6 Best Stock Photo Sites for Designers

Losing viewers’ attention is one of the biggest failures in graphic design. You must play all the right cards to hook your target audience and compel them to convert. Utilizing high-quality images within your web design is a powerful way to enhance sales and elevate customer satisfaction.

Research also indicates customers prefer businesses to prioritize skilled graphic designers and top-notch visual content.

However, investing in customized photography is not every brand’s cup of tea. Small to medium-sized businesses can use stock images to make their platforms more attractive and user-friendly. The right image can evoke an emotional response in the viewer and help convey a strong message.

The renowned saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” explains how important images are in web design. Studies reveal that we remember pictures better than words, so choosing the right visuals for your design is crucial. Here are the top websites you can use to find impressive stock photos:

Stock Photo Secrets Shop

Stock Photo Secrets is one of the most popular stock image collection websites. It offers users a huge quantity of high-quality and licensed photos. They also add new photos regularly, so plenty of choices are available. The images on this site are allowed on all personal and commercial projects, including social media, web illustrations, advertising, and printing packages.

You can access their 9,135,683 curated photos, vectors, and fonts collection when you purchase a plan from this website. They have various plans to fulfill your image requirements regardless of budget or business size. Whether a solopreneur or a large corporation, you can find the right solution with this platform.

There is no hidden fee to obtain the highest-resolution file; you can download any size.


  • A huge range of photos in multiple categories.
  • Offers affordable plans.


  • Customer support could get better.

Stock Photos

Another great resource for top-notch images, vectors, and illustrations is Stock Photos. Their collection currently consists of 8,034,432 carefully selected photos, vectors, and fonts, with around 100,000 new files added each month. You won’t encounter any hidden fees to access high-resolution files. Additionally, the website offers a 50% discount on premium images, which are rare and hand-picked to enhance important business campaigns.

You can purchase a royalty-free image through a stock photo subscription or on-demand, depending on what suits your needs. Stock agencies usually have a minimum purchase requirement, but on StockPhotos.com, you can often find high-quality photos for under $10, even under $1 each. This agency also provides valuable advice on making wise decisions when buying stock images.

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  • Backed with 16 years of industry experience.
  • 100% secure platform.
  • Helpful customer support.


  • Requires a thorough study of price plans to make the right decision.


Fancycrave is a library of free and paid stock photos. This platform stands out because of its unique and artistic photos, making it apt for creatives who wish to make a lasting impression on their viewers.

You can explore different categories, preview photo packs before purchasing them, and even get information about the image sets to understand their context and appreciate their value. If you are on a tight budget, numerous free photos are also available for you to choose from.

This platform strives to simplify your professional life by providing valuable tips, tricks, and techniques that help you make the most of easily accessible technology. They aim to save you time and reduce the stress of determining which software is truly effective and user-friendly.


  • Offers a collection of distinct, artistic images.
  • Provides context of the images.
  • Divided into user-friendly categories to make search easy.


  • Collection could be limited in some niches.


Depositphotos is another excellent stock photo platform that is often raved about. Its high-quality photos, coupled with affordable price plans, make it one of a kind. It is an excellent choice for bloggers and small-scale businesses with limited budgets.

You can access more than 224 million photos and download as many as you require without any daily limits. The customer support on this platform is exceptionally great. They respond quickly in the live chat, usually within a few moments, and the emails are answered in less than 24 hours. What’s even better is that they pay attention to every feedback, whether they are positive or negative. This made us believe that Depositphotos truly cares about its customers.


  • No daily download limit.
  • Allows reverse image search.
  • Offers incredible customer support.


  • No customized packs.


Pexels is driven to fulfill customers’ needs by covering photos in various niches. Compared to free stock image platforms like Pixabay, Pexels is relatively new. It was started in 2014 by Bruno and Ingo Joseph, and later Daniel Frese joined in 2015. Since then, Pexels has been working hard to become a top source for high-quality stock images that are free to use.

Pexels aims to empower creators, such as designers, marketers, artists, programmers, and other professionals, by offering them a valuable resource filled with timely, artistic, and ready-to-use images, designs, and videos.

When you discover a photo you really like, you can select from different size choices to download it, including a custom size. And if you love an image you come across, you can “like” it so that others can see it too.


  • The search feature is quite accurate and helpful.
  • Contains a large database of free photos.


  • Can include new AI capabilities to improve users’ experience.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is a collection of carefully chosen assets that users can explore for their digital projects. These assets include high-quality images, vectors, videos, audio, set templates, and 3D options. The website has a convenient advanced search feature that makes finding what you’re looking for easy. You can also search images based on their depth of field. The user interface is simple to navigate, presenting stock photos without distractions.

While Adobe offers a free 30-day trial, its services are primarily paid. With their monthly subscriptions, you can access “standard assets,” including regular images, templates, 3D assets, and music tracks.

Adobe Stock is a useful website for graphic designers with programs like Photoshop or Illustrator. It’s affordable and offers a royalty-free license, making it a practical choice for buyers who want flexibility and affordable prices.

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  • AI powers image search.
  • Flexible credits and diverse subscriptions.
  • Offers the largest free trial with up to 40 images.


  • Expensive premium images.
  • Customer support could get better.

The Bottom Line

Designers often use images to convey an emotion or set a mood among their audience. These magical creations, like illustrations and photographs, can bring words to life. They can add meaning and context to written stories, like colorful companions that make the words dance.

And guess what? Some designers are so clever that they use images instead of words to express tricky thoughts and ideas. It’s like a secret language of visuals that unlocks the mysteries of complexity!

It can be overwhelming when searching for relevant images for a design. The websites listed above can be a starting point in your research.

Let us know your experience!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to select images for web design?

You can use your own (custom) pictures or from a stock image library. Just ensure you have the right to use them and avoid pictures from Google or other sources without permission. When selecting, make sure the photos capture your audience’s attention and be a part of your design. If you know your audience and brand well, choosing interesting and engaging photos should be easy.

Is photography a part of design?

Graphic designers often use photography to make their digital designs look more interesting and lifelike. But it’s not just designers benefiting from photography. Photographers also seek the help of graphic designers to create their branding and establish their unique identity. It’s a mutual relationship where both professions support and collaborate.

What photos can I use for my design?

Stock photos are great for graphic designers because they can turn the visuals into something completely original and tailored to your business. Designers can modify and enhance stock photos to create unique visuals that perfectly represent your brand.

How important are visuals for a design?

Visual design helps make content easily understood, interesting, and enjoyable by establishing patterns and connections between ideas. It simplifies complex information and facilitates comprehension using visual elements that guide the audience’s attention and effectively convey messages.

Why use stock photos?

You can use stock photos for marketing, advertising, personal projects, and making money on blogs or websites. Stock photography is popular among independent graphic designers and businesses because it offers many uses and can be obtained. It’s a convenient option with many possibilities.

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