8 Fantastic Stock Photo Sites for Graphic Designers in 2022 (Paid & Free)



What makes a web page stand out is visuals. Undoubtedly, they can transform a dull website into an eye-grabbing piece of content. That is why graphic designers look to incorporate relevant and quality images in their web design.


But, getting authentic photos is not everyone’s cup of tea. Here comes the role of stock art. Thankfully, tons of stock photos are available online. Though some are entirely free, others ask you for a fee.


Which sites provide free photos, and where can you get the best-paid images? All this and much more is covered in this article.


Let's dive right in



Free Stock Photo Sites

Following are some great sites to get stock photos completely free:



1: Unsplash

Unsplash is a big name in the stock photo industry. The site is the first one to initiate free stock photography.


Today, more than 1 billion images have been downloaded through this platform. And, around 150,000 talented photographers are actively contributing to its community.


Reasons to Choose Unsplash?

  • The image library provides pictures of almost every niche.

  • Presents a trending image list and an image catalog.

  • Seamlessly integrates with various tools like Dropbox, Trello, Squarespace, etc.

  • Completely free

  • Provides a user-friendly interface and enables you to search photos through a section named “Collections.”

  • Users can download the images, modify them, and use them even for commercial purposes.

  • Presents a help center that guides both users and contributors.

  • Has an iOS app.



2: Pixabay

If you fail to find your desired image at Unsplash, try Pixabay. It features videos, vector graphics, illustrations, and pictures.


Search for the image, choose the desired resolution, fill the Captcha, and you are done. Or, you can create a free account if you want to download photos instantly.


Reasons to Choose Pixabay?

  • More than a million vectors, images, and illustrations.

  • You can use the content for commercial purposes without permission.

  • Provides an easy searching option through filters and a drop-down menu.

  • Presents a keyword search bar and gives suggestions as per the keywords.

  • Presents photos on a wide array of topics for industry professionals.



3: Pexels

Compared with the above two, Pexels is relatively new in the industry. The company was founded in 2014 to provide free high-quality images and videos.


Like other sites, it also has a search bar selection. But users can also search through the theme options like fashion, technology, color, art, etc.


Reasons to Choose Pexels?


  • Offers more than 500 000 free stock photos.

  • Employs a search algorithm for easy and fast searching.

  • Presents a separate section of top images as well as unique categories.

  • Enables you to contact the image contributor directly.

  • Combines images from other stock photo sites and photos of its exclusive contributors.



4: Adobe Stock Free Collection

Adobe has a separate section for free photos. Like others, Adobe also provides a massive collection of impressive images under this category.


It pays well to the contributors and thus maintains quality. The site supports customization and provides a perfect image as per the needs.


Reasons to Choose Adobe Free Stock?

  • Provides 70,000+ photos, videos, and vectors.

  • Maintains high quality and provides easy searching features.

  • Various editing tools are available.



Paid Stock Photos

Not all stock photos are free. You need to pay a fee for using the paid stock images. But, do not worry, most of them are cheap. Since they are not free to use, they are not likely to be overused. Here are the sites that provide paid images:



1: Shutterstock

Shutterstock enjoys global recognition in stock photography. Due to this, the company has 1 million + contributors. It aims at serving marketing agencies, the commercial sector, and media organizations.


Be it an image or vector, video or graphic illustrations; you can get everything from this place.


Reasons to Choose Shutterstock?

  • Wide range of editing features for picture customization

  • Enables typography for editing images. This feature is further divided into various layouts.

  • Let’s you download and share images on social media platforms.

  • Image resizing option available. You can select the preferred size and maintain image quality.

  • Various pricing plans are available for single and multiple users.

The on-demand plan lets you download as few as 5 images for $49. You can download maximum 25 photos for $229 under this plan.




2: iStock

You must have heard about iStock if you belong to the photographic industry. The site offers an extensive collection of images, videos, and vectors.


There is a paid subscription plan for monthly users. Besides this, lots of discounts are applicable on bulk purchases.


Reasons to Choose iStock?

  • Offers both cheap and signature images to cater to the needs of every buyer.

  • Let’s you utilize the unused downloads next month.

  • Provides a credit system for buying images.

  • Offers subscription plans based on - the number of downloads, price, and collections.

  • You can also avail fantastic discounts.

iStock recommends its users go for its $100 plan. It lets you use 10 images from the signature and essential category.



3: Stock Photos


Stock Photos is a wonderful platform for fulfilling your visual needs. It has a versatile collection of images at affordable prices. The site presents images from multiple stock photo sites and provides coupon codes for purchase.


Thus, users get some discount when they use the coupon code. It also provides a guide that teaches how to use stock photos smartly. Yes, you can download the image once and use it for multiple purposes.


Reasons to Choose Stock Photos?

  • Presents stock photos from various well-known stock photo sites.

  • Some free stock images are also available.

  • Provides a simple interface.

  • Offers high-resolution images on almost every subject.


4: Adobe Stock


Graphic designers often go for Adobe Stock as the site is integrated with Creative Cloud. Thus, you can directly customize pictures in the editing app. It offers a great collection of high-resolution images at pocket-friendly prices.


Reasons to Choose Adobe Stock?

  • Offers a discount for Creative Cloud users

  • Monthly, annual, and on-demand subscription plans are available.

  • Provides a free trial with 10 free images.

  • One-click licensing allows you to edit all images.

It gives a minimum package of 10 images for $29.99.



Wrapping It Up


All in all, graphic designers can get stock photos from tons of sites. Within minutes, they can download either the paid or free images.


Sites like Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe Stock, and Stock Photos are some excellent names in the paid category. They have different payment plans that cater to the needs of an individual and businesses.


However, if you don’t want to spend anything on the images, check out Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, and Adobe Free Collection.


So, downloading some compelling images is no more a hurdle. Get your desired images and finish projects on time. No need to go for real photography!


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