A good website needs good content. And good content needs to be visually appealing to your visitors. When I first started my career as a freelance web designer, I had this one problem: Where can I find affordable, high quality photos for my clients without having to raise my rates? Many new bloggers and website owners are facing a similar situation today. I am going to list some of the best free and paid resources for your illustration needs.
Free Photos and Illustrations
Free images are usually lower quality than paid images. There are a few websites I’ve found that offer images of a decent quality, free of charge.
FreeImages.com has one of the largest collections of free images. You can find a selection of almost 400,000 free photos and illustrations. However, in some cases you may need to notify the artists about using the images. In addition, sometimes you may need to give credit to them. This can be troublesome as it takes time to check the image license. Not to mention the time it takes to get a permission from the author. FreeImages.com is operated by Getty Images.
Did you know that you can find royalty free images on Google Search? That’s right. Google Image Search allows you to filter results by usage rights. However, you should always verify the image license if possible.
This is one of my personal favorites of all time. Pixabay offers free photos, illustrations, and videos that you can use anywhere. All images and videos on Pixabay are released in the public domain. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like. Even in commercial applications. Best of all, attribution is not required.
Flickr is a photo sharing site where users can upload their own photos. While many of the photos shared on flicker are copyrighted, the site allows you to search by usage restrictions. Most of the images require an attribution, but there are some public domain images as well.
This one is the newest free stock photo site in my collection. Pexels allows you to search and download free stock images from multiple sources, including Pixabay, Negative Space, and Unsplash.
Premium Photos and Illustrations
Premium images offer much higher quality. Paid footage is better suited for commercial production, such as print or media production, advertisements, or heavily commercial websites. The usage limit of paid images depends on the license purchased.
This is the premium counterpart of FreeImages.com. It is also operated by Getty Images. iStock offers high quality footage available to purchase with credits or via subscription. Rates starting at $40/mo for 10 downloads from the budget image collection.
DreamsTime is the world’s largest collection of Stock Images. They have over 46 million images available for download. Pricing starts at $39/mo for 5 downloads. They also offer a choice to purchase images with credits.
123rf.com has a collection of over 61 million stock images, vectors, footage and audio clips. That is a lot to choose from. A one month subscription that allows 5 basic JPG/EPS file downloads per day costs $79. Video, audio, vectors, and other image formats are purchasable with credits.
ShutterStock is another one of the popular stock footage sites. They offer images, video, vectors, and music. A basic pack of 5 images costs $49.
This is probably the most affordable paid resource ever. GraphicStock offers unlimited downloads of high-quality, royalty-free photos, vectors, illustrations & other design elements. 1 Year of unlimited downloads for only $99.
I hope this article helped you to find the right place for your stock photos.
If you have any comments, drop them below!