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The Best Stock Photo Search Engines

The Best Stock Photo Search Engines

Every designer knows that finding the right kind of image is significant but not always easy. Just using Google isn’t an option, as most images are copyrighted. There are enough resources for those willing to pay for licenses (sometimes it is the only option), but also more and more royalty-free images appear every year. So what are the best stock photo search engines?

The Best Stock Photo Search Engines



For most people, Unsplash is more than enough. The “internet’s source of freely-usable images” is massive and has almost anything you might need. There are over three million quality pictures, all of them free. Unlike Shutterstock and the like, the users who upload photos and illustrations don’t ask for money.  


Openverse (formerly known as CC Search) is a part of the WordPress open source project. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to search for Creative Commons licensed images, like photos from museums, Flickr (you can also use, illustrations from Wikipedia, and various libraries.


Free images are great, but they are never enough. Regarding stock photos, Shutterstock remains the most popular place out there. If you’re ready to pay, chances are, you’ll find what you’re looking for there.


Still a new service, Vecteezy is a modern site with a powerful filter system that allows you to search by color and other parameters. As the name implies, it also has a vast library of vector images and even quality videos. 


And now for something different: Gratisography is not your typical collection of stock photos. It’s a place where one person by the name of Ryan McGuire can share his work. The collection is relatively small, but it’s very vibrant and fresh. Tired of old cliches? This is your answer.


Pixabay has probably the most extensive collection of public domain pictures of every kind. Most of them are high quality and good enough even for print projects. But it’s better to create a (free) account to get rid of those annoying captchas. We prefer Unsplash for the overall quality of photos, but Pixabay offers more choice.

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