What do you think of when you hear the words “stock photos?” Is the first thing that comes to mind overly posed/fake business people in suits in a corporate office? Or maybe it’s a picture of a desktop with a computer, pen and notepad sitting on it that you’ve seen on fifty different Instagram feeds and websites in the last week.
Whatever these words bring to mind, odds are that at some point in your small-business-owner career you’ve probably had to use stock photos for at least one project. Maybe as a placeholder on your website until you got your own branding photos back. Or maybe you had the best-ever blog post written but zero branded photos of your own to go along with the topic of the blog post. At one time or another, we’ll all likely need to find a good stock photo to fit a specific project that we’re working on.
Gone are the days of Googling whatever you’re looking for and then right-clicking to save the image to your desktop -yikes! Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get your hands on beautiful stock photos that will fit whatever need you have at hand. There are so many amazing stock photo sites out there that offer a wide variety of photos in so many different styles and aesthetics for you to choose from. So many of these companies work with small, independent photographers to provide these images to you for little to no cost at all.
With so many stock photo sites out there, how do you know which one to use? Or, which one is the most legitimate and legal? Today we thought we’d share our list of favorite stock photo sites that we use to pull images from when we need something that we don’t have a branded photo of.
Unsplash is always our first stop for stock photos and has every aesthetic from bright and colorful to light and airy and dark and moody with plenty of gorgeous lay-flats and so many beautiful images with people in them too.
Kaboompics is run and all images are created by an amazingly creative woman, Karolina. We love Kaboompics because you can sort not only by theme or keyword, but also by color and orientation (horizontal/vertical).
Negative Space is a great resource for stock photos if you’re looking for a variety of stock images that doesn’t lean towards one photography style or another (think really warm filters or super bold colors).
If you’re looking for stock photos that are bright and poppy, PicJumbo is the site for you. We love that you can sort not only by color and theme, but also by photos that have room for text. Each photo also belongs to an entire collection that you can download with an upgraded membership.
Not only can you find beautiful stock photos on Pixabay, but you can also search for stock video footage, vectors, and digital illustrations.
Pexels is a great source if you’re looking for imagery that has a unique vibe or style to them. Think moody and dark, boho, or light and airy. We love that they have photos divided up into different easy-to-search collections (similar to a Pinterest board).
If you’re looking for very unique, beautifully stylized photos, Life of Pix is the site that you want to use. The stock photos here are a little more unique than stock photos on a lot of the other sites that we mentioned and they all seem to have a much more unique perspective as well. If you’re tired of seeing the same lay-flat photo of a notebook and pen over and over again, Life of Pix is for you.
Whether you’re searching for the perfect lay-flat desktop photo for your most recent blog post, or a picture of a pink beach ball floating on a perfectly turquoise pool for your grid, we have no doubt that you’ll be able to find it using one of these resources.
ProTip: Before you upload these beautiful stock photos for your site, learn all about how to best optimize them to get the biggest SEO bang in our Simple SEO Guide.
Thinking about building a brand new website? I’d love to talk with you more about how our Done-For-You or Done-With-You options might work for you! DM me to start the conversation!
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