Ultimate list of image libraries

Anyone who’s used social media, has a website, a blog or has customers will probably need visual images. When communicating to customers, images have been proved to increase conversion rates. But where do you find new photos or images? Well, Twine is on hand to give you a monster list of image libraries to get that perfect visual.

We’ve broken the libraries down into free services, subscription services and pay per image. You should note that paid services might not be as expensive as you think, and there are new business models beyond the traditional (expensive) pay-per-photo pricing.

Subscription services


Shutterstock is one of the biggest image libraries with 219 million images. They offer a subscription plan that gives you a limited number of image downloads per month. The images roll over if you don’t use them all in a month. You can certainly get top quality images at a low average price but it does mean you’re locked into a subscription. Check them out.


Envato Elements

Envato Elements have everything from images, to photos, to icons to templates. It costs $16.50 per month, which is pretty damn cheap for such a varied library. They also have Envato Market which has 9 million assets but they work on a pay-per-download model.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock has 112 million images, so it’s not small by any stretch. It covers photos, templates, videos, 3D models and even editorial content for journalists pulling in Reuters feeds. The pricing is inline with Getty but it’s a lot more expensive than Envato or Shutterstock. But then again, it does have a high level of quality.

Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Deposit Photos

Deposit Photos have 80 million photos. They have a series of different subscription models. Generally this starts at $30 per month, with high priced packages for better licenses.

Death To Stock

As the name Death To Stock suggests, they’re doing things a bit differently. It’s a subscription model, where they will curate images to try and help you find that unique look you need.

Pay per image


Getty Images is one of the oldest photo libraries being founded in 1995. They have a rich library of just about everything. They also own iStock which has a subscription payment model similar to Shutterstock.


Alamy is less well-known then Getty, but it still boasts 145 million images. The pricing is slightly cheaper than Getty too.


EyeEm is a fairly new kid on the block. They only charge $20 for a social license, $50 for a web license and $250 for a full license. It works out much cheaper than Getty. They have 20 million photographers on the platform which means there is a huge amount of unique content. They also have subscription models to save money too.


Agora seems to be the cheapest pay-per-image platform, with prices starting at $9.99 per photo. They do have a lot of low quality images though, as there appears to be no filter allowing new photographers on their network.

Free services

These are quite self explanatory. This list is of libraries that have free images:

  • Good Stock Photos – Good Stock Photos has a huge library of high-quality, royalty-free images.
  • Unsplash – Unsplash has all royalty free images, there’s over 500,000 and they’re fantastic quality.
  • Freepix – They have vectors, PSDs, icons and photos. There are varied licenses.
  • Pexels – Thousands of good quality images that are free for personal and commercial use.
  • Pixabay – Over 1.5 million royalty free stock photos and video. Solid quality.
  • All The Free Stock – An aggregator of tons of stock. Bit of a messy site though.
  • Wikimedia Commons – A common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation with 48 million images.
  • Foter – another aggregator with a nice interface. Quality varies a bit though.
  • ISO Republic – More free stock images. Good selection.
  • StockSnap.io – Another great source of categorised images.
  • Free Images – Part of Getty, this is a huge library of free to use images.

We’re keen to find more image libraries so please comment below if you know of any others.

Stuart Logan

Stuart Logan

The CEO of Twine. Follow him on Twine and on Twitter @stuartlogan – As the Big Boss, Stuart spends his days in a large leather armchair, staring out over the Manchester skyline while smoking a cigar and plotting world domination. (He doesn’t really). Originally from Salisbury, UK, he studied computer science at Manchester University but was always keen to break into the exciting world of start-ups, and was involved in a number of ventures before finalising his plans for Twine. When not wearing his chief executive hat (metaphorically speaking) he enjoys harbouring unrealistic expectations for Manchester United’s future success and live music.