Lists & Tips

Best Sites for Professional Photographers

Check out the best stock photo sites that will make you forget the cheesiness associated with them. Discover the best places to submit yours or find quality images made by passionate photographers.
Allan T
Nov 23, 2023

10 Popular Stock Photography Sites for You to Check Out

Stock photography is a key element of designing a website or online store. And when you’re involved in the design, you want to make sure that you get quality stock images. When you are a photographer, who’s looking for where to submit your images, quality is also one of your main concerns. You don’t want your pictures to get lost among images of mediocre value.Unfortunately, there’s that sense of cheesiness when it comes to stock photo sites. The first association with stock photography is those exaggerated pictures of people laughing. But there are sites that offer creative stock images of high quality. Some of them are on the list that you’re about to check out.There’s also a growing hysteria that you can’t earn enough from uploading your images on the stock photography sites. But you need to keep in mind that most of those sites offer a contributing role for photographers. Thus, it’s more of a side job that can bring you anything between $0.25 and $50. For comparison, professional essay writers can make about $32 per hour.


Often considered to be one of the top stock photo sites. It is known to have a seemingly endless library of stock images. While the submission is restricted by certain technical aspects, you won’t have any problems becoming a contributor if your photos are great.

As a contributor, you will get up to $0.40 every time your image has been downloaded by the customers of Shutterstock. Contributing photographers claim that Shutterstock is providing them with 40% of their monthly income, which makes it a top choice for them.


Fotolia is one of the most popular stock photo sites, especially thanks to its cooperation with Pinterest. Their website is available in twelve languages, and their library offers more than twenty million images to choose from. It has curated collections of high-quality pictures.

Fotolia is known for its large creative community. Contributing photographers get between $0.30 and $3, depending on whether their image was downloaded via subscription or by direct purchase.


Dreamstime has been around for more than twenty years. The royalty-free stock has more than 170,000 contributors, and its library has more than 25 million images. By becoming a contributing photographer, you can expect between $0.35 and $13 for the download of your image. And you can become an exclusive user, which will give you $0.20 per uploaded image.

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Pexels is a Germany-based company with a stock photography library that has more than three million images. The system here is a bit different. If you’re a contributing photographer, you won’t get a percentage from the users’ subscriptions. Instead, you can get donations from those who download your photos for free.

Pexels encourages users to say thanks to the contributing artists. To receive donations from the pictures, the contributors need to register using the email address that is associated with your PayPal account. The donate button will appear near the images you upload, and the donations will go directly to your PayPal account.


Unsplash is probably the most famous Canadian stock photo site. It has more than 250,000 contributors, and its constantly growing library has more than 3.5 million images. The company works in the same way as Pexels, which means that contributors are going to get paid via donations from the users.

While the donations are rarely favored by photographers, you need to keep in mind that the amounts may vary from several dollars to several hundreds of dollars.


Alamy is a British stock photo site that has earned numerous awards for its technical excellence. It has been around since 1999, and it’s one of the most generous agencies to its contributors. To become a contributor you need to make sure that you’re submitting images of top-notch quality. Alamy doesn’t shy away from rejecting low-quality pictures.

But if you correspond to all the requirements of Alamy, you can get up to 50% of every sale of your image. Their site claims that Alamy pays $1 million per month to its contributors, which is true. Alamy remains one of a few stock photo agencies that pay over $50 per image to contributing photographers.


BigStock is an American online stock royalty-free website, which operates worldwide. Their stock photo library amasses more than 25 million pictures from different contributors from around the world. And they are not limited to photography, as BigStock offers vectors and illustrations as well.

BigStock was founded in 2004, and as of 2015, it was purchased by Shutterstock. Thus, the contributors get paid in the same manner that on the latter platform, with a maximum of $0.40 per image. Payments are made via PayPal or Payoneer, each time the contributor

earns more than $30.

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Stocksy is another Canadian entry on the list. The stock photography agency started with less than 200 contributors, and now it has almost 1000 contributing artists. Aside from a strong emphasis on quality, the company remains one of the most generous on the market, when it comes to paying royalties to the contributing photographers.

Within the first four years of Stocksy, the company paid more than $20 million to its photographers. Stocksy pays half of its revenue to the photographers, which makes it one of the most attractive companies on the stock photography market. Certain contributors get 75% of the purchased images.


iStock is another popular site for stock images. The submissions for the photographers are quite easy. All you need to do is to submit three of your best pictures. If they are accepted, you’re becoming the contributing artists and get between 15% to 45% from purchases. Moreover, your images are getting exposure, as the site gets more traffic than others on the list.


Crestock is one of the most popular stock photo sites. It is quite attractive for the users, as you may subscribe to the platform, as well as buy images you need for as little as $1 per picture. It’s the last one on the list, as it is the least suggestive for the contributing photographers. They receive only 10% from the purchase of every image.

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