A lot of people are surprised when I tell them that creating online content is not all easy. I mean, sure. There a lot of jobs that are more demanding in one way or another. Still, as it would be quite oblivious to believe that there was not an array of intense sources of stress that come along with any other job in the world, the same goes for being an online content creator.
With work like this, I find that the devil is in the details, and often has to do with the aspects that are, in some way, out of your control. That is what gets me, at least. Possibly the most concrete example of this is in regards to finding stock photography.
There are plenty of high-quality photographs available, if you are willing to pay. However, that is hard to do when you know that there is also a lot of great stock photography that can be used fro free. The catch here is, of course, that there is a lot more low-quality, or irrelevant stock photography than the opposite.
Considering the value of having a great photograph to match with every article, blog, or post you publish, I have decided to share the best stock photography websites that I have found in my extensive search for quality. You should never settle for less, and though paying is not the worst option, it is not viable for many of us. So, starting with the very best, here are 13 stock photography resources that I think every content creator should know about.
Let me put it this way: nothing beats EyeEm. Unless you are looking within a very odd, specific niche, EyeEm hits the nail on the 100% of the time. Of course, the photos are free, high-res, and generally aesthetically pleasing. I create a lot of content, and I almost always head to EyeEm first. With this in mind, it is not very often that I have to make my way to a second website, relatively speaking. The search for high-quality stock photography has never been more convoluted or difficult. Without websites like EyeEm, I would have a whole lot less trust in the process. What else can I say about it? It is the best of the best, of the best! If you are looking for a foundational website to begin every stock photography search on, look no further. If you have never been to EyeEm, and you are someone who uses stock photography on a regular or semi-regular basis, you are about to experience a real gamechanger. Just trust me on this one, will you?
Ryan McGuire’s “Gratisography” is in the conversation to be one of the best stock photography collections on the web, to be sure. This impressive resource for high-resolution photos is pretty exceptional. Every photo on the site is good, and, of course, completely free for any type of usage. There are no weird copyright hoops to jump through, just use the photos you like; simple, right? I like the way that images are sorted or Gratisography. Categories range from literal titles like “Animals” and “Objects” to more thematic options like “Urban” and “Whimsical”. The collection is impressive, and always growing. Every week, Ryan adds more photos that fit into his defined and distinct categories.
MMT is an example of a “niche” website, but one that is not as limited as many others. MMT Stock deals in a few distinct categories. One of them is versatile, the other less. The first category that MMT Stock deals in has to do with workplace settings, specifically in “office” type environments. A lot of web content is relevant to this type of thematic base, so, even though it is not incredibly versatile, it is still useful to a wide range of content creators. On the other hand, Betts’ site also deals a lot with flowers and nature, which are images that can be pinned to a wide range of content. So, even though this is on the verge of being a niche site, it is far less limited than most others of that kind.
Stocksnap has a huge database of great photographs. Even though the quantity is quite high, and it grows daily– literally, that does not mean that there are not some real gems to be found here. The ratio of relevant photos is probably lesser, but, surely, all of these high-res, high-quality photos have some use for somebody. One unique, positive feature is that it allows you to sort through the collection in a variety of ways, including the incredibly useful method of sorting through based on the number of downloads. This is good because the images that have been downloaded the most are usually quite impressive, whereas the images that have been downloaded the least won’t be found plastered all over the internet.
Unsplash has a big, high-quality collection of stock photographs. The catalogue is added to every 10 days, with 10 new photos. Their quantity is comparatively lower than many other stock photo sites, but all of their images have integrity.
6. Negative Space
I have no problem with this website. It is not the best, in my opinion, but it is far from being a bad site. Free, high-res, carefully selected photos. Can’t ask for much more than that. The image search can also be done “by category”, so take a look at each of the 14 themes, and if one is relevant to your needs, dive in!
Freestocks is full of good, free stock photographs. I have used this resource before and I never hesitate to recommend it to others. Simple, tried, and true.
Dave Meier’s Picography is solid. I really like it. Dave runs the site, but he’s got a good team of contributing photographers. There is nothing to get too excited about here, but no reason to avoid this solid selection of high-quality, free stock photography.
9. Death to Stock
Death to Stock is totally unique, niche, hip, and strange; and I think I really like it. Rather than running this service off of a page, Death to Stock sends each member 10 fresh, curated, high-quality images on a monthly basis. These photo packs are always full of provocative, cool images. They also run a premium service which grants access to the entirety of their catalogue, which I am sure would be impressive, but does cost a reasonable sum of money.
Picjumbo is sorted in categories, as well, and is easy to navigate. It is full of great photos, and there is no reason to avoid this pleasant collection of high-resolution, genuine, good-quality images. I recommend Picjumbo without hesitation.
11. New Old Stock
Existing within the niche of “vintage”, “old-school”, or “classic”, New Old Stock is a solid source for a specific type of image. If those themes shout out to you and your content, dive in! If not, take a look anyway, because they are pretty cool.
I am consistently impressed by Getrefe. Not only is their collection ever-expanding with cool images, but they are all captured with mobile devices. I think that is pretty great, and image quality is not compromised whatsoever.
13. Kaboom Pics
Fresh, creative, and free! Kaboom Pics is a solid source for stock photography! Check it out!