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Top 10 Microstock Sites for Contributors and Buyers (#1 Is Our Absolute Favorite)

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Top 10 Microstock Sites for Contributors and Buyers (#1 Is Our Absolute Favorite)

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These days, images are essential to any type of content, whether it be for a blog post, website, or advertisement. Photos act as visuals that allow readers to retain information and can make reading experiences easier and more enjoyable.

Finding the perfect stock photos to use in your content can be difficult but with microstock sites, finding the images you need has become much easier. The emergence of these sites makes it possible for you to find the perfect photos without spending too much money or time.

In this article, we will provide an overview of microstock sites, share the different types available out there, and dive into the pros and cons of contributing to/buying from them before listing our top ten favorites.

CreativeBooster recommends: Shutterstock's Free Trial

Introduction To Microstock Sites – What Are They And Why Are They Popular?

Microstock sites are online databases where photographers submit their own royalty-free images that can be purchased by buyers in various sizes depending on their needs. This way, buyers can access a large library of images at an affordable price while photographers get paid for their work.

    1. iStock Photo – Best for Contributors and Buyers
    2. Shutterstock – Easy to Use Interface
    3. Adobe Stock – Excellent Content Searchability
    4. Pond5 – Great Pricing Options
    5. Dreamstime – Comprehensive Collection of Images
    6. Depositphotos – Simple Registration Process
    7. 123RF – Extensive Selection of Royalty-Free Photos and Graphics
    8. Getty Images – Worldwide Coverage and Recognition
    9. Alamy – Professional Quality Content
    10. Creative Market - Creative Resources For Creative Professionals

Unlike traditional stock websites where users may have to pay high prices for only one image, microstock websites offer customers bulk discounts for multiple uses of each photo – making them a favored option by many people. Additionally, with easy search functions and filter options built into each website, customers don’t have to go through hundreds of pages in order to find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently.

Different Types Of Microstock Sites – Subscriptions, Credit-Packs And Royalty-Free

When using microstock websites to buy or sell high-quality photos there are three types that you should consider: subscriptions which allow you access to a limited amount of photo downloads every month; credit packs which enable unlimited downloads; and lastly royalty-free services which charge per download instead of per usage rights like most credit packs.

Pros And Cons Of Contributing To/Buying From Microstock Sites

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with microstock sites regardless if you’re buying or selling stocks on them. On one hand, contributors benefit from the exposure they gain when their uploads are used across multiple platforms; however, due to the competition, they may not see significant returns on each sale they make initially as prices tend to be low compared to traditional stock libraries. As a buyer, there is less fear about copyright infringements as all content is licensed but due to how some collections are organized sometimes finding specific content can take longer than desired.

Overview Of The 10 Best Microstock Sites For Contributors And Buyers

iStock Photo – Best for Contributors and Buyers

iStock Photo is known as one of the biggest players among microsites offering huge numbers of both royalty-free photos and videos; making it ideal if you’re just starting out in photography or design work and needing cheap stock imagery to use quickly without having to pay expensive amounts upfront like other larger organizations would require.


Currently, iStockPhoto offers monthly subscription plans starting at $50/month with up 15 downloads included per month as well as several credit pack packages so customers can save up money while still downloading Unlimited amounts after purchasing an appropriate package size.

Shutterstock – Easy To Use Interface

Shutterstock provides its clients with over 100 million commercial digital images along with exclusive licenses so customers don’t have to worry about extra payments like those found within royalty-free banks.


While Shutterstock's rates may be higher than other microsites, they still remain quite low when compared to traditional organizations. Furthermore, their method of calculating fees makes it much easier for customers dealing with budget constraints. Therefore most people can access the media from Shutterstock regularly and without breaking the bank.

Adobe Stock - Professional Quality

Adobe Stock is one the most well-known microstock websites available and is especially popular amongst professional graphic designers due to its high-quality library photos and videos as well faster search engine built using Adobe’s intelligent technology.

Adobe Stock

Specializing primarily in all types of creative media, Adobe Stock offers a variety of subscription plans which give unlimited downloads depending on the size package purchased, but what differentiates it from other microstock sites is how Adobe Stock allows customers to easily save their search results for future use and quickly return them when needed.

Also, one of the best features of Adobe Stock is that in addition to being able to license media items, customers can also purchase licenses from individual images as well as purchase credits which can be used towards future downloads.

Pond5 – Great Pricing Options

Pond 5 allows customers to access over 8 million royalty-free media which creators submit at their own discretion; this means prices can vary greatly depending on the type of media you’re looking for and it also doesn’t have any monthly subscription-based charges so customers can apply budgets and buy only what they need.


One of the most attractive features of Pond here is how anyone can sell their own photos, videos, and music through a few simple steps required in order to become a contributor quickly without having to deal with complex registration processes elsewhere.

Furthermore, some media buyers even get access to exclusive discounts from community-leading brands when stocking up on particular types of stock images or videos during promotional periods.

Dreamstime – Comprehensive Collection Of Images

Dreamtime offers an extensive selection of free and paid images with many contributors delivering unique collections like those featuring artists sculpting in virtual reality or tackling new photography projects with drones.


Plus their site design makes it easier to identify specific categories more quickly than other providers do often allowing customers to search through extensive image collections faster too.

Dreamtime also boasts a great customer support team and its own contributor program for customers who want to stock their own library or use images from others in order to create a unique digital portfolio.

Depositphotos – Simple Registration Process

Depositphotos has been a go-to source for customers seeking high-quality, royalty-free images, vectors, illustrations, and video. Their organized database makes it simple to navigate quickly through their expansive collection of over 25 million items – perfect even for beginner photographers who don't have much experience managing large datasets.


With Depositphotos you can easily get what you need in one place whether that be just a single image or larger packages with multiple downloads once your account is established.

With instant download options available across web app mobile variants users rarely ever wait more few seconds before being able to complete the purchase request they made while registering a new account takes no longer than five minutes saving valuable time compared to sites that may take longer to register fully before browsing library imagery!

123RF – Extensive Selection Of Royalty-Free Photos And Graphics

123RF has been providing customers with a large selection of royalty-free photos, illustrations, and vector graphics since 2004. They are known for its comprehensive library that is easy to use as well as flexible pricing models which means customers can select the images they need without breaking the bank.


Plus, 123RF is constantly adding more to its collection offering customers access to new content such as high-resolution images and videos that are increasingly in demand.

On top of that, they have a great customer support team available 24/7 to assist with any questions or concerns while also providing additional services like logo design, custom illustrations, and video editing that can help users to get their projects off the ground quickly.

Getty Images - Worldwide Coverage And Recognition

Getty Images hosts an impressive collection of high-resolution photos ranging from historical record shots to stunning examples of modern architectural design concepts making it the perfect choice for those who want to showcase expert knowledge.


On top of that, Getty Images also covers a broad range of topics including newsworthy events, celebrities, and sports to more obscure subjects like insects, plants, and animals.

Furthermore, Getty Images is widely recognized for its quality and excellence making it among the most popular sites when customers need something special.

They offer various plans that make it easier for customers to only pay for the images they actually use, making their service even more cost-effective.

Overall, Getty Images is an excellent choice for those who need worldwide coverage and recognition when selecting stock images or videos.

Alamy – Professional Quality Content

Alamy stands out from the crowd due to the sheer number of royalty-free professional-grade photographs available.


Their library also includes stock vectors, illustrations, and videos making it ideal for customers who need high-quality images to display their work or create unique designs.

Alamy is a great choice for those looking to purchase packs of photographs as they offer these at reduced prices making the overall cost even more affordable. On top of that, customers who register with Alamy will gain access to a range of benefits such as discounts and free downloads that are not available on other stock photo sites.

Creative Market - Creative Resources For Creative Professionals

Creative Market is a great resource for those looking to purchase affordable, quality resources such as fonts, themes, graphics, and more. Their library is constantly growing and evolving making it the perfect platform for creative professionals who want to find new materials quickly.

Creative Market

The best part about Creative Market is that customers can pay for items individually or purchase bundles at discounted rates. Creative Market is the perfect choice for customers who need professional-grade resources on a budget.


Finding the high-quality images you need doesn’t always have to be difficult or costly anymore thanks to modernization that has taken place within the field of digital photography last decade; now with the emergence of various microstock websites like those mentioned above you can quickly find exactly what looking for minimal cost compared traditional stock photography avenues saving lots money time process. So next need source royalty-free content why not check out these amazing sources and get started right away? You won’t be disappointed results!

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