Are you looking to take your website or project to the next level? Do you want to wow your customers or followers and keep them captivated on your page from the second they arrive? Then consider sprucing up your project with visually appealing stock photos.
There are many different stock photo platforms on the web, all with different types of images, subscription plans, and pricing models. Whether you’re looking for high-quality videos, colorful illustrations, or unique photographs that can’t be found anywhere else, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for on one of these fantastic stock photo platforms.
If you’re looking for great stock photos that aren’t your typical “corporate” style images, then Alamy is guaranteed to be one of your best bets. They have an impressive catalog of over 250 million photographs, illustrations, vectors, and videos, as well as unique panoramic 3D style images. When you search for a specific theme, you can sort by location, orientation, viewpoint, and whether or not the image is rights-managed or royalty-free.
Their payment structure is also very flexible compared to other stock photo platforms. The price of the image or illustration is determined by where you’ll be using it (personal, website, magazine, etc.). Or, you can buy a royalty-free image for one price and use it anywhere you’d like.
With over 360 images available, Shutterstock is one of the largest and most popular stock photo platforms in the world. Whether you’re looking for professional photos, illustrations, or social media and print templates, you’ll have no problem finding something for your project on Shutterstock. They also have a great library of videos and music tracks which is helpful if you’re creating a movie or short film.
You can also take advantage of their Shutterstock Editor tool, which allows you to edit and customize any photo or template of your choice. Even non-designers will find this tool intuitive and easy to use for a variety of creative projects. Canva is another great tool if you’re looking for an alternative to the Shutterstock Editor.
Shutterstock is free to join, which means you can start browsing and saving images right away. If you find something you’d like to use, then you can sign up for their on-demand license. This one-time fee allows you to purchase a pack of 2, 5, or 25 images to use. You may also choose to join their monthly subscription program, which gives you an allotted number of royalty-free photos to download each month.
Providing aesthetic content and stock images for over 25 years, Getty Images is one of the first places you should look for royalty-free photos. They have over 400 pictures and video clips for both creative and editorial projects available online. Their easy-to-use filter tool allows you to narrow down the search by resolution, color, image style, and if you’re looking for photos of people, the age, number, and ethnicity of who’s in the picture.
Their pricing is on the higher end of the spectrum, which may deter many budget creators from making multiple purchases through their site. However, you’ll find unique content on Getty Images that you won’t be able to find anywhere else on the internet (including other stock photo websites). Images and videos are sold individually (and not by license), making this an excellent option for businesses or projects that will use the photo multiple times.
There’s something on iStock for every project, need, and budget, making them one of the best stock photo platforms for creators. With a vast collection of images, videos, illustrations, and vectors, iStock has flexible pricing plans and subscriptions that allow you to download precisely what you need without overspending for things you don’t.
One of the biggest differentiators about iStock is that they have different collections that you can browse through. If you’re looking for everyday images that don’t cost an arm and a leg, you can simply purchase through their Essentials Collection. Those looking for more premium royalty-free photos can opt for their Signature Collection, which includes their entire image library.
Unsplash is an entirely free stock photo platform that’s an awesome alternative to many of the expensive stock image websites on the market. While their inventory is relatively small (only 2 million photos), each one can be downloaded and used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes – all for free!
According to the Unsplash license agreement, you can also copy, modify, and even edit any photo on their platform. Attribution back to the photographer is recommended (after all, this website is only possible thanks to the generous photographers), but it’s not required.
The best thing about Unsplash is the quality of photographs. Unlike other traditional stock images, all the photos on the site are visually stunning, which makes them perfect for projects with a heavy emphasis on design and aesthetics.
Stock images are the single best way to transform your project into something memorable. If you’re looking for other ways to spice up your content, check out our Photoshop tutorials and our review of the Animoto content editor.
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