I am looking for good websites providing royalty free stock images for pay.

I'm not looking for sites that make images available for free and require attribution or non-commercial use; they're already covered in another question.

I'd also like hear some comments of the service:

  • What kind of payment options they offer?
    • e.g. do you have to buy a bulk of credits or can items be bought separately? Sometimes buying bulk credits won't suit my projects.
  • How much do they have content?
    • e.g. psdGraphics is interesting for its payment options, but I found its supply lacking.
  • How is the overall content quality?
    • e.g. does the site have vast disperse in quality, which usually is the case with big, major sites (such as iStockPhoto or does the site have strict quality requirements?

What sites do you use to buy graphics / backgrounds / images for commercial design purposes?


7 Answers 7



At GraphicRiver you can buy and sell royalty-free, layered Photoshop files, vectors, icon packs, Adobe add-ons and design templates for just a few dollars. Items are priced on the complexity, quality and use of the file. The site is home to a bustling community of graphic designers and illustrators.

Payment options: Pay-as-you-go, bulk prepaid credits

Price range
Standard licenses: $ 1–25 (+ $2 if not using prepaid credits)
Extended licenses: $ 15-1250 (+ $2 if not using prepaid credits)

Content: ≈ 24k items

Quality: All submissions get screened (with a lot getting rejected), loads of good–quality content not to be found elsewhere (due to royalty rate policy, which favors exclusivity).

Submisser's royalty
Non-exclusive: 25 %
Exclusive: 50–70 %


You can use paypal or prepaid credits (which you get a small discount on the item for) or just buy individual items. They have a huge library of graphics, buttons, textures, brushes, and other random objects. The quality is quite good. It is all screened and a lot of it gets rejected. They also have very clear licensing agreements and you can pay different prices based on what you want to use it for.


I personally love StockExchange. All of the photos and graphics are either free, or simply require permission from the photographer/creator. It is free to sign up, and the image license agreement is very fair. Here is a good summation of the rules of image usage. With almost 400,000 photos, it is a fantastic site for finding the right image.


I must admit that graphicriver is very good, as mentioned before.

Also, check for graphicleftovers. There you can buy and sell graphics.

I have a project where I look for high quality stock graphics. The site is http://thegraphicstock.com/


I can see the post is already answered, but just to add more data to the wast 'database of knowledge' here on SE -

Personally I use (and supply to) iStockphoto.com. I might no appear objective as I am supplying, but I used them for many years before doing that because of their high quality.

They have become more expensive the latter years though, but as said, the quality is high and licensing is royalty-free and fairly flexible.



Photocase has become one of the most frequented photo portals in Germany, having gained a reputation as a "go-to" for high-quality, unique, royalty-free photos. If you haven't had the chance, take a look around. Photocase has a huge collection of photos with character. And if you get hooked, hey, it's not our fault.

Payment options: Pay-as-you-go, bulk credits (0.99–2.00 € / $ 1.20–2.33 each), monthly subscriptions

Photo price range (standard license): 2–6 credits or 10–20 € / $ 12–24 with pay-as-you-go

Content: Only photos, over 200k of them.

Quality: Reasonable photo sizes, lots of not-the-most-common-stock-photography images.

Photographer's royalty: 40–60 %.


Check out www.stockolia.com - royalty-free 3D clip-arts / graphics / illustrations as low as $1.

You may search for stock images through SEARCH ENGINE or by categories.


1. Shutterstock.com

Highest Quality Content · All Royalty Free · Easy Licensing · No Daily Download Limit. Types: Photos, Vectors, Illustrations, Editorial, Icons, Footage, Music

2. fotolia.com‎

Find Millions of Images from $0.19. Download now high resolution Images XXL Images Available · Pay as you go plans · Create Free Account · 20% Off your 1st Purchase

3. wellcomeimages.org‎

Wellcome Images is a medical picture library and the world's leading source of images on medicine and its history

4. StockSnap.io The #1 source for beautiful free stock photos. High quality and high resolution images free from all copyright restrictions (CC0) - no attribution required.

5. Unsplash

Unsplash is a collection of free high-resolution photos and has arguably become the best source for stock images.

6. Gratisography

Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. New awesome pictures are added weekly and are free of copyright restrictions. All pictures are captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design.

7. Negative Space

Negative Space provides 20 new photos every week released under Creative Commons CC0. The photos are searchable and can be sorted by category, copy space and color.

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