13 Free Shutterstock Alternatives For Stock Images

Free Shutterstock Alternatives
By Tapas Pal Updated

When you are working on a project, no matter how strong the contents of your project are, there is always a requirement for some pictures. Any project without a suitable picture turns out to be boring, no matter how much interesting and informative it is. But where would you get an appropriate picture? Most of the images you find on Google are not royalty free. Also, to get a proper picture that suits your work perfectly, you need to search a lot. This is time- consuming and often leads you to nowhere. So, to avoid this kind of hassles, you can opt for a site named Shutterstock. Shutterstock, operating in 150 countries and 20 languages, has a collection of 50 million royalty free pictures, vector graphics, 2 million video clips and so on. It has made finding stock images a painless task and there is no doubt about that. But the dilemma here is that Shutterstock is a premium site and it is way too expensive for most of us. Like if you download only 10 images in a month, you would have to pay $29/month. Isn’t that too much? Therefore what you need is to know about some free Shutterstock alternatives, which serve your purpose and don’t cost you a single penny. If that’s what you are looking for, then you’ll have to go through this article, as what I’m about to discuss is the names and features of some free sites like Shutterstock, which might not be as advanced as Shutterstock, but trust me they fairly serve your purpose.

So, give a read.

Some Free Shutterstock Alternatives


Foter is one of the free Shutterstock alternatives, which has over 335 million stock images i.e its collection of images is far bigger than Shutterstock. It has around eighteen different categories, each containing thousands of images. Foter also has the features of filtering and sorting, when you are searching for your required image. But the drawback with Foter is, its picture quality is not up to the mark compared to Shutterstock. Also, this Shutterstock alternative, though free has a twist, that is, whenever you are using an image from this site, you have to mention the name of the photographer. However, that’s not a big issue at all, and Foter is, therefore a smart choice, when you are searching for Shutterstock alternatives.


Pexel is one of those free Shutterstock alternatives, which has around 30000 images in its stock. Though its collection is not as high as Shutterstock, that does not make it any less. Pexel has some high-quality stock images which are available at free of cost. Pexel’s images have a modernised touch to it with enormous inventiveness. It has many categories of images on its site, but the focus is generally on al fresco images like beaches, landscapes, rain, sky etc. All the images offered on this site are available for both personal and commercial use i.e all the images are CC0( Creative Common Zeros) licensed. There is also an option for you to contribute your own photos on this site. So, if you are looking for a dynamic site, then this is your ultimate stoppage. So, try it out today.

Negative Space

Negative Space is yet another site that offers high- resolution stock images with their RAW files and at free of cost. All the images presented on this site are CC0 licensed i.e it is one of those Shutterstock alternatives, whose all images are available for both personal and commercial purpose. It has various categories in it, namely, architecture, design, business, food and drink, travel, technology, people and so on. Negative Space largely motivates promising photographers and encourages them to take part in this world of creativity and art. So, in case you need stock images for your project, or you are a budding photographer looking for a platform to explore, your go-to place is Negative Space.


Unsplash is one of the free stock alternatives. Quantity wise it might not give Shutterstock a very strong competition, as it has only 200000+ images in its collection, but quality wise it is as good as Shutterstock and sometimes even better. Their images are of high quality as well as beautiful and with each passing day, they are adding more images in their gallery. Images are arranged here in different categories. Another added advantage of Unsplash is that it has a community of photographers, where there are 50,000+ members already. You can join this community if you have a passion for photography. You can contribute your own pictures, as well as follow your favorite photographers. Their images can be used for commercial purpose, and mentioning the photographer’s name is also optional. Therefore, Unsplash is undoubtedly one of the best alternatives of Shutterstock, and you should definitely give this one a try.


Another site that offers high-quality images at free of cost is, Visualhunt. They pursue high resolution and free images from a large number of sources and offer it on their website. This is one of those perfect Shutterstock alternatives, which offers some graceful images, which are indeed a treat to the eyes. Most of their offered images are CC0 licensed and you can do whatever you want with them( I mean you can use them for both personal and professional purpose). Like any stock image site, they also have many categories to choose from. Finally, if you are a freelance photographer, then I have a good news for you. Visualhunt lets you upload your pictures, and helps you to gain some recognition for your talent.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now.


Amongst numerous free Shutterstock alternatives, Pixabay is the one which is free and a quite well-known website. You can view stock images on this website in various categories. Also here you will get a unique option of filtering images on the basis of their orientation(vertical or horizontal), size and color. They have a collection of over 1.2 million images, making it one of the biggest rivals of Shutterstock in terms of quantity. Pixabay’s images are CC0 licensed as well. This site does not limit itself to images and offers you royalty free vector graphics, videos as well. Quality wise too Pixabay shines brightly. Therefore, I bet you won’t regret giving it a try.


Lensicle is a bit different from the other free Shutterstock alternatives in this list. It is basically a public domain, where you can find stock images, imported from various sources. There is hardly any image that is created by Lensicle itself. Lensicle effortlessly brings to you free stock images from many sites out there, so that your search becomes easier. These images are CC0 licensed and there is no compulsion regarding the mentioning of the photographers’ name. However, in case you are using their pictures for commercial purpose, it is better if you do give the credits. Another added gain is that you can edit and resize those images as per your convenience. Also, there’s no need to sign up. So, give it a visit right now.

The Stocks

Like Lensicle, Stocks is a website that brings in images from various reliable sources and makes an effort to help millions of designers, students, programmers and so forth. Their images are of decent quality and CC0 licensed. But the drawback with this site is that it has only about 40,000 stock images in its reserve, making it one of the weakest alternatives to Shutterstock. Also sometimes this site is a bit slow to browse.

This is not a bad choice, but definitely, there are better Shutterstock alternatives.


Another inevitable name in the list of free Shutterstock alternatives is-Gratisography. They offer some out of the box, vivacious images to the users. Their categories include, animals, nature, objects, people, urban and whimsical. Most of the photos are shot professionally and are styled in an exceptional way. Hence, if you are a fan of elegant and graceful photography, you just can’t give this site a miss.


The next famous name in this list of free Shutterstock alternatives is, Freeimages. As the name suggests, Freeimages offers more than 400000 royalty free stock images to choose from. These images are well-designed and most of them are natural clicks. However, you can only enjoy images from this site, if you create an account here. Once you create an account, you can download as many images as you want, without any charges. Freeimages has as many as 27 categories to choose from.  Also, there is no such impulse to publish the photographer’s name, when you are using the image for commercial purpose.

ISO Republic

ISO Republic is a much talked about name when it comes to free Shutterstock alternatives. They have over 3000 CC0 licensed images in their collection, and they are expanding their stock each day. Their images are full of elegance and creativity. They have as many as 12 categories, each category featuring over thousands of stock images. Therefore, if you give it a try, it won’t disappoint you.


Next name in this list is  StockSnap. You can get CC0 licensed images here, arranged in more than 100 popular categories. These categories include people, office, food, beach, nature, travel, fashion, book and a lot many things which are somehow an integral part of our daily life. You also have the option to join the photographers’ community and upload pictures that you clicked yourself. So, what on earth are you waiting for? Go, join now.


The final name in my list of free Shutterstock alternatives is of LibreStock. LibreStock holds about 64,800 stock images, and all of them are available for both personal and commercial use. It is a metasearch engine that brings you high-quality images from 40+ different websites. Also, you have full freedom to modify those images and share them on whichever platform you want. And you don’ even have to give any credits to the photographers. therefore, it is one of the coolest alternatives to Shutterstock. So, when are you joining?

I have done my part. Now it is your turn.

If you have already made your choice, good enough. But if you’re still giving it a thought, then I would suggest you to give all these free Shutterstock alternatives a try. That way you would be able to understand, which one perfectly suits you.

Also, those of you who are interested in photography, you guys should definitely contribute your photos in these sites like Shutterstock. That would give you a platform to evolve.

So, start downloading and uploading, and let me know how you liked this article.