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In Design Last updated: July 10, 2023
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Stock photos are currently the most widely used type of photos used by companies and content creators. Let’s get you some premium stock photo sites for your projects.

All internet platforms depend heavily on their visual components. Obtaining outstanding, high-quality photographs for your website might be challenging if you don’t have access to pricey equipment, a wealth of experience, and plenty of free time. This is where stock photos or images come to the rescue. 

While they have had a bad reputation for having tacky, low-quality photos, stock libraries are a viable choice nowadays. The quality is often excellent, regardless of whether you’re talking about tiny, medium, or colossal stock photography sites. There is also a lot more diversity in terms of the individuals depicted.

This article will discuss how using the right stock photos can make or break your brand image. Also, we will discuss why premium stock photos are better than using free royalty-free images. Lastly, we will have a look at top premium stock photo sides for your next project. 

What are Stock photos?


A stock photo is an image that is available for purchase with a license for personal or professional usage. The allure of stock photography is that you can find the ideal image immediately by searching a stock photo website. The other option, which might be pricey, is to engage a photographer to provide unique material.

Stock pictures offer numerous advantages for companies and creatives, but time and financial savings are the most prominent, noticeable, and immediate advantages. Stock images have already been made and are available for usage. You can download a license and use it in accordance with the agreed-upon conditions as soon as you pay for one.

How are stock photos different from normal photos?

Stock photos are already-existing images that can be licensed by paying a fee to the photographers who took them, as well as the stock agencies in charge of keeping them in circulation. As a result, the customer who purchases the images has the freedom to use them lawfully in a variety of contexts while the author keeps ownership of the work’s copyright.


Yet, stock images encompass much more than just photography. Vector files are available as illustrations, editable print-material templates, social media graphics, etc. They may even offer stock videos, 3D models, and music suitable for infographics that are all accessible for licensing.

With stock photography, the photographer submits a photo and other visual materials they have already shot, altered, and polished for use in various creative contexts. Typically, they send it to a stock picture company that shares licensing profits with the photographer.

In simple words, stock photographs give consumers the images they frequently need without asking for credit and give photographers a more straightforward method to make money from their work.

How can Stock photos impact your brand image?


It costs money and takes time to hire a photographer or graphic designer to create a business’s unique image. In addition to costly honoraria paid to pros, there may be weeks or even longer between the time of hire and delivery of the finished photos. 

The same issues arise while acquiring the tools and abilities needed to produce your own images. As we’ve just read, stock images have already been produced and are available for usage.

One of a company’s most crucial conversion tools is its website, and using tacky stock images can only worsen matters. Poor stock photography is more than simply tacky and bland. Also, it may cause visitors to leave your website and, consequently, your business.

Poor stock photos feel like they need to be warmer and more inviting. Consumers like to discover why and how your company can satisfy their demands rather than being lectured at. If stock photographs appear overly sale-oriented, potential buyers may become turned off.

This is the reason why choosing the right stock image is a crucial task. Stock photos can surely build or break your brand image, but with proper knowledge and insights, you can make your business prosper by using stock photos. 

Why are premium stock photos better than using free royalty-free images?

A royalty-free license permits a variety of uses. You are only permitted to include the photos in larger designs by stock photo companies.

The picture must be edited and customized to fit your project rather than being shown precisely as you obtained it. Even the most minor edits, such as a small amount of cropping or an image filter, are acceptable on the majority of stock picture websites.

Due to their lower initial costs and unlimited usage options, royalty-free photographs are unquestionably the most cost-effective option.

Any subsequent uses must be paid for separately, and stock photos are more expensive upfront. You may pay more for exclusive use, though, and the quality is typically more excellent. A stock picture is less likely to be used frequently even if you don’t pay for exclusive rights because of the financial restrictions for some clients.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is a division of the software company Adobe. To help you locate the perfect picture for your artistic endeavors, this database has been carefully selected with photographs, movies, drawings, vector graphics, templates, and 3D materials.

It is readily accessible through the website. Moreover, it is connected with the Creative Cloud platform, making it simple to use in any Adobe product, including Photoshop and Illustrator.

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In addition to a free 30-day trial, Adobe also charges for its services beyond that. Its monthly memberships include “standard materials” such as typical pictures, templates, 3D models, and music tracks. Its 10 basic assets are included in a subscription’s $29.99 base price. You must pay $199.99 per month for 750 basic assets.


A vast stock photo website is Shutterstock. It is the largest stock picture website available, with more than 1 billion images available for searching. They were among the original stock photo websites, which explains why.

Around a million distinct photographers contribute to their stock. Shutterstock provides online editing capabilities in addition to being linked with Adobe Creative Cloud programs if you need to modify your photographs.

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In addition to using the browser to view it, you can download images via the iOS and Android applications.

A Chrome extension will compare each public domain image you select from the internet to an equivalent image on Shutterstock.


Depositphotos is one of the most impressive stock photo websites. You have a wide range of choices because of the database’s depth, from stylized photos to more lighthearted and straightforward ones.

In addition, they offer special effects, templates, music, and films that are all royalty-free. The sophisticated search bar on Depositphotos even lets you explore by the camera angle.

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You can select the desired size and quality after selecting your image. They provide you with comparable photo selections below yours that could be more appropriate for your purposes. There are several tools available on Depositphotos that you may use as well.

They include tools that can upgrade your image or eliminate a backdrop. For those who could be more adept at editing, this is helpful.

Depositphotos has a variety of payment options. They have monthly payment rates depending on how many pictures you download from the website. This varies from $13 to $299, depending on the photos you download.


Freepik is an image library providing users with both free and paid stock pictures. Photographs, drawings, and vector pictures are all part of the material that the web platform creates and disseminates. The entry-level premium versions cost nearly $14 a month.

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The platform uses a freemium approach for content distribution, allowing users to access much of it for no cost but also offering the opportunity to subscribe for extra benefits, including access to additional premium resources, the choice to not attribute content consumed, or a more significant number of daily downloads.


Stocksy operates on a cooperative basis in contrast to many other stock photography businesses. This website gives its contributing artists a stake in the business and a more significant cut of sales proceeds. For designers and photographers, it is undoubtedly beneficial.


It advertises itself as an art-forward, royalty-free stock picture, and video agency. Because of this principle, it becomes simple to find original, exquisitely authentic material. Its royalty-free license has a starting price of $15.

Getty Images

You may find a significant selection of images, vectors, graphics, videos, and audio at Getty Images, including artistic, journalistic, modern, and historic images from their archived material. The pricing for each image size (extra tiny, small, medium, and enormous) you might buy will then change based on the size.

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Also, a variety of resources, materials, and services are accessible to assist you in finishing your job perfectly. With savings for buying picture bundles, single photographs start at $375 or $499 for download. There are options with unlimited downloads and collaboration facilities if you require photos for a team.


iStock provides pretty much anything you would want, including pictures, graphics, ad campaign templates, as well as a video editor. It is a subsidiary of the enormous Getty Images database. iStock will be a fantastic alternative if you can only work with one stock media platform.

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It’s a fantastic option for proprietors of small businesses who want to access a wealth of pre-made material. There are social media advertisements, posters, and videos. They provide essential, premium, and premium + video subscriptions. Depending on the type and volume of information you wish to download, the monthly fee ranges from $29 to $333.


Storyblocks provides limitless access to photographs, movies, and music selected by a team of international professional photographers. Creating folders, downloading watermarked previews to test out the ideal image for your personal or professional project, organizing your downloads, and sharing folders with your team or clients are all possible after creating an account.

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The UI of Storyblocks is bright and straightforward. Everything is free of royalties. Hence, even after your subscription expires, you can continue to utilize it.

Several solutions are available for every theme for your personal or professional endeavor. Unlimited image and video downloads are available for $29 per month or $349 per year.

Envato Elements

Millions of resources are available on Envato Elements, including stock pictures, typefaces, music, and site layouts. In addition to all of these visual assets, you would have access to their company management tools and instructional courses with membership. For developers and website designers, this is truly a fantastic resource.

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You can browse their picture library for specific, beautifully taken images using tags, orientation, backdrop colors, and tags. Envato’s Individual plan is $16.50 per month, and teams of five members start at $10.75 per month per person, with prices decreasing as you add more people. There is no set cost for the Enterprise plan.


It would be best to always use genuine, pertinent, and realistic photos wherever possible for your visual material. To take pictures for each topic or choose from your own self-shot archives would be a laborious task. Stock photos could be a wise alternative to employ if they satisfy the requirements of businesses.

Some critics argue that you should refrain from using stock photographs since they are of poor quality, generic, and often used, which lowers the value and reputation of your company.

They are mistaken, though. These days, stock picture firms provide high-quality images with significant aesthetic and economic worth. You may alter the images to make them appear on-brand and distinctive.

You may also explore perfect stock video providers for your product promo.

  • Dhruv Parmar
    Dhruv is a senior content writer at Geekflare with proficiency in every niche. He mainly focuses on technology, product reviews, crypto, blockchain, and how-to articles. Other than these niches, he also likes to write about freelancing,… read more
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