6 Best Stock Photo Sites for Graphic Designers in 2022 (Free+Paid)

6 Best Stock Photo Sites for Graphic Designers in 2022 (Free+Paid)

6 Best Stock Photo Sites for Graphic Designers in 2022 (Free+Paid)

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Best Stock Photo Sites for Graphic Designers in 2022 (Free+Paid)

Suppose you want to grab your audience’s attention by adding taste to your otherwise bland website. In that case, stock photos are the answer to all your content woes. Not only do these images add value to your website, but they also can keep your readers hooked all the way from the beginning to the end. 

Plus, they are a great way to quickly add visuals to your online content. If you are short on time or cannot take custom photos yourself, just head on over to one of these stock photo sites and find the perfect visual to supplement the text.  

To make your search easier, here are some of the best paid and free stock photo websites available on the internet. The below-mentioned websites offer a vast database of images and vectors on every niche imaginable to keep you spoiled for choices. So start digging!

Best Stock Photos for Graphic Designers 

Graphic designers make great use of stock photos. It helps them reduce budgets without compromising the quality of their content. Besides, they often personalise or edit these images according to specific layout requirements, which is critical in enhancing their content’s impact. A professional graphic designer can take a simple stock image and transform it into something completely unique – fit for their brand.

Paid Stock Photos 

Paid stock photos are images you can download for personal and commercial use once you have paid a licence fee. Paying for a picture gives you the right to use it while the original artists still have the copyright of their work. 

If you are someone who is concerned about the legal sides of things, you are better off using paid stock photos. This is because images on these websites are fully licensed and completely safe to use for commercial purposes.

Let’s have a look at these websites that are considered among the top choices for graphic designers who are searching for paid stock photos:

  1. iStock Photos 

iStock Photos is a royalty-free image platform based in Calgary city of Canada. They offer a database of millions of photos, vectors, and clip art. iStock also provides you with video and audio templates that you can customise and use for your website. 

This platform allows you to download 1 free image every week and you can get an amazing promo every now and then. However, if you have extensive stock image needs, iStock offers a range of paid subscription plans. 


Here are the details:

  • Subscription can be purchased annually or monthly, depending on your use. iStock gives you an option to download 10 to 750 images per month. The basic plan offers only essential images, while the premium plan provides additional signature images. The monthly costs range between $29 – $319 per month. 
  • There is an option to purchase credits which gives you a couple of dollars in the wallet to buy the required media. 
  1. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is one of the most famed and in-demand stock photo platforms of all time. It features over 360 million images and has one of the most diverse photo collections. 

There is something here for each content creator, from images, illustrations, and vectors to videos and music. The Shutterstock team helps you stay in trend with their curated and offset collection. Since their main clientele is professional setups, Shutterstock also offers team/enterprise accounts. 


Purchasing any form of media on Shutterstock comes with a varied price. 

  • A basic subscription allows users to pick between 10 to 750 images per month. The costs range between $49 to $249 per month. 
  • FLEX 25 mixed subscription costs $49 per month and allows you to download 25 images, 6 music tracks, 3 videos, or a mix of all three. If you pick a monthly package with no renewal contract, this package will cost you $69 per month. 
  • On-demand packs come with relevant images whenever you want them. A collection of 5 images costs $49, and 25 images cost $229 per month. 
  1. Adobe Stock 

Adobe offers a complete creative setup with Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and now stock photos for graphic designers. According to your project, you can easily access images, 3D assets, vectors, and templates. 


Adobe gives users a 30-day trial and 10 free images to start with. Once you are convinced, the pricing plan includes:

  • The subscription plan allows you to download anywhere between 10 to 750 photos. Subscribers have access to 10 images for $29.99, 40 images for $79.99, and 750 images for $199.99 per month.
  • Credit packs allow users to buy anywhere between 5 to 150 credits, which adds money to their wallets to purchase images of their choice.

Free Stock Photos 

If you are a graphic designer on a tight budget, we have some good news for you. Many high-quality websites offer free stock images for use as well. You can download them without entering any financial information or paying a fee. 

However, make sure to read the full terms and conditions and the licensing details on the specific website you are about to download the free stock images from. Be aware that the licences of most free stock photo websites do not cover the rights to use photos that display the following:

  • Brand logos and trademarks
  • Images of people that reveal their identity
  • Works that involve authorship or original artwork

Keeping these essential points under consideration, feel free to browse these fantastic free stock photo websites we have reviewed for you:

  1. Unsplash 

If you are on the lookout for a free stock photo platform that offers unique illustrations from over 50,000 contributors globally, don’t forget to check out Unsplash. This website features a user-friendly interface that helps graphic designers easily search for images according to their needs.  

There are over 3.2 million different stock images to choose from that cause no burden on your pocket as they are free to download. Unsplash also updates its collection of images daily. This ensures graphic designers always have some new photos to choose from.

  1. Pixabay 

Pixabay is one of the biggest free stock image platforms worldwide. It features over 2.4 million pictures, vectors, illustrations, videos, music, and sound effects. Additionally, you can upload free content for other users. 

This wide variety of media makes Pixabay a favorite among content creators on a budget. Also, the quality of pictures is pretty good, so it definitely helps add value to your blog. Visit this amazing free stock photo website to help enhance your content’s visual appearance today!

  1. Pexels 

Another excellent platform for bloggers on a budget, Pexels features over 100,000 images free for use worldwide. The artists don’t need attribution, but if you willingly appreciate their work, that’s a choice. 

Pexels also has a blog where famous artists share their stories, experiences, and tips to improve the quality of images you use. It allows people to participate in sponsored challenges, get featured on leaderboards, and even discover new material. Pexels can surely help graphic/website designers stay on top of trends as they interact with other professionals on this platform.

Stock Photos – A Perfect Choice for Graphic Designers 

Stock photos are a great addition to any website as they eliminate the need to take/design your own pictures. Graphic designers can also personalize these images and use them to increase engagement on their websites. 

There are plenty of free and paid platforms to access stock images. If you are looking to use stock images on their websites that no one else has used, you should opt for accessing them through paid websites. 

Contrarily, if you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider using free stock photos. However, you may also come across these images on other websites, which may compromise the originality of your content. 

Free or paid, the stock photos you pick depend on the availability of images relevant to your content, the frequency at which you need them, and your budget. Use the above guide for your reference and choose the ‘option’ that best accommodates your design needs.

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