Best Stock Photo Sites For Designers

Do you want to find the best stock photo sites for designers in 2020? We have all the information you need.

The best stock photo sites these days do a lot more than just sell stock photos. Many are one-stop shops for all kinds of stock media, like vectors, illustrations, icons, audio, video and more. This makes these stock agencies a designers best friend.

Our guide to the best stock photo sites will let you know what to expect from each one.

Microstock Agency Pricing Comparison

Review Updated: 2020

Best Stock Photo Sites For Designers List

So here it is, the best stock photo sites for designers in 2020:

  • Shutterstock – Overall best stock photo site for designers with amazing stock photos, vectors, videos & more
  • Depositphotos – A close second, offering some very cheap plans to suit every designer
  • Dreamstime – Large variety of plans and credit options, also great for one-off stock photo purchases
  • Adobe Stock – Brilliant collection of stock media, especially great if you rely heavily on Adobe Creative Cloud integration
  • Pond5 – The best option if you’re looking primarily for stock video footage
  • Envato Market – Amazingly diverse range of stock assets, from stock photos to WordPress themes and plugins
  • Sign Elements – Perfect choice for sign writers / graphic designers who deal a lot with vehicle wraps (plus we have a discount!)
  • Stockfresh – Great for those who prefer to support smaller companies and don’t want to be overwhelmed with bloated image libraries (plus we have a discount!)
  • CanStockPhoto – More of a clip-art style site, but also featuring stock photos and video footage

Please note with pricing, that you may end up seeing a slightly different price on the microstock agency itself. Why is this?

Each agency handles things differently, but some of them will provide localised pricing. Eg: a buyer in Europe may be charged a different amount to a buyer in America or Australia.

We have tried to present prices based on the US dollar.

If you’re looking for some discount coupons for the best stock photo sites, be sure to check out our microstock coupons page!

Shutterstock

Shutterstock boasts one of the largest collections of high-quality microstock photos and vectors in the world.

If there is a particular image you need you’ll find it at here no matter what. Most weeks they have around 1 million new images added. Content is about as fresh as it gets. They are gradually adding new content streams as well, such as footage and more recently, music.

You can pretty much find everything you need here in the one spot to put together your new presentation, website, brochure or viral video campaign.

  • Massive collection of images
  • Strict reviewing process means high-quality images
  • Very reputable company that’s been around for years, now publicly listed
  • Excellent search engine that finds relevant content 99% of the time
  • Reasonable pricing for both buyer and contributor
  • Monthly options probably the best choice around for high turnover agency’s and graphic designers
  • Get 10% off all plans using our exclusive code MCSTM10 & our link below!
Shutterstock logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Video Footage

  • Audio or Music

  • Some Free Images

Sample Pricing

5 images / $49

350 images monthly / $169

View pricing

Depositphotos

Depositphotos really is the one to watch in the microstock industry at the moment. They have risen from small beginnings to now adding hundreds of thousands of images per week! That’s a lot of fresh content, and makes them one of the bigger players now, alongside Shutterstock.

Also good for stock image buyers is that Depositphotos regularly offer huge discounts or even free trials of their subscription plans. So not only will you find heaps of images to choose from, but you’ll probably save yourself some serious money in the process. The website is clean and modern, and it seems they are constantly trying to tweak things to improve it even further.

They offer the usual mix of photos and vectors from all the industry leaders, as well as video footage. They tend to accept a higher amount of images than some other big agencies, so you may find a little more variety here than at other agencies – along with more similar images to sift through.

  • Free trials of subscription plans means nothing to lose
  • Collection is expanding rapidly
  • Probably the cheapest of all the big agencies
  • Advanced search filtering options
  • Easy to use website
Depositphotos logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Video Footage

  • Some Free Images

Sample Pricing

10 images monthly / $19.99

75 images monthly / $69

View pricing

Dreamstime

Dreamstime is a well established agency that has a slightly different formula to most of its competitors. While you can buy images using all the usual methods such as subscription and credit packages, the value of what plan you buy lies in which image you choose to purchase. Confused?

Every Dreamstime image comes with a ‘level’ associated with it – from 0 to 5. Level 0 means the file has never sold, while level 5 means it has sold over 25 times! Thus, not only can you elect to buy images that haven’t been used before, but you will save money in doing so. The more popular the file, the more credits you need to purchase it. Of course, the very best files are likely to be level 4 or level 5 files, but even so, the pricing for these levels is still reasonable.

Like most top agencies, Dreamstime attracts all the top contributors as they have proven to be a good, reputable agency to deal with. So that means the best images from the best artists are to be found there. Their flexible package approach makes them an ideal choice for anyone from bloggers to advertising agencies.

  • ‘Level’ system means you can spend what you want per image, making your credits go further
  • Flexible pricing structure allows anyone to purchase images without a huge outlay
  • Well respected agency with good buyer and contributor relations
  • All the best artists include their work here
  • RAW camera files are made available to purchase if you need the utmost quality
Dreamstime logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Video Footage

  • Audio or Music

  • Some Free Images

Sample Pricing

15 credits / $18

50 images monthly/ $79

View pricing

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock boasts a very large image library and provides a lot of good reasons to entice buyers. Their pricing is very competitive for starters. The website itself is pretty straightforward, but provides surprising complexity for image searches if you want it. All the big artists are on board, so you are getting high quality content.

Adobe Stock provides photos, vectors and footage, with some exclusive content.

  • Massive collection of images
  • Tight integration with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Strict reviewing process means high-quality images
  • Very reputable company that’s been around for years
  • Excellent search engine that finds relevant content
  • Variety of payment options and credit or subscription plans
  • Video footage is available
  • Huge amounts of fresh content daily
Adobe Stock logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Video Footage

  • Audio or Music

  • Some Free Images

  • Other Stock Media

Sample Pricing

10 images monthly / $29.99

40 images monthly / $79.99

View pricing

Pond5

Pond5 is not exactly new to the stock scene, but unless you have been buying video footage for some time it might still be an unfamiliar name to you. For quite a while they specialised in video footage, audio and a few other items, while avoiding photos and vectors completely. But that when that changed, a lot of photographers and vector artists got on board quickly due to Pond5’s excellent reputation in the footage market.

They now sell a huge variety of different media, and have a collection that is growing furiously. You can buy single images easily, without needing to deposit more than you need to or purchase a subscription plan. Sellers on Pond5 set their own prices, so you will no doubt find something that is within your budget.

Pond5 also has a huge selection of free Public Domain images and footage. This is a huge win for documentaries etc that need vintage images.

  • Massive collection of all sorts of stock media
  • Fair-trade approach to their contributors
  • Very easy to buy single images
  • Prices set by the contributor
  • Huge public domain section
Pond5 logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Video Footage

  • Audio or Music

  • Some Free Images

  • Other Stock Media

Sample Pricing

1  image / $5

$565  credit / $500

View pricing

Envato Market

PhotoDune you may never have heard of. But what about ThemeForest, VideoHive or GraphicRiver? PhotoDune is in fact just one small part of the massively successful Envato network of websites. Their combined marketplaces sell pretty much everything you can imagine from a stock point of view. The quality is high and much of the content is exclusive, although PhotoDune is mostly comprised of non-exclusive images.

The really great thing as a buyer at PhotoDune is that when you deposit some money with them, you can use it on any of there websites, which means you can buy anything from photos to website templates to logo’s.

The big change since PhotoDune’s launch came in early 2017 when they removed around 80% of their images and basically started from scratch. They now have a single price regardless of image dimension. And a lot less contributors. But that could be a good thing, as they are trying to build a stronger catalogue of images. Quality over quantity is the new approach, which for some buyers will be spot on.

  • Simple pricing structure with low prices (especially Extended Licenses, really, really cheap)
  • One account gives you access to all their other marketplaces as well
  • Clean, functional site with fast checkout
  • Huge variety of different stock media available e.g.: plugins, scripts, logo’s etc
  • Good choice for buying just a couple of images
  • Aiming for quality over quantity
Envato Market logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Video Footage

  • Audio or Music

  • Some Free Images

  • Other Stock Media

Sample Pricing

1 XXL image / $5

View pricing

Sign Elements

Sign Elements is a lesser known stock agency, but that doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose.

Sign writers, signage experts, graphic designers who specialise in vehicle wraps will all find Sign Elements a perfect fit. Why?

While they offer all the usual stock photos and vectors that you would expect, they have a couple of tricks up their sleeve.

They specialise in vehicle wraps & templates, having over 20,000 vehicle templates available for designers to use. In addition, they offer vinyl-ready graphics and fonts too!

As a special offer for our readers, Sign Elements is offering 15% off all plans. Simply use our link below to score your discount.

  • Photos & vectors
  • Pricing structure is logical and very reasonable
  • Specialised assets for vehicle templates, wraps and fonts
  • Discount available
SignElements

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Vehicle Wraps & Templates

  • Fonts

  • Some Free Images

Sample Pricing

1 month full access / $39

1 year full access / $395

View pricing

Stockfresh

Stockfresh certainly works in harmony with its name. Their website is clean and sleek, with no clutter. Their content, which includes photos and vector art, is closely reviewed and image quality is high. Packages and pricing are clear and understandable. All in all, it really does feel like a fresh new era in the increasingly confusing stock photography world. They aren’t aiming to be the biggest agency out there, but they seem focused on being one of the easiest ones to use.

As an offer for Microstock Man readers, they are giving 5 free credits just for signing up! Now that’s too good to refuse.

Plus they are very ‘fair trade’ with their approach to contributors, so you can shop freely knowing you are supporting a great agency with great ethics. They also seem quite good at client interaction (increasingly rare!), responding quickly to emails and questions. If you are looking for a more personal approach to buying images, a smaller agency like Stockfresh might be your best bet.

  • 5 free credits just for signing up from Microstock Man!
  • Clean, easy to use website
  • High quality images from the best in the business
  • Good customer service
  • Excellent range of payment options
  • Smart subscriptions for web designers
Stockfresh logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

Sample Pricing

50 credits / $44.99

10 images monthly / $30

View pricing

CanStockPhoto

CanStockPhoto is a relatively small microstock agency that just refuses to be intimidated by the big guys. It has been around for as long, if not longer, than many of the bigger players in the industry. Despite not rising to the highest ranks itself, CanStockPhoto still manages to draw a good crowd of buyers and sellers. It has remained a player, when so many other agencies have come and gone. Obviously, they are doing something right from a buyers point of view.

Despite the website itself looking quite dated, CanStockPhoto offers buyers all the usual options of credits and subscriptions, but with the added option of easily buying a single image on demand. This is a great feature, for those just wanting the odd image or two without any commitment.

  • Many payment options
  • Many types of downloads, including single image on demand
  • Footage is now available
  • Decent search filtering options
  • Supporting a smaller-scale operation, rather than a huge corporation
CanStockPhoto logo

Stock Media

  • Stock Photos

  • Vectors & Graphics

  • Video Footage

  • Some Free Images

Sample Pricing

35 credits / $25

10 images per day / $39

View pricing

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