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Whether you need a high-quality stock image or video, these free services can add dimension to your website, social media posts, or other published content. — Getty Images/SDI Productions

Visual elements are a key component of modern digital marketing. In fact, content supported by images has been shown to be more effective at reaching a broader audience: The chances of receiving more views increase by 94% compared to publishing content without visuals.

Stock photo sites make it easy for small businesses to find royalty-free, high-quality images for websites, social media pages, and more. Whether you're using images for new content or on your homepage, here are eight free stock photo platforms to help get you started.

Burst by Shopify

Burst, a free stock photo site by the e-commerce company Shopify, provides a wide range of high-resolution images taken by Shopify's community of photographers. It was created to provide access to beautiful free stock photography for designers, developers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. Users can download images in high or low resolution based on their specific needs. All photos on Burst are free for commercial use and have no attribution requirements.

[Read more: 9 Free Apps for Editing Your E-Commerce Photos]

Flickr

Flickr hosts over 5 billion stock images contributed by photographers worldwide. It stands out for its robust metadata, which enables users to search photos using tags, geolocation information, and more. A search bar and a world map option are available for location-based searches, with trending images and sorting options at your fingertips. The site offers galleries and collections, making it easy to navigate through various photographers and image types. Users can find free images through the Commercial Use Allowed option; however, a premium version with an ad-free experience and additional features is available for a monthly fee of $5.99.

Freepik

Freepik is a user-friendly platform offering a wide selection of high-quality photos, vectors, illustrations, icons, and fonts for creative designers and content creators. With over 40 million assets available and a global user base of more than 75 million, Freepik helps speed up workflows and enhance creativity. This platform is very popular among graphic designers and is primarily used by small businesses.

In fact, content supported by images has been shown to be more effective at reaching a broader audience: The chances of receiving more views increase by 94% compared to publishing content without visuals.

Pexels

Pexels is home to a large collection of free photos and video footage for creative individuals who want to enhance their projects. Pexels also has a diverse community of photographers, providing authentic imagery that caters to various industries such as marketing, advertising, and design. The platform is widely used by small and midsized businesses for visual content needs.

Picjumbo

Picjumbo has a wide range of high-resolution images that users can download for personal or commercial projects without any cost. With categories like business, food, nature, and technology, Picjumbo has become a popular resource for free stock photos across a wide range of industries. Although users don’t need to attribute the photographer, the site offers an option to donate to the photographer directly using a "Buy Me a Coffee" button on its website.

Pixabay

Pixabay boasts a vast collection of over 1 million free-to-use photos, videos, and images, including professionally created illustrations and vector graphics. The site's advanced search options, including the ability to search by camera and orientation, make it effortless to find the perfect image to post on a website or social media. Pixabay provides you with unrestricted access to high-quality stock photos without the worry of hidden limitations or premium plans.

[Read more: 10 Free Sales Tools for Your Small Business]

Unsplash

Unsplash is a top choice for curated collections with its library of nearly 700,000 images contributed by a diverse group of over 125,000 photographers. With a user-friendly search bar and the unique Collections feature, you can easily find and organize your favorite photos for future use. The community-based platform, which offers unlimited access at no cost to users, is completely free and ideal for small businesses seeking to create and manage their own stock photo galleries. Its convenient navigation includes tag search, artist browsing, and category exploration.

Vecteezy

This online marketplace offers stock photos, vector graphics, and stock footage directly from artists. While basic features are free on Vecteezy with some limitations and ads, Pro subscribers who pay a monthly subscription fee of $20 have access to advanced licensing and a wider content selection. With a community of over 30,000 contributors, Vecteezy aims to provide resources to make the creative process easier and inspire individuals or businesses at any stage of their creative journey. The platform primarily caters to graphic designers, videographers, and professionals in the digital marketing and publishing field.

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