Finding unique stock photo options can be difficult. While hundreds of sites exist that offer both free and premium stock photos, most of what’s available falls into a handful of overused categories. Stock photography can be very helpful for businesses looking to put together a professional website or blog, but if the photos you choose end up looking cliché, they’ll just work against you. The following five sites are the remedy for the commonplace stock photo; from gorgeous landscapes to stunning portraits, these sites offer a diverse variety of unique options available for business use.
A quick note on licensing: unless otherwise noted, all of the images found on the sites below are available for free under Creative Commons public domain license. Under this license, businesses are free to use the images for commercial purposes.
With 10 new high-quality photos unveiled every 10 days, Unsplash is a great resource for beautifully unique and striking images. Unsplash specializes in landscapes, from fog-covered rivers to majestic mountains ranges, making the site a great resource for breathtaking photos of nature. You can also find wonderful up-close shots of wildlife and flora, graphical images of architectural features and action poses of people engaging in hiking and yoga. Though not searchable, Unsplash has so many gorgeous options that you won’t mind browsing. Unsplash makes all their stock photos free with attribution required.
Easy to navigate with a robust search function, Picjumbo features high-resolution photos in a wide variety of categories from people and fashion to animals and abstract. New photographs are added daily, so Picjumbo provides users with a constantly growing source for stock images. While they offer many photo categories, Picjumbo has a particularly large collection of food images, well-suited for restaurants and nutrition-themed businesses. The site offers over a thousand stock photos free with no attribution required, or you can purchase a premium membership starting at $69 a year for access to thousands of additional exclusive images.
Are you looking for an unusual stock photo with vintage flair? Look no further than New Old Stock, a stock photo site that curates a collection of vintage and antique images culled from a variety of sources including government agencies and estate sales. Ranging from color photographs of shipping docks in the 1960s to black and white snapshots of children from the 1930s, New Old Stock maintains a huge selection of unique historical images. While not searchable, New Old Stock does tag all of its images for easy and quick browsing. Best of all, New Old Stock’s photos are free to use without attribution.
With a different focus than most stock photo sites, Pixabay offers much more than just the typical landscape shots. Indeed, Pixabay’s stock photo offerings range from artistic abstract images and atmospheric close-ups to dynamic portraits and evocative nature shots. In additional to photographs, Pixabay also offers illustrations, vector graphics and videos for free. All of Pixabay’s stock photos, illustrations, graphics and videos are free of copyrights through Creative Commons and do not require attribution.
Most stock photo sites pull together their collections from a variety of photographers. Jay Mantri is unique in that it showcases the work of just one stock photographer–Jay Mantri himself. The Southern California designer has created a stunning collection of distinctive photographs with an emphasis on geometric black and white photos of architecture. Mantri updates his site every Thursday, ensuring that his visitors have a steady stream of new unique stock photos. The photographer makes all of his photos available for free under the Creative Commons license with no need for attribution.