12 Best Premium Stock Photo Sites Worth the Money (2023)

Finding a good stock photo site can help you get quality images for your site and other digital assets like advertisements and social media posts. 

The best premium stock photo sites will have generous and straightforward licensing agreements that are simple to navigate.

Plus, they will have a large library of assets that aren’t commonly used by others online and have a number of different pricing options to help them fit most budgets. 

Best Premium Stock Photo Sites

1. Adobe Stock

Best For

This premium stock image site is best for people who already utilize other Adobe software products for creating brochures, documents, or websites given its easy integration. So, it tends to be best for marketers and for commercial uses. 

The interface is simple and easy to use, and they have a wide range of images, vectors, videos, audio, and 3D graphics available. 

Adobe Stock has an advanced search feature to help you find exactly the visuals that you’re looking for with no distractions or interruptions. 

Pricing

Adobe Stock has a 30-day free trial to help you get started. Afterward, it’s available at a monthly subscription of $29.99 for 10 standard assets a month but ranges up to $199.99 a month for 750 standard assets. 

Premium content and video are available with ‘credit packs’ that start at $49.99, which is fairly competitive with other premium stock photo sites. 

What We Liked

  • Large selection of high-quality photos, videos, audio, etc.
  • Premium stock images available for very niche topics that aren’t supported elsewhere
  • Great filtering and advanced search capabilities
  • They offer a free trial to help you get started and test out the platform
  • Seamlessly integrates with other Adobe products

What Can Be Improved

  • Purchased credits for premium stock photos and videos expire after a year
  • The support is not available 24/7 and can be limited 
  • Not the most affordable option if you need hundreds of images each month

Media: images, videos, vectors, audio, and 3D graphics
Images: 200 million+
Free Trial: Yes, 30-day free trial
On-Demand: Starting at $49.95 for 5 standard images
Subscription: Starting at $29.99 per month

2. iStock

Best For

iStock is the first paid stock image site, founded in 1999, and is the sister site to Getty Images. Since they have been around for decades, they have a large database of premium images that you can choose from. 

They have also added a video editor for users to make simple edits without having to purchase another software or have extensive knowledge to do so. 

Their content is very high quality since they are partnered with Getty, with pricing and packages that tend to lend themselves to enterprise clients. 

Pricing

iStock has royalty-free videos, photos, vectors, and illustrations, though they also have paid versions with licensing as well. The monthly rate starts at $29 a month and goes up to $333 per month depending on how many assets you need access to. 

This price point is on the higher end compared to other sites, though their dominance in the field often justifies the price. 

What We Liked

  • Longest-standing premium stock photography site with industry dominance
  • Large selection of royalty-free images and assets that you can access for no fee
  • Easy to use video editor for beginner users
  • Very high-quality content even with the size of the catalog
  • Numerous integrations with third-party apps

What Can Be Improved

  • The 30-day free trial is not available in all countries
  • The higher monthly price points may not be the best fit for all users
  • Not as many graphics available compared to competitors

Media: images, videos, vectors, illustrations
Images: 396 million+
Free Trial: Yes, 30-day free trial in certain countries
On-Demand: Starting at $70 per 10 images
Subscription: Starting at $29 per month

3. Shutterstock

Best For

Shutterstock is the largest stock photo website and continues to be the leader in the industry with its extensive catalog. 

Given the wide range of assets available on this paid stock photo site, there are photos to fit nearly anyone’s needs. It is a highly popular site with both bloggers and enterprise users. 

They offer over 3 million royalty-free images, with millions more paid stock photos that are easy to license. Unlike other sites, they also have a photo editor to help you get the exact visual you’re looking for. 

Pricing

Users can pay for Shutterstock either on-demand or monthly. Monthly packages start at $29 a month and go up to $199, depending on how many assets you’d like access to each month. 

Shutterstock pricing is in a similar range to other similar sites, even though they have more assets available. 

What We Liked

  • Extensive range of available visual and audio assets as the largest stock image website
  • They also offer an easy-to-use photo editing tool 
  • ‘Similar images’ and ‘similar models’ suggestions help find related images
  • The licensing process is easy to complete
  • Wide range of royalty-free images that don’t cost you anything 

What Can Be Improved 

  • The large number of available assets can be overwhelming 
  • There are millions of contributors, so quality isn’t always uniform across the site
  • Their search functionality could be more advanced

Media: images, videos, music, templates, 3D models
Images: 1 billion+
Free Trial: Yes, 1-month free trial
On-Demand: Starting at $49 per 5 images
Subscription: Starting at $29 per month

4. Depositphotos

Best For

Depositphotos is one of the top premium stock photo sites with many great tools and features for users to take advantage of. 

Their advanced search capabilities make it easy to find the exact image or visual you’re after, even letting you search by camera angle for the perfect shot. 

Once you select the photo you want, you can even choose the size and level of quality, and provide you with other similar suggestions to help you find the best option for you. 

Many like the affordability of their plans and on-demand photos, meaning it can be best used by smaller accounts that only need a few assets a month. 

Pricing

There are multiple monthly packages to choose from to fit your needs and budget. They start at $13 for 10 photos and run up to $299 a month for 750 images, which is in line with other paid stock images sites on this list. 

What We Liked

  • Refined search is easy to use and precise
  • Suggested photos help you find the image that best fits your needs
  • Multiple ways to customize the photo including size and image quality
  • Easy to use editing tools fit for beginners
  • Known for their great customer service team

What Can Be Improved

  • Extended licenses must be purchased with dedicated image packs
  • The premium photos on the site can be found on multiple different platforms
  • On-demand options could be more flexible

Media: images, videos, music, templates, special effects
Images: 189 million+
Free Trial: Yes, 10 images
On-Demand: Starting at $42 per 3 images
Subscription: Starting at $13 per month

5. 123RF

Best For

123RF is on the more affordable side of paid stock image sites, so it’s best for smaller accounts that don’t need a ton of photos. They do have some free images available, but it’s mostly subscription-based. 

The ‘trending images’ and ‘new images’ sections on their site help you stay up-to-date with trends and see when new photos are uploaded. 

123RF has great search functionality to filter by category, sub-category, and sorting. Plus, they highlight their photographers in a ‘featured contributors’ section so you can know more about who is behind the lens of the photos you’re using. 

Pricing 

123RF has a few free options available, but you will likely need a paid subscription for best use. Their monthly package starts at $39 a month for 20 images, though they also offer annual billing at a discount. 

123RF offers the best value for money, given its low rates and great quality of assets. 

What We Liked 

  • Very affordable packages both monthly and on-demand
  • The web interface is simple and easy to use
  • They offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied 
  • Tailor-made licensing and sharing features available on top tiers
  • They provide live chat and phone support for customers

What Can Be Improved

  • Some of the filtering options on searches could be more advanced
  • The licensing process is complex and could be simpler
  • Downloads are deleted after one year of non-use

Media: images, videos, vectors, music
Images: 80 million+
Free Trial: Yes, 30-day free trial
On-Demand: Starting at $26 per 5 images
Subscription: Starting at $39 per month

6. Canva Pro

Best For

The Canva editing tool is very popular with designers and marketing professionals, and the Canva Pro premium subscription service gives users access to a large library of images, illustrations, templates, animations, and more visual effects. 

It’s best for enterprises and commercial users who already use Canva to create digital designs for their brands on social media, email marketing, and more. 

In addition to the library of videos and images, Canva users enjoy simple drag-and-drop design features and a wide range of templates to choose from. 

Pricing

Canva Pro users pay a monthly fee to access the platform at $12.95 per month. Users can purchase premium elements from their free accounts, though these are individually priced based on the asset in use. 

The monthly fee is much lower than other sites, though it’s not a purely stock photo website and has a limited library compared to some of the others. 

What We Liked

  • Easy integration with Canva design tools to create graphics and documents
  • Great collaboration and sharing features
  • Users can make unlimited downloads at no extra cost
  • Mobile app that is easy to use and access your designs from
  • Highly popular among brands and easy to use

What Can Be Improved

  • Other stock photo sites have much larger image libraries
  • Customer support team is very inconsistent and can be hard to reach
  • The mobile app is easily accessible, though features are limited

Media: images, videos, vectors, illustrations
Images: 75 million+
Free Trial: Yes, 1-month trial
On-Demand: Priced individually based on the asset
Subscription: $12.95 per month

7. Getty Images

Best For

Getty Images is a stock photo site that has a vast array of photos, illustrations, videos, vectors, and music. Their collection includes current, vintage, and editorial content from their archives. 

They own iStock and ThinkStock. So, users of Getty Images get access to an extensive library to fit any of their needs. 

Getty Images is available in a browser version, or you can download using plugins to Chrome, Adobe, and WordPress. So, it’s largely compatible with many different sites and versions you could need. 

Given its positioning in the market and widespread reputation, it’s largely used by enterprises and commercial accounts for branding and marketing purposes.

Pricing

Getty’s pricing is on the higher end compared to other top paid stock photo sites. This is largely because they use professional photographers who attend exclusive events like awards ceremonies, private parties, and red carpets. 

They will custom tailor enterprise solutions upon request, though their service is mostly through one-time downloads starting at $175, with prices increasing for images of better quality and videos. 

What We Liked 

  • Unique library of old and vintage photos to access historical assets
  • Widely viewed as one of the best premium stock photos sites
  • Broad licensing terms that are very generous
  • The quality of the photos is very great and revered as the best
  • Access to personal photographers and individual’s works

What Can Be Improved

  • Prices are very high and not competitive with other sites
  • Large focus on famous and exclusive events, which all accounts may not need
  • There is no free trial available

Media: images and videos
Images: 477 million+
Free Trial: No
On-Demand: Starting at $175 per download
Subscription: Custom-tailored enterprise solutions available upon request

8. Offset

Best For

Offset is considered to be the best premium stock photo site by many and is owned by Shutterstock. Users can license very high-quality commercial and editorial images royalty free, though their selection is small. 

They have a focus on user experience and ease of use, so they only provide on-demand licensing that directly caters to the user’s needs. Because of this, it’s mainly directed at commercial use for marketing or advertising purposes. 

Offset differs from Shutterstock’s main platform in a few key ways, including that only the best photographers can contribute to Offset, each image on the platform is carefully checked for quality, and you can only by on-demand photos. 

Pricing

There are no monthly subscription options for Offset, unlike its Shutterstock counterpart. Since it is more tailored at one-off uses of photos, users can buy them on-demand or in packs of 5 or 10 images. These start at around $249 for a small image but can go up to $349 for a large image. 

What We Liked

  • Premium stock photos that are very high quality
  • Good support team that is easily accessible and helpful
  • Unlimited royalty-free license upon purchase of the asset
  • The images on the site are very curated 
  • Only curate from vetted professional photographers or go through extensive quality check

What Can Be Improved

  • Pricing is not very affordable for those with a smaller budget
  • Very small library compared to other platforms with millions of options
  • Only photos, no videos graphics, illustrations, etc. 

Media: images
Images: 25,000+
Free Trial: No
On-Demand: Starting at $249 per image
Subscription: No

9. Dreamstime

Best For

Dreamstime has a large library of stock images, so it’s great for those who need access to a large amount of stock photos with extended licenses. 

The platform also has more than just images, with subscriptions for audio and video files as well. So, users who need a mix of different content can find their all-in-one subscription very efficient. 

Users tend to see that there’s a cohesive theme or editing style across all their content, so if you find the style preferable, Dreamstime could be a good fit for you. 

Pricing

The pricing for Dreamstime is very competitive with others, even though their images aren’t seen as the highest quality compared to competing sites. 

The monthly subscriptions start at $25 per month and range up to $169 per month for 750 photos. So, the more photos you want, the more you will have to pay each month. 

What We Liked

  • They have a large selection of stock images that you can choose from
  • Extended licenses come with the subscriptions, making them cost effective
  • They have been around for decades, so they have a long-standing reputation 
  • The prices are very affordable compared to other best paid stock images sites
  • Great all-in-one subscription that includes images, audio, and video

What Can Be Improved

  • The quality of images isn’t for everyone, as they’re often overedited
  • Images provided with the free trial come with a watermark
  • There is a large selection, though it’s not a wide variety of different photos or styles

Media: images, video, audio
Images: 185 million+
Free Trial: Yes, but the images include a watermark
On-Demand: Starting at $10.49 per 11 images
Subscription: Starting at $25 per month

10. Envato Elements

Best For

Envato Elements is the best paid stock photo website for those who need access to a lot of assets, but don’t have a large budget. 

They also offer discounts for teams that add additional team members to the account and have a generous license for commercial use. So, it can be good for large marketing teams for ad campaigns. 

Overall, the platform is easy to use and great for those who need unlimited stock footage.

Pricing

The value provided by Envato Elements for the affordable price makes it a very good option, even for those with smaller budgets. 

They only have a monthly option, though it’s great for teams because there is a discounted option for each additional member added rather than requiring them to get their own individual subscription. Prices start at $39 per month and increase with the amount of photos you want to access. 

What We Liked

  • Subscribers get unlimited downloads with no daily limits
  • You get full access to the platform with the 7-day free trial
  • You can use the assets commercially with their versatile licensing agreements
  • Licensing is simple to get and not as complicated as some other platforms
  • Discounted pricing for teams that add additional members

What Can Be Improved

  • No refunds are offered to customers for any reason
  • They have less images in their library compared to others on this list
  • If you unsubscribe, you cannot use the assets for future projects

Media: images, videos, templates, fonts, other visual assets
Images: 6.7 million+
Free Trial: Yes, 7-day free trial
On-Demand: No
Subscription: Starting at $39 per month

11. Pond5

Best For

Pond5 continues to be one of the top-rated paid stock photo sites both for customers and contributors to the platform, though it has a large focus on video and audio. 

They offer users a wide range of different purchasing options, though their packages and pricing tend to be a better fit for enterprises and large teams that need the images for marketing and commercial purposes. 

They were recently acquired by Shutterstock this year, so their services and offerings will likely only improve from here. 

Pricing 

There are two subscriptions available, starting at $199 a month for 10 video downloads. You can purchase additional credit packs, but you can get a 25% bonus for $20 a video after that. 

They have additional packages to include videos and music and SFX, so users can find the package that best fits their needs, even if there are only a few available. 

What We Liked

  • They will match pricing if you find a lower-priced option for the same asset elsewhere
  • They have a large library of high-quality images and videos
  • Recently acquired by industry heavyweight Shutterstock
  • You can get a 25% bonus when you purchase a credit pack
  • Highly rated by users, and continue to be one of the favorites among media houses

What Can Be Improved

  • You can only access a small segment of the library with a subscription
  • Many videos are highly expensive and out of reach for many users
  • Mainly geared toward footage and audio, not images

Media: images, video, audio, 3D models, sound effects
Images: 54 million+
Free Trial: No
On-Demand: Starting at $13 per 5 images
Subscription: Starting at $49 per month

12. Alamy

Best For

Alamy is one of the best paid stock photo site options for those who need 360 images. They have a wide collection of images and videos, and a vast array of licensing options so users can get the exact arrangement they desire. However, this can be overwhelming to some. 

They have limited pricing options, which we’ll discuss below, and their narrow licensing options can be a challenge for some. However, for the right customer that enjoys their content and has a specific use for the asset, it can be a good match. 

Pricing

Alamy does not have a subscription option, so their on-demand pricing can oftentimes be expensive. They don’t have a more affordable option to provide you with a certain amount of downloads per month like many others on this list. 

With the poor quality of much of their library and the strict pricing options, they tend to be at the bottom of the list when it comes to price value. 

What We Liked

  • There are diverse licensing options so you can get the arrangement you need
  • Quick and prompt customer support team that offers quick solutions
  • They have a selection of 360 images, which most platforms don’t offer
  • They have a wide range of different image sizes you can select
  • Different packages available for personal use, marketing use, etc. 

What Can Be Improved 

  • The quality found in their library isn’t as great as other options
  • They do not offer license indemnity, which many users want
  • Their licensing and pricing structure can be complicated and confusing

Media: images and videos
Images: 300 million+
Free Trial: No
On-Demand: Starting at $19.99 per image
Subscription: No

Similar Posts