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Photography has always been an important part of the design and marketing process.
But of course, we don’t just need images; instead, we are looking for the best and highest-quality photos.
Your design project will benefit from stock photos if you don't have the time or resources for your own collection of photographs.
What is the best stock photo website?
Fortunately, an increasing number of websites offering stunning stock photographs have appeared on the internet today.
Most photographs on stock photo websites are free to use, so you don't have to credit anyone if you use them elsewhere.
When you use stock images, you can also change them to your own liking and even use them in any design project.
They're also ideal for people who are looking for great background images for their e-commerce business or marketing graphics.
In this article, I will be highlighting some of the best free and paid websites where you can get the most suitable photos for your needs.
And if you’re looking for the best stock image site for creatives, using Adobe Stock is highly-recommended.
Envato Elements is a great option too, if you want to get the latest high-resolution photographs.
However, if you’re on a budget, you can consider using StockUnlimited, which is the best site for free and premium stock photos.
So whether you’re looking for images to use for your business or design project, this list of the 10 best stock photo websites will be helpful to you.
If you’re interested in using Adobe Stock, check out my other article to learn how to download Adobe Stock images for free.
No wonder why Adobe Stock comes first in this list since it is considered as one of the most reliable sources of images for creatives.
Adobe Stock is the the best stock photo site for creatives.
It is a stock photo service owned by Adobe, a famous creative software that is based on Fotolia's photo library.
This fine stock photography website is fully integrated into the Creative Cloud platform.
Adobe Stock gives you access to over 80 million stock photos right from your design tools, saving you time and effort.
It's perfect for designers who use Adobe's cloud tools, but it also works independently, from its own website.
To buy photos from Adobe Stock, you have to sign up for an annual subscription.
They have a small plan for just $29.99 that gives you three downloads per month for $9.99 each.
You can also sign up for a one-year deal where you get 10 downloads a month for the same price each month.
If you want to get high-quality photographs for free, you can check my previous article on how to get Adobe Stock images for free.
Try Adobe Stock now
Most photographers, graphic designers, and other creatives consider Shutterstock one of the most useful sites today.
Shutterstock is one of the most famous stock photo websites.
He is the one who introduced the idea of an innovative photo subscription model that has spread across many industries.
Shutterstock is well-known for having a large library of stock images that are accessible online.
You have the choice of whether you want to sign up for a monthly subscription or whether you want to buy royalty-free photos via image packs.
Furthermore, even though Shutterstock has strict technical rules for submissions, it still has a seemingly endless amount of high-quality content.
The site also offers a really convenient search option, making it easy to browse through the millions of photographs.
It will allow you to pick the right one you want to use in design projects, social media, blog articles, and advertisements.
Try Shutterstock now
Stock media platform Envato has launched a new service called Envato Elements in the last few months.
Envato Elements is one of the newest stock photo sites.
It's a subscription service that caters to the digital demands of agencies, marketers, and other professionals who need stock images.
A monthly subscription includes unlimited photo downloads as well as themes, plugins, videos, music, graphics, fonts, and other content.
This platform includes multiple marketplaces for stock photographs, movies, vectors, audio, etc.
There are over 630,000 items in total in Elements, a curated collection from all of their markets, and you may purchase a subscription to access them.
Images, graphics, video clips, audio files, and more are all included.
Moreover, EnvatoTuts+ subscribers also get access to over 1,200 video courses and eBooks that teach them how to use the digital assets they buy.
Try Envato Elements now
StockUnlimited is a subscription service that gives its customers access to a wide range of free and paid stock images, icons, etc.
StockUnlimited is a great place to get free and premium stock photos.
They add thousands of high-quality and fleshy photos every week, and they always ensure to meet your needs for the most up-to-date content.
There are over 25 categories of stock pictures to choose from, including animals, fashion, and vintage.
For those who pay for the service, unrestricted downloads and unlimited access to the portfolio are included in the subscription price for those who subscribe.
With each new week that passes, StockUnlimited adds thousands of new pictures to their collection.
What really sets StockUnlimited apart from other stock photo sites is their super simple license model.
For one low monthly fee, you can download and use as much content as you wish in virtually any project.
No complicated licenses, no daily limits, no expiring credits, and no additional fees.
Try StockUnlimited now
iStock is now well-known for its well managed library, which includes hundreds of millions of photos in two primary collections.
iStock is one of the longest running premium stock image sites.
If you need unique images and videos that connect with your audience, at prices that fit your budget, the iStock will got you all.
Unique hand-picked photos, affordable HD and 4K video clips, editable vectors—and much, much more are available in this site.
Your audience will love the new iStock Video Editor, which allows you to produce engaging social videos and commercials.
To make branded videos, start with web-ready video templates or any iStock video clip, then add more clips, graphics, and music.
Every week, their specialists handpick a photo from their exclusive Signature collection to make available for free download.
Try iStock now
Pixabay is a crowdsourcing platform that provides free photos that you may use for any purpose.
Pixabay is the best free stock photo website for creatives.
There are currently over 1.4 million files available on a site that has the appearance and feel of a "stock photo agency,".
Take advantage of free video footage from Pixabay, which you may use on your website as a bonus feature for visitors.
The layout of the website is straightforward, making it simple to do a search and get the image you seek.
Don't be intimidated by the vast number of options; the user interface is intuitive and straightforward.
Images, vectors, and illustrations are all included so that you can quickly locate the materials you need.
If you're having trouble sifting through the photos, you may reduce your search results by selecting one of three options.
Try Pixabay now
Unsplash is a stock photo website with photographs that are unlikely to be seen anywhere else.
Unsplash is the master of free stock photos.
These images are free for you to use however you like, courtesy of nice photographers who are happy to share their work with you.
You'll find exactly what you're looking for on this site since they hand-select each photo and accept only the best.
Unsplash is home to a growing community of photographers—from hobbyists to professionals, emerging brands, and everyone in between.
With partners like BuzzFeed, Squarespace, and Trello being powered by their API, the Unsplash library is more widely accessible than ever.
This is also a great platform because it's run by an amazing group of people who have given hundreds of thousands of their own photos to other people all over the world.
Try Unsplash now
When it comes to finding free stock photos, Pexels is also one of the most amazing options.
Pexels provides authentic and modern stock images.
Free stock images in a wide variety of genres can be found on this website.
Many of them are beautiful landscape photos, which make them great for setting the background of your online store.
As a result, finding the perfect image for your project is quick and simple.
It's simple to use, and it gives you with high-quality images at no charge.
Pexels has one of the most user-friendly search functions on any stock photography site because it is simple and has a lot of useful options.
Try Pexels now
Vecteezy aims to provide designers with the resources they need to do their best work, wherever they are in the creative process.
Vecteezy is one of the most trusted stock photo sites.
In addition to new pictures and vector graphics from their amazing community of artists, it also has worry-free licensing.
They are also trusted by the most famous brands in the world, like Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more.
With that being said, you can be sure that this website can give you a high-quality and refined image.
On the website, you can find stock images, films, vectors, and illustrations that can help designers do their jobs more quickly.
A Vecteezy Pro subscription is great for designers, freelancers, and hobbyists who need great content a lot at a low price, but don't want to pay a lot of money for it.
Try Vecteezy now
Alamy is one of the largest stock photography websites, with over 140 million pictures, videos, and graphics.
Alamy is one of the largest stock image sites online.
About 100,000 new photos are added to this site every day by the about 60,000 photographers from all over the world who help run it.
Alamy often rejects photos because they don't have enough light, are over-edited, don't have enough clarity, or have other camera-related problems.
This may make it more difficult for amateur photographers to come up with material, but it makes sure that buyers can get high-quality images.
The site wants to teach people about stock photography by using a wide range of words and videos.
Additionally, Alamy offers numerous tools to assist buyers in their search for stock pictures.
Try Alamy now
Stock images are photos that have already been taken, edited, and can be used.
Stock photos are divided into two types: photos that you have to pay for and images that are free to use.
What is the best website to get stock photos for free?
If you’re an e-commerce business owner or a creative professional that wants to download stock photos for free, you may use Unsplash and Pexels.
They are some of the best free stock photo websites that you can access online.
However, if you’re interested in investing in one-of-a-kind photographs, you may consider using Adobe Stock or Shutterstock.
They both have reasonable monthly subscription fees and are ideal for professional designers and successful business owners.
This article is perfect for you even if you’re on a budget since I included a combination of free and paid stock photo sites.
Now that I’m done giving you the most reliable resources, which do you think is the best stock photo website in 2022?— Leave a comment below.
I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in NY. I specialize in the development of brands: brand strategy, identity & web design. Need help with your project?—Get in touch