A great stock photo can represent your brand and communicate your message. But if the stock photos on your website or brochures are boring and amateurish, the subliminal message to prospects is that you’re not interested in their business—or that you don’t care about your own. That’s not the story you want to tell.
Maybe the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” should be changed to “A picture is worth a thousand website visits, retweets or sales.” Unfortunately, photographers who produce top-quality work charge hundreds of dollars an hour and are often booked solid. That leaves the average small business with limited options:
- Find a great photographer with time on his hands who’ll work for cheap
- Take your own photos—good advice only if you have the right equipment, training and creative eye
- Use professional, high-quality stock photos and think outside the box
The vast majority of the photos on these websites are licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. You can download the photos and copy, change and use as you wish, including commercially. Occasionally, attribution may be requested or required. Double-check to be sure you’re using the image properly.
The 10 Best Websites for Beautiful, Free Stock Photos
We’ve found the best sites for royalty-free, eye-catching stock photos that stand head and shoulders above the typical uninspired business photos of two suits shaking hands or a smiling girl wearing a headset that everyone has seen countless times.
It’s a good thing Pixabay has a powerful search feature because they offer over 1 million free photos, illustrations and videos. In addition to category searches, you can perform advanced searches on orientation, color, minimum dimensions and other criteria. Download as many as you’d like.
Negative Space adds new free high-resolution photos every week and also has a search feature. You can search by categories including: Architecture, Business, Technology, People, Transportation, Sports, Nature and more. You can also search by color for a logo match.
One look at Pikwizard’s landing page, and you know you’ll find a beautiful image. Before searching, you can filter by Trending, Latest, Views, and Favorites to get a quick look and some new inspiration. Once you select a photo, either take it and leave, or directly link to Designwizard to edit the stock photo to your desired format, style, and tone. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Search by collections or categories. The week’s best new photos are featured on their homepage. Check out the trending search categories such as business or computer. Unlimited downloads.
Navigate through a long list of categories or trending photos for the perfect image for your website, brochure or other use. No attribution is needed for any of their photos. New photos are added daily.
This interesting photo collection illustrates what life is like for a startup or any small business. Could be just what you’ve been looking for.
Good quality photos are categorized under many business and non-business categories. You can also easily browse the most popular or newest images. Photos are produced by external contributors and in-house photographers and are either digital photos shot with Canon DSLRs or 4000 dpi high-res scans of 35mm slides.
Pexels has it all: unlimited downloads, easy search feature and stunning photos on just about any subject you can think of. The photos on this website were all carefully selected from many sources of free images, resulting in a collection of high quality, gorgeous photos.
Business photos tend to be on the serious side, so if you want to have fun with a project, check out Gratisography. Ryan McGuire, the photographer, is more than a little on the quirky side (cat wearing a tie, monster slippers…) and very creative. Photos are free and will put a smile on your face.
10. ISO Republic
ISO Republic website was developed to provide high-quality images for bloggers, marketers, designers, social media and other commercial needs. In addition to business, technology, travel and many other categories, you can search on abstracts, textures and wallpaper.
Burst is a free high-resolution photo resource created by Shopify for entrepreneurs. While business is a primary focus, there are also many collections of general photos.
Last but certainly not least, genuine and authentic photos live on Reshot. One differentiator, Quick Image Packs, allow users to select 15 themed shots at once that are pre-curated by the artists and designers who run the site.
As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune for great images or settle for bad, cheesy stock photos. At BXP Creative, thinking outside the box is our specialty. If you have a limited marketing budget (and who doesn’t?), we know how to keep your costs down. We can take stock photos, put our digital wizards to work, and provide you a champagne product for a beer budget.