High Quality Stock Photos of People of Color
If you use a lot of stock photos for your marketing materials, you may have noticed that most of them feature white models. Here are sites where you can find some more diverse images.
The sites listed below range from free stock sites to paid membership platforms, and the licences range from copyright free/CC0 to attribution required to royalty free. I have done my best to note the licenses and pricing for these sites but the nature of the internet means that things are subject to change quite often. Some sites even have different licenses for different photos or contributors.
Please make sure to check the licenses/restrictions for any stock photos that you are using. And if you are confused about the licenses, please comment and I’ll help you out!
Pixabay is a popular site where all of the photos are public domain or CC0. Use search terms like “people of color” “black women” “indian” or “asian”.
Important note: the content on this site is uploaded by individual creators, and guidelines have more to do with quality (and copyright infringement) than with the subject matter. This means that even I spotted some cringy photos in the search results (like a white woman dressed in a sari with a bindi) but luckily those are in the minority.
Pexels is another stock photo site of contributor uploads. They aren’t as big as Pixabay, but the photo quality is just as good, and there isn’t a lot of overlap with what you’ll find on Pixabay. The photos here are also public domain or CC0. Use search terms like “people of color” “asian” and “indian”.
Unsplash is also contributor uploads, but they are very unique compared to other sites. The search functionality isn’t as great, so what I would recommend is to find some photos you like and then click through to find what collection they belong to and what other photos are related to that one. For example, searching “people of color” will get you some relevant photos, but it also includes colorful photos in general.
ReShot is a stock photo site with images you won’t see anywhere else, and all photos are CC0. They tend to be more realistic images than “stocky” but the quality is still good. Check out searches like “african american” and “diversity”.
If you need exclusively business & tech related photos, this is a great resource. These photos are free to use as long as you give credit.
This is a paid stock photo service with memberships starting at $10/month. All of the photos feature women of color, and you can even download a super generous freebie pack right here (almost 200 photos!!). If you intend to use the photos for commercial purposes you’ll need to purchase an extended license.
Nappy is a contributor site, but it is exclusively for photos of people of color - this means that you can better search for specific types of photos or content. All of the photos here are exclusive to the site and licensed under CC0.
She Bold Stock
The is a paid stock photo service with memberships starting at $29/month, which grants you license to use the photos for personal or commercial use. You can also grab a sample of the photos for free right here.
Like Nappy, all of the photos here are of people of color, allowing you to get more granular with your search terms. Tonl is a paid site, and you can pay per photo, or purchase a monthly subscription that allows you to download a certain number of photos per month. Commercial licenses will cost more money, but the diversity of photos (as in people of color from all over the world) is really great.
The Jopwell Collection
Very business-centric collection of photos from Jopwell, which is a career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals. All of the photos can be used for personal or commercial purposes but do require credit back to Jopwell.
Another paid stock photo site that contains 100% "the faces, lifestyle and authentic culture of Black, Hispanic, LatinX, Native, Asian and Middle Eastern people of color". You will need to request to be invited, where you can give details about the images you'll be looking for. At the moment there are no galleries to browse but you can get a feel for the image types and quality from their homepage.
Paid stock site with 100% people of color. You purchase individual photos based on their size. The standard license covers personal and commercial purposes. If you intend to use the photos on things for resale (i.e. promotional items, digital templates that you sell) you’ll need to purchase an extended license.
DiversityPhotos is a paid site with both a monthly subscription and the ability to purchase individual photos as needed. The images are beautiful and cover a wide variety of topics/industries. They can even do custom requests if you have something super specific you need!