The best places to get brilliant stock photos

unsplash.jpg

Every website needs some images, and high quality ones are a must.  If you're blogging, you're going to need a steady supply; here are some places to find great photos you can use royalty-free on your website.

Free resources

LibreStock is one of my favourite online tools.  It's a kind of search engine for images that searches 43 different free stock libraries at once so you don't have to search separately.  You then go to each individual library to download.

The Stocks is also useful. It’s a single site cleverly built so you can browse some of the best sources of free photos all in one place - though without the extra timesaving mechanism of LibreStock.  You can sift through lots of different sources, from the well known Pixabay and Unsplash, to less well known and even individual photographers’ royalty-free sites: Little Visuals, New Old Stock, Super Famous, Startup Stock, Gratisography, GetRefe, Crow the Stone, Pexels, Jay Mantri, Madeline, Travel Coffee, Moveast and Barn Images. 

Unsplash is covered by the two ways of searching listed above, but sometimes you might want to go straight there to get something that looks really fresh and un-clichéd.

Also look at:

https://stocksnap.io
http://negativespace.co
https://picjumbo.com
http://deathtothestockphoto.com
http://publicdomainarchive.com

Paid-for stock libraries

If you’re looking for something unusual or very specific you may need to pay a stock library.  Stock libraries can be less expensive than you may imagine - try the following.  (Always remember to check what size the image needs to be and download the appropriate size - sometimes the price varies.)

https://fotolia.com
http://www.dreamstime.com
http://www.bigstockphoto.com (This one has a free 7 day trial with 5 downloads a day.)
http://www.shutterstock.com (More expensive than the three previous, but has some lovely stuff including really nice  illustrations.) http://www.istockphoto.com (At the time of writing, the most expensive of the options listed.)
Creative Market - as well as website templates, graphics and fonts, you can also get stock photos from here.

Google Images

There are masses of photos from all kinds of sources freely available for use that you can search via Google Images (https://images.google.com/).  Search by keyword, then click the cog at the top right of the search results (as shown below).

Google Images
Google Images

Choose “Advanced search,” scroll down, and next to “usage rights” choose “free to use or share, even commercially” (or whichever is suitable for your purposes).  Choose from the search results, and click on the picture to see it on its original website, where you will be able to see if there’s an accreditation you need to include.

Google Images
Google Images

Note that whatever the source you use, you must always read the small print and check if you need to give a credit for the image you’ve downloaded or purchased.