After spending a long time looking at different stock photo websites for various advertising campaigns that I’m running as well as for blog posts, I’ve compiled a list of high quality stock photo websites that are either free or cheap.
The Top Five are listed here:
This is one of my favourite tools for graphics editing generally but the great thing is that you have access to a library of millions of free photos for which you have unlimited use. Most competing services will make you pay on a per image basis. So using Canva is almost like having Photoshop plus a ton of stock images for any designs that you need fast and easy. The cover image (DSLR with MacBook) I’ve used for this post is from Canva.
You can read more about why I’m using Canva Pro here.
You can use Canva for free or upgrade to the paid plan. Canva Pricing is either $9.95 if paid annually or $12.95 if paid monthly.
Shutterstock is one of the largest photo sites in the world with over 300 million photos. If you’re having problems finding the exact image you need on Canva, chances are, you’ll be able to find it on Shutterstock.
While images there aren’t always the cheapest, you can get the first 10 images for free with a Free Trial Here.
This is my go to stock photo website when I’m looking for something that’s pretty generic. The great thing with Unsplash is that it’s completely free. The bad news is that it’s a fairly limited library and I had to get creative in the keywords I used to find the rough image that I wanted.
The other thing as well is that you start to see a lot of the same images creeping up from Unsplash because so many people are using it. That’s the flipside of something that’s 100% free.
Like Unsplash, Pexels is another free to use stock photos website. Initially founded in Germany in 2010, they now have over a million photos… and they got acquired by Canva in May 2019 along with PixaBay — another free photo stock website with 1.7+ million photos. So the images in the free library of Canva now includes the stock images from Pexels and PixaBay.
Last but not least is iStock (formerly iStockphoto). They got acquired by Getty Images for $50 million. The main competitor to iStock would be Shutterstock. The images on iStock is relatively cheap (though it’s still on a per image basis like Shutterstock) and you can purchase them on credits without having to get a subscription. You get access to some higher quality, exclusive images.