CanStockPhoto Review


CanStockPhoto Screenshot

CanStockPhoto Screenshot

CanStockPhoto is a Canadian owned and managed stock photography agency that has an large international membership. It is the one of the only stock photography agency that offers guest purchases for one time purchasers that do not require membership sign up.

CanStockPhoto Logo

CanStockPhoto is recommended for first time stock photo purchasers, those looking for a wide selection of stock photos and videos, and carries various licensing options that will suit the buyers project needs.

  • Over 4.5 million images – including photos, vector images, audio, video with 248,000 new files added per month.
  • CanStockPhoto was founded in March 2004 by university student Duncan Enman who was studying Business and Entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia, Canada. Today CanStockPhoto has over 8 employees.
  • CanStockPhoto became an affiliate of stock photography pioneer Fotosearch in 2008. This enabled greater distribution of  CanStockPhoto images
  • Accepts PayPal, Visa, American Express and MasterCard, Moneybookers, and Cheque.
  • Searchable by: keywords, file type, orientation. Search results can be displayed by image size, relevance, image upload date, downloads, members views and exclusivity


  • Free weekly image and non member purchasing options
  • Forums for buyers and photographers alike, offering: tips,discussions, help and tools
  • Supports many languages including: English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin, Chinese, Japanese
  • Their FAQ is simplified and has basic information for buyers, sellers, individual purchasers and corporate accounts. They are very attentive and responsive on email.
  • CanStockPhoto has their corporate headquarters in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Credit-and Subscription Based Currency Options

CanStockPhoto offers credit buying options to purchase images one at a time:

  • Credits start as low as 40¢ with a maximum price of 50¢ per credit.
  • Minimum of 18 credits to start, which costs $9.00 (equal to 50¢ per credit).
  • As you purchase larger amounts of credits at one time, the price per credit is reduced. Maximum allowable credit purchase is 500 credits for $200.00.
  • Additional licensing options require payments outside of the credit system.

Credit Pros

  • Inexpensive credit options
  • Bulk credit purchases allowed and cheap
  • Credit-based service allows you to purchase just one image at a time, whenever you may need it.
  • Useful buying option if you know exactly how many images you need
  • When making your credit purchase, the website outlines how many images you could buy with the amount of credits you are purchasing. They do the math for you so you do not have to figure this out for yourself.
  • Less expensive than the guest buying option.

Credit Cons

  • If you purchase your files by credits, you end up paying more for the fewer amounts of images that you need.
  • Each image has a different credit cost with a small image costing on average 2 credits.

Subscription Services

CanStockPhoto offers subscription buying options that are defined by image purchases:

  • Subscriptions are offered at daily, weekly, monthly or annual rates
  • Two subscriptions offered, low volume and high volume subscriptions.
  • Low volume subscriptions provide 10 image downloads per day with prices ranging from 51¢ to as low as 21¢ per image, prices depending on the length of your subscription.
  • High volume subscriptions provide 25 image downloads per day with prices ranging from 32¢ down to 13¢ per image, prices depending on length of your subscription.
  • Subscriptions only apply to Small, Medium, and Large JPG Images (X-Large, Vectors, and Footage files are not included) Additional licensing options are not included in the subscription price.

Subscription Pros

  • Subscription services are cheap
  • There are 2 subscription options
  • Subscriptions are prices per image and are based on the number of image downloads per day
  • Subscriptions are based on a 24 hour period, not a calendar day.

Subscription Cons

  • The annual memberships are the best deal but if you don’t need 3650 images per year this may not be the best option for you.
  • CanStockPhoto’s subscription policy applies a limit of 10 or 25 images per day. Therefore, if you miss a day, you miss downloads.
  • Extra licensing needs require further investments
  • They automatically renew if you don’t turn off the automatic renewal option in the preferences.

Guest purchasing option

CanStockPhoto offers a guest purchasing option that does not require membership sign up. Prices start at $2 per image, 50% more than if purchased at the base credit package purchase option.

Image Searching Tools

CanStockPhoto Advanced SearchCanStockPhoto search is limited even in their advanced search options. The success of a search will depend on the users’ ability to use good keywords. Multiple keywords can be used in the searching platform.

CanStockPhoto Search

To their credit, they do have a history of your searches and you can display your searches by relevance. The most beneficial relevance ordering option is by view so that you can find unique royalty free images that have not been used as often.

Account Preferences

Your account and how you view your searches can be personalized. You can set a template of preferences before you search. Here you determine the information you wish to see, or you wish to delete in your image viewing. Options are contributor name, number of images per page, site color, quick links on your member tool bar, relevance, and other display options. This is unique to other microstock websites and makes CanStockPhoto buyer oriented and user friendly.

CanStockPhoto’s Collections, Galleries and Additional Add-ons

Exclusive Collection

There are definitely some pros to purchasing from CanStockPhoto’s Exclusive Collection. What is not clear is whether the Exclusive Collection is shared with Fotosearch. When you do search on the CanStockPhoto website and order by relevance the viewed option does not include images viewed on Fotosearch.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you are looking for a unique image with high quality, the Exclusive Collection may be just what you are looking for.
  • Though you were paying more for the exclusive images it will be worth the quality and exclusivity you are receiving.

CanStockPhoto Galleries

CanStockPhoto CategoryCanStockPhoto has predetermined image galleries to help you search related photos. They have diet photos, food photos, landscape photos, over 1700 galleries to help you search for your perfect photo. The galleries are not overwhelmed or loaded with images so you can review 15 to 25 photos and see if you can find the stock photo you need easily and quickly.

My Reports

This is a great feature if you want to track photo downloads or payment histories by date. For those working on a stock photo budget it will allow you to stay on budget and assess if the credit buying option is best or if your download history reflects potential savings for a subscription.

Extended Licenses-Process and Costs

In order to purchase an extended license for any of the images on, you will need to pay a $50 licensing fee for what they define as Reproduction/Unlimited Print runs or Physical and electronic items for resale licensing agreements. Any other licensing needs require you to submit a direct request to CanStockPhoto. They have created a request template for this purpose. Licensing fees are in addition to your credits or subscriptions prices.

The CanStockPhoto Summary

CanStockPhoto LogoCanStockPhoto is not one of the most popular stock photography agencies but they are responsive to questions, thorough in their explanations and create a personalized environment for their members. Their growth has been admirable considering their beginnings, but they have not become too big, which provides them the ability to give members direct customer service quickly and efficiently. You will not get lost in the corporate structure when you need assistance and they pride themselves in treating both members and photographers well. This agency is suitable for those looking for royalty-free images.

If you are looking for a responsive, customer service focused stock photography agency, CanStockPhoto is for you. Their image database is growing rapidly and though they were viewed as an underdog in the beginning of their image selling development, they are adding over 248,000 files per month and include audio, video and vectors files to their library.

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