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Where to Get Stock Photos from? Other Alternatives

Where to Get Stock Photos from? Other Alternatives

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Why Do You Need Stock Photos?

Stock photos are professional, high-quality images captured by photographers worldwide, available for licensing and purchase. 

These are pre-shot images individuals and businesses use for various purposes, mainly advertising, web design, blog posts, or social media content.

Stock photos cater to a wide range of topics, and concepts, making every image suitable for some purpose. Therefore, regardless of what your domain is, you might need stock photos at some point.

Primarily, stock photos are known for convenience and affordability, as they offer a cost-effective solution for obtaining high-quality, attractive visuals without hiring a photographer or creating a photography team at your organization.

Main Types of Stock Photos

There are typically two main types of stock photos:

Royalty-Free Stock Photos

Royalty-free stock photos are licensed for a one-time fee. Users can pay for it once and use it multiple times without incurring additional charges. These photos usually have a standard license that permits non-exclusive usage and has restrictions on how the image can be used (such as limited resale or hard print etc.).

Rights-Managed Stock Photos

Rights-managed stock photos are licensed for specific usage rights. They are priced based on factors such as image size, placement, duration, and exclusivity. These photos come with more stringent usage restrictions. Users need to negotiate directly with the photographer or the stock photo agency regarding the terms of the license.

Alternatives to Get Stock Photos from

Finding captivating visuals for your favorite projects can become a hectic part of content creation. While stock photos have been a go-to solution for a long time, exploring new alternatives can broaden your options and help you find unique, high-quality images.

Here are a few alternatives you can look into:

Lesser-Known Stock Photo Websites

You must have heard of popular stock photo websites like Shutterstock and Getty Images. Still, there are numerous lesser-known platforms that offer a vast selection of high-quality images.

Websites such as Unsplash, Pixabay, Burst (by Spotify), Free Images, Kaboompics, StockSnap.io, and Pexels provide a diverse range of royalty-free images that can be used for various purposes. These platforms offer large collections of stunning photos, often contributed by talented photographers from around the world. 

While most of these sites don’t require any attribution, it is always appreciated if you do so. Plus, some interesting websites like Canva, an online graphic design tool, offer a wide range of royalty-free images with the liberty of turning images into custom graphical resources.

You can also find niche-specific websites, such as Foodiesfeed (for food), CreateHER (for women of color), and Styled Stock (for lifestyle), for free stock photos. Such platforms can tailor to your needs in a better way if you are looking for images in a particular domain.

User-Generated Content Platforms

User-generated content platforms offer a different approach to stock photos by creating a community of independent photographers, emerging talent, and content creators. Such platforms offer support to both artists and content creators/advertisers etc., to find images that are more distinctive and less mainstream compared to other stock photo websites.

Websites like 500px and Flickr offer a wide variety of images submitted by talented individuals. Usually, these platforms offer both free and premium options, giving you the flexibility to choose according to your budget and requirements.

Free Resource Directories

If you’re on a tight budget and looking for resources beyond stock photos, free resource directories can be an invaluable asset. Websites like Freepik, Flaticon, and The Noun Project offer a diverse array of free-to-use graphics, icons, vectors, and other design elements. Free resource directories are a promising alternative for people who seek visually appealing content to enhance their projects without breaking the bank.

Fun Fact: Some of these websites offer premium subscriptions granting access to exclusive content and additional features. These subscriptions are cost-effective for individuals or businesses with consistent design needs.

Social Media Platforms 

You might be surprised to know this, but social media platforms could be better for sharing and discovering content. You can find unique visuals from independent creators from different parts of the world through social media platforms. 

Instagram, in particular, is a treasure box of inspiring imagery. Many photographers and content creators share their work on Instagram, VSCO, and Snapseed, directly link you to their portfolios or offer a means of communication. By reaching out to these creators, you can negotiate the use of their images or even commission them for customized visuals tailored to your project’s requirements.

Fun Fact: Creators and Visual artists mostly love to contribute to various causes, such as human rights, climate change, etc. If you or your organization is seeking visual content to support a change, there’s a high probability that you’ll get their resources. 


While there are many possibilities available on typical stock photo websites, looking into alternate platforms reveals a whole new universe of visually attractive and distinctive content. 

Unknown stock picture websites, websites that allow users to create their own material, free resource directories, and social media platforms can all offer a wide selection of high-quality images that are tailored to your needs. 

You may add eye-catching pictures to your creative endeavors to make them stand out by experimenting with different sources. Enjoy your exploration and creation!