If you’ve ever needed some stock photos for your business, then chances are you’ve run into Shutterstock. Their website is easy to use and has over 125 million photos, videos, and music clips. But if you only need a few images for your site, then check out these sites below before you go and pay for photos and images.
All the stock photograph websites here are free for personal and commercial use. The best part is that they also don’t require attribution, though they encourage attribution. We’ll include some sample images with the search term “business” from each website, along with the results to give you an idea of what each site has to offer.
The search returned 1,092 results for “business.” Many of the images here represent the theme of the returns: laptops, computers, time, and people in suits.
The layout for this website is similar to Shutterstock. Many of the free image websites will have a similar look and feel. If you find an image you like, each image is tagged with helpful terms that will allow you to find similarly tagged pictures.
One drawback is that while you can download the image easily through the download button, you don’t have much choice with image resolution–you’re stuck with whatever size the original image is. While you can easily resize the picture, that’s just another step you’ll have to take to use it effectively.
Another drawback is that you have to click on the image and then click on the download button to download each image separately. There’s no simple one-click download button from the thumbnail page. This means if you’re looking for multiple images, it’s a bit more of a hassle.
Unsplash has a great live preview return of the keyword you’re entering. Our search for “business” returned only 217 images, and those images had a definite urban theme to them.
One advantage of Unsplash is that the user experience is a little more seamless. The download button is on the bottom right of each thumbnail, and if you click on the image, you get a larger version. Another click minimizes the image.
One disadvantage is the popup with the reminder to “Say thanks.” You can close this popup, but it will return for each image you download. While we recommend that you attribute the images because they are free, this can take a lot of time if you’re downloading multiple images at once.
This website returned 12,042 images for “business,” but the images range from cheap graphics to realistic photos, as pictured above.
One distinct feature that Pixabay has is that some of the images include the vector graphics, as well as the option to download the image in various sizes.
One large drawback is the need to complete the captcha for every image downloaded unless you sign up for an account. There’s no quick way to download the picture–you’ll have to click on the image you want, click on the image again to download, select the resolution, and then click on download again. This makes for getting multiple images a bit of a pain.
Avopix returned 28,461 images with the search term “business,” but the results vary here. There are numerous pages of city and urban landscapes, and the few pictures we found were of people using the computers. While the images are gorgeous, the relevance of the images leaves a lot to be desired.
One major drawback of this site is that there is a 5-second delay for every picture you download, and there’s no way to continue browsing unless you wait for those 5 seconds or leave. You can download from the search results page if you go to the bottom right of each image and click on the download button.
One unique difference with Avopix is that it gives you complete details about the image when you click on it. You can learn the camera, settings, and photo editing software associated with the image.
Pexels didn’t give us the number of results, but the images they had were more relevant than other sites like Pixabay. The website also supports endless scrolling so that you don’t have to click to go to the next page, making browsing the website far more convenient.
Unfortunately, to download the picture, you’ll have to click on it two times: once to access the picture page and another time to click on the download button. Doing so launches another window where you’ll have to save the image manually.
While there are numerous free image websites, many of them are free only for personal or promotional use. And there are several free stock photo websites for specific categories like food, art, and nature.
If you need to take photos of pictures instead, our article provides some great tips for beginners.