A picture is truly worth 1,000 words. And if you're using the same old stock photos everyone uses for their content, all 1,000 of those words will fall flat.
It's hard to find high-quality stock photos without breaking the bank or spending hours sifting through stock photo websites. In fact, according to the State of DAM 2022 report, marketing and creative teams spend approximately 91 hours on average each week searching for the right creative assets. That's almost 100 episodes of White Lotus.
To simplify your search, we compiled a list of the best sources of high-quality images for your next marketing campaign.
The best stock photo sites
1. Getty Images
This one probably needs no introduction. But we'll give it one anyway.
Getty Images is a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace that offers a full range of content solutions to meet the needs of any customer around the globe, no matter their size. Each year, Getty Images covers more than 160,000 news, sport, and entertainment events, providing unmatched depth and breadth of coverage.
Getty Image's creative photo library houses content from over 75,000 exclusive, global contributors, as well as expertly art‑directed collections that connect with consumers everywhere.
In addition, Getty Images maintains one of the largest and best privately-owned photographic archives in the world, with millions of images dating back to the beginning of photography.
But wait, there's more!
When it's nearly impossible to identify the people or places in your chosen photo, Getty Images' Rights and Clearance experts can assess the images or footage, along with your use case, to see if Getty Images can offer enhanced indemnification, in the form of an Image Guarantee, for the unreleased elements within the editorial content, to fully protect you and your brand.
Getty Images lets you license royalty‑free images for any number of projects: from social to broadcast, print to digital, for as long as you want. As an added bonus, you'll never have to worry about any copyright issues because Getty Images backs up its licenses with the strongest legal protection in the industry.
iStock is a leading e-commerce platform providing premium visual content to SMBs, SMEs, creatives, and students everywhere. The platform, owned by Getty Images, offers millions of photos, illustrations, clip art, videos, and audio tracks. Artists, designers, and photographers worldwide contribute their work to iStock collections in return for royalties.
As the original stock content site created by creatives for creatives, iStock provides unique images and videos that connect with your audience at prices that fit your budget. Complete with exclusive images and videos, enhanced search, and worry-free pricing, iStock is perfect for teams looking to take their content to the next level without breaking the bank.
Unsplash is a stock photo site owned by Getty Images that offers a large collection of free high-resolution images and has become one of the most well-loved photo platforms on the web. The Unsplash team regularly combs through new submissions from photographers to keep their selection fresh and features the very best photos on their homepage.
Pexels is a free stock photo (and video) website for designers, bloggers, and everyone who is looking for eye-catching images. Easily find breathtaking photos and videos that can be downloaded and used for free. If you see a photo or video you like, simply download it for free (no strings attached!).
All photos and videos on Pexels are free for commercial use. You can use them on your commercial website, blog, product, or anywhere else.
VistaCreate is an online graphic design platform where everyone can create visuals for professional and personal needs in no time — no design experience necessary. Search photos, videos, vectors, and templates to create stunning visuals like one of the pros.
Explore and customize VistaCreate’s curated collection of templates created by professional designers to save time on content creation.
6. Adobe Stock
If you're familiar with Adobe Creative Cloud apps, you’re probably already familiar with Adobe Stock.
Adobe Stock seamlessly integrates into the Creative Cloud platform. It's trusted by designers across verticals due to its huge collection of high-resolution images. With a monthly subscription starting at $29/month, you can access a collection of over 60 million high-quality stock photos accessible from their stand-alone website but also from the library feature on any of the Creative Cloud applications, including popular design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.
Search, select, test edit, license, and apply stock photos to your designs right on your favorite app's interface; no third-party services, editing tools, or imports are required.
Pixabay offers over 2.7 million+ free high-quality stock images, videos, and music shared by their talented and gracious community.
It’s easy to find your perfect free image or video to download in just a few clicks. As an added bonus, all images are free for commercial use, with no attribution required.
Why not try them all?
Wish there were a way to search the top stock photo websites (including the ones listed above) at the same time? Well, actually, we're pleased to tell you there is.
With Bluescape's new image search feature, Popsync, you save time by searching multiple image libraries at once, including Getty Images, Unsplash, Google Images, and more.
Popsync takes advantage of Bluescape's visual collaboration capabilities, allowing content creators to search for the right picture and share a wide variety of content for collaboration. Once the results are presented in Bluescape, individuals and teams can collectively move, annotate, and present the visuals for anything from brainstorming to creative reviews.
"When I first used Popsync, I immediately knew this was a powerful tool we'd use over and over again," said Mark Warsaw, Co-Founder of the Bureau of Magic. “It's exactly what you need in your tool belt."
Find photos faster with Popsync
Whether you're an artist creating mood boards or an advertising team looking for the perfect picture for a pitch, teams can quickly find and discuss the content they need for the job. Bluescape presents illustrations, photos, and videos, all in pixel-perfect detail, making it a favorite for creative teams.
"Popsync does in seconds what used to take days," says Zak Noyle, Co-Founder and Creative Director at creative agency Eleven 17. "We build a lot of storyboards for clients and spend hours scouring the internet for high-quality photography. It's a pain in the neck to find the exact lighting or scene I have in my mind. Popsync opens a whole new world. Searching for images this way and seeing all our options in one collaborative space will simplify the entire workflow."
Try searching for something! We suggest "puppies."