9 Free (and Paid) Stock Photo Sites with Black and Brown Models (2019)

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

“I just want a picture of someone that looks real”.

If you’ve ever had to look for stock photography for your business’ website, an article, a landing page, or any type of marketing and advertising material - then you’ve probably said this statement before.

If not MANY times.

You look at these stock images and:

  • You’re tired of that same “cheesy pose”.

  • You look at the picture and they look a little TOO photoshopped.

  • You could’ve sworn you’ve seen these images on EVERY. OTHER. ARTICLE. on the internet.

  • Why are there so many white backgrounds?

Who eats a pizza like this?

You want something original! That LOOKS natural! You want something that looks - real.

And to add another layer of frustration to your search for something real - there’s a lack of diversity in these stock photo websites.

”My brown and black people…where you at”?! -said every black and brown person looking for images that look like them or represent their community.

So some photographers and businesses saw this as an opportunity to fill a need. And this they did.

Here’s a list of free and paid stock image sites with a wide selection of images, for those content creators looking for images that purposefully represent them, their brand, and their audience.

1. EYE FOR EBONY (eyeforebony.com)

Free & Paid. Her first 2 collections are free to download when you subscribe to the newsletter and the other bundles are available to purchase on the Creative Market. PRICING: Range from $10 - $30 OWNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: LaShonda Delivuk MEDIUM: Images only COLLECTIONS: Images for Business, Lifestyle, and Desk shots. UNIQUE IMAGES/BUNDLES: The “Father & Son” and “Maternity” bundle

2. CREATE HER STOCK (createherstock.com)

Free & Paid. Over 180+ images are free to download when you subscribe and the other bundles are available to use via a subscription.

SUBSCRIPTION PRICES: $10 monthly / $35 quarterly / $65 monthly / $99 annually OWNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Neosha Gardner MEDIUM: Images only COLLECTIONS: She taps into the Big 4. Images for Wellness, Business, Lifestyle, and Desk. UNIQUE IMAGES/BUNDLES: Just to name a few, because she has a wide selection - The “A Lil Bougie”, “Rogue”, “Workout Fly”, “CoWorking 2” and “The Snow Babe” bundles.

3. NAPPY (nappy.co)

PRICE: Free OWNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Open submissions // Owned by Shade MEDIUM: Images only COLLECTIONS: Active, Food, People, Places, Things, Work UNIQUE IMAGES/BUNDLES: Check out their “Things” section. It’s the place where it seems they don’t know exactly how to categorize what’s happening in the picture. The girl on the motorcycle and the guy sitting in the middle of the street taking a picture (I remember those days…)

4. iSTOCK (istockphotos.com)

PRICE: Paid (Credits or Subscriptions) SUBSCRIPTION PRICES: It depends on how many images you want access to per month or per year. There is also a price difference of access to essential images or all access. The prices vary so much, from whatever you’re looking for that I would suggest you look at their plans & pricing page yourself. CREDIT PRICES: 1-300 Credits with prices ranging from $12 - $2,400 OWNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Getty Images MEDIUM: Images & Video in 4K COLLECTIONS: They cover EVERYTHING. UNIQUE IMAGES: Like I said, they cover everything. Whatever it is - in whatever shade, size, activity, age, hair style, or medium - you’re looking for, they’ll most likely have it in spades.

5. PEXELS (pexels.com)

PRICE: Free OWNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Open submissions MEDIUM: Images & Video COLLECTIONS: They cover a lot UNIQUE IMAGES: You’ll get mixed results and a lot of their images aren’t unique, but you still may be able to find what you’re looking for in their large library.

Every layout comes with the latest social features built in. Readers will be able to easily share posts on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, view how many people have liked a post, made comments and more. With the Wix, building your online community has never been easier.

6. UNSPLASH (unsplash.com)

PRICE: Free OWNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Open submissions MEDIUM: Images only COLLECTIONS: Like I said before, they cover a lot. UNIQUE IMAGES: The amount of diversity, I think you’ll find quite appealing. The two black men boxing was my personal favorite. Haven’t seen that making its rounds.

And now.... Two more additions, thanks to De Barry...

7. WiStudio (wistud.io)

PRICE: In TTD currency (Trinidad & Tobago Dollars)


MEDIUM: Images only

COLLECTIONS: Divali, Fauna, Places, Flora, Food/Drink, People

UNIQUE IMAGES: It's all Caribbean-centric content

8. Tonl (tonl.co)

PRICE: A la carte ($25-$250) or monthly subscriptions ($29-$105). Note: Make sure to lookover the licensing tabs before purchasing.

OWNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Karen Okonkwo & Joshua Kissi

MEDIUM: Images only

COLLECTIONS: Taste, Today, Tone, Tradition, Travel, Trend, Take, Trust & Technology. So, covering all the bases.

UNIQUE IMAGES: The "Tradition" collection is something you don't see represented often.

9. [Deleted]

Did I miss any that you think deserve attention? Tell us what #9 should be.

Let me know in the comments below.


Currently dwelling in Norfolk, Va.​


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