Did you know that the ubiquitous American stock photo agency Getty Images also owns iStock, a source of royalty free images that operates on the micropayment business model? Indeed, iStock has been around for more than 15 years, and prides itself on its status of providing copyright free images 'by creatives, for creatives'.
iStock calls itself "the web's original resource for crowd sourced royalty-free stock images, media and design elements", having been founded way back in May 2000. The company later became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Getty Images and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
You have two options at iStock - buy credits with which to gain access to images and video clips or sign up for one of the many subscription plans, arranged at different tiers depending on the intended amount of use.
Pay per download with credits - Purchase credits with which to download images, vectors and video clips – credits do not expire
Subscription plans - Get the most competitive rates on photos, vectors and illustrations. Video and audio clips not included.
Essentials subscription- Access every Essentials image. Signature images not included.
Signature subscription - Access every image on iStock with this premium subscription.
Large credit packages tailored to the bulk requirements of businesses.
✔ Owned by the highly reputable Getty Images
✔ Millions of photos, illustrations, videos and audio tracks
✔ Wide range of pricing plans
- Two-tiered Essentials/Signature image categorisation may frustrate some
- Standard of customer service has been criticised by some users
- No option to buy Signature images individually
iStock is more than a long-running stock photography site - it's also a very comprehensive one, with a broad range of pricing plans that makes it easier to purchase exactly the royalty free photos that you want. Register now to begun perusing the many (and interesting!) image categories and themes.