5 Best Premium Stock Photo Sites for Marketers in 2021

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a saying that holds quite well in this day and age. With people having short attention spans, they often struggle to go through a sales pitch thoroughly. In short, reading multiple blocks of content bores some people. The best way to overcome this obstacle is by placing visual content in between the text. 

But for every marketing campaign, shall the brand hold an extensive photoshoot to get the required images? Wouldn’t that be too pricey? 

Well, it is, and this is why stock photo sites exist. These sites have tons of high-resolution, royalty-free content that could resonate with your campaign’s vision. You can acquire certain stock photos for free and others at a price. 

But listen to us: 

Why Pay for Stock Photos? 

Without undermining the importance of free stock photos, let’s just say that these mostly come in handy at specific times. If you want a royalty-free image of the sky or a house, then yes, free stock photos are the way to go but: 

But, marketers often need content that strictly aligns with their brand’s vision. When you have to be that specific, then opting for the free route just doesn’t cut it. 

When you are short on time and are expected to come up with a winning campaign, then paying for stock photos is the best approach.

That being said, here are 5 of the best premium stock photo sites for marketers in 2021: 

#1 Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a site that has gone on to revolutionize the stock photography business. It is also credited for rolling out the concept of a stock photo subscription plan. 

Shutterstock boasts over 190 million media files, and the number increases significantly on a daily basis. Additionally, its search functionality is among the best ones when compared to other similar sites. 

As for pricing, you can buy an image pack of 5 photos for $49 and that of 25 photos for $229. Shutterstock also has different subscription plans that are priced between $29 and $249 per month. These plans allow one to download between 10 and 750 files every month, depending on which plan they subscribe to. 

#2 Adobe Stock

It goes without saying that Adobe Stock is the property of the leading software company, Adobe. Its foundation is the photo library of Fotolia, a stock photo agency under the Adobe umbrella. 

Owing to its integration into the Creative Cloud platform, Adobe Stock is the best stock photo site for designers who use cloud apps owned by Adobe. But that doesn’t mean that designers using other applications can’t benefit from this photo-rich site. 

Boasting over 80 million files, Adobe Stock helps you quickly find the “right photo”. 

The site in question offers different subscription plans. For starters, you can purchase the $29.99/month plan and download three photos during this period. You can also switch this plan to an annual one. In this case, the price will remain the same, but you will be able to download up to 10 photos every month. 

Adobe Stock also has high-end monthly and annual subscription plans that are priced between $79.99 and $249.99. With these plans by your side, you can download between 40 and 750 photos every month. 

To start things off on a high note, you can begin your experience with the Adobe Stock Free Trial. The trial period lasts for a month and allows you to download 10 images free of cost. 

#3 Envato Elements

Despite being new to the stock photo market, Envato Elements has emerged as one of the best premium sites for downloading high-quality stock media. Whether you are looking to acquire stock photos, audio, video, or even stock vectors, Envato Elements is your go-to site. 

The site in question currently has a collection of more than 54 million media assets. To gain access to this content, you have to subscribe to either an individual plan (starts from $16.50/month), a team plan (for up to 5 members; starts from $10.75/month per member), or the high-end enterprise plan. 

#4 Stockphotos

Stockphotos.com is a one-stop stock photo website comprising highly-captivating media files that could be used in large-scale commercial campaigns. Just like Shutterstock, Stockphotos’ search functionality is among the most efficient ones. Searching for something leads you to the site’s well-organized Stock Photo Secrets shop. 

You have the option to either purchase a royalty-free photo by subscribing to a plan or get one on-demand. The images listed on Stockphotos can either cost you less than a dollar or up to $10, depending on the image’s quality and source in question. 

Another perk of trusting the site in question is that it operates in its users’ best interests. It does so by referring people to reliable deals such as the Shutterstock free trial or the Photocase free trial. 

#5 iStock

We started off this list on a high note, and we will finish it in the same way as well. Most reputable stock photo websites today operate in accordance with the microstock business model. Well, you will be surprised to find out that the said model was popularized by iStock.

iStock boasts different credit packs. Every picture, depending on its quality and exclusivity, costs a specific number of credits. 

There are also subscription plans for Essential and Signature collections. Essential collections are available in the form of both monthly and annual subscription plans. These collections let you pick between 10 and 750 images per month. The price range for these varies from $29 to $199 per month. 

The Signature collection allows you to access exclusive, top-of-the-line content. Subscribing to this collection can cost you between $70 and $399 per month. 


While there is no shortage of free stock media assets on the internet, paying for such content can boost your campaign’s legitimacy and appeal. 

The five sites mentioned in this article are among the best sources for you to obtain high-quality stock images.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.