How many times have you heard the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”?  Maybe because there is an exceptional amount of truth to that statement, pictures have the ability to communicate ideas and feelings a lot faster than text. That is why it is really important to find good high quality images to improve the overall impression and effectiveness of your website. We have gathered some great sites to help you find the right stock image that can invoke the proper positive emotions from your visitors.

Before we begin here is a rundown on the type of licenses you will see when going to stock image website. It is important that you familiarize yourself with these terms to ensure that you are not infringing on any copyright laws:

  1. Creative Commons Licenses:  You can use Creative Commons photos for free or a low fee as long as you credit the photographer for their work.
  2. Royalty Free License (RF): This means that you do not have to pay royalties, and that you can use the photo as many times as you would like. Make sure that you read the fine print of these licenses because they may vary depending on the company.
  3. Royalty Free Extended License: You will find that some stock photography sites will offer you the option to purchase an extended royalty free license. You usually receive extended benefits that vary depending on the company, make sure that you read this licensing agreement thoroughly.
  4. Rights Managed License (RM): A Rights Managed License means that if a photo is purchased by a user, it  allows the one time use of the photo as specified by the license. If the user wants to use the photo for other uses an additional license needs to be purchased.

It is also important to note that pulling an image from a search engine search without explicit permission from the owner of the image is not legal. Always request permission prior to posting an image on your website that you do not own.

 Top Stock Photo Sites – Paid Services

Getty Images – By far the most well-known of all the stock photography sites, home to the largest library of high-resolution and highly conceptual images. You will find their product selection and solid reputation unbeatable in the industry, with more than 70 million quality images.

ShutterStock Images — One of the more gracefully simplistic sites here, very easy to find what you need. Just this week they added over 91k photos so it’s easy to say that you should not have any problems finding fresh images.

iStockPhoto – Low prices, affordable subscription plans and versatility is the main points here. You buy credits and use those credits are used to purchase content on this site; you can purchase your credits on a “Pay-as-you-go” basis or subscribe and buy your credits in bulk and save. — if you’re working on a budget but still would like quality images, your best bet is to go with this site. The library may not be as extensive as the other top sites, but what they may lack in quantity they surely make it up in quality.

Top Stock Photo Sites – Free Services

Stock.xchng — This stock exchange has nothing to do with Wall Street, actually this site is a hybrid of social media and stock photography.

FreeRange Stock — Great site to search for images that are 100% free, only thing we would like to see is the ability to browse through images by category.

Top Stock Photo Sites – Niche-Based

Spaces Images – Professional, property-released stock photography of interiors, exteriors and human environments. You will find some of the most emotionally responsive landmarks around the world, so easy to get lost browsing through the amazing scenery on this site.

National Geographic Society – Home to one of the most comprehensive and unique collections of photographs and original artwork in the world. The site contains more than 10 million images of real wild life.

Historical Stock Photos -Historical Photos This is by far the best place on the net for some of the most historical and influential photos ever.

Kimball Stock — (Animals & Cars) Great site with a smooth interface that makes searching and browsing for images as simple as apple pie. You will find some of the cutest animals the world has to offer.


Do you have a great source for images that isn’t listed above? Post below for all to see.

3 Responses

  1. Reply
    May 29, 2012 - 05:54 AM

    For my daily thought of the day website… i usually use these images…

  2. Reply
    Jun 26, 2012 - 10:15 AM

    You do not have to use HTML in order to have a blog site using our services

  3. Reply
    jason d. reese
    Apr 18, 2013 - 04:19 PM

    Nice, but if your doing originality and for less of a cost, take your own photograph and use that images.

Leave a Comment


Layout Style

Header Style

Accent Color