Photos, Pixels & Platforms: 4 stock image sites that provide high-quality and affordable assets
With a quick Google search, it should be easy to find the right asset to use for your latest presentation, mockup or project, right? We wish it could be that simple. An abundance of choices online can often be overwhelming – with unregulated sites contributing to the challenge of finding stock photos that are consistent in quality. On the other hand, many ‘big name’ websites charge high licensing fees and are simply not affordable for most. Aiming to find some efficient alternatives, we compiled a selection of stock image sites that not only offer curated collections of beautiful images – but are free or affordable to use.
“Cheesy and overused stock photos have invaded our internet. Now we’re taking it back.” Death to Stock is a no-nonsense reinvention of the online stock photo space, with a remarkably consistent standard of beautiful imagery on offer. For creatives looking for assets that stand out, the site offers flexible and tailor-made membership options. Packages start at $12/month for small businesses and start-ups, $33 for freelancers and agencies, with price-on-demand packages available for larger organisations. The site funds a global network of artists, ensuring a fair and high-quality standard of work is available. With new content added every 30 days, paired with unlimited downloads, DTS is tailor-made with creatives of all kinds at its core.
Whilst not claiming to be a stock image website, Unsplash, instead, describes itself as “the internet’s source of freely-usable images.” Born from the pain of “finding great, usable imagery,” Unsplash now hosts over three million images – provided for free by a generous community of photographers – allowing the site to support creatives everywhere. Aimed at those looking for the perfect image to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes, the site organises its assets into easy-to-navigate menus, so finding the right asset for your project couldn’t be easier.
For those looking for a more stylised and art-directed option, Stocksy is a site dedicated to hosting beautifully authentic images, run by a dedicated and passionate community of contributors from 75 countries and counting. Founded as an artist-owned cooperative, the agency offers art-forward and royalty-free stock photos and videos that ensure fair pay to their contributors. Boasting an excellent curation standard, every asset available on the site has been hand-selected and organised into a considered collection of categories.
Run by a small yet dedicated team, Pexels is a site driven by a mission to “empower creatives.” With an easily searchable and conveniently tagged selection of images to browse through, finding or discovering the right photo is a breeze. All published pictures – hand-picked from free image websites or those uploaded by users – are of a consistently high quality and completely free. New photos are added every day, contributing to the collection which already contains thousands of images.