Using royalty-free stock image websites is like digging through the $5 Wal Mart DVD bin, where you will find ten copies of You Don’t Mess with the Zohan before you find The Shawshank Redemption. This process of randomly searching and finding the right photo for your brand or project can become unexpectedly time-consuming. To give your team a jump start in content marketing, I tested nearly 100 free stock photo websites. These are the nine that your company should be using.

1. Pexels

Of all websites on this list, Pexels is the most complete option. Regardless of your search, you are bound to find high-quality photos that don’t feel like your typical stock photo. I recommend this as a starting point on any photo search.

2. Pixabay

I have used Pixabay for several years while building photo repositories for companies. Similar to Pexels, you will likely only find professional photos. Pixabay is also unique, because it hosts many free-to-download illustrations, vectors, videos, and music.

3. Unsplash

Unsplash is another tool I have used for years, and it is highly recommended on Reddit. While the website used to have a hipster bend to it, its quality and volume of photos have increased recently to make it a great starting point for any search.

4. Kaboom Pics

Kaboom Pics offers a wide variety of unique, high-quality photos. What separates this site from the others is that it allows you to view full photoshoots. If you fall in love with a particular photo, you can download all the photos from the shoot (i.e. Pineapple in a swimming pool).

5. ISO Republic

ISO Republic offers thousands of free photos and videos. It has a useful collections tab that groups content around specific topics. While its selection of photos are not as robust as the top sites on this list, there are some niche topics where this is your best choice. I found the website’s technology collection to be particularly high-quality.

6. Google Images – “Labeled for Reuse”

While you all have likely used Google’s image search, you may not know that you can filter images by usage rights to find images labeled for reuse. This allows you to filter royalty-free images. Of all the options on this list, this will return the largest volume of photos per search, but many may be low-quality. However, if you are searching for niche content, this is an amazing choice.

7. Burst

Burst only offers free photos in the public domain, so you will not see any iStock ads or premium listings while searching for photos. The website has strong collections for flat lays, business, and desktop and mobile backgrounds.

8. Canva

Canva offers millions of high-quality free and premium photos. The quality of these photos is as good as it gets, and its color search is a great tool if you are looking for color-specific content. The only downside of this platform is that you are required to toggle out the premium photos with every search.

9. Freepik

Freepik offer a wide selection of photos, but what make this option so special is its wide selection of free vector images for download. The image associated with this article is directly downloaded from Freepik. In addition to vectors, this website also offers downloadable photoshop files. Like Canva, this website features premium photos alongside free photos, so make sure to filter those options out.

Other Sites Worth Considering:

While businesses can fulfill 99% of stock photo needs by using the top choices above, there are many other great options out there. Below are some I also found that you may want to consider if you have specialty needs:

Name URL Specialty
Albarium http://albumarium.com/ People
Chamber of Commerce http://finda.photo/ Business
Creative Commons (Flickr) https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ Royalty-free photos
Cupcake http://cupcake.nilssonlee.se/ Nature, Urban
Foca Stock https://focastock.com/ General Photo and Video
Foodies Feed http://foodiesfeed.com/ Food
Foter http://www.foter.com General Photo
Free Jpg http://www.freejpg.com.ar/ General Photo and Video
Free Nature Stock http://freenaturestock.com/ Nature
Free Pic https://www.freepik.com/ Vector Images
Getrefer http://getrefe.tumblr.com/ Nature
Gratis Photography http://www.gratisography.com/ General Photo
Jay Mantri http://jaymantri.com/ Nature
Jeshoots http://jeshoots.com/ General Photo
Life of Pix http://www.lifeofpix.com/ Nature, Urban
Little Visuals http://littlevisuals.co/ General Photo
Magdeleine http://magdeleine.co/browse/ Artistic
Move East http://moveast.me/ Urban
New Old Stock http://nos.twnsnd.co/ Vintage
Photo Stock Editor https://photostockeditor.com/ General Photo
Pic Jumbo http://picjumbo.com/ General Photo
Pic O Graphy http://picography.co/ General Photo
Picspree https://picspree.com/ General Photo
Publlic Domain Archive http://publicdomainarchive.com/ General Photo
Snapwire Snaps http://snapwiresnaps.tumblr.com/ Urban
Splashbase http://www.splashbase.co/ General Photo and Video
Startup Stock Photos http://startupstockphotos.com/ Business
Stock Snap https://stocksnap.io/ General Photo
Stock-Up http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up General Photo
Stockphotos.io http://stockphotos.io/ Urban
Stokpic http://stokpic.com/ General Photo
Tineye https://tineye.com/ Reverse image search
Travel Coffee Book http://travelcoffeebook.com/ Nature
Wallhaven http://wallhaven.cc/ Illustration/Video Games