The BIG List: Stock Image Sourcing

At Clix, we understand the importance of finding the “right” picture and the weight that visual content has on your marketing strategy. From landing pages to image ads, effective photography in the digital marketing world is crucial. This is a great way to get your clients and content noticed. We also realize that finding an in-house photographer is at times out of the question (or not within budget), and we don’t have endless hours to search for the right photograph. Quality stock images can be effective in conveying your message and because copyright and licensing stock images seem complicated, we put a list together of our go-to sources.

What is Free for Commercial Use?

Not only are we looking for high resolution, professional photography, it’s important to find sources that do not require attribution. Crediting the photographer is distracting and could be a challenge depending on what you’re using the photo for. We searched around and these tools are licensed under the CC0 public domain (a Creative Commons Zero license that is a public copyright license that enables free distribution of work).

Get ready to download, copy, modify and use images with Canva or with other programs to get the most out of your ads, landing pages and content.

The Sites:

Rawpixel

Definitely a source that can’t be overlooked! We just discovered this impressive site and will be back soon for lots of projects! Check them out! Spectacular options and tons of variety. We’re enamoured by the mockups and vectors!

Unsplash

Tons of choices here and no lack of variety. With over 200,000 photos, submitted from a diverse group of photographers, there’s no doubt you’ll find the perfect shot.

Stokpic

Impressive story here! Stokpic is a one-man operation that started as a passion project in 2014. As of today, over 185,000 photos have been downloaded from nearly 200 countries. You can subscribe to the Premium Email List and receive 10 high resolutions every 2 weeks, or check out the easy-to-search site with our favorite menu bar! Free Stock Photos, Latest 100, Favorites, and Categories!

StockSnap

Beautifully curated photos and one of our go-to’s when looking for strong imagery! One the favorite features about this site are the trending and views ability! You still want a unique shot, even if you’re using stock photos. Am I right?! You don’t want to see your imagery on an ad for a prescription medication and find the same picture for a local hardware store.

SplitShire

The crème de la crème for stock images! A great source for a wide range of clients you’re designing ads for and photographs that are guaranteed to resonate with searchers/viewers. Best part? Free videos!

Realistic Shots

What can we say? Another amazing source that you’ll be grateful is in your toolbox. They add 7 new photos a week and it’s organized and clean.

Pixabay

Whoa! Get ready for this one! The MacDaddy of sources. In addition to stock video offerings, Pixabay offers over 1,000,0000 free photos along with vectors and art illustrations.

PicJumbo

Light and airy shots are what you’ll receive with PicJumbo. They do a great job organizing the photographs and users have an option to sign up for a premium service for a few dollars a month to receive exclusive photos in thematic photo collections. We appreciate the thoughtful tagging organization that saves time when searching in the specific categories!

Pexels

Confession? It’s hard to pick a favorite on this list. Pexels is where we start a search and a great spot to go simply for inspiration. This amazing source adds 100 new photos daily and also features creative video!

MMT Stock

Don’t have much time and up against a deadline? The pictures are relevant and the variety that they offer is great for a host of clients. It’s well-organized and user-friendly and MMT Stock certainly streamlines the process. You won’t be bogged down with options on this site, but the pictures are clean and ready to use. A solid source!

Life of Pix

The ability to search by color and format makes this source one of our favorites! They also feature a collection of videos!

KaboomPics

It gets better and better with each search! Kaboom takes stock photos to the next level of intensity and explosion (as their name implies) with the Photoshoot feature! Rather than downloading a single photo, check out the impressive gallery from different angles and positions! And like ‘Life of Pix,’ Kaboom makes pairing imagery together easy by displaying a color palette with every photo to ensure the display you put together is aesthetically pleasing. With sizing and orientation options, you know that Kaboom values your time and makes it process easy and quick!

ISO Republic 

A favorite category on this site? Textures. A lot (and I mean a lot) of pictures to choose from and this particular category is fantastic for backgrounds. The People category is also hard to beat. There’s a whole spectrum of emotions that pair with a host of different clients. Finally, their Food/Drink category leaves me salivating when searching for imagery. No doubt, it’ll have a similar effect on your intended audience when your ad is displayed!

Gratisography

If there was anyone we would want to sit down for a beer with, it would be Ryan McGuire, the guy behind Gratisography. His imagery is whimsical and a bit irreverent, and while it’s probably not a good fit for every client of yours, he nails it! They’re thought-provoking and worth a search!

Refe

The option is provided to sign up up a newsletter and receive free high-quality imagery or pay a small fee each month for curated monthly packs.

Freerange Stock

Great variety and unique shots that are captured by in-house photographers and archives or they were contributed from a community of shutterbugs. All imagery is color corrected and organized by keyword, making it user-friendly to sort and find the right one for the right project.

Fancycrave

We love the feature to provide your email address and receive 14 free photos weekly! If you enjoy this site and insist on paying for the usage, there’s a cheeky spot on the website to buy Igor Ovsyannykov, the photographer, a cup of coffee.

Bookmark these sites for your next ad campaign and you’ll be ready to roll!

What sources of stock imagery do you use? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Comments (2)

  1. Hi,

    Great post! Have you checked out http://www.rawpixel.com yet? We are one of the leading stock photography contributors, and now we’re giving away lots of images for free. It would be amazing if you could add us to your list. 🙂

    Thank you,

    Jen

  2. Hi Jen! You got it! Thank you so much for bringing your site to our attention! It’s amazing!

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