Did you know that your version of Internet Explorer is out of date?
To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend downloading one of the browsers below.

Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Your Guide to Royalty-Free Stock Photos That Don’t Suck

In an ideal world, you would have the photography skills of Annie Leibovitz, or at least have some stellar lifestyle or customer generated photos to accompany your product images. Sadly, that’s not always the case! When you’re in the market for stock photos, many paid subscription services come with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, there are quite a few top notch royalty-free stock photo websites out there. Here are 5 of our favorite resources!

1. Pixabay

Pixabay offers free and sponsored images, and its simple search system, no-nonsense download process and a variety of images should make it a go-to space when you need an image for an ad or a social post. They offer a wide variety of photos from landscapes, to lifestyle photos and lots more.

2. StockSnap.io

StockSnap has a bevy of high-res, high contrast lifestyle, and landscape photos. It’s super easy to create an account for free and manage your favorite images to revisit and keep track of. What’s also great about StockSnap is that you can browse their ‘Popular’ and ‘Trending’ pages if you’re unsure where to get started!

3. Unsplash

Unsplash really successfully capitalizes on beautiful minimalist stock photos. This is great because it’s such a trendy and in-demand style for amateur Instagrammers and ecommerce advertisers alike. You’ll notice their high-res photos, trendy flat lays, dreamy lifestyle images, and some seriously impressive food styling shots.

4. Gratisography


Gratisography gets the award for our most quirky offering. If you’re looking for some seriously out there, high contrast and eccentric images, look no further. While they don’t offer the same breadth as our other mentions, they definitely are the most unique. It’s unlikely that you’ll see these images on other ecommerce store’s ads or social posts.

5. Refe (Real Life Free Photos)

The name is exactly what it sounds like. A simple Tumblr page with a jumble of beautiful, real life photos. Mostly landscape and food styling photos, we can guarantee that you’ll appreciate the stunning though limited selection available – if you don’t mind scrolling for awhile. Their photo offerings are all wonderful, quirky and most important, high-quality.




An often overlooked part of graphic design is vectors. Vector images typically have a transparent background and because vector-based images are not made up of a specific number of dots, they can be scaled to a larger size and not lose any image quality. Say for example you want to make it appear as though your product or advertisement is appearing on an iPhone, you’d likely want to get a vector of an iPhone to work with. It’s important to note that if you’re not a Photoshop whiz there can be a bit of a learning curve when working with vector images. Our tool of choice is Gravit. Gravit makes it super easy to work with vector images and export them in .jpg formatting. Then you can open images in easy photo editing tools such as Canva to make killer ads and social posts that get clicks!


New Call-to-action

2 responses to “Your Guide to Royalty-Free Stock Photos That Don’t Suck”

  1. Jennifer C Rawpixel says:


    Awesome post, really useful!

    Have you heard about rawpixel? You’ve probably seen our images all over the place. We’re the leading stock photo contributor in the world. We’ve just launched our website http://www.rawpixel.com, where we give away the best free design resources out there. We’d be stoked if you could add us to this list.

    Looking forward to you joining our community of creatives.



  2. Scarlett Terry says:

    Hi, Thanks for this awesome stock photo websites! It’s a big help for me as an instagram geek and wannabe blogger.

    I was just wondering why Burst didn’t make the list? It’s a new free stock photography resource offering images that are royalty free, under the Creative Commons Zero license. I think that it will be a great addition to your list of stock photo websites!

    ‌Your page is a lifesaver — I hope that I’ve returned the favor by recommending a resource.

Leave a Reply