Best Sites for Stock Images

Stock images are key to a great website design - but where do you find the best ones? Cue our list..

Now here’s one for the myriad of bloggers, entrepreneurs and web editors amongst you (merrily engaged in the process of driving content out into the world wide web). Yes, you’ll know that stock images are the bread and butter of many a well-designed domain, but where to get them? Cha-ching, we’ve done the hard work for you; here is a curated list of our favourites…

Whether it’s animals, art, architecture or business, you’d be hard pushed not to find what you’re looking for on this vast database of images, and when we say vast we really mean vast – over sixteen million last time we looked; the largest free database on the web.


If you want something that will really stand out, take a look at the vibrant high resolution (not to mention utterly unique) images at Corbis, they literally fly off the screen. Browse and browse now.


There are over 22 million royalty-free images, vectors and videos to choose from on this site, with both subscription and pay-as-you-go plans. Over three million people use Fotolia and its huge library of crowdsourced and professional images that can be used for any design project or document, with no time limits or restrictions on the number of printed copies.


Getty Images is without a doubt one of the bastions of stock photography, covering everything from celebrities to creative images. There's no question about it - it's the crème de la crème of what’s out there; sharp, high res and utterly modern.


‘Celebrating diversity’ is the tagline at Blend and what a fitting one it is, because this is a database that thrives on cultural differences. The selection of images might not be as big as some of the market leaders, but what it loses in scale it more than makes up for with its unique, emotive subjects.


If you’re on a budget, then Stock Free Images is another handy site to peruse. It’s the ‘cheap and cheerful’ alternative to some of the more high end databases (with over 850,000 free images) but don’t let that fool you - it’s still a brilliant resource for a quick and handy download.


With a mission to connect creative professionals with the best photos, vectors, illustrations and videos from contributors around the world, Shutterstock has certainly made its mark in the global marketplace for imagery. Around 10,000 images are added daily.


The variety at 123RF really does beggar belief; but the USP is their illustrated theme images: just type in your search request and browse hundreds of options for each category. Plus prices are incredibly reasonable, with a variety of price points based on resolution; so there’s no need to waste those pixels.
April 2013