I apologize if this is a topic that has been posted on many many times over. I have read through a few posts and haven’t seen this one yet. I am interested in which subscriptions everyone favors for their Royalty Free Artwork in any format. I don’t expect to get high quality artwork for free so I am not even going to begin the conversation in that direction. I have used a few sites over the years and am currently using MetroCreative and iClipart most often. I would like to expand a bit though and am having trouble finding much beyond a bunch of advertisements or sites that I am already familiar with. I have used some of the pay as you go sites in a pinch in the past but prefer something that I can simply pay a monthly or yearly rate for and use as I go. Do you guys prefer to pay per piece or by subscription? And where are your favorite places to go?
I always pay per piece. I don’t do enough image sourcing to make a subscription cost effective.
Not that they are a favorite, they have simply the largest collection out there, having bought up quite a number of the other larger image sites.
They own iStock and they own the former Corbis collection. They are, I believe, a Chinese holding company now. It irks me to no end as they have made some images I’ve used in the past unavailable…and Corbis had a huge collection of US historical photos of which only a small portion is now available. Sad. But generally speaking, they do have the largest Royalty Free collection.
Second runner up is Shutterstock.
Third is 123RF.
My answer is pretty much a duplicate of PrintDriver’s answer with the exception that I usually go to Shutterstock first then iStock.
Thanks for the information
I like Deposit photos, and every once in a while, AppSumo has a deal where you can get 100 images for $49—and you can stack it, so you can buy more than one at a time. I recommend signing up for AppSumo’s list so you get notified.
We used to use iStock and then Shutterstock before each decided we needed a corporate account and raised the price by several hundred percent. We switched to GettyImages because we negotiated a price with them that was comparable to our previous Shutterstock account.
GettyImages has been a big disappointment. I anticipated a much larger selection, but it’s far, far smaller than what either iStock or Shutterstock offered (at least for the things we’ve needed). Many of their better photos require additional payment above and beyond the subscription. We’ve ended up buying one-off images from both iStock and Shutterstock to make up for Getty’s smaller selection. I’m looking forward to getting rid of GettyImages when our prepaid subscription period is over. I’m looking into Alamy, but haven’t made any decisions yet.
That’s weird because GettyImages owns iStock. You should be able to access that library through their subscription portal, unless the reason your subscription was so short-money is because they are blocking certain collections.
I’ve not been a fan of Alamy. Can’t quite articulate why. Maybe because I’ve seen many public domain images on there for high prices. I dunno.
The iStock collection isn’t included in our GettyImages plan. We originally contacted iStock, then during negotiations with them, they proposed a GettyImages account that we were lead to believe included access to iStock (verbal assurances that I shouldn’t have taken at face value or, possibly, misunderstood).
Trying to cancel the plan was a problem for various reasons. Anyway, between what is available on GettyImages and buying needed one-off images from Shutterstock, it has ended up costing about the same as if we had simply agreed to Shutterstock’s corporate subscription. Nothing lost, really, but irritating.
Odd. About a year and a half ago we switched from Thinkstock to a Getty Premium Access subscription plan. The only downside is that we get fewer downloads (but we never use them all anyway). Other than that, I felt that the Getty options are much better quality and much more varied. To each their own I suppose.
Yes, I suppose it might depend on the images one needs. We need lots of specific kinds of regional images, and we’ve found the selection of those kinds of images are, maybe, a third as large as what’s available elsewhere.
Ah, that makes sense.We use quite a few lifestyle and industry images that aren’t usually very “specific”, so it works quite well for us.
With Getty negotiations, I always get the particulars in writing, even though my sales rep is very nice to talk to over the phone. The image work I do is usually limited in scope, always in some way editorial in nature, and always being printed LARGE, so I make them provide a written quote.
The imagery I do is so varied and specific I just can’t buy into subscriptions. I have image resources all over the US and the UK. Sadly a lot of that work has dried up lately. Too bad. It was something I really enjoyed doing.