ShutterStock vs Fotolia vs Depositphotos vs Alamy: Which Stock Photo Site is Best?

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ShutterStock has 70 million plus royal-free stock photos plus 2 million video clips and music. Fotolia has a collection of 67 million photos and images that start at the lowest prices. Depositphotos allows customers to roll over unused credits to the next


ShutterStock was founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer and has their headquarters in New York City. They are a stock photography, stock footage and a stock music provider with a library of over 70 million royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors. ShutterStock also has over 2 million video clips and pieces of music that they make available for license. They are the leading provider of digital imagery operating in 20 languages and 150 countries.

ShutterStock Features

ShutterStock is a great place for anyone to look for royalty-free photos, illustrations, videos and music pieces that you can use for any type of project. You can begin your search on ShutterStock by looking through the following main categories:

  • Photos
  • Vectors
  • Editorial
  • Illustrations
  • Footage
  • Music
  • Icons

ShutterStock has many categories for you to search through, making it easy to find the exact product you are looking for. Once you click on a main category, you can further refine your search by New, Popular, Relevant or Undiscovered. A few of their main categories include:

  • Abstract
  • Animals
  • Buildings / Landmarks
  • Infographics
  • Beauty / Fashion
  • People
  • Business / Finance
  • Food and Drink
  • Interiors
  • Nature
  • Parks and Outdoors
  • Vintage

Once you sign up on ShutterStock, you can also receive free content every week and get a free vector of the week download. You will always be able to find what you need on ShutterStock as they add 440,000 stock images per week.

ShutterStock Pricing

ShutterStock offers several pricing plans subscriptions for you to choose from.


Basic License

Enhanced License


2 Images



5 Images



25 Images



Their enhanced license is for images for merchandise or print runs over 500,000.

ShutterStock also has several other plans:

  • Professional pricing plan for 750 images per month at a cost of $199 per month for a 1-year subscription, and 350 images per month for a price of $169 per month.
  • Team subscriptions include 750 images starting at 2 users for $299 per month for a 1-year subscription. They also offer 3 user and 4 or more user plans.

ShutterStock Pros and Cons

ShutterStock has far more pros than cons including:

ShutterStock Pros

  • Offers very high resolution images available.
  • They offer a wide variety of subscription plans.
  • They are one of the leading stock photo sites that include editorial, sports and celebrity photos.
  • They also offer iPhone, iPad and Android apps for those that need photos and images quickly on the go.
  • Phone and email support.
  • User submissions are accepted.
  • ShutterStock is best for agencies and companies that are looking for royalty free images, and stock photos.

ShutterStock Cons

  • The only real con with ShutterStock is that their subscription prices are rather high compared to other photo and image websites.

What Customers Say

Customers normally love the high resolution pictures from ShutterStock, but there are many complaints that deal with their subscription practices and customer service. The main complaint with ShutterStock is their auto renewal subscription practice, and it seems most customers are not aware of this until it shows up on their credit cards.


Fotolia is owned by Adobe and has one of the largest collections of royalty free photos, illustrations, images, vectors and video clips on the internet. At this time, Fotolia has over 67 million images and illustrations that are great for any project including articles, brochures, reports and slides.

Fotolia Categories

Fotolia has many categories for customers photo needs including:

  • People
  • Drinks
  • Animals
  • Food
  • Buildings and Architecture
  • Business
  • The Environment
  • States of Mind
  • Graphic Resources
  • Hobbies and Leisure
  • Industry
  • Landscapes
  • Lifestyles
  • Plants and Flowers
  • Culture and Religion
  • Science
  • Sports
  • Social Issues
  • Transportation
  • Technology
  • Travel

 Fotolia Plans and Prices

Fotolia offers several plans and prices that customers can choose from. The following plans offer something for everyone depending on your monthly and daily photography needs.


On Demand

Monthly Pack

Daily Subscription


$14 or 10 credits

$25 allows 5 downloads a month

$249 allows 25 download a day

Buy images from






Core and instant collections

Core and instant collections






All sizes

All sizes

All sizes


Web size to full HD


Available licenses




Expiration period

1 year

Quota never expires with rollover

Unused quota expires daily

Fotolia also offers several other plans and prices that include:

  • Monthly Pack Plan: This plan provides many options that start at $20 and includes 10 M images or 5 XXL images. This plan goes all the way to $640 that allows 2,000 M images or 1,000 XXL images.
  • Corporate Plan: This plan includes different licensing options, how many users and print run options. There are four pricing plans and customers need to request a quote for each plan.
  • Buy Credits: Customers can buy credits as they need. Their credits start at 10 credits for $11.20 and go up to 9,400 credits for $5,600.

Fotolia also offers the following subscription plan.

  • 1 month plan - $249 allows 750 XXL images
  • 3 month plan - $695 allows 2,250 XXL images
  • 6 months plan - $1,285 includes 4,500 XXL images
  • 1 year plan costs $2,361 and includes 9,125 XXL images

Fotolia Pros and Cons

Fotolia has many pluses and a few cons including:

Fotolia Pros:

  • Offers 67 million images, vectors, illustrations and video clips.
  • Includes a large variety of various pricing plan options.
  • Their website is easy to navigate with all types of filtering options to help customers find exactly what they want.
  • Accepts user submissions.
  • Easily integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox and Google Drive.
  • They offer telephone customer support.

Fotolia Coupons


Depositphotos is a company where customers can by royalty free stock photos for businesses, schools and more. They offer plans where the customer can purchase one picture by size, or buy 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year subscriptions where the customer can have daily access to photos in stock. They offer categories such as Abstract, Animals, Business, Cities, Computers, Education and so much more. On Depositphotos the customer can also sell their own photos as well.

Their headquarters in are Florida with tech support in the Ukraine. They serve customers all over the world and offer support in 14 different languages.

Depositphotos Features

Registration for Depositphotos is free and gives you access to browse 55,014,631 of professional royalty-free stock photos, vector images and videos. Find great files from the world’s top contributors at the lowest prices

Depositphotos Plans Features

Depositphotos offers the following plans, features and prices:

Monthly Plan:

  • Download limit renews every month
  • No daily download limits. Download images at any moment within a month
  • Full access to our entire library
  • Download photos and vectors (JPG, EPS and AI)
  • All file sizes included
  • Images are provided by the Standard license:
  • Printed or digital use for anything
  • Use for merchandising and advertising
  • Print runs up to 500,000 impressions
  • Life-long rights to use images
  • Download photos and vectors of any size, up to your monthly limit.

Flexible plan that includes:

  • Unused downloads transfer month to month
  • Full access to our entire library
  • Download photos and vectors (JPG, EPS and AI)
  • All file sizes included
  • Images are provided by the Standard license
  • Printed or digital use for anything
  • Use for merchandising and advertising
  • Print runs up to 500,000 impressions
  • Lifetime rights to use images
  • Unused downloads transfer year to year
  • Full access to our entire library
  • Download photos and vectors (JPG, EPS and AI)
  • All file sizes included
  • Images are provided by the Standard license:
  • Printed or digital use for anything
  • Use for merchandising and advertising
  • Print runs up to 500,000 impressions
  • Lifetime rights to use images

They also offer an On Demand plan that includes a standard and an extended license. This plan allows images for resale or print runs over 500,000.

Depositphotos Prices

  • Monthly subscriptions start at $69 per month for 75 images or $699 annually for 75 images per month. This plan goes up to 750 images per month for $199 or $1,999 annually.
  • Flexible plan starts at $29 per month for 30 hi-res images per month or $299 annually.
  • On Demand standard license starts at $49 per month for 10 images and goes up to 100 images for $299.
  • On demand extended license prices start at 1 image for $89 and goes up to 25 images for $1,599. This plan allows images for resale or print runs over 500,000.

DepositPhotos Coupons


Alamy was founded in 1999 in Oxford by James West and his uncle, Mike Fisher, and today has offices in India, United States and sales teams in Germany and Australia.

Alamy Features

Alamy contains the world’s largest collection of images with more than 90 million high quality stock images, vectors and videos.

They are very simple to use and hassle free because customers do not need subscriptions, credits and no need to register. They offer just a simple pricing plan with prices starting as low as $19.99.

Alamy has 80,000 fresh and new stock images added every day. Their content is sourced from around world from over 50,000 individual photographers and 600 agencies from 170 countries. Their website also includes a great blog and a help page to help you find that perfect image for any project you are working on.

Their main categories of products are:

  • News and Entertainment
  • Vectors and Illustrations
  • HD Video Showreel
  • Historical

Alamy Image and photo categories include:

  • Royalty free
  • Art
  • Abstract
  • Architecture
  • Book covers
  • Backgrounds
  • Cultures
  • Concepts
  • Everyday life
  • Families
  • Food
  • Love
  • India
  • Landscapes
  • Lifestyles
  • Sports and fitness
  • Travel
  • Wildlife

 Selling Your Images on Alamy

Photographers can earn money on Alamy by selling their images, designs and photos. Alamy will pay 50% for every sale of your images. Alamy allows photographers to sell all types of photos that include footage, live news images and vectors.

They have a great blog for everyone to learn from and an FAQ to get you started selling your images. Their 50% pay for each sale is above what most other companies will pay for photos, images and vectors.

Alamy Prices

Alamy has different prices plans depending on the category of photos and images, but for the most part, they have the following prices:

  • Personal use - $19.99
  • Presentation - $19.99
  • Website - $49.99
  • Magazines, newsletters and books - $69.99
  • Marketing packages for small businesses - $59.99
  • Marketing packages for large businesses - $199.99

Each pricing category includes a description of what uses are allowed for the photos and images. For example, personal use explains that it is great for personal prints, cards and gifts or reference for the artists. Personal use is only for non-commercial use and not for resale.

The website price explains that this license is for websites, apps, social media and blogs (excluding advertising), and is good worldwide for 5 years. In fact, most of their licenses are good for 5 years, after that time period, they do not say what happens.

Customers can also choose from the following rights managed licensing rights:

  • Advertising and promotions
  • Consumer magazines and advertising
  • Image size
  • Print run
  • Inserts
  • Placement
  • Duration
  • Location
  • Industry sector

Each category will give customers many more options for that category of uses for the photos and images.