Digital content creators can’t take every photo, record every video, or create every background music clip that they need to use in their content. That’s why license-free stock photo, video, and music services are so vital to creating high-quality, professional content for people to access free of charge.

Unsplash has become one of the most popular and respected stock image databases on the web, and for good reason. They provide consistently high-quality stock photos for any purpose, give credit to photographers, allow straightforward downloads, and are even integrated with online multimedia editors like Kapwing.

I recommend using the Kapwing Studio to edit stock photos using the streamlined Unsplash plugin without ever leaving the editor tab. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Kapwing Studio
  2. Find the Unsplash images you want to edit
  3. Edit, combine, and create
  4. Export and download

Step 1: Open the Kapwing Studio

A screenshot of the Kapwing Studio.

You don’t even have to visit the Unsplash site to edit their license-free images – just search for them using the Kapwing Studio plugin and start editing immediately. Head to Kapwing.com on any device and use the Start Editing button to enter the Kapwing Studio, where you can search for and upload your Unsplash photos.

Step 2: Find the Unsplash Images You Want to Edit

Once you’re in the Kapwing Studio, select the Plugins button on the right end of the top toolbar. Find Unsplash in the list of plugins and select it to open the Unsplash search tool right there in the Studio. You can move and resize the Unsplash popup window however you want.

A screenshot showing how to import images fro Unsplash to the Kapwing Studio.

Enter any search term in the search bar to find all the Unsplash stock photos that are available – you can also refine your search by first selecting an image category. Click on any result to upload it directly to the editing canvas.

Hint: Just for fun, you can also select the “Random” tab in the Unsplash popup to find any random stock photo and see where fate takes you.

Step 3: Edit, Combine, and Create

Once your video layer has been uploaded to the Studio, you can make any edit you want using the editing toolbar at the top of the window and the canvas itself. Select the image you imported from Unsplash and use the canvas buttons to resize, rotate, and move it however you want.

A screenshot of Kapwing's photo filters.

Using the tools on the right side of the Studio window, you can crop your photo precisely, erase any part of it using the Magic Wand and manual erase tools, add filters and precise visual adjustments to it, flip it vertically or horizontally, add animations to it, round its corners, and add a framing outline.

A screenshot demonstrating overlay editing in the Kapwing Studio.

In the top toolbar, the Text tool allows you to add text to your video with custom font, color, outline, animation, background, and even drop shadow and blur effects. The Images tool lets you search for and import pictures from the web or your own device, using the editing tools in the menu on the right to edit them however you like.

A screenshot showing how to use multiple Plugins at once in the Kapwing Studio.

You can also return to the Plugins tab to browse through Kapwing’s six other plugins. Use Pexels and Pixabay to find more stock photos and videos, or try GIPHY Text and GIPHY Search to transform text into a Word Art-style GIF or important GIF on GIPHY. The Kapwing Resources and Help Center plugins let you access tips, tutorials, and FAQ answers while you edit your project.

Step 4: Export and Download

When you’re done editing your Unsplash project, use the red Export Image button in the upper right corner to process it for downloading. After just a second or so, you can choose the Download button on the right to save it straight to your device.

A screenshot of the Kapwing download page.

I hope this article helps reduce the hassle of creating content with stock photos! For more tips and tutorials on creating great digital content in 2021, check out the Kapwing YouTube channel, or read through some related articles on editing with license-free and royalty-free content:

How to Edit Pexels Videos in Your Browser
Where to Find Stock Video and How to Use It
The 5 Best Sites for Royalty Free Music in 2021
Introducing Kapwing Plugins