Unsplash is a hub of royalty-free images that was founded in 2013. Currently, more than 150,000 photographers contribute images on Unsplash.
There are more than 1 million images on the site, as photos get uploaded on a daily basis. In fact, images on Unsplash are all of the HD quality.
While you can simply search for images on the site using keywords, there are image categories that you can also sort through. So far, the site has recorded over a billion downloads.
Thankfully, the Unsplash mobile app for Android and iOS devices facilitates convenient access. Plus, the Unsplash Chrome Extension, and Unsplash WordPress plugin as well. Likewise, the Unsplash API for developers enables custom integration with Unsplash on any website.
If you’re a photographer, Unsplash is a great way to expose your work. You can sign up on the website and upload your images for others to use.
While you won’t be getting paid as the platform is free, you can link a payment account, like PayPal, so anyone who appreciates your work can willingly give you a tip.
However, Unsplash is not the only royalty-free image website on the internet. There are other tools as well that are as good as Unsplash and can be used as its alternatives.
Listed below are the 12 best Unsplash alternatives you can also use.
Best Unsplash Alternatives
Pexels is a free stock photo website, and it is also a platform for photographers to share their works. The website was founded in 2015, exactly two years after Unsplash was launched. Interestingly, the Pexels website can be translated into about 28 languages.
To download free images on Pexels, you don’t need to sign up and create an account. Signing up is only necessary for photographers or if you want to save images for later download.
To ensure that photos on Pexels are up to par, the site owners cross-check every image. Unlike Unsplash, images on Pexels are not from photographers alone but also from other free image websites.
The site is elementary to navigate through and Pexels features a mobile app for Android and iOS devices just like Unsplash. Also compared to Unsplash, there are over a million free images on the Pexels website.
Pexels makes it easy for you to get free images on different third-party platforms as it features a Chrome Extension, Google Slides Add-on, Photoshop plugin, MS Office Add-In, and WordPress plugin. This is relatively more than what Unsplash offers with just a Chrome Extension and WordPress plugin.
In addition, the Pexels API for developers ensures seamless integration with any website or platform.
Pixabay is a website with 1.8 million and counting free images. It was founded in 2010 and is one of the most popular royalty-free image websites after Unsplash.
The way the website works is not much different from Unsplash. Photos can be downloaded without any registration required, and photographers can as well upload their work. Nevertheless, putting both side by side, Pixabay does have more images than Unsplash.
The main advantage of Pixabay over Unsplash is that you have access to free images, vectors, and illustrations. This will be an advantage if you’re looking for graphics works.
Unlike Unsplash, Pixabay may fall short in terms of third-party plugins and extensions, but it does have a very functional API for developers.
With this API, you can integrate Pixabay with your custom-built website. In fact, it is being used by top companies like Buffer and Adobe. Also, Pixabay has mobile apps for the two major mobile OS – Android and iOS.
If you’re a registered Pixabay user, you get an upper hand if you choose to purchase images from iStock. A partnership between the two platforms results in a 20 percent discount for premium images on iStock. Likewise, iStock images do appear on Pixabay search results as sponsored results.
Burst is a free stock image website launched by the most popular eCommerce platform on the internet – Shopify.
As a platform launched by two photographers, it has attracted a community of more photographers that upload stunning free images every day.
While it is recommended mostly for Shopify users who need free images for their stores, it doesn’t imply that you have to be a Shopify user to access the free images. In fact, you can get images for any purpose on Burst and there are thousands of them.
The ornate image categorization on Burst makes the website easier to navigate, unlike Unsplash. Finding images for any purpose is quite easy.
All you have to do is use the search or click on any of the featured categories on the homepage. These featured categories include fashion, business, nature, food, men, women, etc. There are about 100 categories in total.
Unfortunately, Burst does not feature any mobile applications or API for custom integration with other websites; however, it works seamlessly with Shopify.
Nonetheless, you can subscribe to the Burst newsletter and get emails on the best new free images on the website. This is a unique feature that is absent on Unsplash and some of the best Unsplash alternatives websites.
Here is another Unsplash alternative that is worthy of our list.
The site description says it all – free images; that’s what you get on this website. You can download free images and also upload pictures if you are a photographer.
FreeImages was launched in 2014 following its acquisition by GettyImages – one of the most popular premium images platforms. Previously, the site was known as Stock.xchng.
Conversely, FreeImages comes below Unsplash in terms of image quantity, with 300,000+ images compared to Unsplash’s 1,000,000+ images.
Nevertheless, their site is easy to navigate through as you can browse free images by collections.
While images can be downloaded at an instant on the FreeImages website, photographers who upload will have to wait for hours or days to get their photos approved. This is to ensure quality, but the approval process is relatively slower than on Unsplash.
Likewise, FreeImages does not feature any mobile applications on either Android or iOS, which is another drawback for it against Unsplash. Nevertheless, the website partners with FindIcons, ClipartLogo, VectorHQ, ClipartMe, 365PSD, and VectorMe. Apart from the free images, premium iStock images also appear in their search results.
This is a website that was launched not long after Unsplash; it was launched in 2015. High-resolution images, void of copyright restrictions are available on the StockSnap website, and there are thousands of them.
With its Creative Commons license, these images can be used free of charge and even for commercial intent. StockSnap is made easy to use thanks to its tag-based category system.
By simply clicking on any of the featured categories, you can browse all images that are tagged with the category description. Some of the image categories featured on StockSnap include Business, Wallpaper, Nature, People, Computer, City, Office, etc.
Apart from its tag-based category system, you can sort and discover free images at random. You can sort by upload date, trending, number of views, and number of downloads. You can also select your favorite images if you are a registered user.
Although StockSnap does not have an API for developers like Unsplash, you can contact the site administrators to access the photos from your website. Additionally, StockSnap does not have a mobile application.
However, photo submissions are accepted on StockSnap. If you are a photographer, you can share your images to get featured on the site if it is in accordance with their guidelines.
6. Kaboom Pics
Kaboom Pics is a very simple website for discovering free images. The site is owned by an individual who looks to share her photos with the world. Her name is Katrina; hence, the name “Kaboom Pics”.
Kaboom Pics was launched in 2014, and it has seemingly gained popularity having recorded over 16 million image downloads. The site averages about 70,000 visitors every month and the images have been featured on Yahoo, Forbes, Hubspot, and LifeHacker to name a few.
The images featured on Kaboom Pics are categorized into 14 main categories. Some of these include: – Lifestyle, Nature, Technology, Business & Office, Home Decor, Travel, and Healthcare.
Compared to Unsplash, Kaboom Pics has sorting options to find the right photos. Aside from the categories, you can sort images on Kaboom Pics using color and orientation. This option is also available on Unsplash, but easier to access on Kaboom Pics.
However, Kaboom Pics features about 17,000 images which are many but much fewer than the number of images on Unsplash.
Also, you can only access Kaboom Pics’ free images from their website as there is neither a mobile application nor an API.
Flickr is a very popular website for photographers. This website has been around for more than 15 years, as it was founded in 2004. It is a social platform that allows users, mostly photographers, to share their works.
You can get both free and premium stock images on Flickr and this is a significant difference between Flickr and Unsplash. Free images on Flickr are only available from photographers who make use of the Creative Commons license.
Other copyrighted images do not have price tags, but that doesn’t make them free. You will have to contact the photographer for a copyright license that may attract a payment.
From the Flickr photo library, you can search for any photo you want by using keywords. In fact, the free photos can be accessed from selecting Creative Commons under the Explore section.
Considering how long Flickr has been around and the thousands of registered photographers, there are more free photos on Flickr than Unsplash.
Conversely, Flickr has mobile applications for Android and iOS devices. Also, it has a Chrome Extension and WordPress plugin.
As mentioned earlier, Flickr is a social platform and as a registered user, you can follow photographers. Also, you can like and comment on their photos. This makes Flickr a more interactive website than Unsplash.
Like the previously mentioned platform, Canva is very popular and different from Unsplash. Founded far back in 2007, Canva is a platform that is ideal for making designs.
To help designers in their works, Canva features hundreds of thousands of free images. There are also paid photos on Canva and it is easy to sort between both in the stock photos library by using the filters.
With Canva, you can find up to 71 million photos but out of this lot, only about 250,000 are free. Hence, Unsplash has many more free photos than Canva. However, there are many categories to sort through to find the right photos.
Unlike other Unsplash alternatives, Canva leads when it comes to integrations as the platform has more than enough of them. This includes platforms like HubSpot, Brandfetch, Dropbox, Facebook, Google Maps, and other free images sites – Pixabay and Pexels.
Canva is a freemium platform but you can create a free account. The free account gives you access to all their free images; the only limitations are on design features and premium stock photos. Also, Canva has mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Presentations, posters, logos, brochures, infographics, social media stories & more, Canva lets you design any and everything. What's more, it's free, easy and quick.
Gratisography was founded in 2011, two years before Unsplash was founded. If you search with a keyword or through categories on Unsplash, you are likely to find a couple of similar photos – such is not the case with Gratisography.
Gratisography prides itself on a website with unique HD free stock images. According to the site administrators, these are “images you just won’t find anywhere else”.
The site takes quality more than quantity into consideration and ensures that the available images are individually different and interesting.
While this is valuable, Gratisography can’t compete with Unsplash in terms of image quantity with a total image count of less than 1,000.
The images are grouped into categories and collections. You can sort better by using the categories and the featured ones include Animals, Business, Fashion, Food, Nature, Objects, People, Whimsical, and Urban.
You can use the search bar as well. From the homepage, you can sort through the trending and most recent free images.
While it may not have mobile apps, API, and plugins like Unsplash, Gratisography features a newsletter, so visitors can get new pictures alert directly to their inbox.
With PicJumbo, you can access both free and premium images. It was founded by a photographer, designer, and online entrepreneur in the same year as Unsplash – 2013. The website is quite popular and has garnered more than 6 million downloads since its launch.
There are about 20 photo categories on PicJumbo for easy navigation. Random images are featured on the homepage along with the categories. All you have to do is to click on your preferred image. You can as well use the search button.
Aside from downloading the free images, you can donate a tip to the photographer via the “Buy Me a Coffee Button.”
Like some Unsplash alternatives mentioned herein, PicJumbo features a free newsletter to keep subscribers updated with every new image. However, the website does not feature any plugin, extension, or API for custom integration. There are no PicJumbo mobile apps as well.
Nevertheless, as a blogger or website owner, you can also earn money through their affiliate program. By posting PicJumbo advert banners on your site, you can get a 40 percent commission if anyone buys a PicJumbo premium image following your link.
VistaCreate is a platform similar to Canva – built for designers; it was launched in 2017. With VistaCreate, you are provided with access to several templates and photos for creating designs and editing.
Unlike Unsplash, VistaCreate has a collection of about 140 million stock images. And while they are not stated copyright free, you can access them without paying any amount.
However, VistaCreate has a paid PRO plan but you can access the images on the platform for free. The photos are royalty-free, primarily to create designs. Furthermore, you can also upload your own images to VistaCreate.
Unlike Unsplash, you can’t directly search for images on the website as you have to be logged in to access the features. Moreover, VistaCreate is more accessible via the mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS.
However, its advantage over Unsplash is that you can access images, edit, and make designs on them before downloading for external use. Normally, you would need a third-party designing tool like Photoshop or Corel Draw.
The Reshot website is a library of uniquely free non-stock images. Photos on the website are supplied by several photographers as the website was launched to unify creators and elevate their projects.
Unlike the Unsplash homepage, the Reshot homepage consists of trending free images. There are no categories to sort through images, so you have to search for your ideal image using keywords. Nevertheless, popular image tags are featured in the footer section.
If you are a photographer and would like to contribute, you can do so by sending in your works via email. Like other Unsplash alternatives, Reshot has a staunch policy of quality over quality. This implies that all images are cross-checked before approval. As a result, it might take a while to get your pictures approved.
Conversely, Reshot does not have a developer API like Unsplash, but the site administrators have announced that it is coming soon. There are also no mobile applications or plugins.
Nevertheless, the platform integrates with Twenty20 – a premium stock photo website – and the premium photos are featured in the search results as sponsored images.
Wrap Up – What Is The Best Unsplash Alternative?
Unsplash is the most popular and one of the best websites for getting royalty-free images on the internet. So, it will be hard to find any site that beats it.
Pexels however, comes close as the best Unsplash alternative from the lot.
Pexels features mobile apps for easy access, and the website is open to both photographers and those looking for free images. Not only is Pexels website easy to navigate, but they also have over a million images across different categories for users to browse through.
Pexels boasts of several extensions too, notably the Chrome Extension, WordPress plugin, Photoshop Plugin, Google Slides Add-on, MS Office Add-on, etc.
All in all, it’s a great Unsplash alternative to consider.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.