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Top 10 Stock Photo Websites. Find Free Images, Videos, and Graphics for Your Website, and Marketing

Updated: Apr 3, 2022


Stock images are professional photographs you can find and use for free — which means without having to purchase a license, some of them are bought on a subscription basis or on a one-time payment for unlimited downloads.


 You can use these images anywhere from your website, social media, creative projects, and any other marketing aspects without having to credit the owner. However, crediting the owner is highly appreciated.


There are 3 types of stock photo licenses in the stock photography industry.

  • Public domain — Images available for free of use for commercial or personal use, without purchasing a license.

  • Royalty-Free — Images available for use on a single license, they can be used in different projects without purchasing an additional license. This license can be exclusive or non-exclusive.

  • Rights-managed — these are copyright images that allow for one-time use as per license, an additional license needs to be purchased for use in other projects. Licenses can be offered on an exclusive basis.

Enough with the industry jargon already, let’s get to the interesting stuff. We are going to look at 10 websites I specifically use to download free stock images and vector graphics for my clients’ projects and my own website and social media.


1. Unsplash

The internet’s source for free images with over 2 billion images downloaded by creative professionals for use in artworks, presentations, websites, and more. These images are provided by a community of more than 200,000 professional photographers and hobbyists that have gifted their own photos in helping drive creativity around the world.


Downloads for these images are completely free as per the Unsplash license, which gives non-exclusive rights, for use in commercial or non-commercial projects. However, what is not allowed is selling these images. 


Whether you sign up or not, you still get access to millions of free images and stock photos for your blog and business work, wallpapers for desktop, and more.


Not forgetting Unsplash partnerships, with some of the biggest brands like Timberland, integration tools, and the powerful Unsplash API, powering more than 7000 apps, allowing access to tens of thousands of images right from your favorite applications like WordPress, DropBox, Google Chrome, Apple TV, Wix among other apps.




2. Wix Media — Media from Wix

This is Exclusive access to free images and vector icons via the Wix media manager and also on the website and in social media posts templates. You can always use these media files for free without worrying about breaking any copyright laws. Exclusive for use in Wix only


The Wix media manager allows you and other site contributors to access downloaded media files via site files. Each site has its specific site files. 


As long as you have a Wix account, you have access to stunning images, videos, icons, audio, and docs. You can also access Wix media from your editor in the tools on the left, or from your dashboard, for example, while uploading or changing your favicon, or when changing your website’s background image.



3. Canva Photos


Canva is a free graphic design platform, you can use it to create social media graphics, brochures, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content for your website, and other projects by selecting from thousands of stock photos, and templates available.


Just like with Media from Wix, Canva photos are exclusive for use in Canva for free or if you prefer additional features and premium quality images and functionality, with a Canva pro account or Canva for enterprises to get access for a very affordable, flat monthly fee.


There are over a million high-quality and premium images available for free, you only need a Canva account to get access to unlimited downloads of stock photos, vector graphics, icons, illustrations, templates, to use in your beautiful designs.


Canva also has a photo editor. With the photo editor, you can turn your photos into stunning graphics. You can upload your own images or select from the available stock photos to customize, crop, edit, apply filters, save or download your designs with no watermarks.



4. Getty Images

Getty Images is a supplier of stock images, editorial photography, video, and music to use in marketing and online publishing for corporates, creative professionals, and the media. 


You can use the big search bar at the top of the website to find and download free images or to purchase usage rights, and exclusive rights. For premium content, starting at $50 to $500 for 5 to 10 images package depending on various factors like size, and quality. If you want unlimited downloads consider requesting a demo on the pricing page.


Getty Images along with partnerships with Squarespace, WordPress plugin, their powerful integrations through the API which is easy to implement, lets you integrate outstanding images, videos, and illustrations from Getty Images and iStock directly into your favorite platforms. Brands like Canva, Google, Squarespace, and more benefit from using the API.



Getty Images also runs the leading stock content marketplaces, iStock, offering millions of premium images, vectors, illustrations, and video clips at exclusively low prices. It also runs photos.com and image.net among other brands.


Their global support and sales team always has answers to your questions.


5. Flickr

Flikr is an image hosting and video hosting service with high-resolution photos by professional and amateur photographers, as well as an online community connecting you to the people who love your work and giving you a platform to manage and organize your photos and videos in one place.


With Flikr pro, you can get unlimited storage, ad-free, with advanced statistics, worry-free backup via the desktop Auto-Uploadr, and exclusive discounts from Adobe, Blurb, SmugMug, and Priime.


Many Flickr users offer their work under a Creative Commons license, “Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright.”


6. Pexels

Pexels is a photo and video marketplace — (a free stock photo and video sharing community —over 4 billion monthly image views) where you can easily find, download and use completely free high-quality stock photographs and videos. These photos and videos are licensed under the Pexels license, curated and provided by a worldwide community of photographers in over 170 different countries.


With plugins and addons, you can access and use these images and videos almost anywhere, from installing it in Google Slides via the Google Workspace marketplace, to a Photoshop plugin to help you improve your workflow on Mac or Windows, to a WordPress plugin, to Android and IOS mobile app and more.



By providing free stock photos and videos to entrepreneurs, designers, writers, visual artists, programmers, and even fellow photographers looking for inspiration from the pros, Pexels helps millions all over the world to easily create beautiful products and designs and photographers worldwide to contribute to the world while doing what they love.


7. Pixabay

Pixabay is one place to get (over 2.1 million+) free stock photos and images, (over 270,000+) free illustrations, and over 100,000+ free vectors, and thousands of stock video clips & footage shared by the community for inspiration and download.


You can also find thousands of music and audio tracks for use in your personal or commercial projects. Or you can download the android version and get access to over a million royalty-free photos, illustrations, and vector graphics — and thousands of free video clips right on your mobile.


You can also install the plugin to use in your Google docs. And now that Pixabay and Pexels have joined forces with Canva, you have more free images in Canva than anywhere else.


8. Shutterstock

Powering Creativity is their tag line. Shutterstock helps creative professionals from all backgrounds and businesses of all sizes produce great work with more than 350 million images, millions of video clips, and music track downloads. 


This content is brought to you by over 1 million contributors around the world. That’s why over 200,000 images are added to the library every day. The cool thing is you can access the Shutterstock website in over 21 languages.


Shutterstock has got a chrome extension, and plugins for various programs like Powerpoint, Google Slides, Sketch, Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro, with full integration, allowing easy access to millions of images. With the Shutterstock editor, you just search, preview, and edit your images right from your favorite applications helping you work faster.



One thing to know, however, about Shutterstock is that images are not free, except for the free 30-days trial. There are different pricing options depending on your needs. You can choose whether to download your images on a subscription basis or a one-time payment for an image package, however, you will need to download your images package within a year. Prices range from $49 for 10 images to $249 for 790 images per month up to $1,699 and more for teams and large companies.


9. Adobe Stock

Did you know that Adobe launched a free collection of over 70,000 stock photos, illustrations, and other stock assets that you can use in your creative projects?

You will only need to have an account to download, save to use later in a library, or have access to other assets in any of the Adobe applications. 


Adobe gives you a Free month discover high-quality stock footage, royalty-free vectors, illustrations, music from top artists to give your projects (video productions, podcasts) a new energy level, as well as graphics templates for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, motion graphics templates for Premiere Pro, and Premiere Rush to jumpstart your creativity. After the free month, it's $30 per month and up to $300 per month.


What makes Adobe Stock a little bit more powerful than the other sites we have looked at is the 3D assets library giving you a whole new dimension with a collection of royalty-free 3D models, lights, and material assets within Adobe Dimension.


Here is what I created in Adobe Dimension a while ago.


You can use Adobe Stock free assets for your commercial projects too as their free assets meet the same licensing standards as their paid assets.


10. Mugabi Imran Photography — My Library


Did you know I have dedicated a page on my website for free high-quality images for use in your creative projects be it commercial or non-commercial and even for your lovely (wallpapers) desktops and mobile devices?


Whatever you want to use these images for, they are there at your disposal. Hand-picked by me from my favorite phone photography and other photos I have taken with my DSLR Camera, and smartphones I have owned over time (Samsung Galaxy, Nokia, Infinix, Google Pixel).


I have called it Silverstarstock, I am yet to find a better name for it.

All photos in #silverstarstock are licensed to me and copyright free for you. I have taken each and every one of the photos I upload on this page, so you can use them without any worries of breaking any copyright law.



Conclusion


You might be tempted to look for free images on Google. One thing to keep in mind though is that these images from google are not clear on the license and terms of use. If you prefer using Google as your source, however, be sure to do it the right way.


Otherwise, use one of the above options or from the list of 73 websites offering free stock photos around the web. By the way, you can also check out the top 10 website builders, if you want to build your own store for your e-commerce business or a portfolio website.


I appreciate you taking the time to check this out, and I hope the next time you want some free photos, videos, illustrations, vectors, and even 3D templates for your next creative project or marketing campaign, you know where to look.


Which of these websites have you used before?


Which of these websites are you going to start using today?



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