100+ Best Stock Photo Sites For Entrepreneurs
Over the years I have collected 100+ of the best stock photo sites for entrepreneurs and bloggers (to be honest, it’s a bit of an obsession!) and have them stored in a file in my bookmarks bar. Some of them are free, some are paid and some are subject specific.
Not everyone out there is a pro-quality photographer or has the time to take and edit pro-quality photos which is why a lot of us rely on stock photo sites.
Why Use Stock Photos?
Photographers spend many years honing their skills, buying expensive equipment and learning how to edit images and so, should be paid for their time, skills and ability. Just like any other artist or musician. Just because it is available on the internet it does not make it free. You wouldn’t walk into a shop selling prints, pick one up and walk off without paying for it, it is the same on the net.
The best stock photo sites for entrepreneurs and bloggers serve both the photographer and the end user, with clear information about the usage rights of the images. I recommend checking a few out then bookmarking the sites that fit your brand.
How Can I use Images Without Getting Into Trouble?
Copyright law, like any law, is complicated so before you use images on your site, blog or business, take a quick minute or two to make sure you are not breaking any laws. In black and white, if you use a stolen image on your site you are liable to be sued.
Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice but it should keep you out of hot water, if you are in any doubt, consult with a lawyer.
NEVER google to find an image to use on your site or for a product. Google has a great image search and some images are attributed to use, but it’s not a good way to go. If you are in love with a specific image, the best thing to do it to contact the owner and ask permission to use it. Just because it is on google image search it does not mean it free to use or that it is a public domain image.
Always check the copyright rules for each image you use. Some will require credit to the photographer. Others can only be used on non-commercial sites. Social Media Examiner has a great post explaining the ins and outs of copyright.
No you CAN NOT google and find an image then give credit and all will be right in the world, it’s not how it works. There is a chance that you have lifted a stolen image – yes, that means you are handling stolen goods! Some photographers are happy to have the credit and link back to the site, others are not. The only way to know what the photographer and the rightful owner wants it to contact them.
Don’t think that not giving credit will keep you out of trouble either, with Google reverse image search and Tinyeye, photographers have ways to find their stolen images.
If you plan to use an image to make something that you will distribute, educational materials, printed onto t-shirts or mugs, book covers etc. Check the conditions of use before you do it. Often there is a clause about the number of times an image can be reproduced or for commercial reasons you need to buy an extended license. Even when using stock sites it’s a good idea to study the T&C before you charge ahead!
Recently I have seen numerous reports of some unscrupulous photographers planting images on free stock sites then going after bloggers and suing them for illegal use. To cover yourself, ALWAYS take a screenshot when you download your image, capturing the image, site name and licence. This post is a horror story that should make you think twice about using images and why it’s important to take those screenshots!
ALWAYS read through the Terms and Condition of the site you are downloading images from and pay attention to the licence agreement for each image. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND YOURS ALONE!
The legal jargon for the creative commons licensing can get confusing, THIS POST written by the attorney Sara F Hawkins has a breakdown in plain English. This Post on EyeEm also it explains it either will give you a good grasp of the rules.
The legal steps that can be taken against you for using images illegally vary from country to country and may also depend on what the photographer wants, whether that is just to have the image removed, to be given full attribution or to be paid for the time the image has been used. I can’t give you a clear idea of the process because so many different factors are in play. Your best bet is to stick to the rules!
Finally, if you looking to create a strong brand then images are important and one way you can do that is to hire a pro to take a set of branded images just for you. My friend Marcela at Marcela Macias Photography does a beautiful job of this! This way you can be sure of the ownership of the images and you can create a strong brand, which online is extremely important.
Read on for more about the best stock photo sites for entrepreneurs.
Disclaimer – some of the following links are affiliate links, that means that I may get a percentage of the sale at no cost to you.
Where To Find The Best Stock Photo Sites For Entrepreneurs…
Once you start using a few of these you will see the same free photos on several of the sites, this is one of the ways photographers are able to get themselves seen. If you find a style you like, go and check out the photographer, they often have more in the same style or offer a way to work together.
I personally use Deposit Photos for my paid stock images and many of the social media posts I make I use the Stencil App because they have over a million free stock images and it works so much better than canva!
Some sites will also have links to their paid stock images so just be aware of what you are clicking.
Be sure to read the licence agreements before you download and don’t forget the screenshot!
Free Range Stock
Life Of Pix
Death to the stock photo
Nobl Web (has themed packs)
RGBstock (need to register)
Minimography (minimalist photos)
Women In Tech
Free Images Live (all attribution 3.0 license)
New Old Stock (vintage)
Free Food Photos (food)
The British Library
New York Public Library (public domain)
Startup Stock Photos
Free Nature Stock (all nature photos)
Stock Image Point
Good Stock Photos
Public Domain Archive
Little Visuals (charity donation appreciated)
Foodies Feed (food)
Premium Stock Sites – Also have free images
Deposit Photos (my go-to place for paid pics)
Ivory Mix (sign up required)
500px (sign up for free bundle)
Oh Tilly (non commercial use only)
Wonderfelle (sign up for free bundle)
Free Digital Photos (small size is usually free)
Icon Finder (icons not photos)
Freepik (graphics & vectors too)
Canva (for designing but has stock too)
Wellness Stock Shop (stunning wellness photos)
Eye For Ebony (Diverse/BIPOC)
Affect The Verb (Diverse/BIPOC)
Black Illustrations NOT PHOTOS (Diverse/BIPOC)
Brwn Stock Imaging (Diverse/BIPOC)
Diversity Photos (Diverse/BIPOC)
UK Black Tech (Diverse/BIPOC)
Free For Commercial Use
US National Archives
Furious Camera (scroll down)
The Light painters Loft
Superfamous (all attribution 3.0 license)
Travel Coffee Book
Wine Photo (site closed can still download)
Library Of Congress
Internet Archive Book Images
4 free photos
The Commons Flickr
Paul Jarvis (need to sign up)
Digi Vat Lib (all manuscripts)
Good Free photos
Focus Fitness (Health & fitness)
Piles Of Pics
Lyricalhost (free monthly pack of stock images)
Sites That Search Image Sites
All the free stock
Every Stock Photo
If you run a stock site or you know of any that are not on the list, drop me a note or leave a comment below so I can add you to the list. I am always looking to add more to my list of best stock photo sites for entrepreneurs and bloggers.