Worthy stock photography sites if you're looking for professional, high-quality photo content for your templates, business projects, designs and more. Use the available CC0-protected images for your commercial purposes, including project advertisements, printing banners or flyers, without being afraid of violating the copyright laws.
Most of the photographs available on these stock photography sites are copyright-free or licensed under CC0. Thus, you can copy, modify, distribute and use images for work, even for commercial purposes, without asking for legal permission.
Verdict: Based on the Fotolia Photo Library, Adobe Stock has the largest number of images, over 80 million.
All photos can be used for commercial aims, which is ideal for designers. I’d like to mention the tight integration with Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and other applications. You can send a photo to the necessary program in one click.
If you choose Adobe Stock, you can not only buy photos, but also sell yours, which is great news for aspiring photographers.
Verdict: Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock websites in the USA. The database of over 200 million photographs attracts not only photographers or designers, but also small and large businesses.
The pricing policy is quite straightforward. There are 2 plans to choose from: the classic one, which allows you to upload from 10 to 750 images per month depending on the cost and the package on demand. It allows you to upload from 5 to 25 photos without time limits.
Despite the relatively high price compared to competitors, Shutterstock offers a number of coupons. Another distinctive feature is the built-in photo editor. You can personalize selected images, use ready-made templates, edit text or color, replace background, etc.
Verdict: Pexels is another stock photo distributor, which offers images licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which allows you to use them in commercial projects without attribution, absolutely for free.
There are also sponsored photos in paid collections, which is a monetization approach of the website. If you liked one of these photos, you will be redirected to the website’s agency where you can purchase it. Their native images are free.
Verdict: Unsplash is a new player among top stock photo sites, created and operated by the owners of Crew, a platform that connects clients with freelance designers, web developers and small studio services. The photographs presented here are high quality, modern, authentic and have passed rigorous checks.
Unsplash uses its own user license, which is actually a Creative Commons Zero license, but it disqualifies the compilation of their photographs. This way, they try to eliminate the possibility of other photo stock agencies to use their native pictures.
Verdict: Icons8 Photo Stock has a unique database consisting of exclusively studio, high-quality photographs. It is a great choice for fashion designers. Mind that you can order a specific photo through your personal account.
A unique feature is the built-in photo editor, which allows you to edit selected pictures, replace the background and add various objects without violating copyright.
Verdict: The Stock Photo Secrets collection contains 4,000,000 stock images available with any subscription level, whether it's 99club or Low Volume. You will see studio, creative and weird stock photos here. The platform contains images, vectors and fonts and has a Lightbox function for saving and storing images that you want to look at later.
A unique feature is the Low Volume subscription for small and medium-sized businesses. You get 600 high-resolution XXL images for only $199. Moreover, the daily limit can be canceled, which means you can upload hundreds of stock photos per day.
Verdict: iStock has an image for every client. If you are looking for budget photographs that can be used in professional projects, Essentials is for you. In case you want more artistic, top-notch images and are willing to spend a little more, check out the Signature Collection.
Their best feature is "Search by Image", which allows you to use any photo as a search parameter, using image recognition technology to find similar content in your library. As iStock actively informs contributors about the most popular themes and styles, you'll find trendy and exclusive images there.
Verdict: Freerange allows you to get access to free stock pictures. It has a community of more than 725,000 members. The service has been available since 2007. It offers a wide variety of images, textures and graphics illustrations that can be used by professional and novice designers alike.
Freerange has received many positive reviews and is one of the most recommended services with free images. You can use all the images for commercial purposes as they are licensed under Equalicense. It allows you to use the pictures from the collections without attribution.
Verdict: Photocase is the best stock photography website based in Berlin, and once you see their online image libraries you’ll understand why. There is a huge list of photo editing restrictions that you need to pay attention to before uploading an image to this stock site.
Photocase sells all its photos on demand and they are priced in size from small to large. You can buy online and pay in the process - photos cost from $14 to $42 each. The bulk purchase involves a credit system. Thus you can save several hundred bucks. In this case, images are evaluated between 5 and 15 credits.
Verdict: Getty Images is one of the first stock agencies, founded before the Internet era and later turned into an online platform. The agency is renowned for its diverse catalog of top-notch commercial photographs, including millions of exclusive images from around the world, and a very large collection of editorial content.
You will find a range of free images for personal use, editorial pictures and even photos licensed under Rights Managed, which are tailored to your specific needs and may include the exclusive use of photography, among other perks. You can also turn any image into a print in the editor.
Verdict: StoryBlocks is a great platform for anyone looking for quality stock images, videos and audios with unlimited downloads. You can choose vectors, illustrations, images, and selected premium collections.
When you open a photo, you can see its size and format. You can download a photo as a preview, add it to your Favorites folder, or go straight to choosing an available subscription plan. This platform differs from other photo stock agencies because it allows creating a generated list of very similar photos, which saves a lot of time searching for the desired image.
Verdict: Pixabay offers a large collection of free stock photos, vectors, and illustrations. The company doesn’t keep their strategies and income in secret; they openly say that they have special sponsored photos in their collections, which are redirected to the owner.
All photos are released under Creative Commons CC0, which allows you to use the downloaded images only for personal needs, but also in commercial projects. I like that this stock photo website has a dedicated department that monitors and removes photos that have privacy and property rights.
Verdict: Life of Pix is a stock photography platform created by LEEROY agency, offering free high-resolution photos without copyright restrictions. Aside from an incredibly beautifully designed website, these guys offer a large collection with exceptionally eye-catching pictures.
All 1,000,000+ photos are licensed and copyright-free, but it's worth mentioning that Life of Pix encourages attribution. However, you can’t download more than 10 images per day and if you want, you need written consent from the owners. That’s why, you may want to look for other stock photo websites.
Verdict: Freestock is a great place to look for top-quality images released under Creative Commons CC0. For a faster search, you can select a category of photos or use tags, names of places, objects or things. Not all stock agencies provide this possibility, which makes Freestock an appealing option.
I love the fact that I can choose the size of the images for download, from 450x300px to 5760x3840px (72 - 300 DPI). The payback of the stock is maintained through sponsored ads like Shutterstock, Getty Images, etc. By clicking on an ad, you will be redirected to the site.
Verdict: Picography has mesmerizing free stock photos submitted by Dave Meier and lots of other shooters. All photos are released under Creative Commons CC0. There are different categories such as business, city, cultural, trendy, festive, hospitality, nature, people, landscapes, streets, technology and wildlife, among which you will find classic and funny wedding pictures.
There are dozens of pages filled with free HD stock photos. You can search by hashtag and category. Although access to the photos is completely free, I noticed that about 30% of the interface is occupied with intrusive ads from sponsor Shutterstock.
Verdict: Foca offers high-res images provided by Jeffrey Betts, who likes photographing workspaces and nature. Photos are CC0licensed and are free to use and redistribute in commercial projects. You can use these images on your website, in themes, templates, print materials, and social media posts.
A unique feature is a built-in editor that allows you to edit selected photos, add captions, objects and cut out the background. Come up with creative photography ideas, by browsing the finished work of professional and amateur photographers.
Verdict: Picjumbo is one of the best stock photography sites for photographers that offer completely free images for your commercial and personal work. New photos are added daily from a wide range of categories including abstract, fashion, nature, technology and more.
You can create the most beautiful websites, templates, apps or blog posts. But I was really annoyed by the huge amount of ads. Moreover, the stock doesn’t provide the opportunity to choose the size and format of the image, which, as for me, is unacceptable for such a platform.
Verdict: Kaboom Pics offers a wide range of high-quality free stock photos including abstract, city/architecture, fashion, food, landscapes and more. You can use images for commercial projects, but it is prohibited to sell or distribute them.
Each photo contains photographer's credentials and you can upload pictures instantly. It's certainly not one of the biggest photography sites out there, but it is a top-quality free photography platform. All photos are offered under the Kaboom Pics (CC0) license and are free to download.