Online shopping is a very visual experience. The look and feel of your website can spell the difference between a customer who converts or visitor who bounces the moment they land. For this reason, it’s incredibly important that you invest in imagery that can captivate shoppers and communicate your brand message.
To help you do that, here’s a roundup of ecommerce stock photography sources that you can check out. Whatever your budget is, you’ll likely find usable sites below.
Free ecommerce stock images
In this section, we’ll shed light on sources that you can tap into if you’re looking for free stock images.
Burst is a Shopify-powered image library that contains thousands of royalty-free free photos shot and submitted by their global community. All the images on Burst are free to use. You can download low-resolution images instantly, and get access to the high-res versions by entering your email address.
Its URL says it all: Free Images offers a library of over 300,000 stock photos that you can download for both personal and commercial purposes.
If you’re searching for numerous high-quality images, Pixabay’s massive library (of over 1.5 million photos and videos) will surely impress you. Most searches return hundreds of results, which you can quickly filter by color, size, orientation, category, and media type.
All the images from Skitterphoto are public domain, so you can use and modify them for free. Like most resources on this list, they have a ton of images in their database. Fortunately, you can narrow down your search by category as well as by date, rank, and number of views, downloads, and likes.
Pexels keeps its terms simple: all images on the site are available for free and can be used for commercial purposes. There’s no attribution required, and you can modify the photos.
If you’re in need of off-beat, out-of-the-box photos, then this website is a must-visit. Dubbed as “The world’s quirkiest collection of free high-resolution pictures,” Gratisography gives you a refreshing library of unconventional images you won’t easily find anywhere else.
As its URL clearly states, this website is all about free digital photos. You can search its library of photos and illustrations, and even filter results by image orientation and whether or not you’re looking for images with people in them.
Freerange has a huge collection of “totally free” photos and illustration that are licensed for commercial use — no attribution necessary.
With the tagline, “Photos for everyone,” Unsplash generously “grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos” from its site for free.
Dreamstime is a subscription-based stock photo website with a large free image portfolio. You can browse and scroll through their library and download images that catch your eye, but there’s also a search function — just make sure to adjust the filters so the site only serves up free images.
Moreguefile gives you a library of 350,000+ stock photos that are free for commercial use. Its no-frills search function lets you find images in seconds.
FreeStocks has a decent library of images from a handful of categories. In addition to a useful search feature, you can also browse photos by tags (i.e., #green, #city, etc.)
Picjumbo has a wide selection of stunning images in categories like business, food, people, and architecture among other things. Definitely worth a browse!
New Old Stock curates “vintage photos from public archives” that are “free of known copyright restrictions.” It’s packed with interesting photos that’ll take you back decades, making it an awesome site to browse even if you’re not specifically looking for stock images.
BARNIMAGES provides “free high-resolution photos for everyone.” Featuring a simple search functionality, the site has a cool selection of photos, as well as free fonts, graphics, and mockups.
Another cool source of free images, all photos uploaded to Albumarium fall under a Creative Commons Attribution license (refer to each image to see the specific license). There are hundreds of categories on the site, and the popular ones include nature, kids, people, etc.
Style Stock’s selection leans heavily on feminine categories — i.e., beauty, fashion, florals, etc. Their photos are well-made and beautiful, and best of all you’re welcome to use and adapt them for commercial purposes. Just remember that copyright still belongs to the author of the image.
Magdeleine may not have the biggest collection, but the site sure has some breathtaking images. Highly curated, the site contains hand-picked images in categories like nature, architecture, technology, and abstract, among others.
Negative Space is another excellent source for high-quality, high-resolution Creative Common licensed images. It has your usual collections (people, architecture, etc) along with specialty categories like fashion, art, and more.
Life of Pix features a wide collection of free to use images from various categories, including animals, people, architecture, black and white, and more. Search by keyword or category, and filter results according to color or image orientation.
A significant part of Picography’s selection comprises of nature shots, so if you’re on the hunt for photos of plants, animals, and other outdoorsy subjects, this site would be a go-to source for you.
Created by Karolina, “a coffee addict who spends her time creating digital images,” Kaboompics has thousands of images that you’re free to use. One thing that’s now allowed, though, is using images with identifiable people in a bad light or in a way that is offensive. Selling unaltered images and redistributing photos on other sites are not allowed.
Created by the folks at IM Creator, IM Free is a “curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.” There’s a search feature, along with image collections covering categories like business, food, people, and more.
Self-dubbed as “Possibly the best place with copyright free pictures on the internet,” PublicDomainPictures aggregates images and illustrations of everything from animals and nature to food, people, sports, and more.
MMT has a good selection of free images and videos that you can use on your site, themes, social posts, articles, and more. It doesn’t have the most comprehensive library, but it’s great if you’re looking for images of nature, cities, and technology.
This site hasn’t been updated in a while, but the photos are still good. Scroll through their collection of images of people, animals, nature, and objects then see if you can use them on your site.
Shot Stash doesn’t have the most exhaustive collection of photos, but it does have a fantastic selection if you’re looking for nature, food, and technology shots.
Paid stock photos
Got budget to spare? Purchase the images you need from these websites.
Getty Images is a top source of editorial and stock photos, and for good reason: with more than 80 million still images and over 50,000 stock film footage, it has one of the widest and highest-quality collections around.
Pricing: Single image downloads start at $175 per download. Image packs start at $150 per download.
A subsidiary of Getty Images, iStock is a contentmarketplace off crowdsourced photos, vectors, illustrations, and video clips.
Pricing: Image credits starting at $8.67 per credit. Subscriptions start at $29 per month.
With more than a million photos in its database, Creative Market’s selection is packed with high-res images of people, places, and objects. Many images are priced below $10, which is considerably lower than what many other marketplaces are charging.
Pricing: Varies per image, but we’ve seen prices as low as $3.
Tired of stock photos that look, well… stock-photo-y? Check out Stocksy, a website that curates fresh-looking images that don’t look like they came out the world of The Stepford Wives. There’s even a whole section dedicated to mobile-friendly images.
Pricing: Starts at $15 per image.
A simple marketplace of more than 69 million royalty-free photos and illustrations.
Pricing: Plans start at $79 per month.
Shutterstock has more than 228 million images, video clips, and music tracks. It also has editorial images for entertainment, news, and sports.
Pricing: Annual plans offers pricing which starts at $0.27 per image. Prepaid image packs start at $9.16 per image.
Self-dubbed as the world’s most diverse stock photo collection, Alamy’s library contains over 145 million photos, videos, and vectors.
Pricing: Starts at $19.99 per image.
Owned by Adobe, this is a simple marketplace for stock images. It’s a great choice if you’re a heavy Adobe user.
Pricing: Starts at $29.99 per month
Source images from your customers or staff
Fact: your shoppers and employees can be amazing sources of images. If you have an active customer base and team, get them to share their content with your brand. They’re not exactly stock photos, but they can be just as (if not more) effective. These images will also come off as more authentic!
Here are a few ideas:
Come up with a snappy and catchy hashtag for your brand, then encourage your community, customers, and employees to use that hashtag whenever the post about your product or brand on social.
Doing so will make it easy for you to surface the images you need. Just search for that hashtag on Instagram or Twitter and see what comes up.
GoPro is a great example of a brand that’s doing this. Check out the #GroPro hashtag for the stunning images that their customers are sharing.
You could also bake image sourcing into your post-purchase process. Find a way to entice customers to send you images of their purchase, which you can share on your site.
Take SheIn, which incentivizes customers to take photos of themselves wearing their merch. Aside from displaying those user-submitted photos to their corresponding product pages, SheIn has a “Style Gallery” on its homepage featuring the best ones.
If it makes sense for your business, launch an initiative that encourages your staff to create and share branded content.
Consider Macy’s, which created the Macy’s Style Crew program, a community of the company’s employees “who are passionate about sharing what they love most about fashion and style.” It’s akin to having an internal influencer program.
Macy’s compiles their crew’s content into a page that shoppers can browse. And while the initiative focuses on videos, you can take the same concept and apply it to photography.
Design your own
Stock photo sites are great, but the images you get from them aren’t totally unique. If you want to add your personal flair to the images, these tools can help:
Great for creating social media posts, Pablo makes it easy for you to overlay text onto any photo. Whether you’re looking to add a tagline, header, or inspirational quote, you can do it all with a few clicks. Pablo lets you upload your own images, but it also has a wide selection of photos that you can search through.
PicMonkey is a web-based photo editor that allows you to do everything from cropping and retouching images to adding filters, text, and frames. You can even create collages. PicMonkey offers a 7-day trial and pricing plans start at $5.99 per month.
If you’re looking for more sophisticated image creation and editing tools, then add Canva to your list. It’s a collaborative graphic design tool site that features simple drag-and-drop tools so can create and edit images. Whether you’re looking to come up with a social media image from scratch or just want to enhance an existing photo, you can find what you need at Canva.
You’ll have access to lots of free tools on the site, but you can also upgrade for $9.95 a month if you want additional features.
BeFunky has three main tools: there’s a photo editor, a collage maker, and designer. So whether you’re looking to compile a bunch of photos into one stunning image or you need to add special effects and filters to a photo, this site has you covered.
BeFunky provides a Basic plan that’s free to use, and prices for BeFunky Plus start at $4.95 per month.
We don’t need to tell you how important images are to your ecommerce site. Imagery can make or break a purchase, which is why you need to invest in sourcing amazing photos for your store. We hope one of the sites, tools, and ideas in this post helps you find what you’re looking for.