The Best Stock Photo Free Trials (Get 100+ free images)

Written by Matic Broz - Updated on January 10, 2022

Free trials for stock photos allow you to get up to 40 free images. While the free trials don’t differ in how you get them, we distinguish them in the quality of service and insights they provide for free.

With that in mind, I compiled the complete list of all the free trials that are worth trying. You can get one, a couple, or all of them, but I recommend you start at the top and work your way down.

#1 Pick
Adobe Stock Logo

Adobe Stock

The best stock photo site for designers.

While not the cheapest, you can save money with Adobe Stock. The integration into Adobe apps allows you to test images without buying them.

Table of contents

  • Adobe Stock
  • Shutterstock
  • iStock
  • Dreamstime
  • Bigstockphoto

1. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is my favourite stock photo site and a source of royalty-free images and stock footage. Adobe Stock’s free trial gives you 10 assets within 30 days. But no one tells you that you can get 40 free images.

Here’s the trick—

From Adobe Stock’s main page, click Pricing in the top right corner. Instead of choosing the 10 standard assets plan, opt-in for the 40 asset one and click the Start free trial button. And that’s the most free stock photos you can get with any free trial.

Adobe Stock 40 assets
Pay attention to the “get 40 free standard assets”.

Many users miss the most important feature that is also available with the free trial. And that’s the integration of Adobe Stock into the Creative Cloud. Every Adobe app supports browsing images, videos, and other assets right from their interface. Since Adobe Stock is part of the Creative Cloud, you can try out assets within your projects before paying for them, thus saving your budget.

How to cancel the Adobe Stock free trial?

Cancelling Adobe Stock free trial is fairly simple. Sign in to your account, and under Plans and payment, click on the Manage plan button, and choose Cancel plan. Adobe will ask you to give them a reason for the cancellation, but you may skip it.
The best part is that you don’t have to be afraid of missing the deadline because you’re allowed to cancel at the last minute. For example, Shutterstock requires you to cancel 4 days in advance, which catches many customers off guard.

Is Adobe Stock free with Photoshop?

Adobe Stock free trial with Photoshop

Yes, Adobe Stock can be free with Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is available with two plans: Photography plan ($9.99/month) and Photoshop plan ($20.99/month). Each plan, even the Photoshop free trial, lets you add Adobe Stock free trial.

Is Adobe Stock free with Creative Cloud (CC)?

The Best Stock Photo Free Trials (Get 100+ free images) 1

You can get up to 40 free images with the Creative Cloud [LINK] by choosing the Adobe Stock free trial at the checkout. So, Adobe Stock is free with the Creative Cloud only for the first month. After the trial expires, you have to pay for every Adobe Stock image you use.

Is Adobe Stock free for students?

While students and teachers get a hefty 63% discount on the Creative Cloud subscription, Adobe Stock price doesn’t change. Students still get a 30-day trial but have to pay the same subscription fee as everyone else when it expires.
If you’re wondering why; it’s because Adobe has to pay their contributors for every asset they sell. So, by giving you free downloads, they would become unprofitable, thus sabotaging their business.

Is Adobe Stock music copyright free?

All Adobe Stock music and audio tracks are royalty-free, meaning you may use them as many times as you need in any project, anywhere in the world. Even after you cancel your Adobe account, you’re free to use the downloaded assets. You may also use the music for your client’s projects, but only you are allowed to download and use it.
Adobe Stock audio is not free with the Creative Cloud. But you can get 10 or 40 free audio tracks with the Adobe Stock free trial.

Are Adobe Stock images royalty-free?

All Adobe Stock images are royalty-free, licensed under Standard, Enhanced, or Extended license. All three are a form of a royalty-free license [LINK], but vary in the number of allowed copies and uses. As a consequence, Adobe Stock does not offer a rights-managed license, making it a non-exclusive stock photo site.

Does Adobe Stock have free images?

Along with paid premium assets, Adobe Stock lets you use free stock assets, including photos, vectors (illustrations), and videos. There are 800,000 free photos, 172,000 free vectors, and 8,500 free videos. But remember—if you use an unmodified asset, you must attribute the creator.

Is Adobe Stock free for commercial use?

You’re allowed to use Adobe Stock assets for commercial use, even the ones you download with the free trial. However, beyond the free trial, the assets are not free for any purpose, including commercial.
But since all Adobe Stock assets are licensed with a royalty-free license, you can use them for commercial projects as many times as you want, anywhere in the world.

2. Shutterstock

There’s a lot of confusion around the Shutterstock free trial, but it’s legit. I’ve tried it and it works. However, it’s kind of misleading.

As I’ve already pointed out in my Shutterstock review, Shutterstock promotes a 30-day free trial for 10 photos. And you get them. But Shutterstock put the following text into the small print hidden in the Learn More link:

“If you wish to cancel during your free trial period, visit the Plans section of the My Account page here. To ensure seamless service, the charge will happen approximately 4 days before your free trial period ends.”

As we all know, the “to ensure seamless service” is a cheap excuse to mislead customers. In the era of utter digitalization, no one needs 96 hours to ensure the service you’re already getting.

Nonetheless, if you cancel the free trial in time (4 days before the expiration) or if you continue with the subscription, Shutterstock’s free trial is a great way to get 10 free stock images.

How to cancel Shutterstock free trial?

To cancel the Shutterstock free trial, go to the Plans page in your account and press the Cancel plan early button. Cancelling the trial at least four days before it expires is completely free. Within the four day period before the subscription starts, you can no longer cancel the trial.

How to get Shutterstock images for free without a watermark?

The only legal way to get Shutterstock images for free without a watermark is with the 30-day free trial. There are some shady websites offering free and unwatermarked Shutterstock images, I advise you against those.
By using any asset without a license, you breach the basic copyright laws, thus putting you in the immediate offence. The lawsuit that may arise from using an unlicensed photo is far more expensive than buying a subscription plan.

3. Dreamstime

Dreamstime is the cheapest stock photo website, but it also offers a free trial. Although the trial is available with the 1-month plan of 15 downloads, it only lasts 1 week. So, be careful to cancel it in time if you do not want to pay for it.

If you decide to keep the Dreamstime subscriptions, you can get a 30% discount on all plans. As a Photutorial reader, you can get it via this link. The discount is bound to the link and not a promo code.

But Dreamstime’s free trial is not the best. Although it gives you 15 free downloads, they are watermarked. To get the unwatermarked images, you need to buy a plan and redownload the free image.

In addition to the premium images, Dreamstime offers 180,000 free photos that you may use for commercial purposes. But you must credit the author of the image in your design.

How to cancel Dreamstime free trial?

Log into your account and go to the Payment Management page. From there, select the subscription plan you wish to cancel and click on the Cancel Subscription button.

4. Canva Pro

Canva is an easy-to-use online graphic design platform with a built-in stock photo library. Canva Pro is a membership service that gives access to the famous Canva image editor as well as premium services such as a Business Brand Kit manager, a Migration Assistance Tool, thousands of design templates, and free photos from hundreds of sources around the world.

With this subscription, you may get as many photos as you need, with limitless downloads being only one of the benefits of subscribing to your membership. After your trial expires, you pay only $9.95/month.

The free trial lasts for 30 days and gives you access to 100+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics. You also get 610,000+ premium templates, 100GB of cloud storage, and various other tools for image editing and branding.

Canva Pro free trial

5. Bigstockphoto

I’m not a huge fan of Bigstockphoto, but it’s among the cheapest stock photo sites and offers several free trials. Every trial is linked to a subscription plan that you get free for a week.

Three stock image plans and two stock footage plans come with a free trial. Since these plans give you a certain number of downloads per day, you could potentially get up to 70 videos or 70 images during the free trial. But the free trial is limited to 35 images or videos only.

As a result, Bigstockphoto’s free week is more generous than some other stock photo free trials, though the overall quality is considerably lower.

Bigstockphoto free trial

Additional information

Is there a free trial for iStock?

iStock does NOT have a free trial. The only way to try iStock is by paying for a subscription plan or getting a credit pack. However, by creating an iStock account, you can get one free photo every week.

How do I get Getty Images free trial?

You can NOT get Getty Images for free legally. Although there are illegal ways to acquire unwatermarked images, I strongly advise you against it. Their team patrols the internet looking for misuse of their images, for which you may pay high fees.

How to get CanStockPhoto free trial?

CanStockPhoto is a little known stock photo site that doesn’t offer a free trial with any of its plans.


In this article, you’ve learned that you don’t need a free stock photo site to get free photos. I listed the five best stock agencies offering gratis royalty-free images, vector graphics, and stock footage with free trials.

If you have time to choose only one, go for Adobe Stock photos, which are created by talented photographers. You may use them for commercial use or for social media.

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