It's hard working in small- and medium-sized businesses when you're trying to create engaging visual designs but your budget can't accommodate pricey stock photo website subscriptions. Thankfully, there are some amazing royalty-free photo resources out there that can be used for commercial use to plug into whichever design apps you're using.
"Having these two sites bookmarked has saved me a tonne of time having to trawl multiple websites to find photos"
In the video below, I walk you through my top two favourite stock photo websites where you can get beautiful editorial style photos that are free for commercial use to add to your website, social media, email marketing, blog posts or other graphic designs.
Best Royalty-Free Photo Websites: Pexels and Unsplash
If you're like me, you'll want a couple of reliable, high-quality resources that you can plug into your digital and print design workflows to speed things up. Pexels and Unsplash are two of the best royalty-free photo resources out there.
Having these two sites bookmarked has saved me a tonne of time having to trawl multiple websites to find photos of similar quality. If Pexels doesn't have a suitable image, Unsplash usually does.
I also share a bonus tip, showing you how to get the most out of these websites' advanced search engines so you can speed up your search.
Check out the video below to get a sense of what each platform offers and if you like the content, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel:
For most purposes the photos can be used without any issue but of course, make sure you double check the photo licence for your specific use-case, as there are some restrictions.
If you find a photo that works for you – or you have one already on file – but the resolution isn't high enough, you can use artificial intelligence to improve photo quality and upscale it with Pixelmator Pro or Adobe's new Super Resolution feature for Photoshop and Lightroom. This will upscale your photo and help get rid of pixelation and boost details.
Best Royalty-Free Photo Websites: Pixabay
While I've been favouring both Pexels and Unsplash almost exclusively for the last few years, there are other free alternatives in the market.
Pixabay is another stock imagery website that has some decent photos and illustrations, but overall I've found that the quality is not as high as Unsplash and Pexels which is why I didn't include it in the video.
Photo by Te lensFix from Pexels.