In this article, I will guide you through some of the best image websites so that you can apply them to your needs.
Do you need pictures for your blog articles or your company presentation but do not have them in your own collection?
You can convey what your brand stands for using an image that no one else has. And having unique content is one of the main factors for achieving success in content marketing.
But there are times when you don’t have enough resources for photography or when your own image collection is simply not enough
Today, the web is full of image libraries that contain high-quality photos and videos. There are often free pictures that are available with no copyright disclaimers.
When Should You Use Website Stock Photos
First of all, it must be said that I always recommend photos taken by a professional photographer. Photos are an important part of your company’s visual communication.
Keep the following things in mind when selecting photos from an online image library:
- Free images for websites can be nice, but there is a risk that others might be using the same ones. In Google Image Search, you can upload an image to see the pages on which it appears.
- Today’s internet users immediately recognize a “clichéd” image, and there are many of these in the databases for images. This can affect the credibility of your brand.
- Try to select images that are consistent with the tone and color of your brand. Do you want people in the pictures or prefer other things? Soft or sharp tones? What do you want the pictures to convey?
- Choose an image collection that suits your needs. You can also try to find more images from the same photographer.
Best Image Websites
Unsplash is a growing images library that contains over half a million high-resolution images. They have free to use images for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
The image library has succeeded in attracting a new generation of photographers. This means that you can expect a certain level of quality for the images.
The team behind Unsplash regularly updates their images library with fresh content. They also organize an internationally acclaimed competition every year that encourages participants to submit their work. These are often underrepresented in online image libraries.
At iStock, formerly iStockPhoto, you will find lots of great photos, illustrations, and videos for all types of businesses.
You can pay for each on an individual basis or get a monthly subscription that allows you to download a large number of them. This subscription is great for those who need a lot of images for their content.
The benefit of this over the other options is that the small cost makes the images you buy here more unique compared to the ones you download from free image libraries.
iStock has been acquired by GettyImages but still functions as a completely independent images library.
500px is one of the best image websites in the digital world. Talented photographers from all over the world add their photos to showcase them to like-minded people.
Some of the content of the photographers are also available for sale through an image library previously called Prime. Nowadays, the Prime collection is sold through GettyImages, which is one of the largest databases for images available today.
What makes the 500px collection unique is that the images come from a community of amateur photographers. This makes it different from a commercial image library and the photos are often not meant to be sold as “website stock photos”. Therefore, you can find some gold nuggets here, including some local photos from your hometown.
4. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is an image library included in Adobe’s popular Creative Cloud services. One advantage is that you can buy images from this image library directly from your Adobe account.
You can find over 50 million images, videos, templates, and other graphics. If you don’t need a subscription, you can visit the website to purchase each of them individually.
5. Getty Images
There is no question that Getty Images provides access to some of the best images online. But the quality comes with a cost.
Here you can pay per image depending on the resolution you choose. But then you can also be sure that the images are both high quality and not used by many other businesses.
You can also buy images with exclusive rights – i.e., that are licensed to your company, which makes the images even more unique.
Pexels belongs to the new generation of online image libraries in the sense that it is based on images that are manually curated from the other databases for images.
Only the best pictures are chosen. Pexels have free to use images that are collected from partner sites such as Pixabay, Gratisography, and Little Visuals.
In the Pixabay images library, you will find over 800,000 illustrations and free images to download.
Pixabay is simple and easy to use and has an effective filter to search for content. The quality of the images is also quite good.
Like Pexels, StockSnap selects the best of each image library and presents them in a convenient search format.
There are free images to download that are generally of high quality. But there are also some dubious business-related collections.
It takes a bit to warm up to Shutterstock. The feeling is that the images you find here can be found on many other websites. But… it’s a matter of taste.
Shutterstock is, after all, one of the world’s largest online image libraries. So, it would be wrong not to include it on this list.
You can purchase images individually or get a subscription that gives you access to all of their content.