Where to find the best quality imagery on the web - The Design Order

Where to find the best quality imagery on the web

Where to find the best quality imagery on the web

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash


You have a few quick seconds to capture your audiences attention on your website before they walk away and find another solution. Several things can come into play to make them want to stay and talk or make them want to walk…

  • Fast loading speeds
  • Interesting and captivating content
  • and probably the most important… high quality imagery.

Did you know that images are processed 60 000 times faster than text? And that 90% of the information we receive is sent to our brains through our eyes.

What does this mean?

It means that visuals are SO important to get right on your website to help keep your audience right where you want them.

Imagery will either make or break a site, and nothing will make your visitor leave faster than poor quality photographs. They need to have great look and feel as well as being sharp – so never over compress imagery so that it becomes pixelated, distorted or squashed.

We always recommend aiming for a individual shoot, if budget allows, so that you can have personalised imagery that wont be used anywhere else, but if that is not possible because budgets don’t allow it there are SO many great resources available online to obtain beautiful imagery.


Are all about on-trend imagery, shot with panache. Stocksy has such a gorgeous range of high-end shots with out the ridiculous price tag you would normally need to pay for great shots from places like getty – who is also great, but hey, SO expensive only the big players can afford to shop here.

Austock Photo:

A very new addition to the photography stockscape, austock photo is a beautifully collated pool of images, exclusively shot within Australia. Full of iconic Australian places and people this is a great place to visit to capture everything it is to be an aussie – our way of life, our culture and our landscapes.


Getty images must have realised that their $700+ price per photo needed a rethink, and for them to continue in business they needed to provide the same high quality shots at a more reasonable price. iStock is where it is at. With an amazing search console and most imagery starting at around $36 per shot, istock is pretty bloody good for some great quality stock photos. Just watch out for those cheesy shots, which are still peppered around a bit in their data base.


Another relatively new addition to the stock photo market. Twenty20 has really gorgeous modern and fresh imagery, perfect for a small biz hungry for high quality shots. They have a really reasonable $19p/month plan for UNLIMITED downloads – although beware – this is billed annually so you will need to commit to $228 upfront.

Our top three free photo sites:

No cheesy stock images here!


Gorgeous landscapes, cool architecture – high end shots submitted from photographers all over the world into one easy to use photo library. They even have another site https://madewith.unsplash.com/ which showcases design work made from the images at unsplash if you want to see their images in action.


This amazing site curates free images from around the web so has quite an impressive range of images without settling for second best. Note – while all of these photos are ‘free’, some need attribution to their respective photographers.

Finda Photo

Has a great library of free images and also a super awesome search function which lets you search by colour. Especially helpful for curated instagram feeds that are colour coded.


This is a very recent discovery on our part (thank you Helen) but a worthwhile one, that’s for sure. Curated images all from one legendary photographer – Karolina who touts her website as “one of the most popular source of free images for lifestyle and interior design in the world”.

Need more free sites??? There is a totally overwhelming list of other free sites here: Thank you Canva!


Other honourable mentions go to:

http://jaymantri.com/ GREAT SHOTS, but no way to search them

https://gratisography.com/ a small library of quirky interesting shots


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