Looking for a Stock Photo?
Photographs and illustrations are an important component of any type of print or digital media because one’s audience is more likely to take notice when there is a visual attention-grabber. Web designers, publishers, bloggers and marketing professionals all love having lots of sources for images that they can turn to when there just isn’t the time, capability or the desire to create the originals. The following ten websites are highly rated in terms of high Alexa traffic count ratings. They each have hundreds, even thousands, of images and artwork that is very affordable and even free in some cases. When choosing images be sure to obtain a high resolution and the appropriate license for the image.
Global Alexa Rating: 129
DevianArt is a popular place for artists and amateurs alike to share their work which makes it a great place to get images. The stock image area of the site is organized into various categories including 3D & Renders, Animals, Classical & Vintage, Food, Fractals, Model, Nature, Objects, Places, Plants and Premade Backgrounds. Many of those that post to the site simply ask that they receive credit for their work. Users can join DeviantArt for free in order to view content that is hidden due to being more mature content. Prints can also be purchased on the site.
Global Alexa Rating: 218
ShutterStock offers amazing royalty-free images with simple pricing. Users can pay as they go by purchasing multi-image packs in quantities of 2, 5 or 25 but must use download the images within one year of purchase. A subscription is the other way to go which allows up to 25 images per day. Subscriptions can be purchased for 1 month, 3 months (8% discount) or 1 year (20% discount). Besides the paid accounts users can also sign up for a free browse account. They also offer enhanced license plans and business solutions for those needing more images. The site adds about 10,000 images every day to their already wide variety of over 30 million stock photos, illustrations, vectors and videos.
Global Alexa Rating: 351
The iStock website is visually enjoyable making it not only a great place to find images but a fun place to visit just to browse. The main page has boxes for various categories as well as a listing in the center of the page. The categories change based on current trends such as a winter wonderland and winter sports box during the winter months and a Christmas box and a New Year one through December. Those looking for free files should select the Free Files box. Once a category is selected either by selecting a visual box, drop down or from the list the user is taken to a page in which they can narrow the results by things such as keyword, price range, license type, resolution, image size and much more. Purchasing files can be done on a pay-as-you-go basis or one can buy credits in advance or purchase a subscription.
Global Alexa Rating: 461
Fotolia currently has over 25.7 million royalty free stock photos which can be purchased either on a pay-as-you-go basis, purchasing credits in advance or with a subscription plan. The cost of credits drops depending on how many are purchased at one time. Subscription plans are very flexible allowing users to tailor their plan to suit their needs. There are two types of plans. One is that you select the total number of downloads to be used for the month. With the other plan the user determines a daily download quota, how many users will have access and how many months. The site works very well for making your selections and instantly seeing what the total cost will be. Users that need more than the maximum plans shown can also call or email for a quote. Images are grouped by collection and there are two sections worth noting for the budget minded- low cost collection and free images. Scrolling over an image gives info about the image including how many credits it costs to download.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,204
While this site does not have the huge library of photos that others have it does have one very popular feature – there are over 400,000 free stock photos! The categories are listed at the bottom of the home page or one can use the keyword or advanced search to find specific images. The site also includes premium results for each search and category that are not free as they are linked to iStock which is their partner. There are also two interesting features of this website. One is a statistics tab for those curious about that sort of thing and the other is a tutorials section. Users might also enjoy the blogs section with posts from around the world about all sorts of topics.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,940
Creative Commons enables the sharing of knowledge and creativity by giving artists a way to license their work. This is not limited to just images – it also includes things such as music and videos. Those looking for content simply enter their search query using one of 13 different search areas such as Europeana, Open Clip Art Library, Fotopedia, Google Images, YouTube, Pixabay and SoundCloud. The search can be further limited to those that can be used for commercial purposes or those that one can modify, adapt or build upon. The site can be really useful for opening up a search to many different sources.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,650
Although iStock is by Getty Images, this site is also part of the Getty family. It is a comprehensive site that not only includes stock photos and royalty-free stock photos but also news images, sports images, entertainment images, video clips and music. Select their music player and enjoy monthly editor picks while you browse the rest of the website content and even leave it playing when finished. The advanced search on this website is one of the best there is with hundreds of criteria to fine-tune one’s search. The site is easy to navigate and has an incredible amount of content.
Global Alexa Rating: 3,824
The Morgue File contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and images for corporate or public use. Besides having a pretty decent inventory of over 312,000 files there is also a classroom section including 10 lessons for learning photography. There are also links to other sites including Dreamstime, iStock, DepositPhotos and Fotolia. The only downside of the site is that there isn’t an advanced search feature – one can only search by keyword. Considering all the photos are free to use that is only a minor inconvenience.
Global Alexa Rating: 4,368
VectorStock is a source for both royalty free vector art and stock images. Signing up gives users the ability to buy and/or sell vectors. The site is easy to use with well planned categories to make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. Every image includes a Vector EPS 8 or 10, AI, PDF and Hi-Res JPG. There are also hundreds of free vectors available on the site. They also hold weekly competitions in which winners are awarded VectorStock credits. Image categories shown right on the main page include shapes, decoration, industries, events and landscape & architecture.
Global Alexa Rating: 8,609
StockFree Images is exactly what its name implies – stock free images. There main images can be licensed free of charge or users can use their premium plans for enhanced access. The sight is powered by Dreamstime. Simply sign up for free and gain acess to nearly a million free images. The site isn’t as easy to navigate as many other sites which could explain why it doesn’t have quite the traffic numbers as others do. The site does require users to register in order to download content.
So there you have ten of the most popular sites for stock photos. There are others that are also quite good but just didn’t have the traffic count numbers to make this list. Hence, it does seem only fair to give a few an honorable mention – Veer at www.Veer.com, FreeRange at www.freerangestock.com, JupiterImages at www.jupiterimages.com and Pixel Perfect Digital at www.pixelperfectdigital.com are all worth taking a look at as well. Anyone having these 14 various sites in their bookmarks is likely to be able to always find the perfect image for their project.