Every creative project requires good images and they are vital for virtually every type of content we create. From blog articles to web copy and adverts to flyers and more.
Stock image makes content better and more relatable.
Commissioning a photographer for pictures is an expensive undertaking and stock photography website seems like the only solution for such requirements.
While there are several free stock photo websites, we are going to be talking about paid stock photo websites only.
Premium Stock Photography Website
If you didn’t know, stock photography is a part of the photography industry where you pay a fee for the license to use visual content images.
Basically, a professional photographer captures high resolution images and uploads them to a stock image website. You, and several others who need cheap stock photos, then visit a stock photo website, select stock imagery, pay for it, and get the license to use it… while the photographer retains the copyright to their quality images.
However, not all stock images cost money; some are free. We already covered this topic in detail and you can check our listicle on best free stock photo websites.
In this article however, we will talk about the best premium stock photography website you should visit to purchase high quality image, videos, and more.
Pond5 is a great stock photo site offering all manner of media. You can get photo, music tracks, sound effects, after effects, videos, and 3D models. It has an expansive catalogue with over 25 million media. As a result, you can be rest assured of various options where the media you need is concerned.
Pond5 has three pricing plans: free, paid, and creative solutions.
The free plan gives you access to royalty-free media – video, music, motion graphic templates, etc. The paid plan, on the other hand, involves you subscribing to the premium media you need. You can opt for either the monthly or annual plan.
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Lastly, if you are a large organisation, creative agency, or production studio, they offer custom-tailored solutions.
The website has three licenses – business, premium, and individual. They are also royalty free images and can be used for all types of project, whether business or personal.
Also, Pond5 has a refund policy, excluding photos. However, this feature is only open to members, available within 48 hours of purchase, and is not guaranteed.
Big Stock is a paid stock photos website that offers photo and videos. They offer three pricing plans.
For the first plan – tagged Most Popular – you will get access to 5 – 10 images or videos every day for one month.
The second plan – Best Value – will give you access to 10 stock photo every day for a month. The final plan – More Flexibility – gives access to 50 stock photography a month. There is no daily limit, and you can choose to use your monthly quota in a day if you want.
The same goes for videos.
Big Stock has two licenses: standard and extended. You can use photos for personal creative purposes, digital marketing, and limited print with the former. With the latter, you get the right to print unlimited photos, use them for physical merchandising products and several other purposes.
The downside to using this stock photography site is its lack of a refund policy. However, it has a large catalogue of media, both photo and videos. Also, it supports both credit card and PayPal for payment purposes.
Their trial plan is quite nice. It runs for 7 days and you can download free stock images.
Shutterstock is one of the most widely known stock image site globally. It offers different types of media – photo, vectors, music, and videos.
Its pricing plans can be split into two categories: single users and multiple users.
The “single users” category has four subscription types. The lowest-priced subscription offers 10 stock photo, while the highest-priced offers 50 photo. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase an “on-demand pack,” which is to buy stock photography as you need them. These cost a bit more and come with a standard license.
On the other hand, the “multiple users” category has three subscription types. They differ based on the number of users as opposed to the number of stock photography. In fact, each photo subscription offers 750 free images a month.
We should mention that these plans are only for stock photography and do not apply to other media types.
Shutterstock has two major license types: Standard and Enhanced. With the Standard License, you get to use the images for several purposes – advertising, e-publication, physical printing, etc. – but with limitations regarding the number of reproductions, impressions, etc. However, with the Enhanced license, you get to use the premium images for the same purposes as the Standard license – and more – without the restrictions.
Shutterstock maintains that it is not under any obligation to refund customers.
Payment methods for Shutterstock include Visa, Master, Maestro, Diner Club, UCB, American Express, and Discover.
Lastly, the stock image website has both iOS and Android applications, which makes it more accessible.
Hey! Before scrolling any further, we have a cool listicle on online photo editors. You should definitely check it out! They are design tools out there to help you to create & retouch images for blogs, social media, logos via templates & image editorsZahra
Adobe Stock Images
The popular media company, Adobe, has a stock site of its own. And like most of its products, you can trust it hosts premium stock photography media.
You will find stock imagery, vectors, videos, audios, templates, 3D, and illustration on the Adobe Stock website.
You can purchase an annual, monthly, or credits-based subscription.
Standard assets encompass standard stock photo images, music tracks, templates, and 3D.
If you want access to video, 3D, templates and other premium stock photography assets, buy a credits-based subscription.
These plans are for personal usage. If you want to subscribe for your business, contact their customer support. Know that Adobe stock photography website has three major licenses: Standard, Enhanced, and Extended.
Getty Images is another very popular and well-trusted stock image website like Shutterstock. On it, you can pay for both pictures and video.
The website has three plans; they are classified according to image size and quality.
Getty Images offer three licenses: royalty-free (RF), rights-ready (“RR”), and rights-managed (“RM”).
Also, it has two other stock photo website for images and a variety of plugins and extensions for Adobe, WordPress, and Chrome that make working with these products seamless.
If you subscribe to the premium plan, you will also get access to its music catalogue. What’s more? You can pay to use an image exclusively and remove it from the website for a certain duration.
And yes, it has a return policy. That’s not all – you can also get a refund. All you have to do is request your money back via writing within 30 days of the download. The caveat is that you must not have used the file.
EyeEm, while not very popular, is another stock photo site you can trust for paid stock photos. Apart from this, they also offer videos and organise commercial shoots for interested persons.
You can choose between the Essential, Premium and Enterprise Solutions pricing.
It offers two licenses: standard and extended. With the extended license, you can advertise with purchased images, do unlimited print publications, product packaging and resale. On the other hand, the standard license offers similar features minus the ability to publish on TV and retail products.
Finally, we found only one acceptable payment method: PayPal.
Another paid stock photos website you can check out is Picjumbo.
Its plans are quite affordable when compared to that of other stock photo websites on this list.
Whether you are a blogger, designer, or agency, you can be sure you will find something that suits you. And you can choose to subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis.
It accepts several payment methods – PayPal, Visa Card, and Mastercard. It offers two license types: creative commons zero and redistribution.
Once you purchase a plan, you can redistribute it through your website without any hassle. They also have free images you can download. You can cancel your subscription before the billing date. Finally, they have a refund policy to get your money back on a purchased subscription.
The final website on our list is none other than iStockPhoto. The final destination for stock photo.
There are three price levels, and they are categorised on the number and quality of stock imagery you want. The plans are:
We should mention that the currency this website accepts is Canadian dollars.
It offers two major licenses: standard and extended. The standard license allows you to use the assets for advertising, blogs, publications, and the likes. The extended license also allows you to do all of these and more. For instance, you can do unlimited reproduction/print-run and use images with other users.
Finally, the website accepts multiple payment methods, including Visa Card, MasterCard, and American Express.
Also, you get access to the iStock editor tool (for free), credits roll over, plugins, and 4K videos for the same price as HD videos.
The stock image website does not have a refund policy; however, it will consider file returns on technical grounds.
Dreamstime has been selling stock photos in the niche of business, nature, architecture, and free photos as well.
Other than stocky images, Dreamstime also hosts illustrations, Video and Audio. To buy from their collection, you can either get on a subscription or directly buy credits.
Purchasing subscription starts from 1 month to a year and also shows you options for Video, Extended licenses, and also all-in-one package.
You can select size of the picture you want and then download it. Don’t forget to pay 🙂
Dreamstime accepts all major credit and debit cards from around the world.
If you want your creative project to look stunning with high resolution photos and visuals, visit any of these paid stock photo websites and purchase what you need.
While the best thing is their affordability, they also offer a wide variety you would likely not get with a photoshoot. If you play your cards right, stock photo will always enhance your projects, whether personal or otherwise.
Don’t forget that there are a number of other great stock photo sites but if you’re concerned about the cost, do look at our article on free photo.
And, of course, tell us your experience with the ones above and the ones you’ve used. Please recommend us your preference so we can add more genuine and reliable stock photography websites to this list