Best Stock Photo Sites Review: Getty vs. iStock vs. Shutterstock vs. Fotolia vs Adobe Stock & More!

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Digital
Media
Traditional Media
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BigStock logo
2nd
Depositphotos logo
123RF logo
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iStock logo
ShutterStock logo

Are you looking for a photo to make your brochure or website homepage stand out from your competitors? If so, you will find that looking for royalty-free media on the net brings up an overwhelming number of services to choose from. Depending upon the media you are looking to serve (photos, illustrations, vector art, audio, video) and the usage license you require, the sheer number of stock image companies can be daunting. Let’s face it, all this marketing lingo can also be intimidating. So let’s break it down and help you find the best stock images for your needs.

What Are the Best Stock Photo Sites?

We have composed a stock photography company comparison table that highlights the products and services offered by each company and the pros and cons of each. Referencing this table alongside our reviews below will help you to determine which stock photo company best meets your needs. If at any point you get confused by the lingo used in this article, please take a look at the terminology section on the comparison table page.

What Is Digital Media?

Digital media is any type of media that is used on computers, websites, blogs, etc. The images you see on websites are considered digital media as well as the audio or video tracks. Digital media files do not need to be as high resolution since they will be optimized for web and you might find yourself needing a lot more digital media files to use throughout your site so a subscription plan might be best in this case.

BigStock Review

#1

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BigStock is an affordable stock image service that specializes in images and illustrations. Their straightforward, inexpensive pricing model paired with a wide range of images to meet most digital marketing needs makes it the go-to location for the best stock photos for online use. This is the company we use for our website’s photos most often. Our experience with their customer service department has been top-notch. However, if you are looking for vector images, you will definitely pay more here so you may want to look to another company.

Pros

Cons

  • Pricing is affordable and easy to understand
  • Images, vector images, videos and illustrations
  • Live chat and phone help is available
  • User submissions are accepted
  • No audio files available
  • Vector images can be pricey

Price at time of writing: Image credits start at $35 for 10 images up to $495 for 500 images. Subscriptions start at $69 per month for 5 images a day and go up from there depending on the number of photos and how frequently you download.

Coupon Code

Ongoing: our readers have access to 5 free credits with promo code SPC6 (if that doesn't work, try DIGIX210). Seasonal: Bigstock is offering 15% off your first month for any subscription. Click here take advantage of these offers!

Read our Full Review of BigStock

Depositphotos Review

#2

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Depositphotos is a relatively new company with an affordable pricing structure. Their excellent selection of media is available for one of the lowest per image costs around. That being said, we do not find their current library robust or easily searched, so it may be difficult to find what you are looking for. But, if you can find the right image for you, the price will be good and they, have a nice user feedback option so that you can learn more about others’ experiences with a particular artist/photographer before buying or to guide your image search further. They offer images and video, but no audio. They have a good selection at one of the lower per image costs around, with low-resolution photos starting at around $1.

Pros

Cons

  • Images, illustrations, videos and vector images
  • Images are particularly affordable in comparison to many of the other providers
  • Regular deals and coupons on specified image sets
  • The Deposit Photos website is easy to navigate
  • Users leave feedback on image providers to give a better idea of quality
  • Multiple languages supported
  • Phone and live chat support
  • Unused downloads transfer to the next month
  • Audio files are not offered
  • Advanced search options for images are limited

Price at time of writing: Subscriptions start at $29/month ($0.96 per image) or $299/year and on demand images start at $4.90 per image.

Coupon Code

Get 10% off Depositphotos subscriptions with coupon code OS0290048 via our link.

Read our Full Review of Deposit Photos

iStock Review

#3

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iStock is run by the highly reputable Getty Images (our #1 pick for traditional stock photography, see below). Graphic designers and small advertising agencies find iStock to be a great resource due to their low prices, affordable subscription plan, image variety and versatility. With millions of pieces for sale, iStock is one of the better choices for those in need of lots of online, royalty-free, low-resolution images for websites or e-newsletters. The iStock website can be a bit challenging to users who prefer to browse without a keyword in mind, as it is difficult to just browse without first typing in a keyword. Overall the search function via keywords is easy and intuitive for the reader. This is a good service that offers great images at a good price. iStock is one of the most commonly utilized online stock image companies these days for graphic designers and small advertising agencies due to their low prices, affordable subscription plan and versatility. With millions of pieces for sale, iStock is one of the better choices for large quantities of online royalty-free content, especially if low-resolution is acceptable.

Pros

Cons

  • You can pay-as-you-go or duration (images per month)
  • Affordable subscription and credit system
  • Millions of images
  • Images, vector images, videos and illustrations
  • User submissions are accepted
  • Rollover unused credits
  • Large 4K offering at competitive prices
  • Other stock image services have a better selection for high-quality print media
  • Their website can be buggy and difficult to use at times
  • No audio files

Price at time of writing: Starts at $12 for 1 image/credit and subscriptions start at $40/month for 10 images.

Coupon Code

Until September 30th, 2017: All customers save 10% off credits with coupon code ZKFPC46N; New customers can save 12% off Subscriptions with coupon code ZKFPC46N; Click here to take advantage of these offers!

Read our Full Review of iStock

What Are the Best Stock Photography Sites for Traditional Media?

Traditional media is what you typically think of for media. This is media that is printed in publications, used outdoors or on television. You see them every day from magazine ads to TV commercials. Anything that uses visuals or audio in a commercial form must be purchased or have the original rights to. And often, depending on if people or places are involved, there might be a time limit or renewal fees so the models, artists and creators can continue to get fairly compensated. You might require higher resolution photos for traditional media which is why they might cost you more but the quality is much better.

Getty Images Review

#1Getty Images logo

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From historical photos to celebrity photo bombs. Getty Images offers one of the biggest databases of stock media, especially for premium, conceptual, high-resolution and editorial images. If you are working in traditional media such as print, TV, billboard or radio, high-resolution creative will be mandatory in designing high impact campaigns and no one offers more exclusively licensed, high-res art than Getty. Getty offers a wide array of royalty-free media with over eighty million different high-design, conceptual pieces for sale. It is also a good option for multinational companies and global advertising campaigns as they have websites in many different languages that will help you navigate usage laws across country borders. The website is easy to search and navigate for high-concept imagery, videography and sound.

Pros

Cons

  • The largest library by far and the premium library for finding high-resolution, highly conceptual, artistic print media images
  • Exclusive image purchase is available if you need a visual that no one else will be able to use. This is important for more traditional media for large companies and brand, especially for print, television and radio advertising.
  • Images, videos, audio and illustrations
  • Easy to navigate website
  • Websites for a number of different countries
  • User submissions are accepted
  • Offers 35+ million pictures for free to use
  • Media can be expensive. Probably cost prohibitive for digital use unless require exclusive imagery.
  • Pricing varies per photo and not shown unless you sign in and create an account

Price at time of writing: Price varies depending on the rights, usage and size and can be upwards of hundreds of dollars each.

Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any Getty Images coupon codes.

123RF Review

#2123RF logo

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123RF offers one of the most affordable subscription programs, with low-resolution photos starting as low as $1 per photo. It’s a great alternative to many of the big stock photo services and they have a wide-selection of over 37 million images video, audio, vector files. And you can expect high-quality photos for the price too. 123RF has beautiful lifestyle, editorial and non-cheesy photos making them an even better value. They have live chat and phone support should you need it and an easy to use checkout process. The one downside we found from 123RF is the search results didn’t have many filtering options, which isn’t ideal if you have something specific in mind, but their photos are all so great you might not need them!

Pros

Cons

  • One of the lowest priced subscription programs
  • Images, illustrations and vector images are offered
  • 100% money back guarantee
  • Easy to navigate website
  • User submissions accepted
  • Live chat and phone support
  • Limited filters for photo search results

Price at time of writing: Starts at $39 for 5 images and subscriptions start at $79/month for up to 150 images per month (depending on how many months you commit to).

ShutterStock Review

#3ShutterStock logo

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Shutterstock is a good resource for high-resolution images, especially for large-format designs (billboards and other print media). They offer a variety of subscription plans to meet various user needs, making its pricing model more flexible than some other high-res photo options. With Shutterstock’s huge library of 70 million images and files, you won’t be disappointed in the selection. While they do offer stock photos, videos, illustrations, and vector, they do not have audio files in their database, making this another impediment from a top ranking relative to Getty Images, which has all forms of media in their library. Shutterstock would be a great choice for agencies, publications and companies with the need to use high-quality photos and illustrations often.

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely high-resolution images
  • One of the leading stock photo companies with editorial, celebrity photos and more
  • A variety of subscription plans are available for users
  • Images, videos, illustrations, vector images, video and music
  • User submissions are accepted
  • iPhone, iPad and Android app to search and download on the go
  • Phone and email support
  • Compared to other similar stock photo services, their fees are unusually high

Price at time of writing: Starts at $29 for 2 images and subscriptions start at $49/month for 10 images.

Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any ShutterStock coupon codes.

Best Stock Image Sites Comparison Table

Stock Photography Comparison TableDue to the considerable size of our stock photo websites comparison table, we are putting it on another page so that it can be more easily referenced. Please visit our stock photography service comparison table (or click on the image on the left) to view the feature details of each stock photography company that we review in this article. We will do our best to continue to add to this table as we find more stock photo companies and update the current companies listed as they add new features.

Other Stock Photography Sites

The other stock photography services we reviewed are listed below. Learn more about what each of these services offers as well as pros and cons.

Adobe Stock | Alamy | Can Stock Photo | Corbis | Dreamstime | Foap | Fotolia | PhotoSpin | YAY Images

We have a listing of terminologies that will help you understand some of the technical jargon. It’s located below the comparison table as well as at the bottom of this page.

Adobe Stock Review

Adobe Stock logo

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In 2015 Adobe, the popular graphic design software company, released their own version of a stock photography library with more than 40 million photos, illustrations and vector images available. You can also submit your images to sell which makes sense and is convenient since they cater to the creative community and have a built-in network of graphic design and photographer customers already. They do not offer video or audio files, so if you’re a multimedia user, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Adobe Stock is still in the early stages, so we will have to give them more time to see where they fit in our rankings.

Pros

Cons

  • 40+ million royalty-free, high-quality photos, illustrations and graphics
  • User submissions are accepted
  • Able to purchase individual images
  • Can cancel risk-free in the first month
  • No video or audio files

Price at time of writing: Starts at $9.99 per image and subscriptions start at $29 for 10 assets a month (and first month free with annual plan).

Alamy Review

Visit WebsiteAlamy logo

Alamy has one of the largest selection of images and, with more than 80,000 new stock images added daily sourced from around the world from 173 countries. The result is a wide-range of culturally diverse photos from all geographic landscapes and areas giving you more than 90 million high-quality images to choose from. Alamy only sells per image so no subscription plans are available and the price varies depending on the size and the rights of the photo. You can choose to have it licensed which can expensive depending on what you are using it for or do a rights-managed option which is limited use and time for a photo. Much like other online shopping sites, it’s easy to check out without an account, but the number of options can be a bit overwhelming if you are new to stock photography.

Pros

Cons

  • Illustrations, photography, vector images and video
  • Option to buy individual images
  • Claims to offer constantly refreshed images
  • A variety of search methods are provided for searching through stock media
  • User submissions are accepted
  • Phone and chat support
  • No subscription services
  • Images can be particularly expensive even when small or low resolution
  • Audio files are not available
  • Not the easiest website to navigate and pricing is not up front

Price at time of writing: $19.99 per image (for personal use). No subscriptions offered.

Coupon Code

Use code IMAGES20 to receive 20% off all Royalty Free Imagery. Click here take advantage of this offer!

Can Stock Photo Review

Visit WebsiteCan Stock Photo logo

Can Stock Photo adds 25,000 pieces of stock media to their site every day and offers a good value for low-resolution photos. They also have video. However, they do not have audio files, and their library is much smaller than many of their competitors, but if you can find what you are looking for, this could be a great option. And with one-click downloading and easy checkout without creating an account, it’s a great choice for quick and easy purchases.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable pricing for small JPEG images
  • Easy to download one photo at a time quickly without creating an account
  • A wide range of international websites are available
  • Subscription services and individual image purchase options
  • Images, videos, illustrations and vector images are all available
  • Audio files are not available
  • Far fewer images available in comparison to other stock image services
  • High definition video footage can be expensive
  • Support information relies upon a support ticket system making troubleshooting more complicated than competitors

Price at time of writing: Photo credits start at $9 for 12 credits, subscriptions start at $39/week for 7 images per day.

Corbis Review

Corbis Images logo

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Corbis has been a widely known and well-respected stock image provider with one of the largest database of images available (more than 100 corporate image partners and 30,000 photographers). However, they were acquired by Visual China Group (VCG), and as a result, they have migrated their content library to Getty Images effective May 2, 2016. This is good news for you since Getty is our #1 pick. Corbis is no longer operating under its brand name.

Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any Corbis coupon codes.

Dreamstime Review

Dreamstime ReviewVisit Website

Since 2000, Dreamstime has been providing a huge selection of high-quality digital images at affordable prices with a goal to connect image sellers with buyers. Their community-based site gives more than 13,000,000 registered members access to photos submitted from 200,000+ photographers from around the world. All images are reviewed and approved by experienced editors to ensure the quality control. In addition to photos, they have a library of free images, clip art and vectors and have a number of incentives for photographers and users alike. They also offer monthly plans or pay per photo credit packages.

Pros

Cons

  • A member of some photo and trade organizations
  • Referral program for users & incentives for photographers
  • Large collection of free photos
  • Resources including customer service phone support
  • App for contributing photos on the go
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • No stock audio
  • Site is overwhelming to navigate compared to other stock photo sites
  • Photo costs on the higher end

Price at time of writing: Photo credit packages start at $14.99 for 11 credits, and subscriptions start at $25 a month for 5 images.

Foap Review

Visit WebsiteFoap logo

Foap is a fairly new service (and concept) that allows anyone the ability to sell photos taken from their iPhone. Users can download the app, take a photo, upload the photo to the Foap market and list it for sale. Before your photo is listed in the marketplace, it must receive an average rating of 2.6 or higher from 5 other users. Photographers earn $5 per sold photo. For users looking to purchase photos, they start at $10 per photo. This is a photo only site, no vector, no audio, and no video. But their pricing is super straightforward, $10 per image (or down to $7.50 each if you buy in bulk).

Pros

Cons

  • Your purchase benefits creative photographers
  • Very unique and creative photos
  • Once you purchase the image, you have complete creative control over the use and editing of the image
  • Simple, easy and clean website and app for quick search and download
  • Constantly new, added content that is vetted by users
  • Images only; no video or audio files available
  • Pricing is on the high-end, given the quality
  • Limited total number of photos when compared to other sites

Price at time of writing: $10 per photo or credit packages start at $180 for 20 photos up to $750 for 100 photos.

Fotolia by Adobe Review

Fotolia by Adobe logo

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Fotolia (which has been acquired by Adobe) has a huge database of over 81 million pieces of media. With tens of thousands of photos, art and video uploaded daily, there is a huge selection of content to choose from, and Fotolia has one of the largest libraries among the standard providers (now including Adobe’s library). They source for quality contributors and claim to offer artists the best rates on the market. They allow users the flexibility to pick the option that works best for them. Either purchasing through a monthly or annual subscription or credit based pay as you go system. However, you can’t do a single photo download. They are a moderately priced stock image company and also offer purchase options for less frequent users.

Pros

Cons

  • 81 million+ media
  • A variety of subscription and credit purchase options
  • Image, video, illustration and vector images
  • Easy to navigate website with many filtering options to get you the results you want
  • User submissions are accepted
  • Integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Phone support
  • A minimum of five credits must be purchased at one time which can be limiting if you do not use stock images a great deal
  • Credit pack options are varied by photo
  • Different photo types, sizes, credits and licenses is complicated
  • Audio files are not available

Price at time of writing: Credit packs start at $14 for 10 credits. Subscriptions start at $25/month for 5 images.

PhotoSpin Review

Photospin ReviewVisit Website

Since 1996 PhotoSpin has believed that all creatives should have quick access to good content at an affordable price. PhotoSpin’s pricing is based on a subscription model. You pay once for access and then can download anywhere from 500-1000 images per month. Claiming to be the first photo subscription service, Photo Spin has 2 subscription options: Plus starts at $429 a year for up to 500 3600px images and SuperPlus which starts at $649 per year for 500 images at 5100px. The only difference in plans is the quality/size of the photos, but each gives you the same access to photos and similar increments of plans (500, 750 or 1000 photos per month) for a yearly subscription.

Pros

Cons

  • Subscription model makes for easy downloading without credits or pay per photo.
  • Low per photo cost (as low as .06 per image).
  • Basic, easy to navigate, clutter free site.
  • Purchase individual photos, illustrations, vectors and fonts
  • Search filters and criteria are not very intuitive
  • No audio or video files.
  • Limited search options and resources

Price at time of writing: Single images are $2-30 depending on the size of photo. Subscriptions start at $429 a year for up to 500 3600px image.

Coupon Code

Our readers can get 10% off PhotoSpin's annual subscription with the promo code WeRock10.Click here take advantage of this offer!

Yay Images Review

Visit WebsiteYAY Images logo

“Created for and by online people” Yay Images is a relatively newer company and provides unlimited streaming of online images. Streaming, meaning you can use them on your site but you can’t download them to save for offline use (or to make modifications to). There is no downloading or uploading for YAY Images. (Yay!) Instead, you receive a link that you put wherever you want the image to appear. They do however allow you to make simple edits to photos within their site and will even host them for you forever (even if you cancel). Their visual search allows you to drag and drop a photo you are looking for, and it will search for something similar (like Google image search). We tested it though, and it’s not all that accurate. One of the other downsides to Yay is they only offer subscriptions; no single image purchases are available, unfortunately.

Pros

Cons

  • Four different subscription plans based on what your profession is (blogger, marketers, etc.)
  • All plans come with unlimited streaming and include hosting
  • Customer support via email and phone
  • Small, medium, and large size photos
  • Free trial available
  • No video or audio files
  • Streaming photos limited to 700 pixels wide and can only be used online
  • Must purchase a subscription plan
  • More expensive for single downloads

Price at time of writing: Plans starts at $9.90/month with 1 download and additional photo downloads for $10 each up to $99 per month for unlimited streaming and up to 1,000 downloads.

Video: Stock Photo Clichés

From time to time you might stumble upon the silly stock photo that makes you laugh (at least we do!). Here’s a compilation of some stock photo clichés along with song (almost as cheesy as the photos).

Which Stock Photo Company Is Right for You?

Finding a stock photography company to suit your needs can be difficult depending on what you intend to utilize your downloaded media for. Aside from ensuring that you find a company that will fit within your budget, it is also important to find a legitimate company that details licensing requirements for each image or piece of media they provide.

Understand Stock Pictures Use Laws

It is important to understand each type of license offered for image or other media use in order to avoid the potential of a legal case being brought against you or your business. Most large stock photography companies have detailed information available on their websites. If a company does not offer this information, it is always prudent to contact them directly to find out about usage regulation. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with the stock photo usage types, so you know the difference between royalty-free and rights managed and learn more about stock photos in our royalty free images article.

Who is your favorite stock photo provider and why?

Sadie has acted as the email marketing coordinator and web designer for one of the world's largest travel companies and managed social media for dozens of major brands. She has a breadth and depth of web and marketing knowledge that reaches far and wide. She loves all things Mac and keeping up with all the latest web trends.

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97 Comments on "Best Stock Photo Sites Review: Getty vs. iStock vs. Shutterstock vs. Fotolia vs Adobe Stock & More!"

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John Allen
John Allen
I have been posting photos with Dreamstime for about four years and have 1338 images on file. For some reason, car photos seem to sell better than others. I attend several regional car shows each year so obtaining pictures is no problem. I take my time and carefully edit each photo using Adobe Photoshop elements 14. Their web site has improved substantially and I believe it is easy to navigate. Uploading is a snap. They are easy to start with because they have no test unlike some others. All they insist on is acceptable images. I would recommend them to… Read more »
Robbed Again
Robbed Again

Shutterstock are thieves – I signed up and upon billing removed their auto-renewal feature – they turned it back on and drilled my account for as much cash as they could get.

Kristiyan
Kristiyan

My best images find their buyers at dreamstime and istockphoto. Shutterstock in particular seems to be very incompetent or random on approving photographer’s images for sale. Sometimes they would approve my most residue garbage microstock and reject best-sellers, while at times they would get it right. I don’t know. I stopped offering my production on shutterstock and generally enjoy selling with istock and dreamstime.

Zoli
Zoli
Watch out! While ShutterStock offers good deals sometimes, their website is super slow and full with “errors”. Which means, you won’t be able to download the amount of images you were hoping for (unless you have nothing else to do, and can spend most of your time just searching and downloading very slowly.) Most of the “error” messages are beautifully predesigned screens (which means they are well aware of them). I actually think these “errors” are part of their business strategy to make more profit, yet it is very unfair for both the photographers and image buyers. When you evaluate… Read more »
Ada

Hi Sadie and Kimberly,
Thanks for comparisons, very comprehensive. Have you tried GraphicStock? Any tips for it?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

We have not tried GraphicStock, sorry. Let us know if you try it and how you like/dislike it!

Adrian Alexandru
Adrian Alexandru
Hey Sadie and Kimberly, Thanks for the post! It’s one of the most comprehensive reviews of stock photo websites I have seen. A few months ago we started Dashmote to try and fix the problem of always choosing between different stock image providers, by aggregating multiple providers in one search. We currently have on our platform content from Depositphoto, IngImage, YAY and Panther Media. Instead of using a subscription model, we tried to make purchasing as transparent as possible and negotiated with each of the providers so that you are able to buy images on-demand with no subscription or credits… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thanks for mentioning your site to us. We’ll consider adding Dashmote in our next audit for this article!

redwing
redwing

Have you ever reviewed stockafe?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

No we have not. Have you used it before? What did you like/dislike?

redwing
redwing
Stockafe is a newer stock agency (November 2014). I’m a contributor who eventually joined the Stockafe team (full disclosure). I signed up originally in large part because of their goal of trying to change the “race to the bottom” philosophy that has taken over the industry, with an emphasis on treating both buyers and artists better. The site manager puts a lot of emphasis on keeping things as easy as possible for buyers. One thing that’s different than many sites is that when buyers purchase prepaid bulk discount packages, if the full balance isn’t spent within the discount period, the… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thank you for your honesty. Perhaps we can look into Stockafe in our next audit for this article! 🙂

Sam Lampard
Sam Lampard

I have 600+ downloads left on my subscription. Is it of use to anybody? I can share the details for $40.

Filippo
Filippo

Say more 🙂

Yossi
Yossi
Don’t come near Deposit Photos! I had very bad experience with them as to automatic subscription renewal. They scam their customers where they don’t tell you in your order confirmation and in the process of paying that they’ll charge you again automatically the following month. Then, when you find out about that they’re saying that there’s no way they can cancel this charge and refer you to the website to remove the automatic charge for the following month. There’s no place where you can cancel it but only when asking support to do this. Just think about all the money… Read more »
Paul Harrer
Paul Harrer

ImgBundle is also worth mentioning. They sell royalty free stock images with extended license in big, cheap bundles (for only $ 9 per bundle).

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Looks like ImgBundle is still fairly new since they only have one bundle available. We will consider adding them once they have more bundles. Thank you for mentioning them to us.

relkeel
relkeel
Thanks for comparisons – very helpful 🙂 I am thinking of subscribing to iStockphoto Essentials, as their annual sub giving 750 pics a month suits my needs. To spread the cost, I was looking to do the pay monthly option – £99 or so. What’s to stop me from subscribing to the annual scheme, pay for a few months until I’ve got all the pics I need and then canceling the monthly payment? Am I tied into the 12 months once I start it? I couldn’t find anything in the small print saying it would be against any rules and… Read more »
Jennifer
Jennifer

What about Newscom? Any tips for them?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hi Jennifer, we haven’t done any research on Newscom. Perhaps we can consider adding them in our next audit.

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Click here to save 15% off all image packs when the promo code CHDPC46N is entered during checkout. Expires June 30, 2013.

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Save 25% on video footage on Shutterstock when you purchase3/11/13-4/1/13 here and use this coupon code at checkout: VIDEOAFFMAR25

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Shop Thinkstock between now and January 31, 2013, and save 30% off all subscriptions or image packs when you enter the coupon code: WCPPC46N

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Save 30% on credit packs bought on iStockphoto when you use the coupon code: JANRUSH30 between now and 1/31/13.

Guest
Guest
As someone who owns several blogs, and is an aspiring author, stock photography is extremely important to me. Not only that, but good quality photos are also necessary. When I design book covers, I need photos that will catch the eye of readers and look as professional as possible. While there are a number of websites that offer free photos, they aren’t always the best photos. I like the idea of companies that allow you to buy what you need rather than signing up for a package in which you might have to purchase several credits. For a lot of… Read more »
Guest
Guest
Stock photos are a great way to not only drive traffic to your site, but keep it there as well. If you are really organized, you can even pick photos that will keep traffic on your site just based on their colors. But you really do have to be careful. You don’t want to use images that are just out there and allow you to copy and paste or save them. That is a great way to pave the path to the courthouse. Do you really want to get sued just because you put an image on your site? I… Read more »
Guest
Guest
These are some great resources for stock images. I think more people should look into these sites. For some reason, people on the Internet do not take privacy and copyright laws as seriously as they should. I know that some bloggers and such just use whatever images they can find and post them on their blog. They do not realize how much this could cost them if they get caught. It can be quite expensive. In fact, a friend of mine just got sued over it. She used an image and did not attribute it properly. One thing I like… Read more »
Guest
Guest
When I first started working online, I got a crash course in the fact that in some ways, people never really do grow up. Remember as a kid how you always wanted to read the book with the pictures in it? I don’t know about you, but I still like pictures with my reading. I mean, I’ve gone beyond Dr. Seuss and all, but I frequently look at the book cover I am reading or if I am reading to one of my kids I enjoy looking at the pictures with them. And when it comes to the Internet, I… Read more »
Guest
Guest
Getty Images is the stock photo site I have heard the most about. I know that quite a few websites have used Getty Images to compliment their text, but I myself have never used them. I somehow got aimed in the direction of iStock and Big Stock. Each of these sites have their own good qualities and each have ones that people are not so happy about. For me, it is pretty simple because I never pay for anything based only on where it came from. I don’t shop at any stores based just on the name of the store… Read more »
Guest
Guest
As an indie author, I design my own book covers, which requires stock photography that can be purchased for such purposes. For my first book cover design, I actually used a photo from stock.xchng and loved the results. However, the company doesn’t offer enough images that fit my genre of writing. This means I have considered using other companies and iStock was my first pick. After reading your article, I see that there are many more options to choose from. Some companies I had never heard of, but I was glad that they had so much to offer. The world… Read more »
Guest
Guest
This was a very interesting article. I am looking to branch out and need more places as resources for my photos. istock has some great photos, but they are a bit more expensive than I am looking for to start with. I like the idea of Deposit Photos because they only have photos on there. I don’t use anything else, so for me, a company that places focus only on photos might just be the best thing, at least until I branch out again and start using audio and video files along with the photos. Of course, the free trial… Read more »
Guest
Guest
When I scrolled this article I was a little disheartened. I am trying to find a source for my photo needs, but I had no idea there were so many to choose from. I really did breathe a sigh of relief when I saw the table that compares them all. Things like that make my decisions so much easier to make! I recently started building websites for a friend of mine. When I do my own sites, i use my own images. But since he is in a completely different business from me, I did not have any images that… Read more »
Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker
New discount codes were just released today for some great stock image and footage sites. Use them today. Getty Images Promo Code * Getty customers, click here and get 10% off when use the coupon code TG2PC46N. Discount applies to all images and footage. Deal expires 9/30/12. iStock Promo Code * Click here and get 5% off when you enter coupon code SUMMER5 for order of 120 credits or more (minimum purchase of $175). This deal expires 9/30/2012. Thinkstock Promo Code * All customers (new and existing), click here for 10% off all image packs when discount code HJWPC46N is… Read more »
Guest
Guest
When I am looking for a particular service, I try to make sure I go to a place that specializes in the service I am looking for. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that you don’t shop for seafood at a steakhouse because they don’t specialize in seafood. They specialize in steak. I think the same method applies when it comes to things like stock photos because you generally only buy photos if you are using them to promote some business that you have. If this wasn’t the case, you probably wouldn’t be shopping for photos at all. With that… Read more »
Guest
Guest
All I need from companies like these is plain old photos. I don’t do anything with videos or audio files. I don’t even want vector images. I just need some decent photos for some of the projects I work with. Sometimes I think that some of these companies just get greedy and start putting everything on their sites. Instead of concentrating on creating the best image site on the Internet, they want to be the mediocre file sharing site or something. That’s when the quality of the site starts to decline and the price for using the material on the… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I prefer to use my own images as much as I can. It’s not that I take great photos or anything. I simply hate the idea of spending money to use someone else’s photos. Although, since the Internet is so photo driven, it’s often worth it to go the extra mile and just pay for a decent image. I’ve used Getty images before and iStock, but never any of the others. iStock is probably my favorite and not just because they have great images. They make the search very easy. I can usually find what I’m looking for right off… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I have limited experience to speak through, but so far I’ve found iStock to have the best quality photos. I love how easy it is to search for and find the photos I need. I haven’t tried many of the others though. As far as sites that offer more than photos, I have no opinion. I don’t use videos or audio files, so those don’t matter much to me. I do use a lot of photos though. I hate spending money, so I prefer to use the creative commons section of Flickr if I can. If I have to pay… Read more »
Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

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Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Photos.com Promo Code : 20% Off

Save 20% off your first image pack from Photos.com by clicking here and using this coupon code: CT4PC46N. This is a limited time offer for our readers. Enjoy!

Anonymous
Anonymous
This article gives a very detailed overview of exactly which digital media and image sites are the best of the best. Not only that, but the author also breaks all of this down for you so that it is easy to see which ones will fill your specific needs. As an example of this, the first category list is the best stock photo sites for digital media (websites). This is probably the most popular category, so I think it is nice that this was listed first. Personally, whenever I have been interested in purchasing images for one of my sites,… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen

That’s a really good list! I’m also searching for a stock photo agency to provide me with high-quality images at convenient price for my blog without any copyright issue. I also found YAYimages.com with an interesting streaming tool that’s like Spotify for images. Did anyone use it?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thanks Stephen! We’ve reviewed YAY images here and hopefully one of our readers can comment and let you know a little more about YAY and the features they have. If you have any specific questions about them please let me know!

-Kimberly

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Get 12% savings when you buy any image pack online from Thinkstock, Use coupon code W78PC46N at checkout. Deal expires 3/31/12.

bigstock fan
bigstock fan

I’ve got to put my vote in the Bigstockphoto basket. I used to love iStockphoto the best, but they’re pricing has grown to be not only outrageous, but very confusing. There are so many different price levels for images that the least expensive rate they advertise is almost impossible to get anymore. False advertising in my book. Whereas on Bigstock you an actually get the lowest price for just about any photo.

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Save 10% on your next purchase (new or existing customers) of a credit pack from iStock, November 19-December 13, 2012. Shop iStockphoto and enter the promo code GIVE50 during checkout to receive 10%. This deal cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts.

Annette Gisby
Annette Gisby

Different sites seem to have different terms and conditions, so it can be a bit confusing what you can use the covers for.

I’d like each site to have somewhere that yes you can use their images for book covers (including erotica and romance for example) or no you can’t. Some allow book covers, but not for erotica – even though the picture might have been a scantily clad woman or man 😉

But erotic books do have covers, so they must get the photos from somewhere 🙂

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

For a limited time, click here and use promo code CFDPC46N to save 15% off royalty-free still images at Getty Images. This offer expires November 25, 2012.

a web rocker
a web rocker

Getty has the most beautiful images but they are pretty expensive. Nice to see so many other options. I also have used Jupiter… are they still around? Would love to see them added into the mix as well. In the meantime, I am going to go check out iStock, thanks for the coupon code. Great!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thanks for the advise. I have had a lot of luck on Big Stock Photo as well when looking for images for my lamp store’s email newsletter. Great variety and a really wonderful price. They just cannot be beat for my needs.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Sometimes it is just as important or more important to look at quality vs. price to find the best image to be used for your project, particularly within the design community. AS a graphic designer at a big ad agency, I find Getty or iStock to be the best for me and my clients.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is great but if you cannot find the best image for your project, the price does not matter. So, I always start with iStock to find unique, high-quality images and then look elsewhere if I cannot find what I need.

Anonymous
Anonymous
If you have recently done a search online looking for the best stock photography site, then you definitely know that there are many different places and sites to choose from. They have a great many features, services and generally offer pretty good selection of images and artwork. All of this begs the question as to which one is the best. This article seeks to provide clarity to this question. I really enjoyed the fact that the author came across as unbiased and actually seemed to have solid understanding of the subject. Too many of these articles or reviews are really… Read more »
Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Visit iStock’s website and type in CHARITY20 while checking out to receive 20% discount on a credit pack. Expires 12/31/2012.

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Get an 8% discount on iStock credit packs when you shop using this link and the coupon code 8ISTOCKPHOTO. Expires March 31, 2013.

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

ONE DAY SALE: February 12, 2013 only. Enter 24HRPERK at iStockphoto to get 15% off credit packs purchase on this day only.

jenie
jenie

Thanks for sharing really I like it.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hey Jenie! Glad you enjoyed the article so much! Thanks for reading and commenting.

-Kimberly

Max

This is a good list for someone who’s searching for a stock photo agency but it would be great if you can add more alternatives. Yayimages.com for example has a photo streaming feature which I think it’s unique in this field. Also it’s a good place to search for images suited for blogs.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Max, thanks for reading and commenting. We compiled this list of stock photography sites because they are some of the most popular so I wouldn’t say it’s outdated because we are continuously updating it. People are constantly searching for reviews on these companies and each person is looking for something different when they are searching for a stock photography site so we made this large comparison article to help our readers out. We can definitely add Yayimages.com to our next addition to this article. If there are any other sites you’d like to see added please let us know.… Read more »
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Click here on September 18, 2013 only: Save 15% on any iStock credit pack you buy when you use the promo code SEPTSAVE15 during checkout.

Illiad
Illiad
Having tried the 3 of them (istock = getty), I can tell you that by far the best one is Fotolia. I don’t do microstock anymore because it’s a swindle for photographers. The good: Fotolia: consideration for contributors, good customer service, fair selection, respect of privacy policy and they sold my pictures regularly. The leader: i-stock/getty: super famous, super arrogant, no respect for users, you are just another number. They have a captive audience with flickr. It’s the Walmart of stock. If you have right-managed pictures on Getty not sold after one year, they automatically transform it in royalty free… Read more »
Disappointed
Disappointed

Depositphotos no longer offers a trial program. It would be nice if all the reviews praising the company for it were updated to remove the canceled positives.

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Hello and thank you so much for this important info. We have updated the article to reflect this change and are currently working on an update for the article in general for 2013 which we hope to have released in the coming month so stay tuned. Thanks again for your support and feedback – it helps us stay up-to-date on what is going on in the constantly evolving world of tech!

Anonymous Author
Anonymous Author

One thing that many overlook in their assessment! 123RF is mentioned in your article as one of the cheapest sites. Have you read the Terms and Conditions?? They do NOT allow for standard license images to be used for ebook covers! You need an electronic extended license for that – costing around $50, and making it one of THE most expensive stock sites for authors to use. Check on this please.

eigentor
eigentor

iStockphotos prices have gotten totally out of hand. At my last visit I did not manage to find an image cheaper than 6.25 Euros for the smallest resolution. That is around a 300% raise in one year.

Images that are a bit special (or are believed to be) start at 70 Euros. I am getting the feeling Getty is trying to either kill that site off and drive everybody to Gettys own site.

This is ridiculous.

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