What do you need to know about royalty free stock photo sites? And why many companies and individuals prefer to use not ordinary free photos but royalty free stock photos? We will try to understand this and find out which royalty free stock photo sites are the best ones and why.
We won’t pay too much attention on why you might need photos and vector images – they are widely used everywhere you might think about – both in business and non-commercial projects. Eventually most companies/projects understand that free photos don’t correspond to quality criteria and they could get really beautiful and professional photos by very affordable rates. There is Royalty-free (RF) license for this purpose and websites selling images with such license are called Royalty Free Stock Photo Sites. The idea behind this is that each royalty free photography can be sold to unlimited number of buyers unlimited number of times. Buyer of royalty free photo pays only once and then can use this photo many times with condition not to sell/distribute this photo. So thanks to Royalty Free price for each photo is extremely affordable: up to $5 if you buy a photo individually or in small volumes and up to $1 if you buy photos in packages. Many leading royalty free stock photo sites allow to buy a subscription for downloading hundreds of photos for certain period of time and them cost might be $0,5 per photo. Some stock photo sites go even further to meet clients and do not limit client with any terms for downloading. For example, you can buy 200 excellent royalty free stock photos by very affordable prices and download these photos only when you need it, without any time limitations.
ShutterStock [ visit site ]
Founded in 2003 Shutterstock.com is one of the best royalty-free stock photo sites. Here you will find everything you might want starting from photos and vector images and up to music and videos. You can choose proffesional package which includes opportunity to download 25 images every day, including access to all jpeg and vector size, or basic package with opportunity to download limited number of images for up to one year. Over 40 million stock photos and very flexible packages make this site number one among many others.
DepositPhotos [ visit site ]
DepositPhotos is multilingual stock photo site launched in 2009. For only 6 year it became one of the most famous sites in its niche. Over 31 million high-quality royalty-free stock images and high-definition footage and really huge variety of plans will allow to choose any needed image at any time. One of the advantages of DepositPhotos is an opportunity to pay one time and to download only you need it without any time limitations. And it’s quite unique and at the same time very convenient feature, especially for users without daily need of images downloading.
Fotolia [ visit site ]
Founded in New York City in 2005, Fotolia became one of the most popular royalty free stock photos sites and is in TOP three. They offer over 35 million free stock photos, vector illustrations and video. Unlike other stock photo sites Fotolia offers you the opportunity to download images whenever you want within a month, no need to download everyday. And such pack comes alongside with standard daily subscription where you can download between 25 and 500 images everyday. So Fotolia offers to their users a wide range of plans.
123RF [ visit site ]
123RF is a royalty-free digital media library that offers a wide variety of budget-friendly commercial and editorial images, video footage, audio clips, logo designs and illustrations. Launched in early 2005, 123RF now ranks as the leading global provider of royalty free content. Collection of 123RF consist of 37 million high-resolution images and this collection is updated with over 35.000 fresh content daily. There are two variant of plans offered by 123RF – daily subscription with opportunity to download 5 or 26 files per day or single-content sales with no daily limit.
iStock [ visit site ]
One of the oldest stock photos sites in our collection – iStock – was started in 2000 with just stock photos, now they offer vector illustrations, videos, music and sound effects. Millions of HD photos, vector images and other files become available once you choose one of their plans. It could be credit pack with never expired credits or annual subscription plan with opportunity to download any file within monthly limit.
Getty Images [ visit site ]
Getty Images was founded in 1995 and it was the first company to license imagery via the web, moving the entire industry online. And it continues to be one of the leaders in royalty free stock photos niche. Collection of Getty Images includes even latest news coverage from around the world. Once you choose an image for downloading you will get the price for it depending on its size.
Dreamstime [ visit site ]
Dreamstime is another highly popular stock photo site in our collection. Founded in 2000 Dreamstime exists over 15 years and offers over 30 million photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors. Though this collection doesn’t contain music and video files it is updated every day with thousands of new images. To download any of featured image you have to choose one of their plans. You can buy credit package and download any image only when you need it within one year. Or you can choose subscription which will allow you do make a certain number of downloads daily.
BigStock [ visit site ]
BigStockPhoto was founded in the fall 2004 and quickly grew into one of the Web’s leading royalty-free stock image communities. In 2009 BigStockPhoto was acquired by Shutterstock, the biggest subscription-based image library in the world. BigStockPhoto adopted a fresh new look and a shorter name, Bigstock, in 2010. At the moment BigStock offers over 23 million royalty-free photographs and illustrations from talented photographers and artists around the globe. BigStock offer variety of plans including image credits and subscriptions plans. Nothing new but still good choice.
Alamy [ visit site ]
Another great royalty free stock photo site in our collection – Alamy. 1999 was the first year in the history of Alamy. And today it features over 50 million high quality stock images, vectors and videos and due to this Alamy is the world’s largest stock photo collection. 30,000 new images are added every day. There is no credits or subscription plans. Once you find image you want to download – choose the size and pay for the image via PayPal or credit card. No registration required.
Corbis Images [ visit site ]
Starting from 2002 Corbis is one of the leaders in royalty free stock photo sites. Unlike many other stock photo sites Corbis offer not so big collection of only stock photos (over 2 million) and there is no vector images, video and audio files. Also you won’t find on this website any credits or subscription plans. You have to add images to your basket and then pay for them. From one side it’s easy if you need a few images and from other hand it’s not so beneficial if you want to buy many royalty free stock photos. You decide.
Stockvault [ visit site ]
Stockvault is not a large royalty free stock photo site like others from our list. It’s rather community of photographers, designers and artist where they share their medium and high resolution images with each other for free. Collection is not so impressive – only 53,000 free images – but any of these images can be used for personal and non-commercial design work. So it’s a really good alternative to royalty free stock photo giants.
Stocksy United [ visit site ]
Stocksy United is a brand new site since it was founded in 2013 by veterans of the stock photo industry who were ready for a change. Stocksy United is a multi-stakeholder co-operative, which means all of their photographers are also co-owners of the company. They send invites to photographers that fit their aesthetic and they offer up their images for users to license. There is no pricing plans – you pay by the fact. But the main feature of this site – is a quality of images. Images are really outstanding, stylish and modern.