5 Best Stock Photo Websites 2019

People are visual beings that frequently prefer seeing images rather than merely reading words. We can take in far more information in less time by looking at an image or photo than reading a line of text.

Visual images can include photos, images, illustrations, graphics, videos, and more. But, having an in-house repository of original images readily available at your fingertips often isn’t possible for many businesses.

This is where exploring some of the world’s best stock image websitesfor royalty free stock images can be beneficial.

With regard to marketing — particularly inbound marketing — we can use this to our advantage.

According to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner, 32% of marketers said that visual images were the most critical form of content for their business, followed by blogging (27%).

As such, it’s important for marketers to either have original images available or to purchase stock photos from some of the best stock image websites. 

But, why is visual content so important? According to research from Ethos3:

  • Visual content is more engaging. Content that contains visuals gets 94% more total views.
  • It’s what your brain receives. 90% of information that is sent to the brain is visual.
  • It’s faster to process. Visual content is processed 600,000 times faster than straight text.
  • It’s how we learn. 65% of people self-identify as visual learners.

It is for these reasons (and more) that, without further ado, we present our list of the top 17 websites where you can find engaging stock images and stock photos.

The 5 Best Free and Paid Stock Image Websites

1. Getty Images

Getty Images

This massive image resource — which was the first stock images website in the business of licensing images online back in 1995 — serves organizations in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Today, it is one of the best stock image websites 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.

2. iStock (by Getty Images)

Much like its big brother, iStock is one of the best stock photography websites because it offers millions of affordable, high-quality, and royalty-free stock photos.

In addition to featuring user-friendly functionality with search and browse features, you also can enjoy purchasing credits in pre-packaged units and using those credits to pay for your images.

The cherry on top is that they also have free stock files weekly for users who join their stock images website!

3. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is a service that is included for Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscribers and complements Creative Suite by being compatible with its design tools.

You’ll find more than 50 million royalty-free photos, videos, templates, 3D content, illustrations, and vector graphics on this stock images website.

Because of its compatibility with Creative Suite, users can purchase images directly in Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Illustrator.

4. PixaBay

PixaBay has some of the best stock photos and visual content – 1.5 million files, in fact – that are royalty free stock images, vector graphics, illustrations, and videos.

According to the website’s FAQ page: “You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist.”

5. NegativeSpace

NegativeSpace Stock photos

Another of the royalty-free stock image websites comes in the form of NegativeSpace.

This digital library of images contains high-resolution stock photos that can be used without restrictions. All of the stock images are shot by photographers within the NegativeSpace community.

Want to receive free stock photos in your inbox? You can sign up for their delivery service for free simply by providing your email address.