Back in the year 2000 people bought their images on CD ROMs full of 'royalty free' images or bought an inexpensive clipart CD full of, to be frank, horrible images!
A lot has changed in stock photography in the last 20 years, microstock became ubiquitous, the quality went up, and now the market continues to change through mobile phone photography, subscription services and premium images for prices not much higher than those of some budget agencies. Stock images are now embedded into applications e.g. facebook now let you choose from a selection of images from the shutterstock agency and the price is simply rolled into your ad budget depending on how many times the image is displayed.
We offer a range of reviews and information to guide anyone from the casual designer looking for a free photo for a home-grown flyer and trying to navigate the minefield of copyright and licensing terms to the pro-designer who wants to find rights-managed photography or compare rates at all the leading microstock sites at a glance.
Our site is divided into several sections, the best overview of which is back on the homepage, or you can select from one of the options below based on your budget. We have compiled extensive listings of free and low cost stock photo agencies as well as listing some of the big names in the full price marketplace.
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Glossary of terms including explanation of stock photo licensing - for beginners.
Free Stock Photos free images (also see Creative Commons) normally a requirement to attribute (add a link back) but some great quality images can be found without spending any money at all, we have reviewed all of the top sites and have some tips for searching for free stock photos efficiently.
Public Domain Images It can be hard to find good stock photos here, often low resolution, and limited range of categories. Some good images in specific subjects can be found, NASA and American Government images being a good example.
TIP: If you can afford to pay a couple of dollars for an image it's often easier to use one of the microstock sites.
(looking for the best value in quality images, image subscriptions or full price professional libraries)
Compare rates at all microstock sites at a glance - microstock offers great quality images available from around $1, millions of images to choose from. Quick, easy and safe, if you need to get things done in a hurry then this is a great option.
Adding a listing of a free site, PD or creative commons resource is free of charge, please contact us, but note that we DO NOT list low quality sites and images, untried / new startup sites or those with unclear license terms.
We regularly review all the leading microstock sites in the industry, so it's unlikely that there is something we have missed, but if you think different then please feel free to contact us with details.
Sponsor listings: Contact us for rates to be included in sponsor listings, please note that all paid listings will be clearly marked as such and placed in the sponsor listings area of the site, they will only be included in the main listings if we feel the resource is of similar or higher quality to those already listed.
Having your site listed in our directory is easy (provided that your site meets our review policy above)
Our list of sites is one of the most comprehensive of its kind.
Simply contact us and include the following details:
Note: We receive a lot of link requests, please make sure that your site matches one of our categories, and is relevant. Please don't expect us to "chase you up" for extra information not included in your submission, include as much detail as you can. Thanks in advance.