Professional photography and graphic design will help a brand stand out. While it's well worth the investment, it's OK if you don't have that marketing money available just yet, especially when you can utilize free (or inexpensive) creative assets other people have created for commercial use. And, the best part is you do not need to be a designer to use them!
There are libraries out there which offer what many consider to be "obviously stock" (e.g. the ones most banking websites use). Then there are alternative options that aren't as well known which offer more diverse and inclusive options. Check them out:
Unsplash - Beautiful stock imagery, where everything and everyone looks perfect.
Pixabay - More realistic/less perfect stock photography (compared to Unsplash).
Burst - Free stock photos for websites and commercial use, with a good amount of diverse and inclusive options!
CreateHER Stock - High-resolution images of Black and Brown women being amazing! Free images available, or get unlimited premium photos across all categories starting at $10/month.
The Gender Spectrum Collection - Stock photos beyond the binary.
Disabled and Here Collection - This stock library is a disability-led effort to provide free and inclusive images from our own perspective, with photos and illustrations celebrating disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC).
Picnoi - Photography featuring people of color.
Shout out to Alex Bayley for compiling so much information on inclusive stock resources! Visit their website for more royalty-free options available for commercial use.
Many Pixels - 2,500+ royalty-free illustrations you can filter by category or type, and add your own hex color to.
Lukasz Adam - This talented illustrator provides hundreds of illustrations for personal and commercial use. (Buy them a coffee to say thanks?!)
DrawKit - Free illustrations with a library that is updated weekly! Some are free, while others have a very low cost associated.
unDraw - Illustrations complete with on-the-fly color image generation to match your brand identity.
Open Peeps - Hand-drawn illustration library of all types of people, designed by the talented Pablo Stanley.
Blush - Generate your own combination of illustrations using their browser app.
Black Illustrations - Beautiful illustrations of Black people (because representation matters!)
Coverr - Beautiful, free stock video footage already sized for the web.
Pexels - Crowd-shared videos.
Mixkit - Limited, free stock video, with the option to also source music and sound effects.
Videvo - Free, basic stock video footage available to download in size 1920 x 1080.
smolicons - A general library of icons.
ColorSpace Gradient Generator - Generate a CSS color gradient in almost any direction with two or three colors.
Squoosh - Optimize your images for the web.
Coolors - Color palette generator.