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The Top 5 Best sites to Buy Stock Photos Online (and save)


Buy Photos Online

What are the best sites to buy stock photos online?

There are plenty of stock photo agencies where you can buy stock photos online without breaking the bank, but knowing the best and most affordable might require a little help. That’s why we’ve decided to put together the Top 5 Best Sites to Buy Stock Photos so that you know exactly where to get the best royalty free stock photos for the best price.

There are plenty of different stock photo subscriptions and image credit packs available from different stock photo agencies. But some stock photo agencies will cost you a little more than others, but there are a few that offer the best value possible with premium quality stock images. For example, Stock Photo Secrets has its own subscriptions plan called the 99club that gives you lots of images for as low as $0.49 an image!

Top 5 best agencies to buy stock photos online

We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best stock photo agencies to buy stock images so that you knew exactly where to go to find the best images at the best price. While some may be more expensive than another, each of these top 5 agencies is the best places on the internet to search and discover premium stock images for your project.

If your hope is to save time and money, you are in the right place. So without further ado, here are the top 5 agencies to buy stock images cheap.

99club by StockPhotoSecrets

Where else can you get 200 XXL (XXL means you can print confidently at A3 size with 300dpi up to 6’ x 6‘ with 72dpi.) royalty free stock photos, premium vectors, and fonts for just $99 (only $0.49 per image!). Stock Photo Secrets’ 99club is perfect for small businesses or freelance graphic designers who need hundreds of images per year on a tight budget. You get to choose from over 4,000,000 stock images in our collection, with up to 80,000 new stock images being added every month. 99club gives you exclusive access to our growing collection of premium content, and one of the lowest prices you will find anywhere.

Read our 99club Review to see if it is the perfect fit for you. If you are ready to sign up, buy a 99club stock photo subscription now.

Limited Offer: 200 XXL Image Downloads + 10 FREE

99 Club Membership


Shutterstock offers both image credits and subscription options for stock photo buyers. Shutterstock image collection is one of the largest, with over 84 million royalty free images, but it is on the higher end of pricing. Whether you are running a team or need hundreds and hundreds of stock images per month, their flexible subscription plans, and image credits will suit your needs.

Read our Shutterstock to get more aquatinted with what they offer here. And to check out their membership and sign up for free  or to check if we have a Shutterstock coupon code, click here.

10% off shutterstock image subscriptions

10% off shutterstock footage products

Save an additional 20% off on annual image subscriptions at

Get 20% Off Annual Images Subscription


iStockphoto (now iStock) by Getty Images is one of the oldest and largest stock photo agencies around (started in 2000). They sell images by credits and subscription plans and offer some of the highest-end stock images to choose from, especially if you decide that you occasionally need a really unique image. Their regular images are great and the inventory is in the millions. Read our iStock. iStock offers four free stock images per week, so read iStock to find out more.

iStock membership is free so sign up here now, or to see any coupons and promo codes.

Offer:15% OFF on iStock Credits for new customers

15% OFF iStock Credits

Get 12% OFF on everything from iStock for new customers

12% OFF Everything on iStock

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is one of the newest players in the stock photo agency game and is great for Creative Cloud users because of its integration with the software. You can buy a single image for $9.99 or get monthly subscription plans like 10 images per month for $29.99. While it might be more on the expensive end, the ease of use for Adobe Stock when you’re working in Photoshop or Illustrator is second to none, and the size of their image collection is massive after acquiring Fotolia and Dollar Photo Club this year. What is really helpful is that you can search for images right in the software, which also allows designers and editors to design and comp the images before buying a license. Read our Adobe Stock Review here.

Click here sign up for Adobe Stock, and to make sure you get 10 free images to use within the next month risk-free, get your free trial here.

Get 10 free images to use within the next month. Cancel risk-free within the first month

adobe stock free trial


depositphotosDepositphotos is unique in that it offers three sorts of pricing options: on demand downloads (credit packs), monthly downloads, and daily downloads. While not the most expensive of all the top 5, the flexibility of their plans is their true strength. Depositphotos image collection is rounding about 49 million stock images, and their competitive pricing gives you even cheaper images when you buy a subscription plan. Read our Depositphotos Review here to see if it is right for you.

Sign up for Depositphotos for free, or get their Special Offer: Get 5 FREE Photos + 15% Off on Your First Purchase. Register and get 5 free credits to download high-quality images.

depositphotos promo code

Free Photos Vs. Buying Stock Photography

As you probably already know, there are plenty of places you can get free photographs to download on Creative Commons (CC), and websites where you can get free photos . It sounds like an amazing thing, and for the most part, it sometimes can be, except… there is always a catch.

When using wiki commons (copyright free photographs public domain) or other free photographs there are restrictions on how you can use the image, whether it’s attribution, adding links to the content creator, not being able to alter anything or something else you must do.

For example, some images have restrictions on you using them commercially beyond editorial usage. Let’s say you want to use just a single element from a free CC image. Can you do so? The answer is usually no because each content creator/photographer can tell you exactly how you can and cannot use their file, and more often than not, they will not let you alter anything.

Why Stock is Better For Creative Projects

There is a limit to how you can use CC or free stock images. You cannot alter them in any way, and you have to make sure that you are attributing the file exactly as specified.

So is using Creative Commons good for freelance graphic designers or small businesses that need to use images to support their design projects? No, because of the limitations. Using stock images you have purchased will give you the ability to retouch or edit photos to your liking, especially if you need only an element in a particular stock photo. Want to learn more about editing stock photos, read Can I retouch stock photo I have bought? here to find out what you can and cannot do.

What About Using a CC Image in T-Shirt Design To Sell?

CC image usage is very limited and very rarely are you even allowed to change or retouch any part of the image, not to mention all the attribution hurdles you have to climb. So if you want to use a stock photo in a design or creative project, buying a royalty free stock photo is important to cover all your bases, especially when reselling is involved.

At all stock photo agencies, if you need to make a project to resell something, you can get an extended license for your images very easily by paying more (each extended license will vary in how you can use it). So when purchasing a stock image to use in a commercial project like a T-shirt design or a postcard, you purchase an extended license for more commercial licensing. At Stock Photo Secrets it will cost you less, especially with our 99club subscription plan, where you can buy an extended license for only $30 ($60 for non-subscription plan members).

So is the hassle worth it? It might be for some, but for small business owners that have stock image needs without much restriction, nothing equals royalty free stock photos.

Buying Stock Photo Tips

Where does everyone get these great photos you might be asking? And how can I jump in and buy stock images online and not break the bank?

This is easy to answer as there are tons of websites where you can buy stock photos online and never have to leave your desk.

That’s right, you don’t even have to leave your desk to find all the photos you’ll need for your designs, blogs, and websites. From the comfort of your office, you can find millions of stock images that need any photo coordination, no model or property releases, and that are instantly available with the press of the purchase button.

Why Buy Stock When I Can Get Them Free?

Stock  is already licensed, cheap, and premium! There are photographers who only make stock photos for a living, who take photos and submit them to stock photo agencies for residual income.

With most stock images having royalty free licenses, the stock agency can sell it as many times as they want, so the photography continues to get paid instead of the photographer only having to find a one time buyer. This is what makes stock images work! Stock photo buyers are provided with the right to use the photo, not an exclusive right mind you, so that it can be licensed again and again.

Licensing is the key to stock. Creative commons requires users of free photos to link, request permission, credit the photographer and in some cases more. For stock agencies, you sign up to a site, pick your photo, pay, and download. There is no obligation to credit, searches are faster and you get your photos quicker.

The Stock Photo Agency Advantage

The benefits of buying the right stock image credit or subscription plan for your business needs is important because with the right knowledge you will save you time, and most importantly money. Creative Commons images and free stock photos have their limitations.

If you have a need for photos that you can retouch, manipulate, edit, then a CC or free stock photo might limit you too much. With stock photos, you don’t have the limitations. For the most part, each stock image comes with a standard license that lets you edit and retouch photos without much resistance. A stock photo image credit or subscription will save you time, money, and give you premium images to use for your creative projects.

The 99club being one of the best values around today, you get 200 humongous images from a large image collection for cheap. You can buy stock photos for commercial use, and buy stock images with PayPal to make it easier if you are an international photo buyer. Click here to read Which Top 5 Stock Photo Agencies accept Paypal.

We hope our buying stock photo tips have been helpful and lead you in the right direction that will best suit you. Check out our cheap photo buying options so you have more websites to choose from when you are ready to buy stock photos online.

Pictures © ashumskiy – / © adam121 –


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.