Web designers, bloggers, and graphic designers cannot deny the import of good images. iStockphoto is almost like a stomping ground for creative, hungry folks. But it isn’t the only source of royalty-free stock images. In this Techspirited article, we introduce you to some amazing alternatives to iStockphoto.
American stock photo agency, Getty Images acquired iStockphoto for $50 million on February 9, 2006.
No matter how good you are in spinning a yarn or how blessed you are in sugarcoating a banal idea into a glamorous read, your powerful volley of words will strain your reader’s attention, if it is not supported by images. One just can’t slip up on images as they are like a bucket of ice-cold water that jolt the reader’s attention. Images make your written word more believable, no matter how fanciful the idea is – fairy tales wouldn’t have been ‘fairy tales’ had it not been for the illustrations or colorful imagery.
An image is a seductive element that draws your reader to your article or site. For this very reason, you will find text interspersed with images. An image’s allegorical gravity cannot be overlooked in a visual-centric world. From social media to SEO, images are employed as an efficacious tool to channel traffic in.
Stock photo website, iStockphoto is a major player in this arena but not the only player. Given below are some stock photo websites like iStockphoto that offer similar services.
With over 32 million images, videos, and vectors contributed by a sweeping community of artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and well-known agencies, Fotolia is primed to satisfy your imagery demands. It offers a variety of credit purchase (credits start from $0.74 and are valid for 365 days) and subscription options ($0.19 per file). It also accepts user submissions, so if you are an amateur or a professional, you are provided with a great platform to showcase your photography skills. Fotolia’s massive image database and fluid navigation merits a spot on our list.
Dreamstime’s real strength lies in its seamless search engine and easy functionality. With over 15 million royalty-free images, Dreamstime ranks high in terms of quality and affordability. A member of PACA (Picture Archive Council of America, a favorite purveyor of images with leading magazines and agencies), Dreamstime offers images on individual as well as subscription basis. It has recently totted a new social feature for designers that gives suggestions to users looking for an image based on past choices and relative searches from other designers.
Bigstockphoto proffers over 21 million royalty-free images, vectors, and illustrations. You aren’t foisted on a credit system if you don’t want (it also saves the reckoning of credits), and that we like. They follow an open pricing system where price is based on the size of the image. Ease of navigation and affordable pricing makes Bigstockphoto a likable and convenient microstock agency.
123rf offers a whopping library of over 33 million stock images, vectors, footage, and audio clips. With 123rf, you can expect images for all kinds of purposes – from professional to blogging to non-profits, etc. Its licensing policy is upfront and without any hidden conditions; you pay once and use the image for as many times as you want, with no license renewal hassle. You also get a sizable number of lower resolution images for free and can also avail yourselves of their exclusive logo design feature that will give you your tailor-made corporate or brand identity.
Depositphotos is a smart kid on the block. It has a wide spectrum of categories in comparison with other stock photo websites, and has a humongous library that is contributed by some of the best designers, photographers, illustrators, and videographers. With its competitors maintaining a rather difficult credit system, Depositphotos plays unfussy by keeping an inexpensive credit cost strategy. They may have aped other microstock agencies’ strategies but they are minting it big time and are enjoying fruition of trial-and-tested methods employed by other players, which is really smart.
Brainchild of a university student, CanStockPhoto hit the microstock dominion in 2004. What many will like about CanStockPhoto is that it does not behove on purchasers to sign up for purchasing. It has good range of categories that are augmented every day by talented photographers and artists around the world. Its credit system is seamless – it offers inexpensive credit choices, allows bulk credit purchases which are cheap, and most importantly does the reckoning while telling you how many images you buy with the credit.
Alamy has a whopping quarry of stock photos, with over 51 million of good quality images, vectors, illustrations, and much more. Alamy initially had an awkward search box, which was then given an overhaul and now that very frailty of their website is on its way to be patented. Originally a macrostock agency, Alamy changed its strategy tactics in order to be able to cater to a more dynamic market. However, they still maintain their macrostock approach in terms of rights managed licenses along with royalty-free. Prices are transparent with direct buying option without any insistence on credits or subscription. But, it does not offer any discount for long-term users or bulk purchasers.
GraphicRiver is one big community of designers owned by Envato Market network. This is the place for those who need amazing graphic artwork. GraphicRiver has more than 300,000 stock graphics files starting from $1. This website is a creative marketplace for designers who can upload anything from a psd greeting card to logos to photoshop brushes to icons and much more.
The above selection of stock photo websites are on par with iStockphoto in terms of quality and credibility and offer a walloping collection of images, vectors, and illustrations.