Stock Photography Agencies | Ranking

Stock Photo Webites Ranking | October 2015

How many stock photos you sell and how much you can earn depends on many factors, such as your photographic skills and style, subjects you cover, number of images you upload, how often you can upload, etc. Our Ranking below shows the most popular stock photo agencies from top earners to those with zero or very low sales and it is based on our long term experience with each agency. It is only a guideline - we cannot guarantee that something that works (or worked) great for us will also make you succeed. You may also like to check our Stock Photo Sites Comparison for numbers, image prices and contributor royalty rates.

Updated on 10 October 2015.

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1. Shutterstock

If you are a photographer taking stock photography seriously you should contribute to Shutterstock because for many artists it is number 1 or at least in their top 3 in terms of stock photo sales and financial reward. Some people may not be happy with low royalty per image, but daily number of downloads should satisfy your expectations... [...] Continue reading

Shutterstock Website

2. Fotolia

Our first review in September 2012 wasn't favouring Fotolia due to the fact that our sales were very slow. But since then it went back to normal within a couple of weeks, and this is probably due to the different type of images we have started submitting - food, food and food! [...] Continue reading

Fotolia Website

3. Dreamstime

Most microstockers report Dreamstime in their top 5. Due to their high commission to contributors and very talented and motivated team, it is a must for photographers who want to sell their photos online. Slight changes to their website were a good move and Dreamstime's large stock photo collection is attracting many photo buyers. [...] Continue reading

Dreamstime Website

4. 123RF

123RF is in our top 5 due to great progress they have recently made. When we started with this agency, sales were very slow, but we kept submitting the same content as to the other sites hoping sales will improve. This rewarded us recently in significant increase in sales. [...] Continue reading

123RF Website

5. iStock

iStock is closing our Top 5. Unfortunately. It used to be 100% recommended agency but things started changing there after acquisition by Getty Images in February 2006. Since then iStock has introduced many updates to their website, image collections, terms and conditions, referral program, etc. and at the moment it doesn't look like all changes work quite well for everybody. Regular sales dropped dramaticaly and 90% of our monthly income comes from subscription based partners. It is confirmed by many stock photographers... [...] Continue reading

iStock Website

6. FreeDigitalPhotos

If you are one of those photographers or illustrators happy to give away the smallest size of your images, consider FreeDigitalPhotos one of the best agencies on the market. You receive an amazing market-leading 70% compensation, have the ability to set your own prices and you can request your royalties payout when you reach $10! [...] Continue reading

FreeDigitalPhotos Website

7. Bigstock

Bigstock has never been our best earner - after their acquisition by Shutterstock nothing happened for a long time until recently, when sales increased. We believe it is due to the fact that Bigstock, like other stock photo agencies introduced subscription plans. A year ago we would probably not recommend Bigstock to anyone, but now ... [...] Continue reading

Bigstock Website

8. Depositphotos

Depositphotos was a great surprise for us. They tend to grow rapidly, and what is most important, you can expect sales from the very beginning! Most sales on Depositphotos are based on subscription plans (similar to these offered by Shutterstock), but some images sell for Credits too, which obviously provide you with higher royalties... [...] Continue reading

Depositphotos Website

9. Photodune

We have joined PhotoDune not so long ago and were surprised how fast this website is growing. As part of Envato Market, PhotoDune is a good source of stock images and should be considered by all stock photographers and illustrators. [...] Continue reading

Photodune Website

10. Pixta

PIXTA is the largest microstock photo site in Japan. Currently, they have over 144,000 contributors and more than 140,000 customers. The overseas expansion started in 2013, and they are developing the site in English, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese. [...] Continue reading

Pixta Website

11. Pond5

Although Pond5 is a great opportunity for video, audio, After Effects or 3D producers, it should also be considered by stock photographers. With possibility of setting your own prices and 50/50 revenue split it is very promising, meaning that for each sale you receive much more than the industry standard. [...] Continue reading

Pond5 Website

12. CanStockPhoto

CanStockPhoto was formed in 2004 and is still growing. Their affiliation with Fotosearch should increase sales which are really slow at the moment. Some contributors tend to place CanStockPhoto in their top 5, but it doesn't work quite well for us. We believe that this is due to our style and type of images we submit. [...] Continue reading

Canstockphoto Website

13. Stockfresh

Sales are not ideal yet on Stockfresh, but we hope that it will start improving over time. Their customer base is growing rapidly, customer support is quick and friendly, uploading is easy (fast and reliable FTP), review times very short and approval rate quite good. [...] Continue reading

Stockfresh Website

14. YAY Micro

Although sale are very slow on YAY MOcro, they offer variation, quality, low price and a great user experience for both, photographers and stock photo buyers. [...] Continue reading

YAY Micro Website

15. Cutcaster

We are happy to support new and developing stock photography agencies and upload our portfolios (btw quite successful on well established sites) to their websites and help them grow establish their position in the market. But... [...] Continue reading

Cutcaster Website

16. Alamy

Due to Alamy's specific business model, various types of licences and pricing being completely different to what other stock photo agencies offer, do not expect great sales in terms of quantity, but once you sell something, you will be very pleased with what you receive in reward. [...] Continue reading

Alamy Website

17. Pixmac

Pixmac has closed on 27 February 2014. Due to their partnership with Pond5, all traffic from pixmac.com has been redirected to Pond5 website. Existing contributors / customers may still visit Pixmac website here. Continue reading

Pixmac Website

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