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How to find cheap or free images for your ads

Tagged: Tools

Stock photography is abundant online. The problem is finding images that aren’t too expensive. Sites like Getty Images change £50 – £375 just for one image. Whether you’re looking for images for a landing page, ad or blog post; here are some places where you can find images at low prices or for free.

This list is by no means exhaustive. We’ve only included the sites with the largest and most varied collections. After all, nobody wants to spend hours traipsing through many different websites.

Affordable stock photography websites:

If you are prepared to spend some money, your best bet is to go to one of the three stock websites below.

  • shutterstock.com has around 200 million images. Images start from £5.80 for any size. Shutterstock operates on a prepaid or annual basis. The price goes down according to the package you’re on.
  • istockphoto.com has around 30 million images. They also work on a prepaid basis. You order credits upfront which you exchange for photos. Credits start from £6.67. There is an image subscription option available too.
  • stock.adobe.com has around 90 million images. Credits start from £5.99 each and the price reduces with higher quantities.

If you don’t want to shell out on stock photos you can get free photos. See below for the best sites…

Free stock websites:

  • unsplash.com is an absolute gem for marketers. With a library of over 1.5 million images, they’ve got tons to offer. All the images are free to use and modify for both commercial and noncommercial projects, and there’s no need to credit the photographers either.
  • pexels.com has over 1 million free images. All the images are free to use and modify for non-commercial and commercial use. It’s another fantastic site, that offers tons of options. Personally, it’s usually my second choice to check after Unsplash.
  • pixabay.com has over 500,000 photos and is a great place to look if you are having no luck with the two free stock sites above.

There are plenty more free stock websites. Some offer video and some offer icons. You can also use Google to find free images. Here’s how:

Use Google to find free photos*

  1. Go to google images and hit search
  2. Go to Settings > Advanced Settings
  3. Scroll down to ‘Usage rights’ at the bottom of the page and select ‘Free to use, share or modify, even commercially’

*Please be careful to double-check the licence on each image, to ensure that they are in fact free to use. Sometimes Google misclassifies images, so it’s good just to be on the safe side.

So there you have it, a list of some of the best stock and free photography websites online. You should be able to find exactly what you’re after.

About the author: Claire Harbour