photographer behind the camera in black and white
photographer behind the camera in black and white
Video & Photography

6 Reliable Stock Photography Websites You Can’t Live Without

Any marketing firm worth their salt can deliver content when their clients need it the most. Sometimes these deliveries come in the form of urgent, last-minute project requests. When you’re in a pinch and need to source quick and high-quality media photography, here are our go-to free and paid stock photo sites.

Free Stock Photo Sites

1. Pexels

Pexels photos are very Adobe Photoshop-friendly. Incorporating company logos, ad campaign keywords, and other branding pieces onto Pexel-sourced images is simple and intuitive. This simplicity makes Pexels an ideal resource for brand-infused visual marketing pieces. Pexels also goes out of their way to support and accredit their photographers, which attracts high-quality talent.

2. Unsplash

Unsplash boasts a superior search process. If you’re looking for a hyper-specific piece of media to use, this site is the way to go. The Unsplash search engine is powerful, making it easy for its users to find the distinct image they’re seeking. Like Pexels, Unsplash is another site that places a lot of emphasis on accrediting their photographers and serving as a platform for top photography talent.

3. Reshot

Reshot is a relative newcomer on the stock photo scene, so their library is a bit smaller than those of the other major players. However, the adage “quality not quantity” definitely applies here; Reshot is known for its rigorous content curation process, meaning only the highest-quality images make it to the site.

Free is always a great option if your budget doesn’t allow for a lot of wiggle room. But, if you have room in your budget and your project is visual-heavy, utilizing a paid site is definitely an option that should be considered. Most paid stock sites offer an unrivaled depth of stock content to source and often include a greater selection of vector-based art, illustrations, and stock video content.

Paid Stock Photo Sites

1. Shutterstock

Quality is everything for Shutterstock. This site is best known for having a large collection of high-quality images; their collection boasts high-resolution photos, illustrations, and graphics, providing its subscribers with a multitude of options. Flexible subscription packages and needs-based pricing models make Shutterstock a uniquely customizable image-sourcing tool.

2. iStock

If you’re a newcomer to using paid stock photo sites and are hesitant to commit to a full subscription, we highly recommend iStock. This site offers a budget-friendly pay-as-you-go option vs. a complete subscription commitment. The pay-as-you-go feature affords its users the ability to use iStock on a quasi-trial basis before deciding to move forward with a subscription.

3. Getty Images

Getty Images is the gold standard for paid stock photography. Conceived in the mid90s, Getty is one of the oldest sites out there, and therefore boasts the biggest media collection on the internet. Variety is the key here, and Getty has plenty of it (their collection even includes audio and video media). Add in the fact that their website is incredibly user-friendly, and you have the ideal paid stock photo site in Getty.

Did we miss anything about stock photography? Need some additional stock photo website recommendations? Let’s talk. Feel free to contact our team at MA1440.

MA1440 is a marketing consulting and digital agency located in Glenview, IL – serving small and mid-sized businesses locally and nationally.


2700 Patriot Blvd, Suite 250
Glenview, Illinois 60026