Perfect stock photo source for small businesses and nonprofits
July 14, 2022

Perfect stock photo source for small businesses and nonprofits

Hayden LeMaster | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Pixabay

As a designer and marketer that serves several small businesses and nonprofits, I often have a limited budget when it comes to stock assets. Pixabay has been absolutely AMAZING for this.

Honestly, I would say that I find exactly what I need 95% of the time searching for free images on Pixabay. And their images have full commercial licenses, which eliminates all the extra work of determining how many times the image will be reproduced and how that affects the licensing tier.
  • Cost - as images are free and in the public domain
  • Premium recommendations for commercial stock photos
  • VERY easy license terms
  • Would like to see more premium options when there are few free results
  • Search function could be improved; I often have to try multiple keywords to find the perfect image
  • Would like more visible tags to see the geographic location images, as I often use these for locally-focused flyers for events around the country.
  • Price! All the images on the site itself are free and public domain. Many of my clients really appreciate not having to pay the usual license fee for stock images.
  • Ease of use. When I'm billing hourly to budget-sensitive clients, it's nice not to spend 20 minutes digging for a good free image.
  • The recommendations for premium images are always perfect; there have been multiple times when I've clicked through to buy an image that fits my client's needs better than any of the free ones.
  • It brings down costs significantly, especially for nonprofits that have to watch every dime. The quality images provided for free are amazing.
  • Curation of premium images. If Pixabay doesn't have the right image, they automatically recommend premium images that are ALWAYS a great match. Saving me the time of re-starting my search from scratch on iStock, Getty, et cetera.
  • Image quality is great, too, giving me a better reputation among clients for the quality of my work created with these image assets.
Pexels is free and fully licensed for commercial use, as is Unsplash to a certain extent. I generally open all 3 to search for free stock images for budget-sensitive clients; that being said, I always find myself searching Pixabay first. They have the best user interface of the three and generally have the best image options. Adobe, Shutterstock, and iStock have better images, and I use those for clients who are less budget-sensitive.

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This is perfect for any individual or organization that's working on a budget. You'll get stock photos that, while there's a more limited selection than the usual paid sites (Getty, iStock, etc.), are often just as high-quality. For smaller businesses and nonprofits where every dollar counts, I've found myself leaning on Pixabay quite a bit for stock images and, from time to time, will end up buying one of the linked commercial images when Pixabay doesn't have what I need. However, if you have a large budget for stock images, Pixabay will likely not be your best choice, as the paid services offer generous discounts for bulk credit purchases.