Posted by Courtney Thoendel


Whether we notice it or not, stock photography is used across many everyday media. If you’ve browsed a website, read a magazine, looked at a billboard or even watched the news, it’s more than likely you’ve seen a mix of stock images. However, just because an image is used does not mean it is fitting with the message it’s trying to portray. We may think of stock photography having a sterile white background and uncomfortable looking person stifling a smile, however, there are many more diverse photos that can be used to fit virtually any brand.

It can arguably be tricky deciding what stock photo site to use, and many live by the term “you get what you pay for,” subscribing to expensive sites without doing in-depth research. Stock photos don’t always necessarily have to be ridiculously expensive. There more than a few sites, both paid and free, that have beautiful stock images to boost your nonprofit's image. Check out these 7 sites to meet your stock photo needs.

  1. Unsplash

    Unsplash advertises itself as a stock photo site that uploads 10 new photos every day. But don’t let this small number fool you. With over 125 collections ranging from food, animals, landscape and technology, there are plenty of beautiful and artsy photos to choose from. The best part? Photos on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means that you may copy, modify and use the photos for free, and do not have to provide attribution to the author or Unsplash itself.

  2. StockSnap.io

    Similar to Unsplash, StockSnap is another great stock photo site that is free from copyright restrictions. It features a search tool that narrows down exactly what you’re looking for, so you don’t have to spend time digging through pages of photos. The trending page can also be helpful if you don’t exactly know what you want, but need a boost of inspiration. You may notice there is an option to create an account with the site, though you can download as many photos as you’d like without actually having to sign up, making it quick and easy.

  3. Getty Images

    Getty Images offers the largest photo library on the market, ranging from sports photos, celebrity images, landscaping and much, much more. There are over 80 million different pieces for sale, including video and sound, and companies can even purchase exclusive rights to one-of-a-kind photos. Images are premium high-resolution, fitting for large-scale printing or TV advertising. Though prices can lean on the expensive side, there are many different packages offering simpler pricing to fit each company’s needs. Image size, rights and usage may have an impact on cost per image, allowing for flexibility.

  4. Shutterstock

    Shutterstock is yet another great resource for high-resolution images, with more flexibility than many top-of-the-line stock photo sites. With over 70 million images and files, including vectors and videos, Shutterstock’s collection does not disappoint. Images can range from professional and sleek to fun and artsy, making it a great choice for a company that has a wide range of style requirements. Starting rates are $29 for 2 photos, or $300 a month for 2 users, and a 750 download limit a month. More users can be added for an additional fee, allowing companies the ability to choose their plan accordingly.

  5. Pixabay

    Another stock photo site under the Creative Commons Zero, Pixabay offers over 770,000 free stock photos, vectors and illustrations for anyone to use. They also have quite a collection of high-res videos as well, some even taken in 4k resolution. The website is very easy to navigate, and allows you to search by category/type, and subscription is not required. Upon downloading an image, you will be asked to input captcha, and the download will start—it’s that simple! If you are willing to subscribe (it’s free!), there will no longer be any captcha inputs, and downloads will be that much faster to access.

  6. Adobe Stock

    Adobe Stock is a great site, especially for those who are already familiar with Adobe’s products, and use Creative Cloud. A huge plus for Creative Cloud users is that these photos can be accessed directly inside of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, without having to open a new page and disrupt your workflow. The site also offers Photoshop tutorials using their very own stock photos, to help you grasp a new concept or to simply boost your inspiration. There are over 40 million photos, videos, vectors and illustrations available to use. Similar to Shutterstock, Adobe Stock offers different plans to fit each individual’s needs. Plans range anywhere from $30 a month for 10 downloads, to $200 a month for 750 downloads. v

  7. Istock

    Owned by Getty Images, Istock is a stock photography site that features images, video, illustrations and audio. A great feature that istock includes is its search tool: You can search by size, price, keywords, photographer and even color. It also features unique pricing, with the option to purchase credits to use toward the media you want to download. Each credit runs for $12, however, should you choose to buy more, there are discount tiers for buying more credits at once. If Istock’s credit option doesn’t seem like the right fit, there is also a subscription feature, offering up to 750 downloads per month, depending on what package is chosen.

Once you've collected you images, you need a website to facilitate everything about your mission. Firespring is here to help! We offer exclusive one-on-one communication, tools and software to help build your nonprofit's website from the ground up. You can start your free demo, or get more information by calling 877.447.8941 or email hello@firespring.org.


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