Best Stock Photography for Educators 2018

Aug 16, 2018 | Blog, instructional design tips, teaching aids, visual design | 0 comments

Another list of stock photography?!  You may ask.

Yes, it is a list. But reserve your judgment as this is not one of those excruciatingly boring lists which often make you scroll your eyes; in disappointment.

Just take a look and we assure you, especially if you are an educator looking for a solution to perk up your class, you will not be disappointed!

To make the best out of our list, be sure that you are aware of the differences between various types of license stock photo sites:

  • Public domain: No restriction on the uses of stock photos.
  • Royalty-free: the right to have unlimited and multiple uses of copyright material or intellectual property with restrictions depending on the licensing agreement you pay for.
  • Right-managed: The licensee pays a fee in order to use the asset, and the fee is based on usage.
  • Creative Commons: Stock Photos can be used for free but in compliance with stated restrictions (i.e: required credit link)

I. Top stock photography sources for educator

1. Unplash

Unplash is often considered the largest library of stock photo, with thousands of stunning pictures from professional and semi-professional photographers. With fast and simple search tool, you can quickly gather resources for your project or save it later for inspiration.

Unplash is also known for its generosity as you are not required to credit the author or pay any fee. However, it costs 0,00$ to be nice and add a simple credit with a link back to their profile as a courtesy.

2. Pexels

Pexels offers free public domain stock photos from around the world. Everyone is welcome to upload their photos and the best shots will be selected to be added to its searchable collection of public domain images.


3. Pixabay

Educators are likely to fall in love with the diversity of Pixabay as it offers not only beautifully crafted photos but also illustrations and graphics vectors. Pixabay is specifically packed with thousands of enthralling landscape pictures, which can be particularly captivating when used in geography class.

4. NegativeSpace

Negative Space is the hub for up-and-coming photographers. Diversity and free-spirit creativity is a staple part of this site. Negative Space also has a newsletter subscribe features which will notify you of updates when new images are added.

5. Public Domain Picture

Public Domain Picture could have been the top of this list if we are talking about the quantity. Public Domain Picture stock photography library is enormous. The quality of those, unfortunately, can vary from one photo to another but the general quality is good. It just takes a little bit more time to find the right images you need.

  • Type of License: Most of the photos are free for commercial and personal purposes. Pay for Premium Membership if you want to have access to premium content.

6. Free Images

With fifteen years of reliable presence, Free Images is packed with over 18,000 exclusive stock images, covering a wide range of subjects. All images are supplied with no watermarks and free to use, however, you will be required to include a credit link when using stock photos from Free Images.

7. Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri generously contributes his stunning work to public use, as written on his page (Free pics. Do anything. Make magic). There are not many photos, but each one is masterfully crafted with a unique perspective. if you are an educator in art-related fields, Jay Mantri can be an inspiring source for your student to learn about composition and lighting.

  • Type of license: Public domain. Free for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

8. LifeofPix

Managed by Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal, Life of Pix devotes a wide array of high-solution, well-crafted stock photography for personal and commercial use.

  • Type of license: Free for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

9. Gratisography

Gratisography is a collection of photos by Ryan McGuire. If you are looking for a touch of surreality and quirkiness, you come to the right place. If you are tired of your countless encounters with businessmen and businesswomen shaking hands, Ryan’s pictures are the fresh air you need. There’s not much content here compared to other stock photos site, but Ryan makes up for it by producing and uploading new excitingly unique shot every week.

10. Pikiwizard

The competitive edge of Pikwizard lays at their beautifully curated collections of impressive urban photography and natural-looking photos of people. Pikwizard also raises the bar for stock photography sites by integrating a free online photo editor to help you get creative without leaving the browser. Most of the tools and templates here are premium design but the cost should not bother you as it costs you just more than a couple of dollars.

11. Picjumbo

New photos added daily. A wide selection of high-quality stock photos that can be used for various purposes. Picjumbo also comes with unique paid packages for blogger, designers and agencies (starting at $10/month) and a handful of interesting plugin for Photoshop for just around 7,99$

  • Type of license: Most of the photos are free for commercial and personal purposes. Pay for Premium Membership if you want to have access to premium content.

12. Stokpic

Photographer Ed Gregory updates this site with 10 new photos every two weeks that you can use on your website, as part of a presentation, template, or in pretty much anything.

13. KaboomPics

Kaboompics is the work of Karolina, a web designer from Poland. Her photos cover a wide variety of different subjects and scenarios, from fashion to food to landscapes. Users have the freedom to use them for anything they’d like — commercial or not. But again, it is always nice to include a credit link.

  • Type of license: Public domain. Free for both commercial and personal purposes.

14. Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photo lives up to its name as a home to professionals photos specifically dedicated to the theme of start-up and entrepreneurship.

15. Freerange

Free Range offers stock photography from both in-house professional photographers and contributions from external photography community. According to Free Range “About us” section, they are either digitally photographed on Canon DSLR cameras or they are a high resolution (4000 dpi) Nikon scan of an original 35mm slide

16. Libreshot

A unique collection of high-quality and stunning stock photography created by photographer Martin Vorel. Libreshot is a bookmark-worthy resource for great photos.

17. Fancy Crave

Fancy Crave admins clearly take their times to provide their visitors with engaging user experience by adding 2 photos daily to keep thing feeling fresh. All photos are free of copyright restrictions, just don’t advertise photograph as your own! 

  • Type of license: Most of the photos are free for both commercial and personal purposes. Premium Membership is available for a small fee if you want to have full access to Fancy Crave’s library.
  • Read more about Fancy Crave’s license details

18. Stocksnap

StockSnap photography is something of uniqueness. The founders of this site clearly know their forte and strongly claim “not your typical crappy stock photo site”. We could not agree more and feel the duty to include Stocksnap in this list. Just take a look at the website and you will know that Stocksnap does not exaggerate. 

19. SpliltShare

The creative force behind Splitshire is the Italian photographer Daniel Nanescu, who generously donates all of his awesome photos for free uses. From stunning portraits to crisp landscape shot, it is too difficult not to fall in love with Daniel Nanescu versatile selections.

20. ISO republic

ISO republic serves as a repository for free and high-quality stock photos. The stunning selections of photos combined with the site’s intuitive design make it too easy to fall into the rabbit holes and come to twenty-something scroll later.

II. Top 04 stock photography sites for science educators

Keep your student excited and captivated by making your science lecture more memorable with appealing visuals. Check out the list below to find scientific photos you need to rock your class!

1. A.D.A.M Images

Adamimages.com offers largest libraries of medical illustrations with nearly 30,000 detailed and medically accurate images ready for immediate download. A.D.A.M’s images are widely used by educational publishers, educator, lawyers, advertising agencies, patient education and healthcare professionals.

2. Science photos

They proudly introduce themselves as “the leading source of science and medical images”. Take a quick glimpse at the website and you will know they succeed in coming up to audience expectation. If you are a science educator, chances are you will be mesmerized by the voluminous selection of striking specialist imagery, unrivalled in quality, accuracy and depth of information.

With hundreds of new submission every week and an established 35-year experience in collaborating with the leading medical and science experts to produce the best specialist stock photography, Science Photo should be a staple part of every educator’s teaching resources.

3. Smart Servier

Smart Servier supplies excellent medical stock photos and illustrations of anatomy, biology, and medical illustrations.  Download options range from specific items or entire sets of images. Everything is contained in PowerPoint presentations, so you can easily edit and combine your chosen elements.

4. Somersault

Somersault is what you have when you combine art and science – a colorful library of awesome scientific and medical illustrations. As the founder of Somersault has a PhDs in biomedical sciences as well as a good artistic sense, he makes every illustration available in color schemes and easily downloadable with PNG transparent format.

III. Top 08 best stock illustration sites for educator

1. Elearning Brothers

Elearning Brothers compiles a great selection of people cutouts and illustrated characters in various poses and backgrounds. To have access to all of elearningBrothers resources, you only need to subscribe and pay a small subscription fee.

  • Type of license: Free for commercial and personal purposes. Sign up for full access.
  • Read more about Elearning Brothers’s license details.

2. DIY learnings 

Similar to elearningBrothers, DIY learning supplies nice illustrations of character in different poses and costumes. Buying options are diverse as you can choose to buy bundles of multiple characters or packages with a single character.

3. Graphic River

As a part of Envato Market for creatives, it is no surprise that streams of creativity are what will amaze you when you drop a quick visit at Graphic River. You can find almost any design elements you need to mesmerize your students, from templates, backgrounds to textures, illustrated character. Payment by graphic is required to acquire Graphic River’s material.

4. Old book illustration

Old book illustration offers their visitors a unique selection of vintage photos scanned from old books. They are all free for commercial and private use, so there are no rights hassles to deal with. Time to perk up history classes!

5. Stock Illustrations

Stock illustration houses a great collection of contemporary stock illustrations which can be suitable for advertising, publishing or simply for your lecture presentation. The filter feature is efficient as you can quickly filter by.

6. Folio Planet

Folioplanet is a directory of 2152 illustrator links, 126 illustration portfolios and 32,000 stock illustration images. Folioplanet sorts their illustrations by the listed illustrators and artists so it can be inconvenient if you want to browse by subjects. There is a word-specific feature, but the search engines often display results as portfolio matches, so you still have to click through to view the results. But hey, look at those impressive numbers.

  • Type of license: You need to contact the creators of listed illustrations license or commission their work.

7. Image Zoo

The center of traditional educational textbook illustrations. If you are slightly annoyed by contemporary illustrations – which are trending in most of stock illustration sites, Image Zoo is your best choice. Image Zoo customer service is also a plus, give them a call, tell them what you need and they will do the research for you.

8. Ikon Images

Ikon stores a good range of stock photography and stock art including illustrations, vectors, digital and line art, covering a wide variety of subjects. however, the art styles are given precedence over usability, it may take a while to find what you need.

  • Type of license: Rights-managed. You will have to contact the artist to pay for the license.

IV. Top 06 stock video and animation sources for educators

Imparting your knowledge while maintaining students’ interest is hard work. Sprinkling short animation here and there in your lectures can yield in amazing and unexpected results. You just need to find the right animations or videos. With that in mind, we hope you can find the following list useful.

1. Animation Factory

Animation Factory offers thousands of animated clip art, video backgrounds, sound effects and 3d illustrations. Most of them can be best used for Powerpoint Presentation.

2. Motion Elements

Motion Elements provides an extensive array of over 250,000+ animated backgrounds, elements, footages. There are also some great tutorials to ensure you get the best results with the images you incorporate within your work.

  • Type of license: Rights-managed.

3. Clipstill

Clipstill will help you solve the dilemma about whether to choose photos or videos to spice up your lecture presentation with Cinemagraphs – still photos featuring a small repeated animation that plays on the loop. Even though there is only a small selection of cinemagraphs available for free use, the impressive quality is what makes clipstill book-mark worthy.

  • Type of license: Creative Commons. When you can download a free or purchased video, you get the license to use that video for commercial and personal uses.
  • Read more about Clipstill’s license details. 

4. Pond5

Pond5 are a great hub for high-quality stock videography. With hundreds of new videos added almost everyday, Pond5 video library is huge and comprehensive. The fact that they are trusted by ABC, NBC, and BBC is already a testimonial for this website’s quality.

  • Type of license: Creative Commons. You need to purchase a license for the uses of videos. Buying options vary based on the attached restrictions.
  • Read more about Pond5’s license details.

5. Videovo

Videovo is a community-based stock video platform. Due to its community-based nature, the quality of stock videos is variable. However, the quantity can make up for the quality as the selection is enormous so it is unlikely that you leave the site without finding something suitable for your usage.

6. Story and Heart

With great emphasis on “story-driven” stock video, Story and Heart’s entire collection have a more cinematic feel than other typical stock videography site. Their search engine also lets you filter video based on the moods you wish to convey. Now you know where to come when conducting a sincere classroom self-reflection session!

Scrolling across seemingly endless stock photography and videography to find what you need can be nothing but finding a needle in the hay. It is excruciatingly draining. And the whole license acquisition things can easily push you to the verge of pulling your hair in confusion. It’s also likely that by the time you complete purchasing the license, you realize that the animations you just bought are not what you expected.

Therefore we would like to present another solution to help you cut corner and step up your game with professional-looking and tailor-made animations.

The solution is simple: F.learning Studio.

We have a team of experienced in-house designers and animators – magic makers – who will help you successfully visualize your courses.

Check out F.learning services now!!

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