Words are important, but an image is worth a thousand words. That’s why it’s important to include visuals in your blog posts. It’s also why I’m sharing my favourite list of the best stock photo sites for bloggers for 2024.
Taking your own photos for every post can be extremely time-consuming. If you’re a food blogger, sharing recipes, unfortunately, it’s a necessary activity.
However, many other bloggers can save hours and be more productive by using stock photos.
There are many royalty-free stock photo sites you can use to find the perfect image to illustrate your points. Some are free, and some require a paid membership. We’ll look into both and the pros and cons of each.
Personally, I like to use a blend of a select few free stock photos sites, and membership-based stock photos sites.
I’ll share with you some of the best I’ve found and have used for this blog and for my lifestyle blog, Suburban Tourist.
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Free Versus Paid Stock Photos
Before I jump into my list of best stock photo sites for bloggers, we need to settle the question of whether free stock photos are better than paid stock photos.
Especially if you’ve just started your blog and are looking to quickly scale it up to a professional-looking blog business.
If you’re running a self-hosted WordPress site, you’re like me – you want to look at the most cost-effective resources and tools you can use.
We all want to save money, so we may want to gravitate toward free options. That’s fine when you’re starting out, but eventually, you’ll want to elevate the look of your blog.
Here are some of the reasons why you may want to look into paid stock memberships and photo bundles.
- Fewer people use the images, so you will stand out as fresh and unique. Free stock photos can have too much exposure in the blogosphere.
- Many have bundled photos from photoshoots, making it easy for you to create a consistent “look and feel” on your site or for your project.
- The quality of paid stock photos is often much better – from resolution to the crispness of the photos.
- With better high-quality resolution, paid stock photos can have multiple uses and can be zoomed in for unique visuals.
- Paid stock photo membership sites are often very well organized, making it easy to find what you’re seeking.
- With a membership, you get access to quality photos whenever you need them.
While free stock photos are okay to use in most cases, they do have their limitations.
NOTE: Remember, you can take a membership for a month or a quarter. This can mean cost savings while investing wisely in your blog.
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Pitfall Of Using Free Stock Photo Sites
One very important reason why you may want to go with a paid stock photo or stock photo membership is that you protect yourself legally.
There are some photographers who are using unscrupulous practices where they provide a photo to a free stock photo site.
Then, they remove it from the site and go after anybody who has used that photo in their own work. They claim copyright infringement and seek compensation.
You don’t want to be paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for something like this!
This is why it’s so important to choose a quality free photo site for bloggers very carefully.
It’s a good practice to credit the photographer and add a link to where you got the images from, even if it’s from a free stock photo site.
What Can Stock Photos Be Used For On Your Blog?
There are many uses for stock photos on your site:
- Support your blog branding, by using carefully selected photos for key pages (home page, about page, etc.) within your brand’s colour palette
- Use them as a “feature image” for your blog (the one that appears on the top of your blog post, and in previews)
- To illustrate a point in your blog content
- As a way to break up text-heavy blog posts
- To create your Pinterest pin design
- As a design in your social media posts
- In your free lead magnet
- As part of your courses, or digital content (in most cases modified from the original), that you’re selling.
As you can see from this list, there are many reasons to invest in stock photos! They can make blogging way more productive.
Here is an example of one photo I’ve used from the Styled Stock Society membership site:
Pinterest Pin #1
Pinterest Pin #2
As you can see, I’ve cropped certain areas of the image to work with my design. One quality image can go a long way!
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The Best Stock Photo Sites For Blogs For 2024
If you’re a new blogger working on a budget, the first few stock photo sites I’m listing here will be very helpful. They’ll also be an investment.
The second group is the free stock photo sites.
They all have a selection of beautiful images that can be used for a variety of blog niches and purposes.
Best Membership Feminine Stock Photo Sites
Sometimes you need something different. A series of consistent photos that work with your brand palette or your personal branding.
Or perhaps, a mood or style that works for your blog post.
Photos in a free stock photo site may not work for what you need. They usually are one-offs by photographers, adding to a repository of different types of photos. The end result is not cohesive.
In addition to this, you may find free stock photos for your niche being over-used by competitors.
Here are my favourite feminine stock photo sites with memberships, that are perfect for lifestyle blogs and solopreneur businesses. They help you stand out and make your blog look professional.
Here are some of my favourite stock photo memberships:
1. Ivory Mix
Get over 10,000 high-resolution stock photo images – either via membership or individual bundle or individual photo purchases!
Ivory Mix is one of the most affordable, best stock photo sites for women bloggers desiring feminine photos of home decor, flat lays, business, and lifestyle shots.
Here’s a taste of what you can get on Ivory Mix.
You get more than just photos: Canva templates, caption prompts and content planning resources. Kayla at Ivory Mix has created a fantastic resource that’s affordable and flexible. Get a free account and get access to 550+ stock images, templates and more.
Upgrade and get more! Ivory Mix’s quarterly membership is at a very affordable $67/quarter.
2. Styled Stock Society
Another of my top favourite feminine stock photo sites, and with photos often found on this site is Styled Stock Society from Elle Drouin.
Geared toward women entrepreneurs, Styled Stock Society has crisp, beautifully styled photography bundles available through the membership.
Using these photos makes your site stand out as truly professional. And it’s easy to use! The bundles that are released each month make for a cohesive look, with a consistent colour palette. This makes it easy to update your site photos without searching around for hours!
Get access to over 6000 stock photos, stock videos, 1,500 Canva templates, and caption templates for your marketing needs. Sign up for the Styled Stock Society quarterly membership.
PixiStock is another popular feminine stock photo site for coaches, consultants, bloggers, and online entrepreneurs.
It’s also heavy on templates and other visual design resources.
The membership packages give you access to over 10,000 photos that are perfect for your website content, social media and more.
You also get access to Canva templates that make creating digital assets super easy.
I love the professional look of PixiStock’s photos – they keep your site looking professional and classy! There are several categories of photos: business, finance, beauty, health, wellness, home, and more.
Get started with PixiStock with unlimited downloads at $47/month (a steal!).
4. Haute Stock
Probably one of the most gorgeous collections of high-quality visuals for your blog – Haute Stock is worth every single penny. Everything from workspace, lifestyle, food, wellness and more.
These stock photos and videos are for you if you’re looking for an upscale look to your blog.
Also included are marketing templates for a cohesive look.
Get unlimited access to 8500+ photos and more for $149 quarterly. Try Haute Stock today.
PRO TIP: Many stock photo membership sites do monthly or three-month membership. This is a good way to get a taste of the quality and breadth of photos for the site before committing to annual plans.
I stumbled upon Stocklane about a year ago, and I fell in love. It offers “photo capsules” – curated packages of photos at a super affordable price.
This is one of the best women-geared stock photo membership sites, with beautifully arranged shots. The tagline says it all: “You deserve beautiful.”
As you can see from this Spring 2021 bundle, the photos are truly outstanding:
From the colours to the layouts and the angles, there’s a multitude of options. Maureen, the founder of Stocklane, has decided to sell her photos in feature bundles (at approx. $19/bundle).
There’s always a new bundle being added every so while, including seasonal shots.
The monthly capsule membership gives you 30 photos from a curated capsule.
Try out Stocklane with 10 free complimentary photos.
Free Royalty Free Stock Photo Websites
Although there are many free royalty-free stock photo sites out there, I’m sharing my top five vetted sites.
You’re bound to find what you need in one of these!
Unsplash is a popular stock photo site for bloggers with over 3 million free high-resolution images for you to use. The images are selected by the Unsplash team, giving you the best options.
The images can be used for your blog for commercial and non-commercial purposes under the Unsplash license.
Since Unsplash is one of the most popular free stock photography sites, you’re bound to see the same photos used over and over. This is particularly true with Pinterest pins and blog content.
Another popular free image site with millions of stock photos AND video options. Much like Unsplash, Pexels vets the images and videos that are added to the database.
You can use them in commercial and non-commercial projects – although, for anything that you’re selling, you need to modify the images.
Want photos with an Old World, European flair?
Polish photographer, Karolina, shares her beautiful, moody and simply stunning photos and photo collections, easily categorized by colour palette. Kaboompics is one of my favourite free stock photo sites.
You can use the photos on your blog, lead magnets, social media and more. Check out Kaboompics today.
4. Raw Pixel
Raw Pixel offers 1 million free photos, vector graphics, PSD mockups, templates, PNG elements and design add-ons.
While there are some occasional cheesy stock photos, many are stunning and uniquely found on Raw Pixel. You can use the free photos in your blog content and many other situations, according to the license.
Pixabay has over 2.6 million free stock images, videos, illustrations, vectors and royalty-free sounds. You can use the media in your projects without making any changes to it.
Yes, some of the photos in this database scream “cheesy stock photos”, you can find a few really good ones.
A Selection of Best Stock Photo Sites For Bloggers: Choose Carefully!
You’ve got many choices now from this selection of stock photo sites for bloggers.
Make the stock photos work with your personal brand, your blog brand and content.
Remember that you can use a photo more than once if the resolution quality is great. Crop and edit to use them smartly!
Investing in stock photo memberships is one of the smartest ways to elevate your new blog and make it look professional.
Final tip – remember to optimize your blog images! You can use free online photo editors to make things easier for yourself.
Using stock photos for your Pinterest pins? I’ve got 10 free Pinterest pin templates for Canva, just for you!
QUESTION: After you’ve checked out some of the best stock photo sites for blogs, tell me which ones you like the best!
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