Stock photos or graphics are indispensable in various areas – be it for professional projects, creative work or simply for the visual enhancement of content. The internet offers a variety of outstanding stock agencies that provide a wide range of high-quality stock photos for every need. Below we provide an overview of some of the most interesting stock photo agencies that will be relevant in 2024.
Since 2019 the picture agency Twenty20 has been part of Envato Elements. The picture agency has expanded the Envato portfolio by more than 20 million photos. Envato is recommended for people who depend on a variety of media formats for their daily creative work. Here the picture agency it is a true paradise. For just 14,50 € per month you get access to many millions of photos, vector graphics, videos, sound files and much more. Another important plus point is the simple and fair licensing model.
Meanwhile the diverse Alamy collection includes more than 232 million stock images, vector graphics, videos and 360° videos and panoramic images. Besides common stock material, Alamy also offers daily updated photos for editorial use and historical photos. No subscription is necessary and images are available from 18,00 €.
Photocase is one of Germany’s small, but excellent stock agencies. The agency is based in Berlin and offers a manageable, yet high-quality and unusual stock photo portfolio. Photocase is the perfect contact point for those seeking photos off the beaten track. Photos are available for individual purchase from € 14. With credit packages, licenses are available for approximately € 1.50 per photo.
Have you had enough of those picture agencies where everything looks the same? Then Stocksy could be the right choice for you. Stocksy United is an art-orientated stock agency dedicated to providing authentic and inspiring content. The high-quality collection, carefully curated by hand, allows users to effortlessly discover unique and relevant images without having to search through endless pages. As an artist co-operative, Stocksy ensures fair payment and fosters a sense of community, which is reflected in passionately created, premium content.
istockphoto is part of the large, well-known photo agency Getty Images and is one of the major international stock photo agencies. Millions of photos, graphics and videos are available. There are cheap photos (Essential Collection), which you have probably already come across one or the other time, but also high-quality & expensive stock photos (Signature Collection) which are less widespread. In a credit package of, for example, 12 licences, images are available for around 7 € / photo. If you choose a subscription package you can buy the photos at a lower price.
Shotshop.com is a German picture agency. Photos can be found either by using the category sorting or a regular search. The cost per stock photo starts at 0,99 €/licence.
Plainpicture is the right stock agency for all those who are looking for extraordinary and fresh pictures. Picture prices are in the premium segment just like picture quality. The perfect picture agency for individualists.
Adobe Stock is also 2022 one of the most powerful international stock agencies, with nearly millions of images. The concept is comparable with istockphoto. The advantage for Adobe users is that the portal is already integrated into the creative cloud. For example, a monthly package (can be cancelled monthly) with 40 images is available for 99.99 €. In addition, credit packs are available for purchase, which are valid for one year.
Millions of digital contents belong to the database of the 123RF picture agency. For an annual subscription of €299, you can download an unlimited number of images. Credit packages are also offered in addition to subscriptions. Besides photos, the platform also offers videos, vector and audio files. With Big Data and artificial intelligence, the stock agency also promises better results in image searches. In addition, online tools are offered for simple image editing with which, for example, backgrounds can be removed.
IMAGO. a Berlin-based stock photo agency, offers an impressive collection of 300 million images and videos for licensing from a variety of fields including news, sports, entertainment and creativity. Thanks to a global network of partners, another 200,000 images are added daily, ensuring always up-to-date coverage of important global events. Depending on the type of use, image licenses are available from as little as €9. In addition, they offer special image packages that allow additional savings through their use.
Zoonar is a German picture agency based in Hamburg. The portfolio contains more than 9 million pictures. In addition to photos, many graphics are also offered. The prices per licence start at 3 € per image. The search function has few sorting options compared to other picture agencies.
Dreamstime is an English-language stock photo agency with a selection of 121 million stock files and offers various subscription models in different sizes. Selected stock photos are even available completely free of charge.
This picture agency is in the medium price segment and scores with its attractive subscription models and uncomplicated licences. The pictures also make a very high-quality impression.
Shutterstock offers its users more than 300 million stock files. In addition to stock photos and vector graphics, there are also audio tracks and video material available for download. For blogs and media, there is also a large selection of high-quality editorial photos.
The picture agency Pullpix serves an interesting niche in the agency segment and offers photos in the gigapixel range. So here is the right place for everyone for whom big is not big enough.
Jumpstory from Denmark offers unlimited downloads from a database of 20 million images and 2 million videos for €25 per month. With artificial intelligence, Jumpstory wants to change the stock photo industry and help users find more authentic images away from mainstream. All images can be used commercially. As a bonus, the platform offers legal insurance on the images used.
depositphotos was founded in New York in 2009 and offers a huge range of photos, graphics, videos and music. It’s ideal if you need a centralised one-stop provider where you can find everything.
If you are looking for an inexpensive provider, you should take a look at the stockphoto.com photo agency. Here you get access to their complete image archive for just $20 a month.
8 tips for finding a good stock agency for photos
Finding a suitable stock agency for photos can be quite challenging due to the numerous options available. Here are some tips that can help in choosing the right stock photo agency:
- Research and reviews: The search should start online and take into account reviews and testimonials. Forums and social media can provide valuable information about other clients’ experiences with specific agencies.
- Quality of images: The quality of the images is very important. A good agency should offer high-resolution images that look professional. Many agencies offer thumbnails that can be viewed before making a purchase.
- Image variety: a good stock photo agency should offer a wide variety of images from different categories and styles. Whether looking for specific themes, models, landscapes or abstract images, the agency should be able to meet those needs.
- License Terms: License terms should be carefully reviewed. It is important that the images can be used in the manner desired. Some agencies offer royalty-free images, while others may have certain restrictions.
- Pricing: different agencies have different pricing structures. Some offer flat rates, while others have flexible pricing models depending on the size or resolution of the image. Prices should be compared and the agency with the best value for money should be selected.
- Customer Service: Good customer service is also important. The agency should be easy to contact and provide quick responses to questions.
- Search capabilities: A good stock photo agency should have an efficient and user-friendly search function that makes it quick and easy to find the images you need.
- Sustainability and ethics: care should be taken to ensure that the stock agency adheres to ethical standards and pays photographers fairly, for example.
Following these tips can help find a stock agency that meets the requirements and provides high-quality images for projects.