Capturing the essence of your brand through storytelling with visuals is a top priority for all business owners.
And wading through a dizzying array of stock image sites looking for the perfect photos, videos, illustrations, vectors and downloadable music is time consuming and, let's be honest, a little addictive.
To save you time with creating, launching and growing your brand through storytelling, I've done the hard work for you so you don't have to. Allow me to introduce to you ....
The Ultimate List of Stock Images & Videos.
A curated collection of stock image and video website links that will help you build your brand story .... in an effort to assist in the creation of your competitive advantage.
STOCK IMAGES, PHOTOS & VIDEOS
Adobe Stock ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Death to Stock ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Fancy Crave ⭐️⭐️
Foca Stock ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Getty Images ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Good Stock Photos ⭐️
Image Vortex ⭐️
ISO Republic ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Life of Pix ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Negative Space ⭐️
New Old Stock ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Startup Stock Photos ⭐️
Style Stock ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Capturing the essence of your brand through storytelling with visuals is a top priority for all business owners.
According to Social Media Examiner, 32% of marketers said that visual images were the most critical form of content for their business. That report was in 2018 and as we move forward in the competitive landscape of social media, blogging and vlogging, it's critical that you have continual access to stop-scrolling images.
But wading through a dizzying array of stock image sites looking for the perfect photos, videos, illustrations, vectors and downloadable music is time-consuming and, let's be honest, a little addictive.
To save you time and to help you with creating, launching and growing your brand through storytelling, I've done the hard work for you and curated a collection of stock image websites that will help you create your visual brand story ...
in an effort to outshine your competitors on social media and to assist you in the creation of your competitive advantage.
Save this webpage in your bookmarks and refer back to it anytime you're looking for quick links to the microstock websites listed on this page.
What Is a Stock Image Website?
Stock image websites are services that provide businesses and graphic designers with a host of thousands to millions of existing stock photos, graphics, illustrations, and royalty-free images.
Stock images are often used for marketing and advertising purposes, for publishing, for websites and blogs, for promotional work, and for commercial or personal projects.
Are stock images free?
Generally no. The photographer or author of a stock photo makes it available for licensing, meaning you pay a fee to get the right to use it in your designs legally.
As you scroll through this ultimate list of stock images, you will discover websites offering free stock images. But free doesn't always mean free, especially on the web and there are some pros and cons to using free stock images in your storytelling efforts. There is a real risk that you could end up getting sued for using images you downloaded from a website offering them as “free” photos. You might not even realize that you have infringed the rights of a Copyright or Trademark owner. So before you jump into the sweet but risky free photo pool, there a few things you will need to know and pixelrockstar has clearly outlined complexities. I encourage you to read this here.
As always, we go about creating our business in the most ethical way and with that said, allow me to introduce to you ....
The Ultimate List of Stock Images & Videos from the world-wide-web.
According to customer reviews, most are generally dissatisfied with their purchases from 123RF. The most common issues are about poor customer service indicating that most consumers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. However, their catalogue is extensive and features trending items such as photos of current national holidays. Prices state from $42 for 10 images a month.
123RF do have a snazzy free photo filter editor, similar to what you find on the Instagram app. Honestly, skip past 123F and read on.
One of the highest-rated stock providers and there's a good reason why. Adobe has very strict guidelines that contributors must follow if they want to sell their work on Adobe .... resulting in pay a high price to access these outstanding assets. Always keep in mind that price is always indicative of quality and if it's quality you're after (you nod your head), then Adobe could be the ideal resource library for you.
Here's the link to their plans and pricing page. You will see that you can download 5 images and videos for $54.95 or sign up as a subscriber for approx. $40 per month to receive 10 standard assets.
I have given Adobe Stock 5 stars only because I am bias (on this review only, promise) ....total disclaimer I am a contributor and I'm also a subscriber because I moonlight as a graphic designer, sometimes.
Alamy is a stock photography agency with a long history in the market, offering over 220 million stock images, vectors, videos and 360-degree panoramic images.
Alamy is a traditional and reliable name in stock photos, so it's certainly worth considering. I'm not a fan, this is why ....
... there are negative reviews from the photographers and artists who contribute their work to Alamy for sale because they get paid peanuts or nothing at all :( .... hence why Alamy only get 1 star in this review .... even though their pricing system is simple with no subscriptions, no credit redeem system, and no need to register! Images are priced from AU$14.99.
Most of the free images on the internet are overused. This makes it hard for you to create a brand story that cuts through the clutter.
Death to Stock offers authentic non-stock photos and videos. On this microstock website, you will not come across the same old boring free images. You can expect fresh photos from their contributors every month to take your visual storytelling to the next level.
Build your brand story from their unique 4500+ library from $12/month for unlimited downloads. They offer a 14-day free trial.
Serving world-famous brands (including yours soon 😃) and featuring, ready for speedy download, over:
14 million high resolution editorial images,
132 million royalty-free stock images,
43 million vectors,
7 million high-definition video footage, and
41 million stock illustrations and paintings . . .
Depositphotos is a MUST HAVE resource for you when telling your brand story.
Their most popular subscription plan is the monthly plan where you get 30 downloads for $29.
Depositphotos have clearly thought about you when devising their pricing structure because 30 downloads a month = 30 social media per month. One a day at one dollar a day. Perfect! To sweeten the deal, Depositphotos offer a free 7 day trial and you can download 10 images for free. Got to love that.
With a great reputation and often ranked amongst the top website for free royalty free stock, Dreamstime offer over 85 million royalty free stock images on demand with credits for $0.88 – $22.50, each depending on size and level, and credit pack used.
Their subscription plan offer great value for money. You can choose your plan duration from one month up to one year and your download volume, getting photos for between $0.22 and $5 the unit. Dreamstime is a very valid option to buy inexpensive stock photos for your storytelling.
The Ultimate List of Stock Photos & Videos wouldn't be much of a list if Flickr wasn't included.
This stock photography website hosts more than 10 billion photographs and over 2 million groups. Some of the pictures on Flickr are free for you to use in your storytelling. Those photos are protected under Creative Commons licenses.
The site uses APIs from multiple stock photo providers to enable convenient, and quick. image previews and downloads. You'll like the Categories page where you can quickly scan what you're looking for. This site can get a little frustrating when you choose a perfect image and then you see that it has a Shutterstock watermark on it ... so then you have to go over to Shutterstock to purchase it. Doesn't freephotos.cc know we're busy 🙃 ?
Offering a limited collection of interesting free stock photos but after a little search, you may find the ideal image for your story telling. You may find their website a little glitchy because it's riddled with retargeting advertisements. Usually, this indicates that the company's business model is centred around bombarding their audience with ads instead of delightful customer experience. 1 star from me sorry.
Created by designer and photographer Jeffrey Betts, MMT Stock displays thousands of his own royalty-free photographs made available for free download and use in creative projects, including commercial ones. Topics like nature and workspaces are predominant, and there's a notable absence of photos of people, though the curation level is excellent.
You'll enjoy using Foca Stock free social media templates. This tool is worth saving in your browser for quick access.
Featuring whimsical and rather strange collections, Gratisography is a great place to find free royalty-free stop scrolling stock images. They don't offer many photos but the ones they offer will surely delight you. If you're after high-definition quality photos it's probably best to avoid this stock provider.
This market leader is perhaps the best stock image website in the world with a library consisting of millions of stock photos, illustrations, images, and videos.
It’s an easy website to navigate, and you can easily find images that you can purchase individually.
Prices start at $200 per download or you can buy image packs ranging from $185 for 5 downloads through to a 10 pack of large images and 4K videos for $555. Not cheap, but quality never is.
Offers over 1000 high-quality photos totally free to download and use. They’re all shot and owned by web designer Steven Ma. While totally suitable for commercial use, the collection is a bit meh, and the search functionality doesn't work. I looked up 'women' and was shown a collection of boats 😹
You'll enjoy exploring the photos, collages, transparent pngs and backgrounds if you're after something very specific. Icons8 content is very clean. Contemporary. Minimalistic. Pastel. If these elements reflect your brand personality then deep dive into this fun interactive website. All images are royalty-free.
Over-priced royalty-free low-quality photos. The website doesn't allow you to enlarge the images. Waste of time going into this website but you never know, it could contain the perfect images for your brand story ... nah, don't bother looking.
Thousands of good quality royalty-free images and videos on popular subjects for personal or commercial use.
It is a varied selection that mixes traditional and artsy photos. The downside of ISO Republic is that you're continually directed to Shutterstock to purchase the photos/videos or to sign up to Shutterstock for a 1 month trial. No one likes to be sold to.
All images and videos are free so happy downloading. Attribution is not required, but it’s always nice to credit the creator and help more people discover their work!
The pioneer in photo stock supplies and with an impeccable reputation. iStock is backed by Getty Images and well-known for their high curation level and extensive catalogue that includes a huge collection of exclusive images, videos and illustrations. iStock use a credit system for pricing - 3 credits for $36 or sign up for their yearly subscription for $85/month and you can download 10 files per month. Yes, iStock is priced on the high side, however, the quality of their content is remarkable. The cherry on top is that they have free stock files weekly for users who join their stock images website!
Free high-quality stock photos with a natural contemporary feel and multiple subjects. The modern aesthetics of the photos scream “social media” if your target market is young adults. You'll like how you can search photos by colours and Kaboompics then suggests related images that you can purchase from iStock. You can also download your chosen photo in three different sizes: original, medium or custom. If you pick a custom size, simply type in the width you're interested in and the site will adjust the photo accordingly. Yes indeed ... perfect for social media.
This website offers something that no other microstock website currently offers - thousands of original fine art photos by SEO consultant and photographer Martin Vorel. His images are of very good quality and cover various subjects too. And they're all made available to use for your storytelling for free.
Hundreds of thousands of very artsy and high-quality photos covering a variety of popular themes ... and are totally free to download and use in your storytelling. No attribution required. But ... the photographer donations to Public Domain looks a bit murky, so make sure they know exactly what rights they waived.
Nonetheless, you'll appreciate the artistic feel of their curated collections and their dynamic website. They have a sister website dedicated to free videos, but I encourage you to make a donation to the artists.
New Old Stock is a curated collection of copyright-free retro stock photography that helps you “recapture history.” Often when looking for old stock photos, they are very low in resolution, but with New Old Stock you can purchase The Ultimate Marketing Bundle for a one time purchase of $35 for 100 vintage photos or for $5 you get access to19 crisp photos of technology through the last two centuries. Truly beautiful.
Hosting over 2000 images by stock photographer Viktor Hanacek and covering multiple popular themes. All images are completely free. People in the images are purposefully unrecognizable, but still present. Viktor offers his entire collection of 3,000 images for a donation from $15.00. Check it out here.
All the images you download from Pexels are royalty-free. And just like Unsplash, you're permitted to modify the photos. Yet, unlike Unsplash, Pexels offer an array of videos to choose from BUT you can only use Pexel images for a personal project or for mocking up a design with a client.
When you download a photo or video, you can donate directly to the artist, and Pexels doesn’t keep any of the donations.
Pexels does have search function limitations and even though there is a very rich gallery of stock images some galleries have limited contents. Nonetheless, have a look. Pexels just might have exactly what you're looking for if you're mocking up a design with a client.
Created by one of the most renowned companies in the industry, Getty Images. Picspree features a large and growing catalogue of high-res photos, plus illustrations and vectors, across various evergreen topics. They are free to download and use in personal or commercial projects. Images are sourced from their own contributors and available under a custom, free use license. The library up-sells (of course they do) premium imagery from iStock –also property of Getty Images.
Sometimes you discover things that are better than margaritas on a sunny day. PikWizard is one such thing. What do we love about PikWizard the most? Absolutely everything. I could rave on about the high-quality content or I could simply tell you for a tiny $9.99/month you get to download 60 images a month. Nuff said.
Everyone loves Pixabay, if 1 billion users count as everyone. Pixabay has 1.18 million royalty-free photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos plus an extensive music library from all different genres.
Pixabay search functionality is seamless. The photos are of the highest quality.
Pixabay work with a proprietary license agreement that enables commercial use for both digital and print, with no attribution required.
Yes indeed, today sure does feel like a good day to start downloading Pixabay images and saving them to your swipe file. Side note: Pixabay is owned by the hugely successful Canva and if you're already using Canva, you're actually using Pixabay images. Random fact.
Find Pixabay in the app store here.
With more than 100,000 stock photos and images to choose from, RGBStock.com is one of those stock image websites for finding images for your site in a pinch. It is a particularly great source for businesses that lack big budgets.
The only catch is that while the files are free to download you must contact the image’s owner to request use permissions for any other forms of use for the image.
Five stars all the way for Rawpixel. This resource is a must if you're keen to up your game when telling your brand story.
Their selection of files feels limitless.
We all love free and with rawpixel you get 10 images and psd files a day to download for free for person use. When you upgrade you get access to their beautiful premium resources. And when I say beautiful, I mean it.
They currently offer a business lifetime membership plan for $19 per month on their yearly plan with 10% of your membership fees going to support Hope for Children 💙. At the time of writing this review you can get unlimited access to the most awesome design resources forever for $99.00.
What I also love about Rawpixel, is their Creative Boards and their interface allows you to either search by image or board. You can save boards and create your own boards too, for easy access in the future. This feature is similar to Pinterest interface. Kind of. Sort of.
You can invite your friends to join rawpixel and when 4 friends sign up, you get rewarded with unlimited downloads from their free collection forever :) You will LOVE rawpixel to bits ..... especially when you discover that you can download images in pre-format social media size specifications 🥳
The quick brown fox
An ultimate list of stock images resources wouldn't be complete without a review of Shutterstock.
Shutterstock doesn't come cheap. Their $49 per month plan allows you to download 10 images only per month. With their monthly subscription, you can cancel anytime by turning off the auto renewal feature. Their annual subscription requires a 12 month commitment and is 40% cheaper compared to the flexible monthly option.
If you create a free account, Shutterstock give you 40 videos for free. It's their gift to you and the videos are edited and resized for your social media needs. They choose the videos to gift you. Whether they're any good or not ... you decide.
An eclectic collection blending in commercial-like shots with artistic images and the occasional unique, edgy picture. All photos are free to use for any purpose from Skitterphoto. You may download and edit photos and even use them commercially in your storytelling. But legally-wise there are some concerns. Naturally, site owners' photos are safer to use, but identifying them is difficult. User submissions, albeit warned on legal matters, are only reviewed for quality, leaving you to check and confirm their legal status before using them in commercial work.
Boasting beautiful and exclusive free stock photos and free videos, Splitshire offers around a thousand artistic and very professional styled photos from Photographer Daniel Nanesou's personal archive, spanning various current themes, that you can download and use in storytelling free of charge.
Just as the website name implies, here you'll find photos focused on the subjects of startups, small businesses and entrepreneurship. The photos have an authentic style that shows diversity and realness.
The big annoying downside of Startup Stock photos is this .... it's a very basic website and there's no search selection. Unless you're after specific images of startups, then this site may be perfect for you. Best to move on to the fabulous StockPhotoSecrets 🤓
When starting your business, StockPhotoSecrets is definitely an agency worth knowing and using.
They charge $35 a month for 25 downloads or choose the yearly plan for $389/ a year for 50 downloads per month. Unused downloads carry over each month, for up to 3 months. Nice touch.
4.5 million exceptionally beautiful royalty-free images
2.3 million vectors
with 100,000 new files added weekly.
You'll appreciate and have fun with creating personal lightboxes (similar to a Pinterest board) and you can send these image selections via email. Member price for HD videos - $99 for 5 videos. StockPhotoSecrets are one of my favourite resources. I've been a member for years and well worth the price. Check out their pricing plans here.
This is an end-to-end graphic design resource library and at the time of writing this review, Stockunlimted is priced at $19 month for unlimited downloads from over 1 million high-quality stock graphics, images, audio files, icons and templates. They offer a 7-day money back guarantee, no matter what the reason. Stockunlimited has a Download History and Favorites feature so you can save photos and go back to download your favorite ones.
Here we find a small collection of free photos with a defined feminine style.
Most of the photos are flat lays and desktop shots with a very modern, clean, soft and minimalist concept. If your brand is all about femininity, then this microstock site is a must for you for your storytelling.
Modern, artsy and youthful style photos. Best for blog post cover photos and ideation.
This is one of my favourite 'go-to' websites to find stock images. Millions of other people think so too because Unsplash offers an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute and use any of their photos for FREE, without permission from, or attribution to, the photographer. However, even though attribution isn’t required, Unsplash photographers appreciate it as it provides exposure to their work and encourages them to continue sharing.
The downside of Unsplash is that it is the most popular stock image resource and, more often than not, you will see the photos you choose to use in your storytelling on your competitor's social media feeds, blogs and websites and ads. Nonetheless, get Unsplash for IOS here and the Chrome extension here.
Random fact: Unsplash started blogging on Tumblr offering leftover professional shots from an in-house production for free download. It escalated to its own stand-along website with over 500 thousand royalty-free stock photos from photographers and these photographers get their own portfolio pages. All of this is free.
Offering a generous amount of videos for you to download. The only downside is that most of the footage has the Videezy watermark on the bottom LHS of the videos.
If you buy credits, they will cost $19 per file or you can purchase a bundle of 10 for $49. This is a fair and reasonable price for the quality of their videos.
If you don't pay for their videos, you are required to give full attribution. Click here if you want to discover more.
Videvo aims to create the world’s largest resource of free, safe-to-use videos and motion graphics thoughtfully organised into collections. They upload new stock daily!
Currently, Videvo offers over 15,000 free stock footage and motion graphics clips of the highest quality. It's free to sign up and you'll get instant access to all their free content, with some additional extras ☺️, or you can choose a premium plan to get access to their crème de la crème content:
Videvo Plus ⚡️ Plan: 25 Premium downloads per month for $14.99 per month; or
Videvo Pro ⚡️ Plan: 50 Premium downloads per month for $24.99 per month.
Why have I give Videvo 5 stars? BECAUSE OF THE INEXPENSIVE PREMIUM PLANS! Plus ..... Videvo not only offers high definition videos and motion graphics at a great price, they also offer over 100,000 music tracks and sound effects in their Video Pro plan and it's absolutely worth it.
the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
And the Winner Is ?
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