We’ve evaluated the range and quality of imagery available, the ease of use and of course value. Vecteezy is a website that offers millions of stock vector graphics, illustrations, and icons to download for free, as long as attribution is given. There’s also a premium subscription service that provides access to additional assets, removing the need for attribution and adding features such as legal indemnification. Pixabay is another very large free stock photo library that also offers illustrations, vector graphics and a growing number of videos. It’s particularly good for finding landscape photography – see the Editor’s Choice if you’re just browsing for inspiration.

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives.

Stock video footage

Unlike many other stock photography companies, Stocksy operates on a cooperative model, with its contributing artists owning a share of the company and receiving a higher percentage of the revenue from their sales. It describes itself as “an art-forward, royalty-free stock photo + video agency that makes discovering unique, beautifully authentic imagery effortless.” Royalty-free licensing starts at $15. These stock photo libraries all have good reputations, a range of quality images, and useful search tools to find what you’re looking for faster. Stock libraries can often be a good solution, and while they had a reputation in the past for cheesy, low-rent images, that’s certainly not the case anymore. Whether you’re talking about small, medium or large stock photography sites, the quality is typically very high these days. Unsplash is the largest and best-curated free stock photo library that we’ve used.

creative stock photography

The online library is designed to make it easy to find the images you’re looking for, with categories and an easy-to-use search function. Images are individually priced depending on the license required, while subscription plans are also available. This does add a little complication because it means you always need to check what uses are permitted for each image – don’t leap in and choose an image for a project to discover that it has royalties attached.

Getty Images

There’s a mix of images that are exclusive to Alamy and images that you might also find elsewhere.. Cavan Images is a high-end image library specialising in lifestyle imagery for the advertising and editorial markets. It features a great selection of curated collections, organised by themes such as ‘Epic Everyday’, ‘Girl Power’ and ‘Weekend Warrior’. When you’re embarking on a creative project, you’d ideally have the budget to commission bespoke photography shoots to perfectly fit your brief. But not every client can afford that kind of money, so sometimes you need to find a more affordable alternative. If you’re looking to upgrade your setup for editing the images you choose, make sure you also see our pick of the best software for photo editing and the best monitors for photo editing.

  • Whether you’re looking for generic imagery to convey a particular situation or emotion or photos of a specific place or object, there’s a decent chance that you’ll be able to find what you need.
  • Their emphasis on “class instead of mass” has led them to become one of the world’s leading names in premium lifestyle photography.
  • Founded in Munich in 2003 as a threesome with seven photographers on board, WestEnd61 now has 1,000 photographers supplying creatives with superior-quality images.
  • And even then, you always need to read the fine print on licensing and be sure these images will be okay to use now and in future.

Founded in Munich in 2003 as a threesome with seven photographers on board, WestEnd61 now has 1,000 photographers supplying creatives with superior-quality images. Their emphasis on “class instead of mass” has led them to become one of the world’s leading names in premium lifestyle photography. Do you need a professional-looking photograph for your client or project and can’t afford anything bespoke? Reliable, high quality, and easy to search, these are all good places to find the perfect imagery for your design work. It’s a diverse platform with more than 60,000 contributors internationally and over 110,000 buyers.

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creative stock photography

Note that the site does include some nudes, so you’ll probably want to ensure the SafeSearch box is checked if you’re searching for images at work. It has a strong philanthropic agenda and a commitment to giving photographers a good rate, including giving students 100 per cent of the sale of their images. Even if you’re not bothered about the philanthropic angle, you’ll probably be keen on its library of over 313 million stock images, vectors, videos and 360-degree panoramic images. Whether you need a stock photo, stunning vector image, HD video clips, or Adobe Photoshop template, Adobe Stock has the perfect stock images, videos, and more to help you tell your story.

Unlock your creativity with stock images, stock videos, stock photos, and more

Founded in 2000, Dreamstime was one of the early players in the microstock business and still has an enthusiastic community supporting them, not least because it’s so cheap. Here you can get royalty-free stock photos for as little as 17p per download, as well as illustrations, videos and audio. Offset is a sub-library of Shutterstock that features high-end, curated collections of royalty-free images by award-winning photographers. This collection of images is not available on Shutterstock or vice versa and is available via a transparent and easy-to-use royalty-free license.

creative stock photography

And even then, you always need to read the fine print on licensing and be sure these images will be okay to use now and in future. With over 400 million stock photos, illustrations, music, videos and more, Shutterstock is a huge marketplace for all kinds of stock assets. The site is extremely easy to navigate, with images organised into popular categories and featuring a useful keyword search tool. To download content, a subscription or image-on-demand package is required. Updated with more than 50,000 new images daily, you’re sure to find something inspiring every time you visit. Online stock image sites have multiplied over the years and there are now a lot of options with very different pricing structures, from the best free stock photo libraries to huge premium image banks.

Get inspired by these Adobe Stock contributors

Adobe Stock is integrated into Creative Cloud subscriptions, and this means that Adobe has put a lot of work into how the service works with its suite of design tools. It claims not to be a stock photo library, which of course it is, but it tries to break the mould with images that don’t look like your typical stock photos. Subscription starts at $12 a month, which is cheaper than most other subscription-based stock photo sites, but it’s a much smaller library with photos numbering in the low thousands rather than millions. To make it easier to choose, we’ve compared the different options available to create a list of the best stock photo libraries today, including the best free stock photo sites. We’ve made our choices based on the reviews of our contributors and our own use of the sites to find photos for Creative Bloq.

creative stock photography

Choose between a subscription or purchasing credit packs, and you can also use the Shutterstock Editor to resize, crop, modify, save, share and publish images. Founded in 1995, Getty is the OG of modern stock libraries and boasts a collection of over 200 million assets, including photographs, videos, and music tracks. It offers a range of licensing options for its assets, which can be used for various creative and editorial purposes. But while the quality is typically high, the prices for both subscriptions and credit packs are too.

And if you’d prefer to take your own shots, see our pick of the best cameras. View personalized content that’s relevant to your industry, download high resolution images, order free picture searches and much more. This stock images for designers website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.

creative stock photography

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