A picture is worth a thousand words. When words become unclear, people start looking for images. You could have a great content, now make it better by inserting a relevant picture. Even Google Ranking gives you an additional boost if you add an image to your article.
Using online stock images for commercial content is a smart choice, because agencies have checked the images for model and property releases. The last thing you would ever run into is removing a full scale marketing promotion just because of a “free” picture you downloaded online.
Question now is where do you find a Quality Image with Easy Licensing? Most importantly, it should also be All Royalty Free. Pixely put together three high ranking stock image website and rank them according to their niche abilities.
Shutterstock was the first agency which offered a limited number of downloads for a subscription fee. They do not make exclusive distribution deals with any contributor for exclusive content. What’s more, your subscription fee pays not only for images and vector illustration, it also includes video and music.
Choosing the right kind of license you need would be the first step before subscribing. Shutterstock offers two kinds of license – Standard and Enhanced. Standard gives you the basic right to use the images for purposes, such as marketing and advertising, graphic design, personal decoration or artwork, etc.
If you intend to run prints or digital reproductions of the image in more than 500,000 copies; or have any intend to resell the image in products you produce. The Enhanced License if available, for a higher price, of course.
Annual Subscription from $39 (10 images per month), Monthly Subscription from $66 (10 images per month).
Team Subscriptions from $379.
iStock, once known as Getty Images, has an impressively large library of stock photos, video, illustrations, vectors and audio files. Unlike ShutterStock, they work with certain contributors for exclusive images, which means you cannot find these content anywhere else.
Originally, iStock only sold images on a minimum purchase requirement, where you need to buy at least a certain number of images before you can get any images. Later on, they took on the competitor’s purchase model and followed up with the subscription plan and further introduced the credit mode. Subscription plan, as the name goes, allows you to limited number of downloads for a subscription fee. Wherelse Credit System offers you credit packs that you pay upfront, and later use to download the images you want.
iStock price all their files in credits and splits their collection according to two categories, Essential & Signautre.
Essentials hosts a huge selection of high quality images for everyday design needs, covering the most popular themes and topics, and at a very affordable price. Where, Signature includes a large volume of images with higher production value and artistic worth, that are exclusive to iStock, which also makes them more unique and less widely used. Again, you would have assume which would be at a higher price point.
Essentials Subscription (access to Essentials Collection images only) from $45 (10 to 250 images a month), Signature Subscription (access all images) from $105 (10 to 750 images a month).
Alamy is one of the oldest photo agencies available online. Having a collection of over 69 million images, it is also easily one of the biggest databases available. Unlike the other two examples cited, Alamy does things quite differently.
Alamy is unconventional. It is not only a stock image seller, it has also tools that educates their users about stock photography. Guides on how to use stock images and lessons on resolution and image sizing are helpful for any stock photo user.
They do not limit their contributors. They accept images based on technical criteria and not the content. They have agents answering any enquiries when you have them while you surf through their website. Instead of using a subscription plan or credits, they offer a direct buying option. They believe that users should buy Alamy stock photos not credits. This make things easier to understand and buyers can buy what they need when they need it. Which means you don’t need to fear that your subscription fee will go to a waste.
With all of the above, it means you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for in their collection. Adding on to all the above, they do not offer a subscription plan. Which means you don’t need to fear that your subscription fee will go to a waste.
Image prices from SG$26.89. Varies according to your usage. No discounts are available for bulk purchases or long term users.
We understand that you might be still confused on the best choice, please find below for the easiest breakdown we could provide based on your usage.
|HIGH USERS||Based on 750 Images a Month – High Quality|
|Commitment||1 Year||1 Year||N.A|
|Price Per Image||$0.27||$0.35||N.A|
|MID USERS||Based on 10 Images a Month – High Quality|
|Commitment||1 Month||1 Year||N.A|
|Price Per Image||$4.50||$3.90||N.A|
|LOW USERS||Just One Image – Every Budget Images|
|Min. Purchase||3 Credits||5 Images||1 Image|
|Price Per Image||$15||$13.18||From $26.89|