Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe Stock. They are well-known stock photo sites widely-used by the creative workers to fulfill their imagery needs. With extremely massive image collections, you can find nearly all kinds of images from those websites. For a certain reason, you might prefer a lesser-known stock photo site instead. No problem, everyone makes a choice. Besides, more options don’t always mean better.
There are several alternatives to popular stock photo sites mentioned above to fulfill the imagery needs of your creative projects. If you have a very tight budget, you can even use free stock photo sites like Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay to Reshot.
If you want to still use a paid stock photo site instead of freebie ones, the following are 6 of the lesser-known alternatives you can consider.
On the top list of the lesser-known stock photos site, we have Storyblocks. This website was initiated by a photographer named Joel Holland in 2009. Even so, Storyblocks doesn’t offer photos only. You can also download other creative materials like footage, illustrations, vectors to audio. According to its founder, this site was created to provide premium creative content that everyone could afford. The business model adopted by Storyblocks is not too different to other similar websites in which it also adopts a subscription model. The cheapest plan offered by Storyblocks is $4/month (billed annually). With this plan, you are allowed to download 5 files (photos, vectors, & illustrations) per month.
Storyblocks doesn’t have extremely massive collections like popular stock photo sites like Shutterstock or iStock. At the time of writing, it has less than 1 million images. Here are the stats of Storyblocks at the time of writing (September 30, 2019).
- Footage: 854,000+
- Audios: 125,000+
- Images: 427,000+
2. Focused Collection
As mentioned earlier, more options don’t always mean better. When it comes to selecting an image for your creative project, it can be a bit time consuming to select the best-suited image. Amount is not what Focused Collection wants to highlight. Instead, this website wants to focus on the quality of the images. All images available on the Focused Collection website are hand-picked by selected artists. It has less than 1 million images (about 600,000).
Focused Collection itself is a “side project” of Depositphotos. While Depositphotos has tons of image collections, Focused Collections offers fewer images with more conceptual collections. Basically, the images on Focused Collection are taken from Depositphotos. But again, they have been curated very carefully by the artists at Depositphotos. The business model adopted by Focused Collection is a bit similar to Getty Images in which images can be bought individually. You don’t have to be a monthly subscriber to buy an image from Focused Collection.
Not all images on the Rawpixel website are paid images. Some images can be downloaded for free, but you still need a Rawpixel account to download them. if you often search for images on Pixabay or Unsplash, chances are you ever spotted images from Rawpixel. Some free images from Rawpixel are available on Pixabay and Unsplash.
The collections offered by Rawpixel are not limited to photo. It also offers PSD files and vectors. The pricing options offered by Rawpixel are affordable. With only $5 per month (or $3 if billed annually), you are allowed to download as many files as you want. Whether photos, PSDs or vectors. Rawpixel is especially a great option if you have social care since 10 % of your membership fee will be donated to Hope for Children.
PhotoDune is one of the members of Envato Market, a collection of marketplace platforms. Other websites under the Envato Market umbrella include Themeforest and CodeCanyon. PhotoDune itself specifically sells photos. It is a great stock photo site if you are not into the subscription model. Photos on the PhotoDune website can be bought individually at a very cheap price. Only $5 per photo. Each photo you bought from PhotoDune can be used for 500,000 product copies, but you can’t use it on merchandise unless you buy an image with an Extended License.
5. Stock Photos by Canva
Canva is an online design tool that you can use to create flyers, social media content, book cover and so on. When creating a design with Canva, you can add a photo. Canva itself offers both free photos and paid photos. Not only you can use photos available on the Canva library to create a design on Canva. You can also download the photo you like and use it for a project you are creating with other tools.
Canva offers two options on how you can download a photo. You can subscribe to the pro version of Canva to use or download a photo. Alternatively, you can pay $10 to download an individual photo without having to be a Canva Pro subscriber. Visit this page to take a look at the photo collections offered by Canva.
Another less-known stock photo website you can consider if you are you are looking for a new photo for your project is Photocase. This site describes itself as an alternative to conventional stock photo sites. The concept of Photocase is pretty similar to Focused Collection in which every photo is hand-picked by the Photocase editors. Photocase emphasizes quality over quantity. The photos available on Photocase can be bought individually without having to be a subscriber. Each photo is sold by $28 for middle size (2000px). In addition to direct purchase, Photocase also offers credit bundles, allowing you to buy several images at once.