So you’ve just finished some great content or blog post for your website and now you’re looking for some images to add to it. But you’re struggling to find the right images. Doing a search for stock photos could be the solution to your problem.

What are stock photos?

Let us explain first what stock photos exactly are. Most images you’ll see in magazines, on packaging, posters or websites aren’t created specifically for that product or promotion. What you’re actually seeing are so called stock photos. Stock photos are ready-to-use images which you may use by purchasing the license.

Stock photo websites is the place to find those photos and they make it easy for you to find the right photo. Once found most websites offer various ways to purchase the file. Roughly they can be separated in:

  • Pay As You Go – Pay as you go to download the files you need, when you need them. Often simply as adding the files you want to a shopping cart and pay with a credit card or PayPal account.
  • Credits – Credits are a payment method sold in preset packages. Credits let you pay once for multiple downloads up front and than download files with a click of a button. Note that most credits expire after a year.
  • Subscriptions – Subscriptions give you a set number of credits each day that you can use to download files for the duration of the subscription.

The complete list

Below we’ve listed the complete list of the best stock photo websites, what they’ve got to offer, the purchase options, the results for a search for New Zealand, Basil and Truck photos and the cost of the files.

The 960 pixels sample

Cost for the files vary strong from website to website, ranging from just a few dollars up to a few hundred dollars. But to give you an idea we’ve checked what the cost would be if we’re after a full size photo (minimal 960 pixels wide) suitable for a website based on the cheapest credit pack. As you’ll see we often have to grab a over-sized image (medium size) as  most small size photo dimensions are only around 800 pixels wide thus not suitable for our full size pick (coincidence?).

Without further ado check out the complete list:


01. iStockphoto

screenshot istockphoto.com

iStockphoto is a well known name in the stock photography. They’ve been around more than 10 years.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations
  • Videos
  • Music and sound effects
  • Flash
  • Logos (coming soon)

Next to standard photos iStock also offers exclusive photos (or illustrations etc). Files you’ll only find on iStock.

Purchase options

  • Pay As You Go
  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 20,533 photos
  • Basil – 38,147 photos
  • Trucks – 30,547 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $5.01 - 3 credits
    Dimension: 1700 x 1130 pixels (medium)
  • $50.10 (iStock exclusive) – 30 credits
    Dimension:  1700 x 113 medium

Note. Cost of a file depend on the size and what collection the photo belongs to but to give you an idea. Dimensions are approximates. The iStock exclusive can range from 12 credits up to 55 credits (medium size).


02. 123rf

screenshot 123rf.com123RF offers more than 20 million Royalty-Free digital files ready at a click of a button. Updated with over 30,000 fresh files daily.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations
  • Videos
  • Music and sound effects
  • Logos

Next to the standard photos 123rf offers EVO images – high technical quality photos and some level of exclusivity as the license for EVO image comes at a higher price.

Purchase options

  • Credits (although they call it pay-as-you-go they are credit packs)
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 17,996 photos
  • Basil – 58,558 photos
  • Trucks – 33,899 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $3 – 3 credits (20 credit plan)
    Dimension: 1680 x 1115 pixels (medium-large)
  • $20 – 20 credits (silver – 20 credit plan)
  • Dimension: 2410 x 1670 pixels (large EVO – gold)

Note. The so called EVO images are tagged under a specific price tier. These tiers are Silver (5 to 20 credits), Gold (10 to 40 credits), Titanium (20 to 80 credits) and Platinum (40 to 160 credits). EVO images are only available for Credit download. Subscription downloads not applicable.


03. Bigstock

screenshot bigstockphoto.comBigstock offers over 14 million photographs and illustrations. Bigstock is part of Shutterstock (another biggie on stock photography).

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vectors
  • Illustrations

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

The search results

  • New Zealand - 12,258 photos
  • Basil – 44,384 photos
  • Trucks – 30,225 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $7.00 - 2 credits (10 credit plan)
    Dimension: 1600 x 1060 pixels (medium)

Note. Choosing a big credit plan saves you quite a few bucks. The medium size photo from above  for example in a 100 credit plan cost you $3.38.

The bonus

Free 7 day trial. Download 5 images every day, from their a collection. Any image or vector. Any size. 7 free days. No obligation but (watch!) automatic renewal (unless you cancel the auto renewal).


04. Can Stock Photo

screenshot canstockphoto.comCan Stock has a nice simple pricing structure. No exclusive series or price variations depending on the file. They’rr adding over 10,000 images each day.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations
  • Videos

Purchase options

  • Pay As You Go
  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 12,377 photos
  • Basil – 32,178 photos
  • Trucks – 21,364 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $1.80 – 3 Credits (15 credit pack)
    Dimension: 1600 x 1100 pixels (medium)

Note. The credit packs saves you quite a few bucks compared with pay-as-you-go. Same medium size photo cost you with instant download $3.50.


05. Corbis Images

screenshot of corbisimages.comAll Corbis images are exclusive to them. Images are all shot by leading photographers and of very high quality. Hence their price.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos (Royalty Free and Rights Managed)
  • Vector illustrations

(ps. video can be grabbed from Corbis Motion)

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

The search results

  • New Zealand – 25,679 photos
  • Basil – 3,380 photos
  • Trucks – 28,176 photos

What’s the damage?

  • NZD$360.00
    Dimension: 1600 x 2400 pixels (medium)

06. Crestock

screenshot of crestock.comCrestock offers more than 1.7 million royalty-free creative images.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Illustrations
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Pay As You Go
  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 858 photos
  • Basil – 4,614 photos
  • Trucks – 2,725 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $2 – 2 credits (10 credit pack or pay-as-you-go)
    Dimension: 1780 x 1180 pixels (medium)

Note. Credit pack savings only kick in from the 50 credit pack.


07. Cutcaster

screenshot of cutcaster.comCutcaster offers photos and vectors (illustrations).

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Pay As You Go
  • Credits

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 1,135 photos
  • Basil – 4,192 photos
  • Trucks – 574 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $2.83 - 2 credits (12 credit plan)
  • Dimension: 1690 x 1130 pixels (medium)

 08. Depositphotos

screenshot of depositphotos.comWith more than 12,500,000 photos Depositphotos might have the one you’re after.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations
  • Videos (footage)

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 14,460 photos
  • Basil – 50,253  photos
  • Trucks – 35,021 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $4 – 4 credits (50 credit plan)
    Dimension: 1730 x 1155 pixels (medium)

Note. Credit per photo can change depending on the photo (mostly between 3 and 6 credits for the medium size).


 09. Dreamstime

screenshot of dreamstime.comAround since 2000 and over 17,500,000 photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors Dreamstime got enough to choose from.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 19,968 photos
  • Basil – 41,349 photos
  • Trucks – 4,863 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $18 – 10 credits (11 credit plan)
    Dimension: 2100 x 1400 pixels (medium)

The bonus

A collection of around 500 free stock photos for grabs.


10. Fotolia

screenshot of fotolia.comFotolia offers photos, vectors, videos and logos.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations
  • Videos
  • Logos

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

What’s the damage?

  • $8.40 – 6 credits (10 credit plan)
    Dimension: 1125 x 1685 pixels (medium – silver)

Note: Photos with models/people in it are mostly higher priced, from 10 credits. The Infinite Collection is a library of premium images, higher quality, more exclusive thus higher in price.


11. Getty Images

screenshot of gettyimages.comGetty Images is a leader in photos used for news and editorial articles. Their pricing is dependent on how you’re going to use the photo.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Videos (footage)
  • Music and sound effects (audio)

Purchase options

  • Pay As You Go
  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 36,043 photos
  • Basil – 4,881 photos
  • Trucks - 8,829 photos

What’s the damage?

  • NZ$410
    Dimension: 1183 x 888 pixels (medium)

12. GL  Stock Images

screenshot of graphicleftovers.comGL (Graphic Leftovers) is claiming to have premium stock photos without the premium price.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Pay As You Go ( + deposit option)

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 1,224 photos
  • Basil – 4,320 photos
  • Trucks – 3,792 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $3
    Dimension: 1400 x 900 pixels (medium)

Note. Items in the so called GL Collection sell for more.

The bonus

A collection of around 600+ free stock photos for grabs.


13. Jupiterimages

screenshot of jupiterimages.comJupiterimages a fairly well known name and a subsidiary of Getty Images. Heavy price tag though.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Pay As You Go

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 4,140 photos
  • Basil – 2,340 photos
  • Trucks – 5,700 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $268 - $412
    Dimension: 2122 x 1415 pixels (medium)

14. Photokore

screenshot of photokore.comPhotokore is specializing in Asian images. Although they’ve got all the common shots you can refine you’re search to Asian people.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Illustrations

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand - 6,000 photos
  • Basil - 13,647 photos
  • Trucks - 13,596 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $5 – 5 credits (10 credit plan)
    Dimension: 2122 x 1415 pixels (medium)

The Bonus

They’ve got quite a decent amount (23,396) of free photos and illustrations as well.


15. photos.com

screenshot of photos.comPhotos.com with over 5.5 million royalty-free stock photos and illustrations to choose from. Another division of Getty Images.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Credits (Image Packs)
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 10,529photos
  • Basil – 17,701 photos
  • Trucks – 13,053 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $11.99 – 1 image pack
    Dimension: 2200 x 1400 pixels (medium)

16. Pixmac

screenshot of pixmac.comPixmac offers photos and vector illustrations.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 7,579 photos
  • Basil – 18,193 photos
  • Trucks – 17,733 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $3.99 – 4 credits
    Dimension: 1750 x 1150 pixels (large)

Note. Credit packs saves you quite a few bucks. The image from above cost you $6.79 as pay-as-you-go.

The Bonus

A decent amount (57,928) of free images available as well.


17. Shutterstock

screenshot of shutterstock.comShutterstock offers over 25 million stock photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector
  • Illustrations

Purchase options

  • Credits (Image on demand)
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand - 24,654 photos
  • Basil – 83,156 photos
  • Trucks – 45,101 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $4.08 (12 download pack, small/medium sizes)
    Dimension: 1000 x 665 pixels (medium)

18. Stockfresh

screenshot of stockfresh.comStockfresh from the makers of the free stock photo websites; stock.xchng and stockxpert although not affiliated with the websites anymore.

What’s on offer?

  • Photos
  • Vector illustrations

Purchase options

  • Credits
  • Subscriptions

Some search results

  • New Zealand – 1,517 photos
  • Basil – 8,451 photos
  • Trucks – 290 photos

What’s the damage?

  • $3 – 3 credits (5 credit plan)
    Dimension: 1730 x 1155 pixels (medium)

What else?

  • All prices shown are in USD (unless otherwise mentioned).