Stock imagery doesn’t have the best reputation. What image conjures in your head when someone says ‘stock image’?
Is it a close-up of an attractive customer service rep wearing a headset?
Two cheesy businessmen shaking hands?
Is it a really slim woman on weighing scales, with a tape measure around her waist, holding an apple?
No longer must we suffer from these two-dimensional clichés.
To help you keep your content fresh and interesting, we’ve pulled together our five favourite free stock image websites, complete with all the free photography resources you’ll ever need for unique, high-resolution images. All these images are free to use for any purpose, including commercial use, without any obligation to credit the source (although it’s nice to do so where appropriate).
A popular choice for marketers, Unsplash has a large, extremely varied collection of high-res images. You’ll probably get more images per search than most other free stock sites, but due to its popularity, you may find that you recognise quite a few of the results.
Why Unsplash is great: You can search for images using the term ‘negative space’. This really demonstrates an understanding of their users’ needs, keeping Unsplash ahead of the competition as an essential resource for designers and marketers.
Though you may not find as many results for your search as you would on Unsplash, you’ll still find yourself spoilt for choice on Pexels. You’ll also find some really interesting image collections, with exactly what you’re looking for and what you never knew you needed.
Why Pexels is great: Pexels is a good option when looking for inspiration, and its discovery features are second to none. Aside from the collections mentioned above, it’s probably the best option for searching by colour – something that comes in handy much more often than you’d think.
Burst is owned by Shopify, so it brings with it the benefit of Shopify’s knowledge. While it doesn’t necessarily have the range of some of the other sites in this list, the images are unique and high quality.
Why Burst is great: You’ll not only find great photography on Burst, but also expert business advice. The site actually has a ‘business ideas’ section to help you get started with a new ecommerce venture, and each idea comes complete with its own photo kit.
StockSnap is a great resource for finding unique images, whether you want to know what’s popular, what’s trending or something a little more obscure. This site has a great range, both in numbers and styles.
Why StockSnap is great: It can be a little disheartening when you find that perfect stock image and then realise it’s been used time and again by your competitors. Fortunately, StockSnap has a wide range of search features, allowing you to find those lesser-used images. Get the latest additions by searching by date added, or search by number of downloads (ascending) to see those used the least.
On Reshot, you’ll find plenty of pictures that you won’t see anywhere else. You might struggle if you’re after something super-niche, but you’ll get plenty of results for most queries.
Why Reshot is great: Reshot boasts the best range of candid-style pictures. So, if you’re after the least ‘stocky’ stock images, you should definitely check out the options on Reshot.
Our top tip: Don’t overdo it!
With these sites, you’ll never have to use a cheesy, staged, overused stock image ever again. The image world is your oyster, so go forth and explore! But remember not to overdo it – high-res images are one of the biggest culprits for slow site speeds.
Check out How to speed up Shopify’s page load time for advice on how to compress those lovely high-res images and speed up your Shopify store.