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Does it cost anything to open an account at a stock agency?


The good news is that signing up for an account at a stock photo agency is typically free. Therefore, you will not need to spend any money to peruse their library and put the images in your lightbox. Since nearly all stock photo websites have no charge to sign-up, feel free to sign up for them all and explore your options between each.

Where the cost does come in to play is when you have decided on which images you want to obtain a license for and download. Each stock photo agency has a minimum amount you need to deposit into your account. These prices can vary greatly from one agency to another, but the money you deposit can all be used towards the purchase of a license.

Bigstock Photo has a minimum of $15 for your credit packages. They do have free preview images to download, which will allow you to use the photo with a watermark to evaluate how it will work for your project. iStockphoto has a minimum of $18.50, which will buy you 12 credits. The more you purchase at once, the lower your price-per-credit will be. While Shutterstock doesn’t allow single image purchases, they do have subscription and occasional use packages starting as low as $49 for 5 downloads, or $49 for 12 small and medium only downloads.

This is just a small taste of what types of options there are from various stock agencies. Take the time to check out the policies of other agencies around the web so you can find the ones that will meet your needs.


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.