In today’s world, imagery is a must-have, high-impact marketing tool.
Because images are so powerful, they may attract your audience’s attention better than any other method in your arsenal.
So you’re probably wondering what’s the best place to buy stock photos.
Even if it’s your first time buying stock imagery, a short online search might easily overwhelm you.
This post will provide you with insider insights on the finest sites to acquire high-quality stock photographs. Of course, I’ve also taken costs into account.
Let’s get started!
The Best Sites To Buy Stock Photos
There are currently over 30 active stock photo websites where you may get royalty-free stock photographs.
Each has its own set of pros and cons. And only you can decide which is the finest stock photo site based on your personal preferences and experience.
But I’ve narrowed down your choices to only the best stock photo sites. Images are available as part of a stock picture subscription or on-demand with credit packs or image packs.
Both methods are occasionally available at the same stock photo agency. Plus, the majority of the companies on the list also offer stock videos.
You may find the ideal stock photography website for you here, whether you’re a graphic designer or a marketing creative. Choose your favorite!
For a good reason, Shutterstock is a household name in the stock photo industry. This stock photo website was one of the first to offer stock photo subscriptions.
It is also home to the world’s largest stock image archive, with over 330 million images.
It offers low-cost membership programs and image packs and on-demand sales of photographs with extended licenses.
If you want nearly any image imaginable at your fingertips, this is the agency for you.
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Adobe Stock is a service provided by Adobe that is based on the old Fotolia agency.
This platform is entirely integrated into the Adobe Creative Cloud platform, which is the gist of it.
These stock pictures may be accessed, licensed, and worked with right from the layout of your editing tool. Of course, this is a welcomed benefit for those who want to streamline their process.
You can purchase a stock photo subscription with the download volume that best meets your needs. You can also buy credits to download photos at your leisure later.
They have meager costs, and they also offer an Extended License on-demand. Adobe Stock is free to use, but you’ll get the most out of it using Adobe Creative Cloud.
Photocase is a stock photo firm established in Berlin with a distinct style that sets it apart from the competition.
They feature a well-curated photo library with images that are artistic, avant-garde, and cutting-edge.
At Photocase, you can purchase stock photos by the unit and pay as you use them. You can also purchase credit packs and save money.
Extended licenses are also available. In any case, the costs are reasonable, especially when considering the extra value of the material.
If you’re looking for remarkable photographs that aren’t purely commercial, this is the place to go.
iStock (formerly known as iStockphoto) is a well-known brand that began over 20 years ago. It’s a microstock agency offering royalty-free stock pictures online.
Getty Images now backs them up, and their primary asset is their photo collection. It’s divided into two categories: non-exclusive budget photos and exclusive high-end images.
Depending on your needs, you can buy photos here using a subscription plan or credit packs to download on-demand.
They provide numerous alternatives for an extended license, all of which are available on demand.
Another excellent source for stock photography is Alamy. This site is one of the largest stock photography websites, with over 140 million pictures, movies, and vectors.
Over 60,000 photographers worldwide contribute to this site, with approximately 100,000 new photographs uploaded every day.
Alamy has no qualms about rejecting photographs due to poor exposure, excessive retouching, sharpness, or camera imperfections.
Though this may make it more difficult for amateur photographers to provide material, it keeps buyers happy.
Alamy not only has an extensive library of stock pictures, but it also has several features for purchasers.
The platform aims to educate consumers about stock photography through a valuable and instructive stock photo lexicon and online training.
Dmitry Sergeev started this agency, which has been in the market for ten years. Since its inception, the company has developed enormously and continues to expand its photo collection aggressively.
Although the company is headquartered in Florida, it maintains offices across the world.
Over a hundred million royalty-free and high-quality photos are available on Deposit Photos.
Illustrations, backdrops, pictures, vector art, news images, and editorial images are among the photo genres.
The site also has HD video content and provides low-cost programs with generous benefits.
Freepik is a well-known platform for high-quality content: stock photos, illustrations, icons, mockups, and presentation templates. Freepik is a platform of choice for creative designers and content creators.
According to Financial Times, Freepik is one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. On the Freepik website, you can find a lot of high-quality and free content for design.
Freepik has 18 million unique users monthly and 50 million monthly views.
The users can switch between categorized filters while searching for an image. It is user-friendly, and all the photos and icons have high quality.
Freepik allows users to enjoy the benefits of being premium, which is a paid option, but the great news is that Freepik has tons of free stock photos available to download.
Dreamstime, which was founded in 2000, offers an extensive collection of professional stock images. This collection is constantly growing thanks to contributions from throughout the world.
Look no further than Dreamstime’s selection of 170 million stock pictures if you’re looking for images in current art styles.
They even have a free section that you can browse and utilize at no cost!
It also has thousands of high-quality, professionally produced audio clips, royalty-free music, and video clips in addition to stock photos.
It is a budget-friendly choice, with photographs costing less than a dollar each. Make sure to take advantage of their 15-image free trial.
FAQs About Stock Photos
Now you know where to go to get the best stock photographs at the best costs and in the highest quality. But if you’re still not sure how stock photography works, keep reading because I’ll answer the most typical first-time buyer questions:
1- Why do I need to buy stock photos when I could get some from sites like Unsplash and Pexels?
When it comes to stock photos, the lengthy “paid vs. free” debate might be perplexing. However, the solution is much more straightforward than you might expect.
While a free stock photo site like Pexels, Pixabay, or Unsplash has many images, they are also subject to a license.
The same goes for paid stock photos, except that free images are usually licensed under Creative Commons.
The difference is that these free websites seldom review the photographs posted.
So copyright restrictions, invasions of privacy, and other legal issues could lurk behind a seemingly innocent-looking free image.
Royalty-free stock pictures are reviewed and legally backed up by agencies.
Not only will you be able to take professional-quality photos, but you will also be able to get legal photos.
In a royalty-free license, you’re essentially paying for your peace of mind.
This is especially critical if you’re using images for commercial purposes, like for your company.
2- What’s an extended license?
An Extended License is a Royalty Free license that adds greater usage rights to the material.
The Extended License provides unlimited copies/reproductions and the ability to use the photo in a resale product.
The standard royalty-free license explicitly prohibits this.
You’ll need an Extended License if the number of digital reproductions you wish to make exceeds the standard license limit.
You’ll also need one if you want to utilize a high-resolution image in a product that you’ll resell for profit.
Extended Licenses are more expensive than standard licenses, but their usefulness usually outweighs the cost.
3- Why use a stock photography site rather than a professional photographer?
There’s nothing wrong with purchasing straight from a stock photographer.
However, you may expect one photographer to have fewer photographs available, a narrower range of subjects and topics.
You should also expect a clunkier operation. Not to add the fact that there aren’t many artists that sell their work on their own.
They also believe that marketing through a stock agency is the best option.
You can find thousands to millions of photographs from various artists on a stock image website.
The company reviews the photographs, manages the licensing, and ensures they are suitable for commercial usage.
Using a stock site makes a lot more sense as a buyer.
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Final Thoughts – The Best Place To Buy Stock Photos
Buying inexpensive stock photographs from a trustworthy stock agency with a stock photo subscription is the smartest way to go, even more so if the content is being used to promote and brand your company.
You can handle visuals, quality, quantity, and legality all at once for a very nominal price.
This will leave the balance of your time and mental energy to focus on innovation.
I suggest you start using stock photos if you haven’t already. It’s worth it!