Finding images for your small business can be difficult especially when you are just starting out. Imagery is an important aspect of your branding and messaging, so having the right images at the start of your journey will help the launch of your business. Unfortunately for some of us, we may not be familiar with photography or photo editing software which can make branding difficult.

However, there is a solution: using stock photos. Stock photos are high quality, generic photos that are allowed to be used for promotional, marketing, branding, websites, blogs and more. While some stock photos are free, some come with a licensed fee and others require a subscription. We will outline some of the best resources for stock photos below so your branding and messaging can be effective. The resources are broken down into 3 different categories: free, paid and diverse.

Free Stock Image Resources

1. Unsplash

Unsplash is a free resource for stock photos. The images are high quality and Unsplash has a wide variety to choose from. Not to mention, they also have a mobile app version you can use on the go.

2. Pexels

Pexels is another great tool for free stock photos. It is easy to find photos as they are organized by themes. Moreover, they typically have common photos that you would require for your digital needs.

3. PicJumbo

PicJumbo offers free photos that are a part of themes and collections making it great for projects. They also offer a premium subscription version with three different levels, the blogger plan, designer plan, and agency plan, for you to choose from depending on your needs.

4. Gratisography

Although it does not have the biggest selection to choose from, Gratisography has unique images that are consistently high quality. If you are looking to stand out and be unique Gratisography might be the best option.

5. StockSnap

StockSnap has a huge collection of photos and illustrations that are free but the quality is not consistent so keep an eye out for quality when selecting photos.

Paid Stock Image Resources

1. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock supplies some of the best quality photos. Adobe Stock also provides access to illustrations and videos. The photographers also get paid fairly unlike some other platforms.

2. Getty Images

Getty Images is one of the more popular platforms on this list. You can buy royalty free photos that are stunning. Getty Images definitely has one of the best selections of high-quality beautiful images.

3. 123RF

123RF is a tool that is easy to use and pays the photographers who have taken the shots. They have a good variety of stock images that you can choose from and is an easy platform to use.

4. iStock

iStock has great photos and videos that come with 3 different pricing levels. For example, to download 10 images per month on a basic plan will cost $29, but 750 images per month cost $166 on a basic plan.

5. Storyblocks

Storyblocks has a wide selection of high-quality videos. It is also one of the more affordable options as it starts as low as $10.99.

Diverse Stock Images Resources

1. Nappy

Nappy is a stock image resources that shows Black people engaging in everyday life. They offer high quality images that is relatable for Black minorities.

2. DragonImages

DragonImages has images of Asian culture. They ensure their images are accurate in representing Asian cultures and customs.

3. LeanIn (Getty Images)

LeanIn is a women’s empowerment non-profit that teamed up with Getty Images to create stock photos that eliminate gender stereotypes and images that portray patriarchy.

4. LGBQT Photos (Pexels)

Pexels curated a whole section of LGBQT photos. These photos are also ethnically diverse and free to use as well.

5. Muslim Girl (Getty Images)

To change how Muslim girls are portrayed in media and advertising, Getty Images parented up with Amani al-Khatahtbeh to create images of Muslim girls and women in everyday life in the Western world.


Hopefully after reading this post, you have a better idea on where to find high quality stock images. Certain platforms have a wide variety of photos while other offer a niche and unique set of photos. There are also places where you can find diverse photos as opposed to the

generic stock photos. Great branding always has great images and when you’re looking for stock images be sure to find a resource that best fits your branding strategy.

If you found this helpful, refer to our other posts in business and marketing.

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