Let’s be honest. We can all spot bad stock photography on websites.
Models smiling perfect smiles at the camera. Sterile, modern office scenes. Stark white backgrounds.
They’re clearly stock and clearly not personal or welcoming.
My message here: don’t let these fake images represent your business. Skip right over the big stock sites and save your website from feeling bland and inauthentic.
In searching for great, authentic images for clients and our own blog posts, we’ve found a few sources for great (and sometimes free) stock photos. Here are a few of our favorites.
I love Picjumbo for its great variety of images. While many free stock sites don’t have any search feature and force you to page through pages of photo options, Picjumbo makes browsing easy with search and categories.
There are categories for business, fashion, food, work, sport, and more. Check out the business category, and you’ll see a lot of the photos we use on the blog for featured images.
Picjumbo’s images are free for both personal and commercial use. This means you can use them on websites, blogs, presentations, and even products you sell. Credit back to Picjumbo is appreciated.
Stocksy is my absolute favorite source when I need a very specific type of stock image. It’s not free, but the image prices are affordable ($10-50 for the sizes you’ll need for a website).
Stocksy is so easy to use. Search always brings up relevant results, and the filtering options are fabulous.
The images feel authentic and warm. Every image is curated and approved by the Stocksy team. As Stocksy says “Because every photo is vetted, every shot has earned a place. So, no filler, no cheesy poses…and no more hours of searching for the right image.”
I also appreciate what Stocksy stands for . They are a cooperative of photographers, so it is a community that supports its artists and seeks out the best talent. For each sale, the photographer receives 50-75% of the proceeds. Seems fair to me!
Death to the Stock Photo (free)
If you couldn’t guess by their name, Death to the Stock Photo isn’t a fan of traditional stock photos.
The founders, Allie and David, noticed about a year ago that many brands, bloggers, and creatives struggled to find images that fit their vibe. As photographers, they realized that they had a ton of great images sitting on their hard drives that would be perfect for creative companies.
So they started sharing. Today, you can sign up to receive 10 free photos per month by email.
Death to the Stock Photo also offers a premium membership for $15/month that includes anytime access to the 400 photos they’ve released so far.
I’ve found that Death to the Stock Photo’s images are best for creative businesses and bloggers. Think lots of coffee, fashion, and nature, and not as many business or work-focused images. Definitely some of the best quality, trendiest images out there, though.
So there you have it — my favorite stock sources. My challenge for you? Make your brand stand apart by using great, modern photography on your website.
If you’re looking for even more suggestions, check out these articles: