5 Shutterstock Alternatives Compared which will surprise you

Shutterstock is one of the best and most popular stock photo websites around. Their history, reputation, quality of service and affordable prices make them a favourite for many buyers across the world. But if their offers don’t adjust to what you need, or if you simply are the kind who likes to have options, you’ll love to learn about these great Shutterstock alternatives to buy cheap Royalty-free images online.

We collected and compared the best alternatives to Shutterstock in the form of offers comparable to the former in price, number of images, usage rights, image resolution and quality of service. And picked only the cream of the top, as all these Shutterstock alternatives are included in our list of the Best Stock Photo Agencies!

Discover them below!

The Best Shutterstock Alternatives Compared

Stock AgencyMin. Dlds. / dayMax. Dlds. / dayPrice per
Image / US$
Download Limit Subscription Period
99club
(200 Images for just $99)
12000.49yearly1 year
StockPhotoSecrets
Low Volume
16000.33yearly1 year
iStock
17500.22monthly1 year
Adobe Stock17500.26monthly1 year
Photocase
1As many as your credits allow3.30unlimitedno subscription
Depositphotos
17500.22monthly1 year
TABLE USER GUIDE:

Here are some quick details to better understand this comparative board:

  • Offers listed are high volume stock photo subscriptions: this is Shutterstock’s flagship product since their early days, and we focused our alternatives in it
  • The comparison highlights price per image: we feel that knowing how much you’re paying per download in royalty-free images really helps to see the value in these offers
  • The offer’s download cap is pointed: all Shutterstock subscriptions have monthly download limits, but the alternatives include annual and monthly caps. We think it’s useful to know how restrictive or not are the offers from each microstock agency

Click here to download a list of 7 Shutterstock Alternatives (PDF)

For more details on each offer, read our list below!

Best 5 Shutterstock Alternatives Stock Agencies

Exclusive: 99club – The Perfect Shutterstock Alternative

entertheclub

The Stock Photo Secrets Shop is a microstock agency designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. Our offers are thought to meet their needs in terms of service and budget, and no one does it better than our star product: our 99club plan gives you 200 XXL royalty-free stock images for one year for just $99, which means $0,49 per download! Certainly, a great Shutterstock Alternative if you like their low prices per download, but can’t work with their high volume monthly plans.

And the price is not the only thing to love about this plan. Have a look at what you get with your 99club membership:

  • Flexible subscription with annual download cap: download from 1 and up to 200 images whenever you want during one year
  • Choose from a collection of over 5 million files: includes high-resolution photos, vector graphics and fonts
  • Up to 100,000 new files added monthly: what you don’t find in the library today, you might find it tomorrow
  • Download in up to XXL size at no added cost: valid for jpg image, vector files and fonts
  • Royalty-free license with perpetual use: buy photos today, use them FOREVER
  • Bonus discounts in Extended Licenses and Video Footage packs
  • Auto-renew option: lock the low price of this deal for as long as it’s available

It’s easy to see why 99club is the best and most fitting Shutterstock alternative for those on a restricted budget: not only it is as cheap as the former, but also more flexible, with lots of benefits, and from a reliable agency backed by industry professionals. What’s more to ask?

Want to learn more? Read our 99club review.

Ready to buy? Get your 99club membership right here!

iStock – The Shutterstock Alternative in Price and Curation

iStock (previously known as iStockphoto) is one of the oldest and most renowned stock photo agencies, famous for their highly curated library which hosts millions and millions of high-resolution images divided into two main collections: Essentials (budget, non-exclusive content) and Signature (high value, exclusive files). Both collections have high-resolution photos and vector graphics. Additionally, they offer stock videos and audio libraries.

There are plans with access to Essentials only, which are far more affordable, and subscriptions with access to the entire library including Signature that, while a bit more expensive, are still fairly affordable and add a lot of value with content you will not find elsewhere. See all details about iStock pricing here. So what do you get with an iStock subscription?

  • Downloads per month – from 10 to 750
  • Subscription types – Monthly and yearly – two subscription types, iStock Essentials (basic content and non-exclusive files) and iStock Signature (for exclusive content plus non-exclusive as well).
  • Price Range – From $29 to $249 monthly
  • Image files – Royalty-free photos and vectors
  • Image size – Most files available up to high resolution at no added cost
  • License type –  Royalty free enabling commercial and personal use in websites, prints, ads, social media and more

What makes iStock such a great Shutterstock alternative? That just like the latter, they offer stock photo subscriptions up to 750 downloads per month, but having two image categories and pricing tiers, you have a lot more options in terms of price, according to what kind of photos you need, and some are even cheaper than Shutterstock! If you like this stock photo agency, you might it useful to discover some iStock Alternatives as well!

But here comes the great news: For a limited time, we have a great, exclusive iStock Promo Code that gives you 15% off in EVERYTHING! That's right: anything you want to download from their site, at a cut price! Grab our iStock Promo Code now, it's only valid until the end of September 2018!

iStockphoto as Shutterstock Alternative:

Save on Credits & Subscriptions for EVERYONE
BONUS: iStock as a Free Shutterstock Alternative
If you are after a Shutterstock alternative where you don’t have to pay for photos, you might be surprised to learn iStock is a good choice: They offer free weekly files on their homepage, which includes one free photo, one free illustration and one free video every week. Sure this is a very limited offer, but it’s so good:

  • Free stock images have been reviewed by iStock’s professional team
  • They’re Royalty Free and cleared for all appropriate rights and permits – much better than Creative Commons licenses which are risky
  • They’re completely free

To access these free image giveaways, all you need is to sign up for free at iStock and you’ll be able to download them – you’re not required to purchase anything!

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Adobe Stock – A Shutterstock Alternative for Creative Cloud Members

Adobe Stock Logo

Adobe Stock is a stock photo service property of Adobe and built on the base of Fotolia stock photo agency library. It’s most notable feature is that is fully integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud platform, enabling you to access, surf, test edit and license images from its collection directly within your favourite image editing apps. They offer various subscription plans with access to a collection of over 60 million royalty-free photos and vector illustrations. They also have graphic templates, 3D models, video clips and more.

Their subscriptions cover a wide range of volume tiers and there are prices for everyone. You can choose between month-to-month or yearly options too. Here’s what you can get:

  • Downloads per month – 10 up to 750
  • Subscription type – monthly or annually
  • Price range – $29,99 to $249,99
  • Image files – Royalty-free photos and vector graphics
  • Image size – All sizes up to high resolution at no added cost
  • License type – Royalty Free for commercial and personal use
  • Bonus: Fully Integrated into Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and many more Creative Cloud Software

Adobe Stock is a cool alternative to Shutterstock if you work with Creative Cloud tools in your design process. This service not only has subscriptions comparable to those of Shutterstock, and enough photos for you to have plenty to choose from, but more importantly adds value with its full integration with Creative Cloud that simplifies your design workflow greatly. So if you like to work with Illustrator CC and similar, this is definitely a Shutterstock alternative worth exploring!

Adobe Stock as Shutterstock Alternative

BONUS: Adobe Stock as a Free Shutterstock Alternative
What happens if you can’t factor stock images into your budget so you need a free alternative to Shutterstock? Well, Adobe Stock can help you here too, as they have a great Monthly Free Trial running! This is a first month free for a yearly plan, but you can cancel risk-free during the first month and it’ll be completely free! You get:

  • 10 or 40 free images for 30 days
  • All high-quality photos from their main collection
  • Under royalty-free license – avoid the legal risks of using creative commons images!
  • Just sign up for the 10 or 40 downloads a month yearly plans (which costs $29,99 and $79,99 per month respectively) and you will get your first month free!

To get your free trial started, all you must do is click on this Adobe Stock Free Trial, go to Adobe Stock and select the plan you want. Complete the registration and enter your payment details (you won’t be charged for the first month) and you’re done!

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Photocase – A Shutterstock Alternative for Artistic Stock Photos

Photocase

Photocase is a Berlin-based stock photo agency offering artistic stock photography at very affordable prices. Their highly curated library is full of premium stock images with great artistic value and the authentic, modern aesthetics that is trending in the market. With so many years in business, this is a very reliable and professional service where you will find the kind of photos no other agency provides.

They do not work with subscriptions, but they do offer convenient credit packs for you to save in volume purchases instead of paying as you go. Their images are priced according to size, from 3 to 10 credits, and its final price will depend on the credit pack you buy. Credit packs start at $49 for 25 credits, all the way up to $1099 for 1000 credits, which saves you a whopping 44% in final price. Here are the details:

  • Downloads per month – As many as your credits let you buy (credits never expire)
  • Subscription type – On-demand (no subscription)
  • Price range –  between $3,30 and $20
  • Image files – Royalty-free photographs
  • Image size – Small, Medium and Large priced accordingly
  • License type – Royalty Free for commercial and personal use, including usage in social media

Photocase is a fantastic Shutterstock Alternative if what you are looking for are unique stock photos, the kind of images you rarely find in Shutterstock’s catalogue. If you follow a more artsy and edgy aesthetics but you like low-priced images, this is the perfect alternative for you!

What's even better: As a StockPhotoSecrets reader, you can get more Photocase photos cheaper thanks to our exclusive Photocase Coupon Code with 3 FREE credits + 25% Off! A deal not to be missed.

Photocase as a Shutterstock Alternative:

Get 3 FREE Credits and 25% OFF on your first purchase with Photocase.
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Low Volume – an Alternative to Shutterstock Bigger Download Plans

stock-photo-secrets-logo-with-gem

 

Being designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses, Stock Photo Secrets Shop has actually another great alternative to Shutterstock: our Low Volume plan. This is a limited-time and exclusive offer which gives you 600 XXL royalty-free stock photos for only $199 a year! That's only $0.33 per photo!

This deal gives you 3x more downloads than our 99club for only a fraction of the price. And you can choose from a pool of over 5 million images with up to 100,000 new ones added every month! Here’s all that you need to know:

  • Downloads per month – Up to 600 (use them whenever within one year)
  • Subscription type – Yearly
  • Price range – $199
  • Image files – Royalty-free photos, vectors and fonts
  • Image size – Up to XXL for the same price
  • License type – Royalty Free for commercial and personal use: web, marketing, advertising, social media, personal projects and more
  • Bonus discounts on additional products

Low Volume is a remarkable Shutterstock alternative for any business needing hundreds of images for marketing and promotional efforts, but working with a tight budget. Sure Shutterstock gives you up to 9000 images in a year, but they charge you as much as $199 per month, and if you don’t use such a huge amount of downloads, you’re actually losing money.

Our Low Volume deal gives you a considerable amount of photos with a flexible yearly cap to download them, for a much lower, one-time fee. Notice as well that Shutterstock has a 600 a year subscription, but limits it to 50 downloads per month and charges $1188 ($99 monthly) for it. It’s a no-brainer Low Volume is a better option!

If you want to seize this deal, do it quick! It’s a limited-time offer and won’t be available for long!

Low Volume Offer as a Shutterstock Alternative

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DepositPhotos Subscription

Depositphotos is a well-established stock photo agency with a comfy spot amongst the 6 best companies in the space. They have a remarkable service, offering over 55 million images under a Royalty-free license, and a wide pricing offer that includes stock photo subscriptions at very affordable rates.

Depositphotos’ subscriptions include monthly and annual options, and notice that unlike Shutterstock, the latter is billed annually. Have a quick look at what they have for you:

  • Downloads per month – 10 up to 750
  • Subscription type – monthly or annually
  • Price range – $9,99 (monthly) to $1999 (annually)
  • Image files – royalty-free images and vectors
  • Image size – all jpg image sizes (plus vector files) up to high resolution for the same price
  • License type – Royalty Free suitable for commercial purposes

Depositphotos is a very good alternative to Shutterstock if you like the tailoring of the plans at the latter, but you want better prices. Sure Depositphotos’ library is much smaller than Shutterstock’s but it’s still incredibly large and varied, and their plans come at a lower cost and with a bit more flexibility. So it’s certainly an option to explore if you’re working on a limited budget!

And make it even more worthwhile for you! Our special Depositphotos Coupon Code gives you 5 FREE images plus 15% off in your purchase!

Depositphotos as Shutterstock Alternative

BONUS: Depositphotos as a Free Shutterstock Alternative
If Depositphotos low prices are still out of your reach, or if you would like to test the quality of their service before taking out your wallet, feel yourself lucky because they have a cool Free Files section available for everyone! See what you get:

  • A selection of 10 free stock images and 10 stock vectors –plus free footage too– you can download and use free of charge
  • Files are renewed periodically
  • High-quality images perfect for any professional use
  • All royalty-free photos and illustrations (not creative commons), safe to use legally

To grab free stock photos from this agency, all it takes is to sign up for free as a member. That’s it! Once you’re logged in you’re able to download any and as many free files as you wish!

Shutterstock: A Very Popular Microstock Photography Agency

Let’s talk briefly about Shutterstock – after all, there wouldn’t be a need for Shutterstock alternatives if there was no Shutterstock, right?

This is a stock photo agency under the microstock model: they sell high-resolution images (this means photography and vector illustrations) online under a Royalty-free license, at very low prices with a minimum payment requirement. They were the pioneers of the stock photo subscription, a buying model for which you agree to a fixed monthly fee in exchange for an also fixed number of image downloads per month, with incredibly low per-image rates. While now they have several options in the volume of images, their star product has always been their plan for 750 photos per month for $249 monthly or $199 annually. This is what made them popular from the beginning, as lets buyers get high-quality photos for just $0,26 – $0,33 each.

But there are many more reasons for their success. They host the world’s largest online stock photo library, with over 220 million files and counting. They implement the latest intelligent technology for image search, they have additional media catalogues like stock footage and stock audio, and they include a free photo editor in their services, for example. You can read more in our Shutterstock review.

This is why so many buyers choose Shutterstock. If you want to join them, take the chance to use our exclusive Shutterstock Coupon Code with up to 15% off in your purchase!

This exclusive coupon will save you 15% on any image subscription!

Buy Stock Images Smartly with the Best Shutterstock Alternatives

Buying images royalty-free will now be easier than ever! Not only you get an awesome discount from the very popular Shutterstock, but also 6 awesome alternatives to Shutterstock to download royalty-free photos cheap!

If you are not in a position to spend money in photos, our bonus info on free stock photos from these reliable agencies comes in handy, as you will get professional imagery that is safe to use in commercial projects, a lot safer than creative commons photos for sure.

Let's Recap!

Which one will you go for?

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.

4 Comments
  1. […] You want to know where Google got the stock images from? Thinkstock, the subscription based stock agency of Getty Images, has provided all stock images for Google Drive. Compare Thinkstock to Shutterstock and other subscription based stock agencies here. […]

  2. […] 5 Shutterstock Alternatives Compared […]

  3. hello…does the 5 free images is still available when we sign-up for the first time using your link? I’ve signed up and I don’t have the 5 free images 🙁

    • Hi there,

      sorry to hear that it did not work for you. Yes the deal for 5 free images should still be active.

      I have forward your request to DepositPhotos, they will check and then get back to you via Email.

      Let me know if this has worked for you.

      Regards
      Amos

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