We’ve seen a lot of questions in our Facebook group regarding how we make the graphics and banners in our various stores, and why they look so good. Sure, being able to effectively use Adobe Photoshop to create website images and ads is essential.
But, when it comes down to it, the quality of our graphics is largely due to the quality of the stock images. And the truth is that not all stock-image services are created equal.
So, in this article, we’re going to give you the top 4 stock image services that we’ve used in the past.
Let’s get into it!
#1: Adobe Stock Photos
This is by far our favorite service — the quality and professional look of the images is by far the best we’ve seen when compared to the other options. They have millions of images available for you to use, with both standard and commercial licensing available.
Admittedly, Adobe Stock Photos is a little pricier than the other services out there, and their pricing model has gotten more expensive over the years. But the high-quality of the stock images is absolutely worth it for us.
Their pricing model is based on a monthly fee with a certain number of images per month depending on which plan you pick out. Your images also rollover regardless of which plan, so if you don’t use your quota every month, you’ll be able to do so at any time down the road.
They offer month-to-month plans and annual commitment plans. The annual commitment plans are still paid on a monthly basis; you’re just committing to paying monthly for an entire year. Regardless of which option you pick, the larger packages all have a substantial reduction in the cost per image.
If you decide to go month-to-month, you’ll find that the cost per image for the entry-level plan is quite extortionate; Adobe is definitely encouraging you to upgrade to the next plan, priced at $99/month.
On the other hand, the yearly commitment option gives you a much better price per image. Until we actually needed 40 images per month, we stuck with the cheapest annual commitment plan.
Before you commit to any of the plans, Adobe offers a free trial that you can cancel at any time within the first month. We recommend giving this a shot and seeing how you like the images; if you don’t think it’s worth the money at that point, there are certainly other options.
Shutterstock is another great option that gives you slightly less bang for your buck than Adobe Stock Photos.
Personally, we never committed to any other plans offered. However, we did grab one of the 2-image packs they offer for a specific image we needed that we couldn’t find elsewhere.
The pricing model is the same; month-to-month plans & annual pricing paid on a monthly basis, with the same pattern of having the monthly plans being more expensive. You’re best off committing to an annual plan rather than a monthly.
Here’s the monthly pricing:
And here’s the annual pricing:
Unfortunately, Shutterstock does not offer a free trial for their services, which we found quite surprising, as most of their competitors do.
Unsplash is another great choice if you’re not looking to spend any money — all images are on here for free.
Most of the images on there (if not all) are posted by amateur photographers that are trying to get some exposure. When using these images, you don’t have to credit the photographers but are encouraged to do so whenever you download the image.
We found that the types of images on here can actually be great for using on your Shopify store.
The downside is that there are substantially fewer photos overall, so it may be harder to find a photo containing certain design elements or objects that would look good on your store.
Similar to Unsplash, you’ll find Pexels, which is another good choice for free stock images. Having used both of them before grabbing our Adobe Stock subscription, we think that Unsplash is a little bit better in terms of the types of images you’ll find on there.
However, your satisfaction with their images will likely depend on what niche you’re in and what types of images you’re looking for; so both are worth a shot.
Honestly, any of these services could get you images that will look great on your store. We personally went with Adobe because of both their massive collection and high-quality images.
When we were first getting started and didn’t have any cash to invest, we went with the free options, so don’t feel like you necessarily need to purchase one of the paid services.
But, if you have one (or more) stores up and running, and need tons of creative, go with Adobe.