9 of the Best Sites for Finding Stock Photos (2020)
Visual impact makes a huge difference to the success of any online store.
Having the right payment methods for your customers to use is crucial, and writing a great product description is essential. However, without the right images, you’ll struggle to have the right impact on your target audience.
The right images are crucial to any sale.
Although online shopping is more popular and convenient than offline shopping most of the time, it does come with challenges. For instance, your audience can’t pick an item from a shelf and inspect it for themselves. They’re reliant on you to provide pictures that can show them what to expect.
Pictures aren’t just crucial for showing off your product, either.
Images throughout your website, on your contact page, home page, and about us section, all help your audience to form deeper connections with your brand. On top of that, we’re more likely to remember visual content than written or audio content.
So, how do you make sure you have the right collection of visuals?
That’s where stock images come in.
Finding the Right Blend of Stock Photos
Stock photos are images that you can use alongside your own unique product photos to make your website look incredible. If you don’t have an in-house designer who can create custom graphics for you whenever you publish a blog or article, stock images are essential.
Although custom images are always more valuable than stock images, free-to-use photos are much better than nothing. Imagine what our website blog would look like if we just had a list of titles, instead of a page packed full of headlines and visuals:
Just remember, there are a few golden rules to keep in mind when you’re looking for stock images:
- Don’t use nothing but stock photos: Even if you find a lot of high-quality free stock images online, you shouldn’t rely on them exclusively. You’re going to need custom images of your products to make your clients trust you. What’s more, unique pictures of your team members and business founders will make your company more credible.
- Learn about licensing: Below, we’re going to show you some sites where you can find free stock photos. However, not every picture you find online to be free. It’s essential to ensure that any image you use is not protected under copyright. Using an image without permission can lead to a lot of trouble for your brand.
- Avoid fake photos: Stay away from photos that look too obviously staged. Although your audience will forgive you for using a few stock pictures, they’ll be analyzing the images you use. Images that seem fake will make your business seem less professional.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at some of those great sites you can use for stock photos.
All sites listed below have CC0 license, meaning you are free to use the images for both personal and commercial use without any attribution. Except Burst (by Shopify) they offer images under both Licensed and CC0 photos.
StockSnap offers a brilliant selection of free-to-use images that are sure to appeal to a wide range of companies. You’ll find tons of high-resolution options here, so you don’t have to worry about conveying a less than professional image. What’s more, you can sort through photos based on the most popular or “viewed” photos the site has.
The handy search function means that you can track down the images you want based on a specific keyword, or you can see what’s trending. There are also categories to choose from too!
Pixabay is one of my favorite locations to use for stock photos, thanks to its massive collection. There are nearly two million pictures that are free to use on Pixabay, as well as videos and vectors too. If you need a quick way to spruce up the appearance of your site, you really can’t go wrong here.
The Pixabay search bar makes it easy to find the images you want based on keywords and phrases. Plus, you can sort your search according to what you’re looking for (image, video, etc). Pixabay has even begun to experiment with music recently too.
Looking for plenty of authentic-looking images? Pexels is another sensational website for those in search of free stock photos. You can find dozens of beautiful high-resolution photos and videos for virtually every category you can think of.
You can search for trending topics or look for the images you need based on keywords.
If a picture isn’t enough for your needs, then branch out to Gifs and videos instead. Pexels has something for everyone! These images are all licensed under the creative commons zero license, so they’re safe to use.
Probably one of the better-known locations for free-to-use images on the web, UnSplash has a library that grows every day.
This website is also a community for artists and creators, so you’ll always find plenty of new images to explore that are based on trending topics and ideas. You can search through photos using the search bar on the site.
Alternatively, UnSplash also offers several great category pages at the top of the website that you can use to skip through topics like “Current Events” or “Nature”.
ReShot stands out as a stock photo site for people in search of highly professional looking images. All of these photos are hand-picked for their beautiful aesthetic and unique appeal. You won’t find any amateur photography here. Another great thing about ReShot is that it gives budding photographers a chance to showcase their work and really stand out.
Although you might not get the widest collection of stock photos to choose from here, you can rest assured that nothing you choose will look like a stock image. That’s a great thing for most budding businesses.
Gratisography is one of the more exciting stock photo sites that you’ll find online today. There’s an ever-updating collection of images to choose from, all with perfect high—resolution performance. Additionally, all of the images you’ll find on this website are covered by the Creative Commons Zero license. That means that you can use the photos however you choose.
Gratisography is all about helping businesses to find images that really stand out for their websites. If you want something that’s not going to let your company blend into the background, this is the stock photo site for you.
07. Burst (Shopify)
If you’re a fan of Shopify then you might have heard of Burst already. This is creative website designed by the Shopify team to offer access to free creative commons zero images. Some of the images will only be available to people who have a Shopify license, however.
There are lots of great photos to browse through here, and the search functionality makes it easier to track the kind of content you want. Another bonus of Burst is that you can rest assured all of your images will be excellent, high-resolution photos.
Compared to many of the other stock photo sites on the web today, Pikwizard is a relatively new entry. It hasn’t been around for awfully long, but it does offer a lot of beautiful images to explore. You can search through popular tags to find something suitable for a trending topic. Alternatively, use the search bar to filter through specific photos
You will need to disable your ad-blocker to properly make the most of this website, but that’s a small price to pay for over a million stock photos.
09. Negative Space
Finally, Negative Space is an often-overlooked location for free stock images. This website is packed full of ready-to-use pictures for your website, complete with absolutely no copyright or royalties to worry about. The site supports a group of photographers that want to share their work with the world.
Like most of the leading stock photography websites on the market today, Negative space is easy to navigate. You can even filter through your images by color to find something that will match your brand aesthetic.
Make Your Website More Appealing
Product photos are just one of the kinds of visuals you’ll need to have on your website to engage your audience. If you want your online presence to stand out, you also need to be willing to use the right images all over. This includes finding pictures for your homepage, your blog posts, and even your social media campaigns.
The good news is that if you don’t have an in-house photographer or graphic designer, you’re not out of luck. There are plenty of fantastic websites out there offering access to free stock images. All you need to do is find the one that’s right for you.
We our article helped you find the right stock image for your eCommerce website. You may also want to take a look at top WooCommerce designs for inspiration.