Where to find DIVERSE and Racially/Size friendly Stock Photos [our big list]
I am totally sick of only seeing pictures of the same woman all over the internet! You know the one I’m talking about, she’s thin, white, super fashionable, drinks a ton of green smoothies, and is amazing at yoga.
I’d say it’s about time we DIVERSIFIED the types of people we see to include different shapes, sizes, colors, styles, genders, and orientations. It’s time we used photos of REAL PEOPLE.
Do you agree?
Great! To make things a lot easier for you, I have curated a list of the best places to find quality, diverse stock photos.
Plus, you can download this list to a PDF to always have on hand and get 10 more sites!
I really love Stocksy. They have so many modern, creative images and they do an amazing job of representing a diverse group of people. While their images do fall on the ‘edgy’ and ‘urban’ side of things, they certainly are powerful. They offer royalty-free licenses between $15-125/ image.
Twenty20 came about due to a desire for more authentic stock photos. So, obviously, we jive with that! They offer photos of people from all walks of life and curate their photos into collections. I found their search was not very effective, and it was best to find relevant collections to browse through. Their monthly plans start at $149/month.
A little shameless self-promotion here… Here at The Photo Forest we believe that stock photos should represent REAL LIFE. This means authentic, natural, and diverse photos. We also are a community driven stock photo site. You can request the type of photo you need and one of our photographers will shoot it. How cool is that?
Unsplash is a great free stock photo site. Their photos are Creative Commons 0 (CC0) licensed, so they do not require attribution. One thing to keep in mind is that you will see these photos used a lot because they are free and high quality.
iStockPhoto is definitely one of the ‘big boys’ in the stock photo world. While they have millions of images, there are quite a lot of duds. When you’re searching for diverse images, you may have to be quite specific with your keywords. It does end up being a bit of a treasure hunt, but there are quality, diverse photos to be found here. Their plans start from $40/month.
The name of this source is very self-explanatory. Their mission is to represent women of color in the Tech world. The images are free to use but do require attribution. It is also worth mentioning that the wonderful founders of this project are no longer devoting their time to it, so the photos are not be updated.
Blend does an awesome job of representing a diverse mix of people and they’ve got some really beautiful photos that show real human connection. They are on the expensive side, however, at $50/ image.
Snapwire has some truly breathtaking photos. You can definitely see that their photographers are creative and inspired. You do need to search a little bit deeper to find a more diverse representation, but they do have it. Their images start at $10 each.
Raw Pixel has some really amazing, unique and diverse photos, all for free and cleared for commercial use. The only downfall is that there aren’t a very large number of photos overall.
10. TOOK A PIC
Took a Pic has photos of people from all over the world, all in a high-contrast style. You can get unlimited, commercial use photos for $59/month. I found their search function a bit limited and had better luck exploring their categories.
While Pixabay does have some hidden gems, you will find a lot of overused, inauthentic photos. They are free and do not require attribution, but because of that, you’ll find a lot of the good quality photos everywhere. That being said, there is quite a diverse mix of people represented. Use it with caution.
Pexels is another free stock photo site that it seems everyone uses, but hunt through carefully and you’ll find some authentically diverse photos hiding. These photos do not require attribution and are cleared for commercial use.
You’ll find a lot of really ‘hipster’ images on this site. Great for appealing to a younger demographic and very, very Instagrammable. All the images are free, do not require attribution, and are cleared for commercial use.
Lots and lots of pictures of people working. They are also a diverse mix. They, unfortunately, do not have a search function, so looking for images can be quite time-consuming. The photos are free.
These free stock photos are unique, creative, and diverse. The search function is not the best, so it’s better to look through the categories. There is a very youthful and modern vibe to all of their photos. While these photos are free, some of them are not fully cleared for commercial use. I recommend reading their terms thoroughly.
Here’s to diversity! Don’t forget to download the PDF version of this list to use anytime. Plus get 5 more sites! Do you have a favorite stock photo site that you use all the time with diverse photos? Let us know in the comments below!