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Getty Images Review


getty-images-logo-smallGetty Images is one of the most prestigious and well-known stock photography agencies in the world. Since its foundation over 20 years ago, this company has become and consistently hold their ground as one of the leaders in stock photo industry.

They’ve built a huge catalog of high quality stock imagery and they’ve diversified and expanded their offer. They own iStock (previously iStockphoto), one of the top microstock agencies in the market.

In short: if you want to buy stock photos, there’s many reasons why you should consider Getty Images.

Want to start buying great stock photos? Then head over to Getty Images now! But don’t forget to grab this great Coupon Code Alternative to save up 30% in your purchases with Ultrapacks! (If you want to know more about Ultrapacks, read here.)

save up to 30% with Getty

Would you like to know more? Keep reading!

What is Getty Images

In brief, here’s what defines Getty Images:

  • Over 80 million images covering Creative and Editorial, Current and Historic Archive content, in Photo, Vector, Illustration, Video and Audio formats, in every style and topic you can think of
  • Stock photography agency working with Rights Managed and Royalty Free licenses
  • Founded in 1995 by Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein, focused in concentring wide variety of stock imagery resources in one agency
  • Largest platform for media content worldwide
  • High quality images, varying and exclusive subjects
  • Built through acquisition of high-valued historic photo archives and smaller agencies, as well as an extense network of photographers
  • Worldwide distribution through partner companies
  • Distributing content from partners as well
  • Discounts of up to 30% in on demand purchases with the Getty Images UltraPacks

Getty Images: Not your Average Stock Photo Agency

During the last 20 years, Getty Images has grown to, and sustained, a leading position in the stock photography industry, by transforming the way the industry worked.

They entered the market with the premise of putting all these worldwide-sourced stock imagery in one place, allowing customers from all over the world to access the widest variety of content in one stop.

To achieve this they bought and merged many small stock agencies and also partnered with other big content providers and distributors from all around the globe, which they still do today.

They also have photos of photographers who contribute to them directly. These contributor images are exclusive to Getty Images for as long as the photographer has a contract with them. This means a lot of the content you can buy at Getty Images, can’t be found anywhere else.

Following Market Trends

As the media formats and types evolve, so do the need of buyers to get them, and so did Getty in providing it. Right now Getty Images offers photos, vectors, illustrations, footage and audio.


And they’ve also expanded to new markets, like microstock: they own iStock (previously iStockphoto), the first microstock agency in the world, and still one of the most popular ones. Learn more in our full iStock review. SignUp for iStock here. And save money with our special iStock Promo Code!


They also have Thinkstock, a more modest offer in microstock. See our full Thinkstock review for more details.

Find all Getty Images Content on their Online, Searchable Collection

getty-images-logo-smallGetty Images website contains their full, huge library with millions of stock images, videos and more.

The library is arranged by collections, categories and lightboxes for most relevant content. And it’s all neatly organized and highly searchable.

At their site, you can go straight to the lightboxes and slideshows that interest you, click on the main labels that direct you to their Creative, Editorial, Video and Music sections, explore collections and categories, or use their search tool to find exactly the photos you’re looking for.

creative-editorialTheir search bar lets you filter by purpose (Creative or Editorial), license type (RM or RF, for creative photos) and media type (Images or Videos) from the very start. And you can enter the most relevant keywords for your search in the blank field. Once the engine displays all results matching your keywords, you have an unfoldable label with lots of advanced filtering options. You can sort results for best match, newest or most popular, and filter by image type and orientation. Further, you can filter by locations, number, age and composition of people depicted, image style, ethnicity, and photographer. And you can also turn a nudity filter on and off (it’s on by default).

Buy Licenses to Use the Photos you Want

Getty Images sells different licenses to use the photos in their collections. They work mainly with Rights Managed (where the price of the photo depends on the use you want to make of it) and also with Royalty Free, which means you pay a one-time fee to use the photo in a varied number of ways.

They have both Commercial (what they call Creative) and Editorial variants. Commercial use is not hard to figure out: it means any use with commercial or for-profit intention. For this license type they have both Rights Managed and Royalty Free licenses.

Credit: Getty Images/ Mark Thompson 535250134

Credit: Getty Images/ Mark Thompson 535250134

Editorial use means that the photos can only be used to accompany, illustrate or enhance text in publications. Be it print or digital, editorial images can be used as part of articles, blog posts, text books, ebooks, etc. But only to illustrate the content. For this kind of use, they have Rights Managed licenses.

Editorial photos cannot be used in publication covers, nor as part of the graphic design of them. They cannot be used in any commercial or for-profit way.

Choose the Most Convenient Payment Option

Getty Images lets you pay for your stock photos in different ways depending on if you have (or create) an account with them, or you don’t.

If you have an account with them, you can choose to pay with a credit card, or to be billed to your account. The Getty Images account is a sort of “credit line”, where they add all the correspondent charges and further invoice you or debit the totals from your credit card.

But an account is not a requirement to buy at Getty Images. You can do it without registering an account, but in this case your only option is to pay via credit card.

Either way, it’s a simple system that lets you buy and pay for photos just like you would when purchasing any other items.

Save up to 30% in On Demand Stock Photos with Getty Images Ultrapacks

Getty Images Ultrapacks are a new way to buy photos and videos on demand at Getty Images.

Getty Images Ultra Packs Screenshot

Getty Images Ultra Packs Screenshot

The process to purchase photos on demand can take a while at this agency, because of the need to inform the intended use and calculating the price based on it. And prices can fluctuate a lot depending on what kind of use you want to make of photos, getting to thousands of dollars in certain specific cases.

Getty Images Ultrapacks are created to overcome those issues, that could put some potential buyers off. With Ultrapacks, you buy a certain number of images upfront, for a flat, one-time fee. And then you can use those download rights to get the photos you want, whenever you want.

The best? Ultrapacks apply a discount to the regular price per image. The larger the pack is, the greater price cut you receive, getting as high as 30% off. Ultrapacks let you save hundreds of dollars in your stock photo purchases, and eliminate the hassle of having to go through the a la carte process to license images!

Ultrapacks give you access to a collection of over 50 million Creative Royalty Free photos and videos, and to most of Getty Editorial images with a RM Editorial license valid for 15 years. Plus, all media bought with Ultrapacks comes with a custom license that gives you extended rights at no extra cost!

You can learn all you need to know about Ultrapacks and how to use them in our dedicated Getty Images Ultrapacks article. If you want to seize this opportunity to save money and buy photos quickly, head over to our Getty Images Coupon Code Alternative!

Getty Images Creative Stock for Commercial Uses

This company aims at providing great stock imagery for multiple commercial uses: advertising and graphic design, print and online publications, multimedia productions (TV, Film, Internet), big communications or marketing campaigns, and even in-house design.

Over the past 20 years their acquisitions, partnerships and distribution agreements with different international companies, added to their network of photographers from all over the world, has helped them build a strong collection with millions of images representing the most varied topics, subjects and styles. They have content in different resolutions to ensure the best quality in customers’ final productions.

Getty Images Editorial Stock for Publishing Uses


The same supply network has made them lead the market of stock imagery on current newsworthy events and other relevant content for print or online publishing, or other news reporting uses.

Their numerous partners with access to exclusive venues and events, plus their wide base of photographers shooting exclusively for them, cover all the popular events in entertainment (TV, Film, Music, etc), sports, and other relevant events with celebrities that are of public interest.

Credit: Getty Images / Handout 476996143

Credit: Getty Images / Handout 476996143

At Getty Images you can find large collections covering anything from the annual Academy Awards in Hollywood to a Fashion Week in a world’s fashion capital or the last Olympics. To know more about Getty Images Celebrity collections, read here!

And this is not all. This international coverage also allows Getty Images to collect great imagery from almost any newsworthy current event in the world, providing visuals to illustrate any news report or related texts. And through their partnerships with local agencies they are also able to deliver regionally relevant content from all around the globe.

Publishers of all kinds are certain to find the visual content they need at Getty Images.

Getty Images Historic Stock Photo Archives


Since its early days Getty Images has been actively acquiring historic photo archives, some of them extremelly high-valued, like the Retrofile collection of images from over a century ago, or the Michael Ochs archives of musicians photos.

Their historic imagery offer gets broader through partnerships with well-known documentary brands like Time & Life Magazine or National Geographic.

Last year their historic collection was enlarged with the addition of several photo archives from competitor agency Corbis. Corbis was acquired by an Asian stock photography company, Visual China Group, who is partners with Getty Images for cross distribution, and has given Getty the exclusive rights to distribute Corbis archives.

Getty Images Looks Forward

getty-images-logo-smallGetty continues adding partnerships and developments to stay at top of the industry, as they always have. Lately, their efforts are focused in keeping up with the new technologic development in visual arts, and delivering high quality content from the most relevant events.

To achieve this goal, they’ve formed a new Innovation Group within the agency, and its members are committed solely to work on the most edgy technologies and trends in photography industry.

Plus, Getty Images has been appointed as the exclusive and official photographic agency for the Rio 2016 Olympics. They will be the go-to agency to find the best photos from the games, but they’re taking it one step further.

As part of their innovation goals, Getty Images is diving deep in the new Virtual Reality visual trend, and has decided to make their coverage of the Olympics a full VR experience. They have created a new VR Group within the company, and all their professional photographers covering the games will be equipped with 360° cameras.

Plus, they’ve also just announced a new partnership with Slidely, a social video platform for customers to create their own promotional videos.

Getty’s take on stock imagery and business is also shared in their blogs: InFocus, where they share details on their coverage and latest developments, and Stories and Trends, where their experts analyse current trends and styles, and offer great insights on the best ways to use stock photos. And on their website you will always find curations for the best photos, the most popular, and editor’s choices.

save up to 30% with Getty

About the author

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus in providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography, like the PixelRockstar WordPress Plugin. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

  • With over 40 years as working photojournalist, I would be interested in joining Getty as a contributor. What can make this happen?

    Sandy Macys

    • Amos Struck

      Hi Sandy,

      unfortunately I do not have a tip for you. You might want to try get into iStock first and then try to get from there into the Getty system.