The 6 Best Stock Photography Websites

There's a slew of stock photography websites available online. Some have thousands in their collection, while others offer only a handful but royalty-free sites. Whether you're looking into purchasing some photos, or submitting some of your work, these are some of the top stock photography sites that have most prominent online traffic.

1. Getty Images

Getty Images have some of the best conceptual photos found online. The best part about this website is their search function. It's a breeze to find the perfect photo because of the available options. You can narrow down your search almost to the most minute detail. You can search pictures by concept, gender, race, number of people in them and more. The photographs here are definitely of top quality due to the rigorous screening process they have. They also offer illustrations and videos.

2. iStockphoto

Also up there in terms of stock photo popularity and quality, iStockphoto is famous or some of their varying rates. They have affordable photographs going for as little as a dollar each. But if you want some of the higher quality photographs, be prepared to spend more. The good thing about this site is that they also highlight the photographer. They feature a photographer every week on their website, giving more recognition to those who create and submit the pictures. Being a part of their roster of talents will definitely be an advantage.

3. stock.xchng

A highly popular site in for free stock photos, this online portal features a collection of royalty-free images readily available to everyone. This site is owned by Getty Images, so you can be assured of the quality photos you can find here. For contributing photographers, though you can't expect commission, you can surely make a name for yourself because of the heavy traffic that this stock photography site gets.

4. Shutterstock

This site is slowly building up their database and following. They offer monthly and annual subscriptions and also per-photo purchases. You can also purchase images per package of 5 or 25. The good thing about Shutterstock is the flexibility they offer for buyers. Contributors of course get commission for every photograph purchased. They currently have over 12 million images in their gallery. So users will not have trouble with a limited selection.

5. Fotolia

This site has over a million in registered users already, which is an indication of their price bracket and quality collection. Fotolia has not only photographs and illustrations, they also have some really good graphically-enhanced concept photos. Some of their images go for as low as 14 cents each. For easy browsing and purchasing through their databank, you can even get a free downloadable program that you can install in your desktop. With one click, you can instantly access and search Fotolia. The company is popular for their ease of use but online and offline.


The beauty of this stock photography site is their collection of old photos. Not only do they offer new concept pictures, they also have royalty-free black and whites and sepia images. This is a treat for those needing vintage photographs.