The Best Website-Ready Images to Launch Your Online Presence

A beautifully designed website needs beautiful images to match. Check out our edit of the best stock photos for websites, full of high-quality images to use across a variety of sites.

Whether you’re designing a website for a big corporation, a quirky start-up, a hobby blog, or an online shop, you’re sure to find image inspiration in our roundup of the best stock photos for websites. We’ll show you the top categories of images that offer versatile and adaptable styles and subject matter, so that anyone can use them on any site. Plus, we’ll point out how to apply these stock photos to your website, making sure they blend into your brand seamlessly.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Using a Surrealist Concept Image
Site design using a surrealist concept image. Image by contributor wacomka.

Stock Photos for Websites

Short of actually being a professional photographer or designer (or being close to someone who is), stock photos are the most convenient solution to website design that you’ll come across. Why? Because they’re versatile. Stock photos are made to be used in all types of settings, by all types of people, with all types of goals. You can easily find a stock photo, or even a series of stock photos, to support your unique website vision. Even better, you won’t have to sink money into expensive photoshoots or professional graphic design.

True, stock photos won’t replace every image on your website. They aren’t interchangeable with actual product shots, headshots, and other context-specific imagery. But they’re great for everything else! Use stock photos and illustrations as website backgrounds, hero and banner images, blog images, and more.

Read on to discover the categories of stock photos that effortlessly enhance website designs, from abstract and surrealist backgrounds to epic landscapes. 


Portraits of People

Best for: Websites for service companies, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, not-for-profit and people-centric organizations. Discover our stock photos of people.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Portraits of People
From fashion-forward photography to lifestyle images, portraits can work for a variety of website. Image by contributor Mark Nazh.

Portraits of people can help to make your site feel warmer, friendlier, and more immersive. Try an ultra-stylish fashion portrait to up the cool factor or opt for natural shots of smiling, happy individuals. These images work for a broad range of service-based and people-centric companies, from PR companies to charities. 

For an extra dose of style, try a black-and-white portrait, teaming with bright or neon text for an instant aesthetic boost. 

Look to photographer Madeleine Dalla’s online portfolio for portrait inspiration. Teamed with timeless serif typography and an otherwise simple and graphic black and white palette, the result is immersive, cool and sophisticated. No wonder then that the site won the community-elected Awwwards Site of the Month in March 2020.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Madeleine Dalla and Typography
Madeleine Dalla’s online portfolio uses portrait photography as a backdrop to serif typography.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Elegant Portraiture
Image by contributor Djomas.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Relatable and Human Imagery
Image by contributor Olena Yakobchuk.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Simple Portraits
Portraits give visitors to your website a human connection. Image by contributor Cookie Studio

Portraits of Animals

Best for: Business websites that want to appear friendly and personable, such as budget travel companies, internet providers, and agencies. Discover our stock photos of animals and wildlife.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Using an Animal Portrait for Web Design
Site design using this portrait of a happydog. Image by contributor Jess Wealleans.

Animal photography doesn’t have to be limited to veterinary practices and dog-walking services. Pet portraits can inject humor and joy into website designs, making them a great fit for any website that wants to appear more friendly and open. 

Quirky shots of canine companions set against bright backdrops are a great way of tying in a brand’s color scheme to the site design. Humorous shots of expressive animals or pets in motion also add dynamism and movement, all while allowing you to draw attention to call-to-action buttons. 

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Goofy, Fun Animal Portraits
Image by contributor Jess Wealleans.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Humor and Dynamic Movement
Pet portraiture gives websites a sense of fun and energy. Image by contributor Seregraff.

Abstract Backgrounds

Best for: Websites for start-ups, design agencies, digital agencies, tech companies, science and research organizations, and music businesses.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Abstract Background Images for Web Design
Site design using this image of a colorful powder explosion. Image by contributor popovartem.com.

Abstract backgrounds are a wonderful way of making website layouts instantly feel more futuristic, dynamic, and contemporary. Look for powder explosions, geometric 3D shapes, and glitch textures in dramatic colorways to enhance business websites with a design, tech, or music focus. 

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Intellectual Abstract Images
Abstract images communicate concepts with flair. Image by contributor Aleksei Derin.

Intellectual and entrepreneurial businesses will find that abstract images communicate a sense of forward-thinking and innovation. These types of images are a great fit for tech businesses, as well as engineers, scientific researchers, and universities.

Web design agency Creative Mints often use abstract backgrounds in their designs, using them to give web layouts a futuristic aesthetic.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Futuristic Aesthetic with Abstract Backgrounds
Site design by Creative Mints.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Futuristic Neon Designs
Image by contributor GarryKillian.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Geometric Backgrounds for Websites
Image by contributor Plasteed.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Bright Colors and Geometric Shapes
Image by contributor maximmmmum.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Powder Explosions
Use bright abstract designs to make your website seem on-trend and forward-thinking. Image by contributor popovartem.com.

Floral and Botanical Backgrounds

Best for: Websites for businesses in the wedding and events sectors, as well as blogs themed on lifestyle, travel, beauty, or fashion. Discover our stock photos of nature.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Trending Floral Images for Websites
Site design using this botanical background image. Image by contributor Zamurovic Photography.

Your website might be digital, but you can make a design feel more physical and immersive by using the right sort of imagery across your site. Botanical and floral backgrounds not only look beautiful, but also help make your website into a more sensory experience for users. Rich, opulent backdrops filled with flowers and leaves can transport a user into a summer garden or lush rainforest in an instant.

These in-your-face florals are actually one of the trending styles of 2020. Learn more in our Creative Trends report.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Bold Floral Backgrounds
Floral images fit into nearly any kind of web design. Image by contributor Kolpakova Svetlana.

Although botanical images are an obvious fit for websites with a focus on weddings and, indeed, florists, they also work beautifully for a broader range of businesses, from lifestyle, beauty and fashion to travel, blogs, and events. Floral imagery is also a versatile theme for websites themed on artistic pursuits, such as music, crafting and poetry. 

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Dramatic Flower Images
Secret Garden site design by Nhatminh Phan.

Dark, moody botanicals in Rococo style add instant drama. Or, seek out surrealist interpretations of traditional florals for a quirky and contemporary twist. Look for dramatic, isolated images of flowers, such as in this Secret Garden site design by Nhatminh Phan, or try illustrated botanicals for a different take on the theme, like in this portfolio website by Anastasia K.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Surrealist Florals
Image by contributor Zamurovic Photography.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Rococo Florals
Bold florals capitalize on current creative trends. Image by contributor Zamurovic Photography.

Surreal 3D Concepts

Best for: Websites with content that is otherwise difficult to visualize effectively, such as sites for law firms, financial institutions, journalism, education, and general interest blogs. Discover our surreal 3D stock photos.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Surreal 3D Images for Abstract Concepts
Site design using a this surrealist concept image. Image by contributor wacomka.

Surrealist scenes using 3D objects in eye-catching pastel or neon color palettes might not seem the obvious choice for beautiful website designs. However, these trending images are surprisingly versatile and can be very effective for both keeping users engaged and demonstrating a business concept or service. 

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Engaging Through Surrealist Images
Striking colors add to the impact of surrealist images. Image by contributor okeykat.

Funked-up interpretations of Grecian statues in unusual colors and collage layouts add off-beat quirk to websites that want to stand out from the crowd. Surreal images adapt to corporate websites as easily as they work for independent businesses, too. Particularly effective for transforming websites that would otherwise be text-heavy and corporate, such as financial and legal services, surreal scenes allow businesses to communicate dry or complex concepts to their customers more effectively. 

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Convey Dry Topics in Interesting Ways with Surreal Images
Site design for Bundle News by dwarfplanet.

Take inspiration from the Bundle News site, designed by dwarfplanet. This news site uses 3D-rendered models and objects in a consistent red-and-white color scheme to make business, financial, and sports news feel more immersive and branded.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Surreal Backgrounds
Image by contributor Zamurovic Photography.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Surreal Repeating Donut Pattern
Image by contributor Zamurovic Photography.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Vivid Colors Add to Surrealism
Image by contributor Zamurovic Photography.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Surreal Stock Photos
Surreal images can convey complex concepts. Image by contributor wacomka.

Epic Landscapes and Cityscapes

Best for: Websites aimed at the travel, lifestyle, hospitality, and wellness sectors, as well as businesses based in particular locations. Discover our parks and outdoor landscape stock photos.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Epic Landscapes as Website Backgrounds
Site design using this image of an epic winter forest landscape. Image by contributor everst.

The more immersive you can make your website feel, the more likely users will be to stay and engage with the site’s content for longer. Images of landscapes give sites a quality of vastness and are particularly effective for full-width layouts, making your website design feel more expansive and engrossing. 

Images of epic natural landscapes, such as forests, rivers, mountains, and oceans, have a calming effect on the user. They offer welcome respite from sites that are often filled to the brim with sharp neon colors and bright animations. The popularity of outdoor photography makes it one of the trending styles of 2020, described in our Creative Trends report.

Images of nature are obviously an ideal fit thematically for websites focused on the environment and travel. However, they also have enough versatility for a broad range of businesses who want to convey environmental conscientiousness, a sense of adventure, or simply imbue their sites with a feeling of calm and serenity.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Natural Landscape Images Have Surprising Versatility
Landscape image have a natural flexibility. Image by contributor wzlv.

Websites for wellness, health, and psychology all benefit from the tranquility of landscape images. Natural landscape images also fit perfectly on sites aimed at the adventure, hospitality, lifestyle, and real estate markets. 

Cityscapes can also bring a unique aspect to a website design. Images of a particular city can be useful for demonstrating the location(s) of a business. Overhead aerial shots of cities and landscapes look particularly stylish set as the backdrop of landing pages, and provide a uniform pattern for placing type and buttons over the top.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Bear Grylls Landscape Website Example
Website design for Bear Grylls Adventure by Outpost.

The Awwward-winning website for Bear Grylls Adventure, designed by Outpost, is a fantastic example. Landscape images make the site extend beyond the edges of the screen and create an immersive experience for users.

Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Aerial Cityscape Website Background
Image by contributor Decha Rakjumroon.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Cityscape Website Background
Image by contributor Marianna Ianovska.
Best Stock Photos for Websites — 25 Top Website-Ready Images — Make the Website an Immersive Experience
Make your website an immersive experience with cityscapes and wild landscapes. Image by contributor everst.
This post was first posted at Shutterstock Blog.
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Founders Guideshttps://creattiv.net
My name is Reza Barauntu. I am a Web Developer, Business adviser, Consultant, Web Designer, Idea generator, Technologist, Web guru, and LifeGroup and Community Leader at Life.Church Online. I design and develop experiences that make people's lives simpler. Follow us on Instagram @founders.guides
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