Free and Premium High Quality Stock Photographs and Images

Stock images are often used for presentations in personal and commercial projects. If you are a Theme developer like myself, the need for stock images and photographs exponentially rises and the search for high quality stock images never ends. In a few years of Theme developing for our small agency I made a list of some of the best free and premium stock markets for Photographs and Images.

Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost. Today, stock images can be presented in searchable online databases. They can be purchased and delivered online. Often, these photographs involve people, and are produced in studios using a wide variety of models posing as professionals, stereotypes, expressing common emotions and gesticulations, or involving pets. Other common stock photography niches include images related to travel and tourism, as well as conceptual photography.

Here at Premiumcoding we know exactly how difficult it is to find Free or Premium High-Quality Stock Photographs and Images, so this is why we composed this list of the best ones.

Where to learn about photography

If you wish to take photographs like this yourself, I recommend paying this thorough photography guide a visit and start learning.

Premium High-Quality Stock Photographs and Images

Below is the list of the markets that offer premium images, vectors, videos and audio clips. Images usually cost from €1 to more then €100 (Vetta collection on iStock which is a collection of very special and unique photographs and illustrations).


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Thinkstock offers millions of premium art-directed and user-generated royalty-free photos, vectors and illustrations selected from Getty Images, iStock and our worldwide image partners. We are the only stock subscription designed with one goal in mind -– to give you the freedom to focus on being creative. Here you will find millions of  premium images. You can choose from their collections of royalty-free photos, vectors and illustrations selected from Getty Images and iStock. You can download up to 25 images a day with a subscription. And once you’ve used an image, you can keep using it – over and over – in future projects.



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Fotolia is devoted to offering affordable creative imagery. Our crowdsourced library includes millions of royalty-free images, vectors, illustrations and video footage clips.Whether you’re a professional designer, manager, presenter, small business owner or student, the right images for your website, brochures, reports, and slides are available on Fotolia.

A vast community of artists, graphic designers, and a select list of well-known agencies are responsible for their collective success. Tens of thousands of images, illustrations and videos are submitted every day, and their international team of moderators ensures that you see the best of the best.

Buyers access over 29 Million images, vectors and videos at great prices, while contributing artists receive the highest commission rate on the market. Fotolia’s trusted business platform and technology helps facilitate millions of downloads every year. All images offered on Fotolia are royalty-free, and can be used for any design project or document, with no time limits.



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123RF is a royalty-free digital media library that offers a wide variety of budget-friendly commercial and editorial images, video footage, audio clips, logo designs and illustrations. From its humble beginnings in 2005, 123RF now ranks as the leading global provider of content.


iStock by Getty


iStockphoto is one of the first stock markets for images and is currently the biggest one. Explore millions of stock photos, vectors, images, videos and audio clips that you can only get from iStock.




Shutterstock is another amazing market with a huge database. The specialty is their simple pricing. If you need more then just a few images, then Shutterstock is one of the best options. They offer a monthly plan for €199/month which enables you to download a whooping 25 images per day. That means you can get 750 photographs for less then 200 euros. At 26 cents per image this is as cheap as it gets on premium markets.


Free High Quality Stock Photographs and Images

Always relying just on premium stock images can be quite costly. Most of us (me included) always thought that only premium images from markets listed above can provide the highest quality. But lately I found some markets that offer amazing images for free (even for commercial use!).



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Finding free images of high quality is a tedious task – due to copyright issues, attribution requirements, or simply the lack of quality.  This inspired Hans Braxmeier and Simon Steinberger  to create Pixabay – a repository for stunning public domain pictures. Your source for free vectors, free drawings and free photos.

You can freely use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications.



Unsplash is a very special website that adds 10 new images every 10 days. It has become widely popular among the theme developers on Themeforest since photographs are very special and follow the modern trend of “hipster” photography. This fits perfectly with the fact that hipster design is currently very popular in web design.

Unsplash offers free hi-resolution photos. Free as in you can do with them whatever you please. They give 10 new photos every 10 days and you can submit you photos. They have very modern photos, which are perfect for web pages and quotes.


Wallpapers wide

This website offers wallpapers in all dimensions (from desktop to mobile, tablets and all sort of other devices and resolutions). It can also be a good source for images that can be used in your personal projects. With over 10 000 images of the highest quality it is one of the best sources for free stock images.

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