What to Look For in Education Stock Photos

Education stock photos are the ones that portray all the different aspects of education and learning. 

From pre-kinder little boys and girls to university doctorate students, going through trade schools and multiple disciplines, they depict how education is implemented and experienced all over the world, and how it impacts daily lives. 

There are many great uses for educational images, but also several telling points to identify the best and most engaging of them. 

Let’s find out!

Where and Why to Use Educational Stock Images

Education-themed photos have plenty of possible uses. Obviously, they are perfect when you want to illustrate, promote, or share messages about learning and education. It could be for marketing purposes, as well as for awareness campaigns like new programs in public schools or NGO services around learning, for example. They can sometimes be used by students, as well. Check our guide to stock photos for students and universities!

However, one of the most valuable points in education stock photos is that they tend to have a positive connotation. They are immediately associated with the ideas of progress, self-improvement, knowledge, advancement –think of the typical stock photo graduation theme, for example–. This fits into all kinds of narratives and helps deliver uplifting messages beautifully. 

All in all, educational pictures are a cool resource for visual storytelling, be it on presentations, websites, blog posts, social media content, or advertising. 

What Do Great Education Stock Photos Look Like

This is rather important. In a world where a simple Google search unearths gazillion stock images within whatever topic –including education–, these are the marks of effective, current, engaging stock photos with an education concept. 


photocase photo id 3498933 square > What to Look For in Education Stock Photos
Copyright: coscaron/Photocase.com, all rights reserved

Virtual learning became the norm in 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic and consequent lockdowns that forced institutions and students to use online education tools to continue with their programs. 

Studying at home, using Zoom or other video call tool on computers and mobile devices to replicate the classroom environment, helping the kids with their homework, are some of the most sought-after visual concepts today. 

Back to School

photocase photo id 3744534 landscape > What to Look For in Education Stock Photos
Copyright: acongar/Photocase.com, all rights reserved

The beginning of the school year is always an event. Little girls with their pigtails' hairdo, all ready for their first day of elementary school. High school students looking forward to meeting their friends again. Freshman university students, both nervous and excited about this new chapter of their lives. 

However, this year, as pandemic-induced restrictions loosen up, going back to school takes a whole new meaning, and the concept of “new normal” is a visual trend: mask-wearing, social distancing, sanitization protocols, all the ways in which schools, teachers and students go about their day. 

Diversity and Inclusion

photocase photo id 3583609 square > What to Look For in Education Stock Photos
Copyright: Addictive Stock/Photocase.com, all rights reserved

These concepts are at top of current social causes, and education images are no exception. Photos showing groups of students will ideally portray diversity in terms of ethnicity, cultural background, special needs, etc. And should be a positive depiction of inclusion and integration. 

You don’t want a single African American schoolgirl in a sea of white students, but an actual, authentic portrait of our society, with mixed-raced/biracial children and teachers, as well as people from multiple backgrounds, coexisting happily in one class.  

School Supplies and Buildings

photocase photo id 3722006 landscape > What to Look For in Education Stock Photos
Copyright: Anna Denisova/Photocase.com, all rights reserved

You’ll notice how people –school kids, professors, etc.– are the core of this list so far. That’s because photos of people are incredibly engaging. But that’s not to say images without people aren’t worth choosing! 

A photo with school concept can very well do the trick: a close-up of a formula on a whiteboard, an empty classroom after a busy day, a magnifying glass next to an open book, even pictures of school buildings or university campuses. These conceptual images work great in an education-themed narrative. 

Illustrations and Icons

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Copyright: IngImage/Stockphotosecrets.com, all rights reserved

Not all is photography. Illustrations with an education concept can be fun and appealing, adding a touch of informality to your design without losing on quality. 

Icons and icon sets themed around learning and education also come in handy to create simple graphics and deliver information quickly, for example in infographics. 

Where to Find High-Res Education Stock Photos

The right place to look for high-quality and reliable education images is on one of the top stock photo sites, whom offer royalty-free licenses and high-resolution, legally-verified photos with flexible pricing. Below is our list of recommended agencies. 

Why not free images? While we do have a list of the best (and most serious) free stock photo sites, we don’t recommend using free stock photos for marketing or other commercial-oriented projects, as their licenses aren’t as safe. Whenever possible, always go for royalty-free, premium images. 


www.photocase.com homepage

Photocase specializes in unique, authentic images with an artsy vibe, it’s the perfect site to find education stock images that you don’t find anywhere else. 

Read the Photocase review for more details, and make sure to grab our Photocase coupon for a sweet deal!

Stock Photo Secrets Shop

www.shop.stockphotosecrets.com homepage

Our Stock Photo Secrets Shop has professional-quality images at super affordable prices to fit all budgets. Our selection of education images is everything you need!

Check out the Stock Photo Secrets Shop review, and don’t miss the popular 99Club offer!


wwww.shutterstock.com homepage

Shutterstock owns the largest stock photography catalog on the web, with literally hundreds of millions of images! Here you can find every education stock photo imaginable. 

Visit the Shutterstock review to get to know it better, test the waters for free with the Shutterstock free trial, or go straight for the Shutterstock coupon and save you some bucks!


www.istockphoto.com homepage

iStock offers two big collections of images: budget-friendly, and exclusive high-end ones. In both selections, you’ll find plenty of education-themed images ready to download. 

Discover their service in the iStock review, and take advantage of the iStock promo code to save in your photos!

Adobe Stock

www.adobe.com homepage

Adobe Stock is Adobe’s stock photo service and, as such, is very focused on cutting-edge visuals for creatives. Here is where you find the freshest, most trendy education pictures. 

All the info is in our Adobe Stock review, plus a cool Adobe Stock free trial you’re going to love!

Are you ready to use education stock photos in your designs? Show us your results!

Header image: Copyright by coscaron/Photocase.com; Addictive Stock/Photocase.com; Anna Denisova/Photocase.com;  Image/Ingram Image/Stock Photo Secrets Shop, all rights reserved.

Ivanna Attié
Ivanna Attié

I am Content Manager, Researcher, and Author in StockPhotoSecrets.com and Stock Photo Press and its many stock media-oriented publications. I am a passionate communicator with a love for visual imagery and an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. Lucky enough to enter the wonderful world of stock photography working side-by-side with experienced experts, I am happy to share my research, insights, and advice about image licensing, stock photography offers, and the stock media industry with everyone in the creative community. My background is in Communication and Journalism, and I also love literature and performing arts.

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