Stock Image Sites

Feb 28, 2011

All ~ In your opinion, what are the best sites for stock images? I prefer free, but would also like a list of paying sites, too. I work in the K-12 environment (online) so anything that is cheap would be great because I do not have a budget for buying graphics and images. Thanks for your feedback!

49 Replies
Brian Sullivan

We use - prices are very reasonable for most pictures (though you have to be careful -- occasionally one picture will be priced very high).

Many of the stock photo sites have the same pictures -- but nowhere near the same prices. We have found the most reasonable and always lower than other sites for the same photo.

Randy Borum

Connie's list is extremely well-organized and pretty comprehensive.

If you just want a list of the FREE sites, you might take a look at this post, which I found helpful. 

I will also say that I recently subscribed to a site called "Presenter Media".  I have no financial interest in the company, or in referrals, but they were much more affordable than many of the other stock sites, and you don't have purchase each image.  You have unlimited access to downloads - at any image size - throughout your subscription.  They don't necessarily have the variety that site like istockphoto does, but they have a nice selection of the kinds of things I like to use ... like those 3D stick figures.  It's a new favorite of mine. 

David Anderson
David Anderson

Thanks Randy. We normally share pieces of this list since it can be overwhelming. 

Regarding Pixmac, it appears they offer both free and paid images with the free images located here: I'm sure that's how a lot of the free sites will evolve if successful.

Do you agree with the Main Sites list? Would you add or remove any? I'm a big stock image consumer and have had subscriptions with all of those except Fotolia. After reading the comments here I think I'll try it next time.

Randy Borum

David - In my head, I clump the "free" stock sites into two categories:  Those who have categories and those who don't  JK

Really- the first is "sharing-oriented" sites that mostly host public domain images or user-contributed content.  It seems that most of these don't really morph into commercial sites - they just collect whatever they can from donations and advertising revenue. 

The other is the commercial sites with "free sections."  For the kind of work I do, the photo images (as opposed to clipart, illustration or vector) are mostly not useful.  Even the non-photo stuff (in the free section) is real "hit-and-miss" -- mostly miss.  For the most part, I have stopped trying to keep up with their content because it's rarely relevant to me.  

That's not a criticism of the commercial sites with "free sections."  It's business.  If they can draw some people in with free offers, fine, but otherwise they have no obligation to provide their cool content for free.  

So, over time, I gotten into a pattern of just following a few of the "sharing-oriented" sites for new content.  But comprehensive lists like yours are very helpful because it prompts me to re-visit and re-evaluate what's out there. 

Randy Borum

Gerry - Thanks for the tip on  - large selection, very reasonably priced subscription, and (looks like) unlimited downloads.  I like that much better than having to manage "credits", differential pricing for image size, or conducting a transaction each time I need an image.  Quick question - do the animations (Flash or otherwise) from Anistock seem to run when produced in Articulate Presenter?

Gerry Wasiluk

So far the animations have worked just fine for me.  Have not used a lot of them but the ones I have used have worked (with fingers crossed   ).

As far as unlimited downloads, there is a limit to how many one can download in a single day.  Only ran into that once--and I can't remember how many.  Not a showstopper for me.

Randy Borum

@Gerry - Thanks for that update.  I'd like to try to integrate some animations, but I'm always concerned about their operability within Presenter.

One thing I'll mention that I have liked about Presenter Media is that you can customize the images BEFORE you download them.

So let's say, I found an image I like of a guy drawing, but he's drawing in BLUE and I've got a GREEN theme going with my presentation - I can just slide the hue and saturation controls over a little and POOF! it now is a better fit for my theme.  I attached a screen shot of the download interface, for those who are interested.

Chantelle N

I have just recently discovered with immense joy the following website (don't think it's been listed yet):

You can get templates, solo graphics, or PSD files for your editing pleasure.

Free for non-profit use (although you need to submit a form first on the terms of use page - since the author says that no reply means you're approved, I took a screenshot of my form and highlighted that sentence for my records).

They can also be purchased for commercial use.

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