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Are you looking for a great list of 61 places where you can find stock photos online in 2019? A list that’s sorted into price categories and the best styled stock photos for bloggers? Want to understand what all those stock photo licenses actually mean? Then this is THE article to help you with that!
I have a little confession to make…
I decided to write this article to help you and to help myself. I use pictures in blog posts, on social media, in my resource library freebies, in adverts, and in so many other places. And do you know what?
Every time I need to start looking for images my fingers hover over the keyboard and I can’t remember the names of the sites I use to find pictures. Like every … single … time!
My first search is always ‘stock photos for bloggers’, then I scan through the results until I recognize the websites I need. No jokes.
So, I put Continuum on the TV, lit my new lime and coconut candle, and started making a list. An awesome, long list of all the valuable sites I could find where you and I can buy or freely source stock photos for our blogs and online businesses.
Not only photos, but the vectors, audio and videos that are available on most of those sites, too. I even discovered a few gems that I never knew about.
Why bother with finding good stock photos?
You honestly can’t not bother. People are visual beings. They read those thousand words in your pictures very quickly – they use your graphics to determine if they recognize you and like you, if your content is going to give them what they need, and if they have some emotional connection with your image. If they have no emotional connection, they will move right past it.
And as we talked about in hashtags for Instagram, positive emotions are far stronger than negative ones. So, your goal is to create a positive emotion in readers with your graphics and your overall brand. When they see you, they should get excited, knowing that you are about to entertain them, or help them to relax, or give them important tips and info about what they need.
A picture tells them that. What feeling did you get when you saw the picture at the top of this blog post? I hope it was happiness and excitement to read this list!
How to source images for cheap from other sites
If you’re new here, I want to give you a quick heads-up about my valuable resource library. This is where I put all my free content that’s made just for my readers – and it isn’t available anywhere else.
Once you have your images ready, make sure you optimize them before the big upload to your website.
Photos dress up your content for that wow factor
Like I said above: People are visual beings.
You write and create excellent content. Now you need to dress it up with images. It’s like putting on a pretty dress, styling your hair, painting your nails, and getting ready to go on a date.
You want your date to be impressed with you, just like you want your readers to love what you create for them. Your images welcome them to your post, get them interested, then keep them interested by breaking up long sections of text with colors and positive emotions along the way.
No one wants to read 10 pages’ worth of plain text. It’s your responsibility to give them a great experience, and part of that is in the images you choose.
Warning: This is going to be a VERY visual post. We are talking about photos after all.
A quick explanation of stock photo licenses
People take photos for stock photo sites, just like you write and create content for your blog. They own the copyright to their work and decide how to let you use it, just like you do with what you create. Sounds fair, right?
So, it’s a good idea to understand how stock photo licenses work and to respect these terms. Some photos you will get for free, others you need to attribute back to the creator, and others you will pay for. Here’s what all those licenses mean, in layman’s terms:
- Creative Commons: This license means that the photographer or artist has freely given others the right to use the image. Just check carefully before you use it as sometime the creator wants you to attribute the work to them. You do this by copying and pasting a link from the website into your blog post, either directly under the picture or at the end of the post, to thank them for letting you use the picture.
- Public domain: These images are free to the public without restriction. They are often pictures that have passed their copyright limitations or have no known copyright holder.
- Royalty free: You usually pay to use these images, but you don’t pay royalties on them. Royalties are a percentage of whatever you earn where that image is used, such as on a book cover, a poster, or on your blog page. You are not usually allowed to resell a royalty-free image on its own, as an image, but you can use it as part of a design or product.
- Rights managed: These are images that you buy with certain rights. You decide what size or how you want to use the image, then buy the appropriate rights for that use. You could buy an image with rights in one country or pay more for international rights if you plan to use it across the world, as an example.
Check the rights and licenses for images before you use them, or you might get into trouble. After a while you will learn which licenses are available on which stock sites.
Below is an alphabetical list of where to find stock photos that have been styled just for bloggers, along with sites where you will find free royalty-free images, affordable images, and pricier stock photo options. Websites with a * before them are the ones I personal use and love. Those with <* are the ones I definitely plan to start using in the near future.
Styled stock photos for bloggers
Sometimes you need photographer bloggers to come to the party and take photos styled just for other bloggers. Luckily, there are several doing just that!
Here’s where you can find styled stock photos for good prices – and all of them offer a few freebies for signing up with them ?
I’m part of her email list and downloaded the 21 free stock photos. As a Hautie, you will really enjoy the styled stock photos on this site as it’s a female blogger’s dream.
Here you can start with the 550+ free stock photos and resources available.
I see that she also has an account with Creative Market, where she sells bundles of stock photos for bloggers at great prices…
There are some nice bundles of pictures here. There seems to be 20-70 odd pictures for around $40 per bundle.
This seems to be the first gem I found with today’s research. I think I’m going to enjoy SCStockShop!
I signed up for the free images and downloaded the bonus PDF on how to use my images. A girl will take what she’s offered. But I struggled to get back to the homepage once I’d signed up.
The awesome thing about this ‘stock shop’ is that the pictures are beautifully styled, and you can search by color or collection. There is a lot to choose from.
Plus, she gives you lots of info on how to actually use your stock photos in these wonderful tutorials:
Websites that search for free stock photos from many sites
There are millions of free royalty-free photos on the internet. You will find a picture of pretty much anything if you know where to look. That’s the upside to this.
The downside is that many others are using the same free images, not to mention the time it takes to go through all those free images to find something you can use.
Tiara Tips: When searching stock photo sites, use general searches for things related to your blog like ‘woman’ or ‘business’. Download any and all good pictures you find at the same time and save them for later. This is how you build up a bit of a picture library for yourself.
I suggest you start looking for free images by using one of these sites. They search many other sites that have free images and put them all together in one search for you, to go through. This could save you a lot of time!
Chamber of Commerce – Find a photo
Free stock photos
Here are websites that offer free royalty-free images, for you to download and use. Just remember to check if attribution is required.
Burst is run by Shopify and it’s another great find for me!
Flickr has photos that are free to use under the Creative Commons license. The link I gave you takes you straight to the page to start searching.
Foodiesfeed focuses on food and drinks.
Geograph UK and Ireland: This one is great for scenery and backgrounds. Photos can be used under the public license with attribution (it’s a great project and totally worth giving them a mention anyway).
GetRefe: Here you’ll find free or cheap curated collections
Gratisography: This one’s quirky and offers photos you won’t find anywhere else.
Jay Mantri: This site offers random pictures and videos all for free, such as this one:
Library of Congress: There are collections of vintage and historical pictures available. Check the rights before you download, but I see many collections that are free to use and reuse.
New Old Stock: Gorgeous vintage images that are all free to use. The search bar is in the top-left corner (a little difficult to find).
*Pixabay: I love this site. I find many of my pictures right here.
Realistic Shots: Offer less staged pictures, as in more natural and realistic photos.
SnapWire: They add 7 photos every week. It’s a difficult site to navigate as one picture is shown above the next.
StokPic: They will send you 10 new photos every 2 weeks if you sign up.
StockUp: This site has lots of pictures and many are good for ecommerce stores.
TravelCoffeeBook: This stock photo site has good photos for travel bloggers or vacation themes.
Viintage: Here you will find hundreds of thousands of beautiful vintage pictures, all free. They do ask for a donation to keep it running if you feel like sharing the love.
Cheap stock photos
The list below includes websites that offer excellent-quality stock photos for bloggers, at a very reasonable price. Again, you can check out my tip on how I sourced this blog’s main image for more than 50% off by using one of these sites – all in the secret resource library ?
<*EZMediaArt: This is a new find for me and I’m excited to check it out. It seems to offer great video footage, audio and vectors at great prices. I will see how their images work for my blog, too.
Photostock: Check out their microstock options, which range from £10-30 each.
Pond5: They seem to focus on video and audio, but they have some nice pictures in limited categories for $7.50-$30 each.
Pricier stock photos
Sometimes it’s worth paying extra for that wow factor. It doesn’t matter how great your work is, your image needs to be even better.
Here’s where you will always find whatever you need, with excellent quality and a bit of a bigger price tag. Most of these sites have subscription options that bring down their price per picture quite a bit.
APImages: I’m guessing they are pricey. I haven’t used them but I couldn’t find any prices or pricing structure on the website, so it’s probably a request for license type of structure where you specify what you will use the images for.
Fotolia: They were bought out by Adobe Stock.
ImageCollect: Here you will find photos of celebrities and general stock photos for bloggers.
New York Times: They have photos for $50-$200 each. If you visit the site and wait a few minutes, an offer pops up that will give you 10% off your purchase.
A vector is a drawing. Now, you might wonder why you’d need this. But vectors come in handy!
Vectors can be objects or shapes. You can use them to add elements to your designs, to make them pop.
I decided to include these free vector sites just in case you’re interested.
Well, this post took two solid days to research and write. Honestly, I’ve pretty much finished an entire season of Continuum now and am trying hard to work out how this ends. Besides that, there’s one more chance to sign up and enter my resource library below. And then I will have to say good-bye for now.
Enter the Tiara Tribe resource library – free, always and forever
Bye for now!
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Full disclosure: There may be affiliate links above that give me commission if you click through and buy something (at no extra cost to you). It’s how I keep this blog going and share the journey with you. Thanks for your support in helping both of us build online businesses we love!
Monique is the fire behind Tiara Tribe, where she helps you build your blog with love. A full-time blogger, lifelong learner and nature & animal lover, she spends her days exploring the online landscape and beautiful scenery in Australia, where she now lives.