If you’ve ever needed a stock image for any reason, then you’ll know just how important Shutterstock is as a website. It offers royalty-free photography that you can use for any situation, and although you will need to pay to license those images, you can then pepper them throughout your document or your presentation without worrying about any consequences. If you’re not a fan of Shutterstock for whatever reason, though, you’ll find other sites out there. Here are the top 10 Shutterstock alternatives to visit right now!
Just like Shutterstock, Pixabay is a massive repository of images to suit any occasion. The site boasts almost 3 million images across diverse categories, and also offers vector graphics, video clips, and sound effects, as well as royalty-free GIFs you can use. The site itself is extremely easy to navigate, with a search bar at the top allowing you to look for whatever kind of content you want, and although there’s a signup process involved, there’s no paid tier.
Yep – it’s a stock photography website by the people who make Photoshop, Premiere, and other creativity products you’re probably familiar with. As you’d expect for a high-quality company like Adobe, the images on offer here are suitably classy, although you can also expect to pay the kind of heavy premium that Adobe puts on all of its products. Still, the images are great, and there are a lot of categories to choose from, so if money is no object, this is the site for you.
Contrary to the branding, iStock isn’t associated with Apple at all. Instead, it’s a stock site that promises exclusive content, as well as an AI-powered search function that pledges to find the stuff you need without having you wade through pages and pages of pictures. Pricing is competitive, too; it’s roughly in line with Adobe Stock, allowing you 10 downloads of “essential” images for £19 a month, with pricing increasing as you climb the tiers and search for higher-quality images.
Unsplash offers access to a wide variety of free images as part of its basic tier, which won’t cost you anything to use. There is an Unsplash Plus subscription available that allows you to use more photos, but it only costs around £6 a month, so this is a solid option if you’re pulling the purse strings a little. The images on offer aren’t quite at the same level as those on Adobe Stock or iStock, but considering you’re paying far less for them, that’s a fair sacrifice.
Primarily, Storyblocks is a stock video site rather than a stock image site, although it does also offer pictures, so it’s a worthy choice if your projects tend more towards the multimedia side of things. Pricing is better than you’ll find elsewhere, too; Storyblocks allows you unlimited downloads of whatever media you like for $30 per month, billed annually, and also gives you access to a basic video editor. There’s a Pro tier available if you’re a hardcore creator, too.
Like Unsplash, Pexels offers a vast library of royalty-free images and content for you to use. It also has videos on offer, and rather charmingly, there’s a leaderboard that shows you who’s uploaded the most images across their time on the platform. If you want to upload royalty-free images yourself, you’ll also find a fun list of challenges that you can fulfil, including colour theming, taking photos in different locations, and more. Pexels definitely has a stronger community focus than its rivals.
Another high-quality image site offering great pictures and reasonable pricing options, Depositphotos allows you to choose from a wide variety of royalty-free stock images, videos, and music, as well as vector graphics. You get 30 images a month if you pay the basic subscription price of £19, and that jumps to 75 images each month for £49, with additional tiers available if you’re a heavier user than that. All in all, this is a solid option, and its pricing is competitive with rivals, too.
It’s worth noting that Pond5 isn’t a great option if you’re specifically after images. Rather, this site is focused on video content, so if you use a lot of video clips in your work, then this is the site for you. It offers a library of more than 35 million videos made by real filmmakers, so there’s very little amateur content here. There’s also a solid customer service base that will answer any questions you might have about the content, so you’ll always feel looked after.
As the name suggests, Freepik offers thousands of free pictures for you to use in your work. There’s a premium tier available as well, and it adds vector graphics, better-quality stock images, and PSD files for you to mess with transparency layers, as well as other benefits like an icon editor and a removal of the need to attribute your image source. The pricing is extremely competitive for the premium tier, too, with unlimited images being available for an impressive £7.75 a month, billed annually.
Getty Images is probably the most famous royalty-free stock image platform in the world, and for good reason. Its images are world-class; you won’t find any pictures that look like they were taken by photography students here. The pricing, of course, matches that commitment; it’s eye-watering for an individual, and there’s no subscription available, so Getty is meant mainly for enterprise and business rather than single users. If you’ve got the scratch, though, Getty is a very solid choice.
With plenty of Shutterstock alternatives to consider, which will you choose for your professional image needs?