March 28, 2020

Top 5 Sites for Royalty-Free Stock Photos, Vector Images, and Videos

The past few years have seen increased emphasis for businesses and freelancers to have a social media presence or digital representation. This has consequently led to the rise of content marketing, blogging and tools of website promotion. All such activities require that the written content be accompanied with good quality photos, videos or vector images in order to grasp the audience’s attention.

While professional photographers use their own photos to promote their work, many organizations and individuals need professional-quality photos to use on a daily basis but lack the time and resources to capture them. Thus, they decide to use websites like Depositphotos to help them gain access to numerous royalty-free stock photos.

There are other websites too which offer the same services. A brief description of the top 5 of these royalty-free stock photos, videos and vector image websites are given below.

1. Shutterstock

One of the oldest and largest royalty-free stock photo websites, Shutterstock allows its customers to use the downloaded images for as long as they want to, provided they pay the one-time fee. Shutterstock has over 200 million photos, videos and vector images in its gallery which can be used by users online. The website is popular among people of all backgrounds, whether social media strategists or artists for the variety of its content and image quality. In order to benefit from its content, users need to sign up with the Shutterstock website.

Shutterstock favors bulk buying and earns money by selling photos in volume. This is the reason why users who wish to purchase specific photos are required to pay a higher price as compared to the ones buying photos in packages.

2. Depositphotos

Depositphotos is high quality and royalty-free image service which comes to its users’ rescue when they are in need of high definition stock photography and other such content. The website consists of 149 million files in its library, ranging from illustrations to abstract images, vintage retro photos to videos. Depositphotos covers almost every genre of stock photography out there. Depositphotos offers its users flexibly-priced plans along with providing the customer support via live chat option which pops up as soon as one log on to their website. Since Depositphotos serves customers worldwide, it is available in multiple languages.

3. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is the third-best royalty-free photos website that facilitates its users into buying stock photos, videos and vector images from its platform. The website allows users to use the Adobe’ Creative Cloud feature to recreate, redesign or curate the material they have downloaded. Adobe Stock offers a free month trial and 10 free photos as a sign-up incentive to its visiting customers. Moreover, the platform also consists of downloadable 3D photos and templates as part of the regular royalty-free content alongside simple stock photos, videos, vector images, and illustrations.

4. Getty Images

Unlike the top 3, Getty Images does not host-vector images as part of their offers on the website. Instead, it offers editorial photography and music clips alongside high-quality stock photos, videos, and illustrations. Getty Images has over 200 million photos and videos in its library archive. Since Getty Images particularly caters market segments like creative professionals, marketing personnel and people from media, therefore, it uploads content accordingly. The website offers premium pricing plans and owns famous stock photography websites as its subsidiaries such as iStock.

5. Pixabay

Available in 26 languages, Pixabay has more than 1 billion subscribers which is one of the largest numbers of users among all other stock photography websites. Founded in 2010, Pixabay offers stunning royalty-free images, videos, and illustration and vector images. All of its libraries are up to date and include images as per the current scenarios or trending issues/interests in the world. In 2019, it was acquired by the famous design platform Canva.  In summation, Pixabay is a highly recommended website since it offers premium quality content with more than 1.5 million images and videos in its library and archives.


Stock photography websites serve as the lender of last resort for many users worldwide. Therefore, it is imperative that they keep their database up-to-date and cover a multitude of genres. However, not all of them measure up to these criteria and lack high-quality photos in addition to not-updated libraries. In fact, some of them even lack variety which is why they did not make it to this list.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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