Where Can I Buy Sports Photos?

Stock photo agencies thrive to have rich catalogs covering all possible topics of interest, including sport-related images. 

However, there are different types of sports photos and not all of them can be found on all agencies. Plus, not all sports images can be used for all purposes. 

Here we explain what kind of sporty images you can find, where, and how you can (or cannot) use them.

PRO TIP: Sports images are now all about inclusion, mostly on body types, ethnicities, and special abilities. Make sure you get the perfect, inclusive sports images with our list of the best diverse stock photos and where to find them, as well as in our guide to inclusive disability images.

What Kinds of Sports Stock Photos Can I Buy Online

When it comes to sports stock photos, there are two main things to consider: the concept and your intended use. These two factors make it easy to understand and identify what type of image you are looking for, and whether it’s available for license on a stock photo site for what you need it for. 

Sports Themed Photos – If you want a photo that illustrates a sports background  –like a volleyball court or an American football field–, or a young woman practicing boxing, or even a soccer ball on the grass or a set of dumbbells next to a wall-to-wall mirror, what you need are professional stock photos with a sports theme. You can find them in high resolution and under royalty-free license at most top stock photo agencies, be it that you explore their themed galleries, or use their advanced search tools. You can use these photos for your website, blog, social media, marketing, and other commercial-related uses with no problem. 

Celebrity Sports Images – Now if what you are after are pictures of famous athletes or any other celebrity from the sports industry, this is a different story. Some stock photo sites (not all of them) do have celebrity sports photos, be it posed portraits, images from event coverage, or even of official competitions and tournaments –such as the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup– but they are for editorial use only: you can license them to use in your articles and publications, for illustrative purposes. This is ideal if you run a news website or a sports fan blog that follows a sports icon figure, and you need newsworthy images. But it’s important to note you CANNOT use these celebrity photos to endorse your product or service, or for any kind of marketing strategy. This kind of licensing agreement is obtained through other means and conducted with the sports celebrity you wish to use. 

However, you don’t really need a celebrity sports photo for your visuals to be effective. Non-celebrity photos can be as impactful, as long as they’re high quality, professional, and well within the topic. 

Can I Use Free Stock Photos with Sports Theme

It’s not so much a matter of if you could, but if you should. Free images are under different types of licenses that are a lot looser, and oftentimes no background check has been done to ensure they’re valid. As a result, they are nowhere near as legally safe for commercial purposes as royalty-free images. 

There are times when a free photo can be okay to use. Photos of extreme sports where people are wearing helmets, a man running away from the camera in a generic-like location, an image of a yoga mat in a bamboo-decorated space, overall pictures where people are not recognizable, or not present. For everything else, you’re better off with premium, yet very affordable, royalty-free photos. 

Where Can I Buy Sports Photos

There are several stock photo agencies with great and very rich selections of sporty images. Here are our recommendations! 

Stock Photo Secrets – Budget-Friendly

The www.shop.stockphotosecrets.com homepageStock Photo Secrets Shop is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. It has plenty of sports-themed images and very affordable pricing. 

Photocase – Unconventional

photocase logo w > Where Can I Buy Sports Photos?Photocase is the leader in unique and more artsy stock images, including those with a sports concept. 

Shutterstock – Commercial-Styled 

wwww.shutterstock.com homepageShutterstock is famous for its huge catalog, where you can find millions of images on every topic imaginable with a clear commercial value. They have tons of sports photos to choose from. 

Bonus: They have editorial sports photos, too!

iStock – Affordable Premium 

www.istockphoto.com homepageiStock is renowned for its highly curated library where you find both budget images and high-value shots that are still affordable. They have a large selection of sports stock photos. 

Adobe Stock – Trendy 

Awww.adobe.com homepagedobe Stock thrives to be a very modern and up-to-date image bank. They have great sport-related pictures with a very fresh aesthetic. 

Dreamstime – Convenient 

dreamstime logo e1567194341285 > Where Can I Buy Sports Photos?Dreamstime is a well-established stock photo agency with very convenient pricing and a wide offer in photos and licensing. They have sports images for every need. 

Want help finding a photo? We got you. This is a search feature for Dreamstime below, and we already entered a specific keyword to find Tiger Woods images, all you have to do is hit the button and see what results come up!

Get Your Point Across with Sports Stock Photos

Use sports stock photos for news, reviews, and editorial articles, as well as for marketing and advertising –always verifying your license allows it–. 

You don’t need a celebrity photo to reach out to your audience, but you can still find one in a stock photo site if you know where to look. 

No matter what your project is, there is a sports stock photo that has just what you need. 

Amos Struck
Amos Struck

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on 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 WordPress plugins. 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.

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    Ready» Blog Archive » Purchase sports pictures September 23, 2011 at 7:31 am

    […] Where can i buy sports photos? – Stock Photo Secrets May 3, 2011 … Celebrity sports photos are not required to bring readers to your sports news website or blog. […]

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