Do you use images for your website or blog?
Are you a Shutterstock user who is looking for a good alternative?
Well, you are in the right place. There is no doubt that Shutterstock is a good website and has a lot of high-quality stock images for you to choose from. But there are some really good alternatives out there as I discovered when I started taking a look at what else was out there.
I am not trying to suggest that there is anything wrong with Shutterstock in this article. It is a very popular website that a lot of people use to find affordable stock photographs. And they have been doing this for a long time.
But despite the huge amount of stock photos available on Shutterstock, there are going to be times where you can’t find what you want. So what do you do? Well, you can try one of the great alternative stock photo sites that I will discuss here.
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The 6 Best Shutterstock Alternatives
I looked at a number of stock photo websites (there are a lot of them) and I came up with what I believe are the 6 best alternatives to Shutterstock. I looked at different aspects such as the price per image, the maximum amount of downloads per day and any other limitations and benefits.
I took a good look at iStock which formerly known as iStockPhoto because it has a great reputation and has been around for a very long time. If you are aware of iStock you will probably know that they have a curated library which contains high-quality images divided into two categories which are “Essentials” and “Signature”.
There are millions of images to chose from in the library. In the Essentials category, you will find low-cost images which are non-exclusive. The Signature category contains all of the more expensive and exclusive images. You can find vector graphics in both categories and the photos are all high resolution.
For most website and blog owners, a subscription to the Essentials category only makes a lot of sense. If you need exclusive content from the Signature category then you will have to pay more but it is still reasonable. Here are some of the best features of iStock:
Although iStock has the same download limit of 750 images per month the same as Shutterstock, it does have more options in terms of pricing and categories. Some of the images on iStock are less expensive than on Shutterstock making it one of the best Shutterstock alternatives available.
2. Deposit Photos
If you like the idea of being able to choose from more than 100 million royalty-free photos then Deposit Photos is certainly worthy of your consideration. It is another very well established stock photo website that has a great deal to offer. I found their service to be really easy to use and when I tested their support it was very responsive.
There are many different categories available on Deposit Photos and I really like the way that the website works. They have a good selection of stock videos available too and at the time of writing, they had nearly 5 million available. Here are some of the reasons that you should consider Deposit Photos as a good alternative to Shutterstock:
If you are looking for more flexibility with plans and pricing then Deposit Photos is a very good Shutterstock alternative. OK, the image library is not as big as the one at Shutterstock but there is still a huge choice.
3. Adobe Stock
If you are an Adobe fan and use their image editing applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator then the Adobe Stock service could be the perfect alternative to Shutterstock for you. Not only do they have more than 60 million images available but there are templates, vectors, and videos to choose from.
Adobe Stock has full integration with the Adobe Creative Cloud which means that you can use your favorite Adobe image editor to view what is on offer. You can preview images directly using Illustrator CC, In Design CC and Photoshop CC. The main reasons why Adobe Stock is a good Shutterstock alternative are:
If you use the Adobe Creative Cloud apps then Adobe Stock is a no brainer alternative to Shutterstock. The pricing plans are pretty similar to Shutterstock and the library of images is large. Adobe Stock is not going to be for everyone but if you use those Creative Cloud apps then you must check it out.
4. Stock Photo Secrets
A lot of small and medium-sized businesses do not need to download a huge amount of images every month. This is where Stock Photo Secrets comes in as a good alternative to Shutterstock.
Stock Photo Secrets has a Low Volume plan where you can download 600 of the highest resolution images from their library of over 5 million for only $199 per year. This means that you will only end up paying 33 cents per image. Here are some of the great features that Stock Photo Secrets offers:
You can have as many as 9,000 image downloads a year with Shutterstock but that comes at a very high price. And besides, if you don’t need anywhere near that amount for your business then Stock Photo Secrets is a good Shutterstock alternative for you.
You may not have heard of Photocase before but it is well established and has been around since 2001. It is a great service if you are really interested in artistic images. One of their claims is that they have a vast collection of stock photos that don’t look like stock photos. So if you want to be different then Photocase could be a good Shutterstock alternative.
I found the Photocase service simple to use and they have a credit system rather than subscriptions. If you want larger images then you will need more credits. So you can purchase credit packs that easily align with your stock image requirements. Here are some of the great things about Photocase:
The main reason why Photocase is a good alternative to Shutterstock is that you can find images that are very different. You are very unlikely to find these types of images in the Shutterstock library.
Founded in 2005, 123RF has grown to be one of the world’s largest royalty-free digital stock
agencies. As part of INMAGINE, 123RF has helped millions of users tell their stories by offering
millions of creative content spanning imagery, sound and motion contributed by talents from
around the world.
Recently, 123RF introduced millions of high quality FREE downloads of stock content including
500,000 unique vectors and 3D iIllustrations for personal and commercial use. Plans for
metaverse-ready content and more coming soon with 10,000 unique files uploaded every
month. Explore a vast collection of curated content and get exclusive access to intuitively
smart one-click editing tools to speed up creative processes.
The website also features an excellent search engine, keywords of trending topics and a
showcase of featured contributors on their home page. Users can also curate and organize
their favorite stock images into personalized collections for easy access.
With this and more to come in the future, 123RF invites all creators to experience the FREE
collection themselves, either for individual or business needs and explore more opportunities
served by the company.
I have provided you with 6 of the best Shutterstock alternatives here. All of them have their good points and you need to think about your stock image needs going forward so that you make the right decision.
If you are looking for a high volume of downloads then iStock is probably the best Shutterstock alternative with Deposit Photos not far behind. For Adobe Creative Cloud users you must check out what is on offer at Adobe Stock.
For low volume stock image, users take a look at the Low Volume offer from Stock Photo Secrets. It will cost you a little more per image but what is the point of downloading more stock images than you really need? If you want to be different with your stock photos then check out Photocase.