When using fabulous images is an important part of your work, their source is a matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I have put together a new list of 10 most opulent stock agencies, to help you achieve a better understanding of the stock photo market.
Fotolia is my personal favorite, and their 4 million members would gladly tell you of how affordable, convenient, and overall satisfying Fotolia’s services really are. The team at Fotolia has managed to integrate an impressive amount of 24 million stock files since the agency first started, in 2004. It’s probably the most expansive collection on the market.
You can take a stroll through their image collections at any time, no membership required. And as you do so, be on the lookout for free downloads or comps for planning projects to try in your designs. These kind of pleasant surprises happen from time to time.
When you decide to get serious, you can create a free account and buy images, vectors, and videos in your method of choice: by using credits, or applying for a subscription. The On-Demand credit bundles are very flexible and are comprised of credits which cost as little as $0.74. Fotolia credits provide unique access to Extended Royalty-Free Licenses, and to premium images from the Infinite Collection. In addition, if you’re forced to work within a limited budget, don’t fret, because 12 million multiple-sized images, at 1-6 credits for S to XXL, await you in the Low Cost Collection.
Alternatively, the user can go the route of Daily or Monthly Subscriptions for their Individual or Multiple Membership. Thus, a daily subscription attaches a cost of $0.19 to each image, and a limit set for anywhere from 25 to 250 downloads. With a Monthly Subscription, the user has to establish a quota for all downloads in one month, from 5 to 5000, no daily limits whatsoever. All unused downloads Rollover to the next month, so nothing is lost. Check out their BOGO offer right now by clicking the ‘Fotolia’ link: it says that the second month is free for monthly subscriptions of 5 images and $25.
Two words: excellent quality. Another titan of the stock industry is 123RF. I love their plump database of over 22 million photos, vectors, and audio files, to which 35.000 new additions make it everyday. Some of those contributions are uploaded by mobile through an application called 123RF On-The-Go by passionate designers who make a point of delivering flawless works.
123RF also has a section of 30.000 photos, graphics, digital and audio files which the user can download free of charge. I assure you that I did not misspell anything, and that there are indeed tons of free images at your disposal. Another plus is that the users get their money back if they’re not happy with their recent purchase. 123RF has a 100% Money-Back Guarantee which certifies that a period of 72 hours following the purchase is allotted for the customer to change his/her mind, and be fully refunded. They want you to be content with your final choice.
123RF’s pricings are classically wrought around the credit-based and subscription options. Their On Demand Credits do not constrain the number of daily downloads. On the other hand, the Basic and Premium subscription packs hold the most advantages as longer periods of time are signed. Thus, more and more downloads are possible in one day, and a larger discounts per image are enacted, as you go further along the subscription scale. If you sign with 123RF, you won’t be sorry.
Everyone knows about iStock, the original web market for stock photos. It’s hard to imagine a list of the most important stock agencies that does not include them among the foremost positions. For 13 years, iStock has been doing a great job in providing professionals with quality vector illustrations, photos, Flash media, videos and audio files. Up till now, 6 million exclusive images have been amassed.
If you visit their homepage today, you’ll be greeted with an awesome offer: half of everything they have at half the original price. And remember that much of it is exclusive stuff, which you won’t find anywhere else. While you’re at it, I advise you to look into the Editor’s Picks for superb recommendations, but also consult the Lightbox time and time again, as it harbors new and free images each week. Besides, if you need to scout for something specific, use their search tools with confidence. They will take you where you want to go, for sure.
Buying from iStock is done via credits and subscriptions. With discounts of almost 25%, a number of 15 to 30.000 credits can be acquired to use on the website. Here comes the best part: when you’re at checkout, type in the code ISTOCK14 and the credit-based purchase is cut off by 14%. Click on “‘iStock” above to redeem directly.
Bigstock is another compelling source of stock images. Whether it’s vectors, illustrations or photos that you seek, you’re bound to find the perfect match in their 14 million-strong treasury. Behold their 7-day Free Trial, through which you can get 35 free images from the first week. By taking up the free trial, you’re at liberty to download 5 files per day (with re-downloads that don’t cost a thing), and cancel at any point in the process. After the first week, Bigstock stands by the traditional credits or subscriptions choices. Going the route of credits can exempt you from up to 27% of prices, and a subscription for one year with 5 downloads per day allots only $0.35 to one image.
Dreamstime aims to answer to every designer’s hopes and dreams. Ever since inception, back in 2000, the Dreamstime expert team has been admitting thousands of new files each day into their collective vaults. Presently, 18 million top quality stock images are ready for use. However, the special allure that Dreamstime holds for creative people is justified by the fact that a section of several thousand images is made available to designers for free. When I wanted to consult their credit and subscription pricings, I noticed that their website converted everything into my local currency, so wherever you’re located in the world, you get a clear idea of all the values. And you’ll notice that their services are not expensive. Last but not least, if you’re a new costumer you can receive a 60% discount on the price of all images for 24 hours after you signup.
PhotoSpin is worthy of notice. The total count of their stock images reaches 3 million, and all the files are unevenly concentrated in either of two collections. The users can take their pick of JPEG and EPS images out of their 2.4 million-strong Expanded Collection. Doing so can be customized by 4 categories, 4 period alternatives (1, 3, 6, or 12 months), and 16 various subscription plans. Admittedly, PhotoSpin’s Premium Collection is smaller in number, but it yields great-looking images in either Plus or Super Plus form, depending on the size that the user settles on for all downloads. Overall, PhotoSpin makes for a fine choice.
Thinkstock has much in store for its customers. It is, in fact, a brand of Getty Images, and has partnered with over 40 agencies to piece together a colossal collection of vectors, illustrations, and photos. Some of those images originate from the likes of Jupiterimages and iStock. Thinkstock has the unique attribute of not setting the price of its stock files in relation to their chosen download size. Moreover, I’d hurry up and claim their September offers: a gifted $750 Visa Reward Card for taking up a 1-year Pro subscription, and 20% off of that same annual Pro plan by punching in the code R4HPC46N. Monthly subscriptions are not forgotten, and with the code GTDPC46N, the user benefits of a discount of 60%.
Depositphotos has much to offer through their heavy collection of 17 million vectors, photos, and videos. Pay-As-You-Go with credits, or enroll with a subscription plan, and you can take full advantage of their stock. Make sure to visit their 4.600 vector illustrations section, for it has many gorgeous-looking works, and besides, it gives off one image for free every week. A great bonus of getting in league with Depositphotos is the fact that they have a special category which comes alive with the start of any season, by putting relevant images up for sale with a 20% discount. You can tap into that magic by tracking down their Sales Lightboxes, and you’ll be happy you did.
Cutcaster is a reliable source of illustrations, vectors, and photos. Their exclusive files are placed into various categories according to topic. I’d like to point out the Crescendo Collection, which has approximately 920 exquisite images, and the picture collections which left me wide-eyed and gaping. Immediately after you step through their threshold, you’ll be just as entranced. Cutcaster’s pricing system relies entirely on credits. Clients can Pay-As-They-Go with credits without signing up, or they can settle on one of the four credit options: bronze, silver, gold, or customizable starting with more than 100 credits. The maximum discount which can be obtained is 49%, which is a very handsome value, don’t you think?
I couldn’t possibly conclude my topmost stock agencies list without mentioning Stockfresh. It has more than 2 and a half million images that you can choose from, yet out of these the 300.000 vectors stand out the most. And if you have to scan their database for a particular photo or rasterized graphic, their search tool is immune to time wasting. On top of everything, the user interface is also very friendly. If you should make up your mind to seal the deal with Stockfresh, you can go with their credit system with $4.99 for 5 credits to 500, or you can go with a subscription which amounts to $99 for one month.