Buying stock photos online is the smartest way to get the media and visuals you need for your business or project. But once you decide to start buying images, you will soon see yourself submerged in a sea of agencies and various companies selling stock photos. It's very easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities, and very hard to tell at first glance which supplier is best for you.
But not anymore. Instead of wandering around the web from stock photo site to stock photo site trying to figure out where to buy, simply refer to this list of the top 5 stock photo agencies. And trust us: Stock Photo Expert uses years of experience and insider knowledge to identify the agencies with the best deals for buyers based in prices, library size, image quality, buying options, and bonus benefits and services.
Read on and select your new stock photo supplier!
The Best 5 Stock Photo Agencies
Stock Photo Secrets Shop – Special for Small-to-Medium Businesses
Stock Photo Secrets Shop is our very own stock photo service at Stock Photo Press, where we use our experience and expertise to deliver the best stock imagery deals covering all buyer needs. I personally designed our two core plans, that are specifically aimed at small-to-medium size businesses, thinking of their need for lots of stock photos, flexible download limits, and tight budgets.
99Club – This plan gives you 200 XXL images, for one year, for only $99. That's right, only $0.49 per image!
Low Volume (limited-time offer) – If you need more, our Low Volume deal gives you 600 XXL images, for one year, for just $199, or $0.33 per image! You got it: that's 3 times more downloads than 99club, for only a fraction of the regular price!
What makes our plans great?
- Super low prices: Between $0.49 and $0.33 per image, depending on the plan
- Large and varied library: Choose from a collection of 4 Million stock photos and vector illustrations
- No download limits: Download up to your plan's limit (200 or 600 images) whenever you want, within one year from the purchase date. Get the images at your own pace!
- Yours forever: All our images are Royalty Free, meaning once you download them, they are yours to use forever, in as many projects as you wish
- Discount in additional images: If you use all your downloads and still need more, you can get additional images on demand at only $0.99 each!
- Cancel whenever you want: No strings attached, no hidden fees
- Autorenew: Secure the super low price for another year, automatically
These are the main reasons our plans are the best choice for those who own a small or medium business –or designers working for one–. We have a nice variety in high quality images that you can download at high resolution, suitable for various print and digital uses, at super low prices and with very flexible usage terms.
Besides these specially tailored deals, in our shop you will find several other subscription plans and on demand options. Moreover, our shop's site is modernly designed and user-friendly, giving you bonus functionality beyond image search: you can select your favorite artists, browse our categories, and more.
If you want cheap stock photos that solve your image needs without breaking the bank, visit Stock Photo Secrets Shop – our best stock photo site!
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Shutterstock – King of High Volume Subscription
Shutterstock is one of the top stock photo agencies in the industry, and subsequently one of the most popular. It's impossible to search for stock photos online without coming across their name. With over a decade in business, this company is the creator of the stock photo subscription, and to date this is the space in which they excel, although they have on-demand buying option as well.
A bit of why they are so popular:
- Largest online photo library: With over 100 Million stock photos, vectors and illustrations
- Best stock photo subscription for high volume buyers: 750 images a month, from one to 12 months, prices as low as $199 per month ($0.26 per image)
- Great image pack deals: Pre-paid download packs for 5 and up to 25 images to use whenever you want within one year. Pay as little as $3.81 per photo
- Royalty Free license: It gives you wide use rights in commercial and editorial projects, for a low, one-time fee
- Advanced search engine: Reverse image search via computer vision technology, including suggestions for similar images, and more accurate results for keyword searches
- Bonus features: Free online image editor with popular filters and social media dimensions; mobile app for gallery surfing and image bookmarking
- Network of stock imagery services: Editorial images at Rex Features, stock music at PremiumBeat.
Most of people is attracted to Shutterstock because of their great prices for large volume of downloads, and the huge variety in their library. But this company is also very technology driven, and is always innovating in tools and functionality that make photo buyers' life easier. Plus, they are constantly expanding and closing partnerships with suppliers to add valuable content to their collections. With so many years in the industry, their reputation grants seriousness and trouble-free transactions. Shutterstock's low prices, content variety, high quality and tech functionality makes them a great source for your stock photos and for your stock photo search.back to menu ↑
iStock – Leader in Exclusive Images
iStock (former know as iStockphoto) is another well-known name in stock photos. And it couldn't be otherwise: this is the pioneer company that inaugurated “microstock” market of agencies selling cheap photos online. With over 15 years in the industry, they are still one of the top agencies in the space, and the only ones with a strong offer in exclusive images that you can only find on their library. Their price points are affordable, specially considering the value in their image curation, and they have very convenient subscription plans as well as an on-demand buying system.
Here's the why's for their long-time leading position:
- Huge library with clear division: they have millions of stock photos, vectors and illustrations, divided in Signature and Essentials collections
- Exclusive imagery: Signature collection hosts millions of high-value production and technically superior images that have been carefully curated and can only be found at iStock. At slightly higher price point, these images have a greater sense of uniqueness and added value for any project they are used in
- Low-cost images: Essentials collection includes millions of high quality images for everyday visual needs. While non-exclusive, these images are suitable for most uses in design and visuals, and they are very cheap
- Royalty Free images: yours to use forever in varied commercial and editorial work
- Low and high volume subscriptions: From 10 to 750 images per month, for one month to one year. You can choose plans for Essential images only and get images for as little as $0.21 each, or deals for access to the whole library including Signature images for as low as $0.42 per download
- On-demand credits system: buy credit packs to access images on demand. Essential images for as little as $8 each, Signature photos for as low as $24 per file.
- User-friendly site: Library arranged by categories and highly searchable with keywords and advanced filters
If you are looking for exclusive images, iStock is the go-to source. No other Royalty Free stock photo company has the amount and level of exclusive imagery that they have, and they are unbeatable in affordability. If exclusivity is not a key factor for you, their Essential images are an even better deal, with their super low prices and high quality. If you want to buy great imagery at a renowned place, iStock is exactly what you are looking for.back to menu ↑
Adobe Stock – Perfect Fit for Designers with Creative Cloud
Adobe Stock is a stock photo service created and managed by Adobe, powered by stock photo agency Fotolia –which Adobe acquired in 2015– and now also receiving direct contributions from artists around the world. This service's core value is in its full integration to Adobe Creative Cloud platform. Their images are available within all Creative Cloud applications, making it a very time-saving resource for users of these design software tools.
Highlights in Adobe Stock offer?
- Full integration with Creative Cloud: search, browse, test edit (previous to buying), license and apply stock photos to your designs without ever leaving your favorite app's interface.
- Large collection: Over 60 Million stock photos and vectors
- Simple on-demand buying: each photo costs $9,99
- Savings with subscriptions: from 10 and up to 750 a month, hired monthly or annually, cutting image price to as low as $0.26 per download
- Discount in on-demand images: If you have a high volume subscription, you pay each additional image only $0.99
- Advanced search tools: powered by computer vision technology, you can do reverse image search and even search from sketching or hand-drawing
- Chance to sell your own designs: They have their own Contributor Site where you can submit your designs to be sold on their service, and earn a commission for each sale
Adobe Stock is the most valuable and convenient choice for anyone using Creative Cloud in their designing workflow. The full integration of this service in that plaform lets you save time and effort in creating compelling visual designs, and without spending lots of money. Their subscriptions are par with the top agencies in the market, and they have great quality and tech functionality. If you are a Creative Cloud user who loves working with Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC, thenAdobe Stock is certainly for you.back to menu ↑
Depositphotos – First in Pricing and Buying Model Variety
Depositphotos is a well-established stock photo agency with a very respectable position in the industry. Being in business since many years, they have earned a spot among the top companies, and they keep it thanks to their wide price ranges and buying options. This company focuses in having an option for every buyer's need, without neglecting library size and quality.
What's makes them a good choice for buying stock photos?
- Large library: They have over 50 Million images, including photos, vectors and illustrations
- Image packs on-demand: Buy download packs you pay upfront, and use them to get images whenever you want. Pay as little as $2.99 per image
- Low volume subscriptions: New flexible plan for 30 images a month and roll-over of unused downloads, plus options for 75 and 150 images per month, billed monthly or annually. Get images for as low as $0.55 each
- High volume plan: 750 images per month, billed monthly or annually. Save lots of money with images as cheap as $0.22 each
- Royalty Free license: a one-time fee that gives you multiple usage rights perpetually
- Free photos: Section with around 50 free files periodically renewed, including stock photos, vectors and illustrations that you can download and use in your projects for free
- Neat and simple to use site: galleries for popular topics and themes, search engine with advanced filters, and useful reverse image search tool
For any buyer interested in cheap prices, high quality and reliability, Depositphotos is a smart choice. They have a history of years delivering great imagery to customers, and their offer is structured to have something suitable for every buyer, from the ones looking for a handful of images to those needing thousands of files every year. If you want to buy from a serious vendor and get great value for your money, Depositphotos is worth to check out.
Create Great Visuals at Low Cost with Cheap Stock Photos
The above listed are all great stock photo suppliers where you can buy photos online at cut prices without neglecting quality and ensuring flexible use without time restrictions.
All the companies have options to buy just one or a couple images, and to buy lots of them every month.
They all add value to their offer with tech tools, expert curation, freebies, enhanced functionality, and other bonus features.
Regardless of how big or small your budget is, and no matter what your individual image needs are, you will certainly find the photos you want in any of the 5 best stock photo agencies we mention, and you will likely save up to hundreds of dollars compared to other stock photography companies.
Above all, buying stock photos online from one of these agencies will grant you a way to add compelling imagery to your designs in a quick, simple and inexpensive way.
Which one will you go for?