not very good when users on dozens of sites see the same pictures. In addition, if you have already used photo stocks, you have probably seen that many of them have logos, watermarks, indicating copyright protection. If these requirements are neglected, there is a high probability of running into a lawsuit. As a result, it may happen that you have to pay moral damages to the creator of the material. In this case, your site or account will be blocked without the permission of the author.
According to current laws in most countries of the world, copyright expires on average 50-70 years after the death of the author. Only after this period of time can they be used without fear of running into any additional sanctions. But most likely neither of you is ready to wait that long. So what should you do if you need a specific photograph here and now? To keep everything completely honest and legal, you need to find him and get permission to publish. Apparently, this option is even more difficult to implement than waiting for the natural expiration of copyright.
So is there a solution to this problem? There is and it’s called — photo stocks.
Now we come to the main topic of our review today — namely— to choosing the appropriate photocurrent for the job. Now let’s get acquainted in more detail with what photo stocks are, let’s look at the main types of licenses that regulate the use of photos for the site. Let's highlight 3 key criteria based on which you can choose suitable images for your resource. We will also present 20 of the most popular and worthy photocurrents today that you can take into your arsenal.
What is a photostock?
Photo stocks, they are also called photo banks — These are specialized services that store a huge number of images in good quality. The materials here are posted by photographers for any sites and Internet resources. You can choose the material that you like and use it in your work. Often photo stocks provide their services for free, but there are exceptions. In the latter case, by paying for the tariff, you get access to truly unique content.
But you should also understand that the work of the photo bank is organized on the basis of a license. There are several types of such documentation. And so as not to run into any restrictions or sanctions, you need to clearly understand what exactly we are talking about.
Types of licenses on the basis of which the right to use pictures is regulated
Today, there are 4 separate categories of licenses that regulate the use of photo stocks to select photo content for a particular site:
- Public Domain. This is public use, into which pictures and photographs are added after 50-70 years from the date of death of their author. There are no restrictions on this material. This means that you can use all the content that is regulated by this license without any restrictions: you should not fear any consequences from potential copyright holders.
- Creative Commons. This is an organization that has created and posted licenses online that allow authors to manage their own rights. That is, in this case, the author himself indicates whether he allows the distribution and use of his photographic materials or not. These licenses are also called Creative Commons. Today there are 6 separate categories of permitting documentation, which differ from each other in a number of nuances and features. But still, all of them, without exception, allow the use of photos on any Internet resources with one condition: authorship must be indicated. The CC0 license has the most extensive rights, in which there are practically no restrictions.
- Royalty-Free. In this case, it is assumed that the photograph must be purchased from the author. After that, you can use it absolutely freely, without fear of disputes and proceedings regarding authorship, etc. As a rule, this license is valid for paid photo stocks.
- Rights Managed. Here we are also talking about the need to purchase a photo from a stock photo, but you can use it only once.
Which license option should I choose for myself? Study photo banks, as well as the requirements for which licenses are relevant today. But in any case, never forget to check copyright carefully. The fact is that the presence of a photo in stock — this is not a guarantee of its availability. It may well be that the person who entered the photo into the database himself violated the law. That is, you will become his accomplice due to your own carelessness.
Now a few words about how to choose the right image for the site.
Choosing the right image for the site
Here are 3 simple recommendations that will help you choose a picture for your website or social network account quickly and as correctly as possible:
- Throw away template photos from consideration. Think about how many times have you already seen on the icon of a contact, call center or call back button an image of a blonde girl in front of a computer wearing headphones? What about men in a business suit with their hands folded in front of their chest? Seeing such images, users will simply ignore them, and the information they present will simply cause distrust in them. The whole reason here is the lack of uniqueness and originality.
- Pay attention to the resolution. You must understand that the image will not be pixelated on your site, which it will retain its quality even when enlarged, when viewed on a large enough screen and in high quality. Shoddy photo — this is an indication that all the work was done in haste, which in itself will cause distrust on the part of the consumer audience.
- Pay attention not only to the immediate content of the image, but also to its perspective and composition. These are exactly the details that make an image truly unique, unusual, and eye-catching.
Now that you are familiar with the types of licenses, you know which pictures you should pay attention to when choosing an image, you can move on to getting directly acquainted with the photo stocks that exist on the Internet today. We have made a selection of 20 options for the most popular and easy-to-use photo banks. Let us immediately draw your attention to the fact that 15 options here will be free, and 5 – paid.
TOP 15 free photo stocks
Study the information presented in order to navigate the variety of available solutions and choose the one that will be most convenient and functional for your work.
One of the largest platforms where you can find a huge variety of photographs, illustrations, vectors and even videos on various topics. Everything presented on this platform is subject to Pixabay's own license. This means that this material can be used completely safely. There is also no need to obtain permission from the author of the image or even mention it. All content that is presented on this site today is divided into 20 separate sections. If you wish, you can also subscribe to the author you like to keep track of new products from him. The site also provides the opportunity to financially support your favorite author: you can transfer any amount to him as a thank you for his work.
Among the advantages of this platform, we highlight the ability to download content without registration, as well as the availability of videos and vector images on the platform. You will be able to use the materials presented here not only for your own use, but also for commercial purposes. But you must be prepared for the fact that downloaded materials without registration require the constant introduction of captcha.
Today, the collection of this photo stock contains about half a million high-quality images for resources of any type. You will be able to choose for yourself original landscapes, photographs of food, animals, plants, popular and unique tourist places, interior design, textures, and much more. One of the most original filters presented here — this is the ability to select photographs taken using a specific camera model.
This site operates under a CC0 license, which allows users to download content and use it for both commercial and non-commercial purposes completely free of charge. No permission from the author is required. But still, indicating the author when posting content on the site is welcome.
Another extremely popular photo stock, containing a huge variety of content for any user requests. As in the previous version, there is no mandatory requirement for attribution on the site when posting material, but such an action is still recommended. You can download content both for your own use and for commercial purposes.
For the convenience of finding a suitable option, there is also a breakdown into separate categories depending on the subject of the photo, in particular technology, nature, people, graffiti and much more.
A fairly popular free photo, which contains a large number of images produced under the site’s own license. Thanks to the fact that each photo has its own unique tag, finding the right solution is much easier. All material presented on this site is divided into 150 collections, each dedicated to a specific topic.
Along with the photographs themselves, this site also presents a large number of interesting interviews with photographers, which will be informative and interesting to anyone who is interested in this topic. A variety of photo challenges are also offered to platform users.
Among the strengths of the Pexels platform are the ability to download pictures without registration, the availability of vector images and video content in catalogs, as well as permission to use downloaded material for commercial purposes. But there is one significant prohibition: you are not allowed to use photographs that depict people as if they were advertising your product.
Many people know this platform as a tool for creating designs, as well as editing existing pictures. Many of you create business cards, presentations, brochures, posters and other graphic content here. Along with working tools, there are also ready-made templates and ideas that can be used in your work. Let us immediately note that in a number of countries this service is mostly paid. But we classified Canva as free, since we are not talking about creating a design, but about using photos. And here this option will be free.
To find content that suits you, go to the “Opportunities” section. In it, select the “Photo” section, and then — "Free photos". This way you will have access to a large number of different images and will be able to choose a good option for yourself completely free of charge.
The operation of this service is based on a CC0 license. Let us repeat that in this case you can download and use the pictures without any restrictions, completely free of charge, without the permission of the author. But it is recommended to indicate the authorship when publishing images here. There are also paid photos marked with the PRO index. If you decide to download such a photo, you will be able to use it once within the current license.
A fairly impressive photo containing collections of vector and raster images. The site has several licenses. So, in particular, Commercial will allow you to use the downloaded material for commercial purposes without attribution, Non-commercial — allows you to download materials for yourself for non-commercial use without attribution. There is also a universal solution for any use, namely a CC0 license, which allows you to download both commercial and non-commercial content without the author’s permission without the personal permission of the author, but attribution is still desirable.
Today, users of this photo bank have access to 11 categories of images, including such areas as Nature, Graphics, Objects and many others. Each category has an additional breakdown into subcategories, which will allow users to quickly and easily select the appropriate options for themselves. You can also search for material in the “Most popular photos” blocks. or “Most downloaded photos”. Very often, users choose abstract images here, which they will subsequently use as background images.
This photo bank runs on the Shopify platform. That is, here, along with music content, a fairly impressive bank of images is also presented. These are pictures in fairly high resolution from representatives of the international photography community. Users highly appreciated the simplicity and ease of use of this service. Everything here is thought out to the smallest detail: navigation, filters, downloading literally in one click. No registration required.
This photo stock was developed specifically for designers, bloggers, product developers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs. That is, it is aimed primarily at the commercial user. On it you will find plenty of solutions for designing your website, product catalog, advertising or any other project. Here you can see not only pictures, but also vector images, videos, including overview ones. But be prepared for the fact that the site only accepts English-language requests.
A platform developed by the designers themselves for their own community. Here you can find a huge variety of thematic photographs. You can use the downloaded content for both commercial and personal purposes without the consent of the author and even without mentioning him. To download, users here choose the most suitable format for themselves, namely SVG or PNG. But the picture quality will be default – you won't be able to change it. It is also possible to edit vector images.
The content on this photo stock is updated every day, which opens up unlimited opportunities for work and more. You can also find videos here.
Specialized photo stock for those who work with such a category of products as food. All the content that is presented on the site today is dedicated to a single topic. Here you can select images of different types of ready-made dishes, their preparation processes, starting products, etc.
The license on which the site operates today allows you to download content for personal and commercial use without the consent of the author, but it is still recommended to indicate the owner’s name when posting the material.
Please note: the site has a pretty good search system for key queries.
Photostock, the content of which is aimed primarily at the fair sex. Here you can find everything related to fashion, cosmetics, design, cooking and many other projects. Select original and stylish photos without registration and the need to coordinate use with the author.
For greater user convenience, sorting by collections is provided; it is possible to filter the results by color scheme. All photos – targeted by GEO. But sorting by mood and themes is not always possible.
Free Stock Images
This is a Russian photo bank offering exclusively licensed content. Today it contains over 100 thousand stock images. They are characterized by high resolution, divided into separate categories. You can also find video content here.
All photos here are divided into 55 separate categories. Among the main ones: Russia, Singapore, Winter, Elderly, Historical, etc. Among the shortcomings, users highlight the lack of additional filtering within categories, which significantly complicates and lengthens the search for suitable material.
Material may be downloaded without permission from the author for personal and commercial use. Attribution – recommended.
A fairly large-scale photo stock, the collection of which is updated daily. There is an internal search system based on tags that are assigned to each image. It is recommended to register on the site. This will allow you to save your favorite images in a separate folder. That is, you select one picture, and simply save the others that you like. If you need them in the future, you can quickly go to the folder and download.
The site currently offers photos in 96 categories for almost any user request. The names of the groups themselves are intertwined with the keywords by which they are searched. The advantages of the site also include the presence of a built-in online editor, vector images and video content. Suitable for commercial use. But you won’t be able to select the quality of the picture when loading.
Life of Pix
This is a platform owned by a community of photographers. Here you will find the most unusual, original, atmospheric photographs. You can also select video materials. It operates under the CC0 license, which we have already discussed above several times.
Today there are 14 categories of images, including Nature, Beach, Black and White, etc.
Individual project by UX designer, photographer Jeffrey Betts. Over the years, he has independently filled the site with photo and video content, and now he shares the results of his work with the public. And completely free. It operates under a CC0 license, that is, it allows you to use content without the permission of the author for personal and commercial purposes.
Materials are divided into 40 categories, including Abstract, Food and Drink, Amusement Parks, Macro, etc.
Photostock, where you will find a fairly wide variety of extraordinary photographs and vector images. This is what will make your website or page unique, and will help diversify your email newsletter.
Powered by CC0 license (free personal and commercial use, but with recommended attribution). There are only 9 photo categories today, but let us remind you once again that the pictures here are truly unique and unusual.
Now we present a selection of paid photo stocks.
TOP 5 paid photo stocks
If the functionality of free photo stocks is not enough for you, if you are looking for much wider functionality, then you should opt for paid services.
We are talking about a commercial platform that has brought together a huge number of photographers and those who are looking for licensed high-quality stock images, as well as videos and vector graphics. The platform today offers over 200 million content positions on any topic. It also has its own blog, which offers unique educational content in the field of photography, design, and marketing. Trending items are published every week, allowing users to keep abreast of current trends.
Customers are offered 2 options for working with the service:
- Subscription. Includes a monthly limit on downloaded photos.
- Package. A certain number of pictures are selected that can be downloaded throughout the year.
Separate solutions for business are also provided. You can choose a payment method convenient for you. But when registering on the site, you will need to provide your personal data, including passport information.
This is a platform that offers premium quality photo and video content. It was formed by a group of talented photographers who create unique visual content. Here you can find photos of interior designs, wedding photos, and many others. The material itself – exclusive, stylish, tasteful. Ideal for use in email newsletters and marketing materials.
A bonus for everyone who subscribes to the service will be the provision of a selection of photos completely free of charge. But before using subscription pictures, you must read the user agreement. According to the license terms, there are a number of restrictions.
This is one of the largest photo stocks in the world. It was created back in 1995 and since then has been constantly updated with new products that take into account global trends. Today it can rightly be called a top photo bank. Here you can also find photographs that have received world awards. Today, the site’s content includes more than 200 million pictures, photographs, illustrations, and videos.
Users themselves choose the best option for cooperation with the site: one download or a batch download (for 5 or 10 positions). The cost is calculated in each case individually, based on the resolution and size of the image. Thanks to convenient sorting by tags, users do not get lost in the huge variety of materials. But when working with the site, there is one significant limitation: the downloaded material can be used exclusively for non-commercial purposes.
On this site you can select quite high-quality and varied photographs, as well as videos in high resolution. Content is updated every week. For the convenience of users, it is divided into 20 separate categories. Search by key phrases is also provided.
Users independently select the tariff that suits them. It depends on the number of downloaded images. And here it doesn’t matter at all what size this or that material is: it’s the quantity that counts. No money in your account? You can buy photos on credit. The material can be used not only for personal but also for commercial use. Before downloading, you can edit them to suit your needs in the built-in editor.
This photo hosting site today contains several billion photographs from various groups and categories. The service itself is paid, but if you make a selection of images according to the criteria of the All Creative Commons license, you will get access to free material. But in this case, you must be prepared for the fact that in terms of quality and variety they will be significantly inferior to their paid counterparts. The latter are provided under a CC0 license – can be used for both commercial and personal purposes, but the author’s name should be indicated when posting.
To find suitable content for yourself, you can use the keyword search.
As you can see, there are a lot of options for platforms from which you can download a variety of photo and even video content for yourself. We have listed only the most common and popular ones. But many of them require registration, which means you will be required to provide your personal information. But will they remain on the service or will they fall into the hands of not particularly conscientious people? this is already a question. We must also not forget that a number of photo stocks have their own regional restrictions. That is, in practice it may turn out that access to them will be closed for your region.
To prevent this from happening, so that you get unlimited opportunities to use these services, we recommend that you additionally connect mobile proxies from the MobileProxy.Space service https://mobileproxy.space/en/user.html?buyproxy. Study the available geolocations and functionality to make sure that this solution is most likely suitable for you. These proxies will ensure reliable substitution of your IP-address and geolocation, which will ensure anonymity, secure browsing and help bypass any regional restrictions .