Getty Images alternatives: What is the best alternative to Getty Images?

Alternative To Getty Images

Looking for a Getty Images alternative might seem strange to some people. After all, it’s one of the most popular stock websites on the internet. Moreover, you’ll find plenty of high-quality editorial shots for all settings.

But while Getty Images is one of the best stock image sites, it’s not for everyone. For some people, the price is way too high for their budgets. And in other cases, they might not necessarily need the suite of editorial-style pictures that Getty offers.

If you’re looking for sites like Getty Images, you aren’t short of options.

In this article, we’ll show you some of the best alternatives to Getty Images. You’ll learn about what kinds of pictures each offers, and we’ll cover a range of free and paid options. You’ll also find out what the pros and cons are for each of them.

Besides identifying the best alternatives to Getty Images, you’ll discover a few frequently asked questions about that particular site. For example, you’ll learn why Getty Images costs so much. Does this sound interesting? Fantastic. In that case, let’s dive in and get started.

Determining the best Getty Images alternative

Before we look at the different alternatives to Getty Images, it’s worth spending a bit of time to think about how to choose the best option. What one person needs as a small business owner is often vastly different from what another individual will require if they manage corporate social media profiles. 

If you’re just starting, you’ll likely want to put anything in place, to begin with – and then you can upscale later. 

You will also need to think about your niche. Some will require very specific photos – and to acquire these, you might need to choose a paid option. 

For example, run a publication about sports. You’ll probably find the images on free sites quite generic in this respect – and using them could potentially impact the trust that your audience has in you. 

Another thing worth considering is the quality of your images, as what you get will typically differ depending on the website you choose. Whereas some sites, such as Unsplash, will provide premium-quality visuals to work with, you might notice a drop in resolution and other factors on other sites. 

So, it’s worth thinking about what your main objectives are. 

Thinking about your budget is also essential. If you’re more of an established company, you can probably afford to spend more on some of the pricier stock image sites on our list. Moreover, you might be able to justify the amount based on your download frequency. 

On the other hand, smaller businesses and individual creators are often better off sticking with free options for the time being.

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Is there a better alternative to Getty Images?

Answering whether a better Getty Images alternative exists is tricky, as it’ll vary depending on your individual needs. If we were going to look at things from more of a general perspective, we’d say that Shutterstock is arguably the best alternative to Getty.

Alternative To Getty Images

Shutterstock

If you’ve done any level of research into stock image sites, you’ve probably heard of Shutterstock. And if you’re a photographer, you might even have used the website to sell some of the shots you’ve taken in the past.

When using Shutterstock, you will find around 200 million visuals. So, it’s an excellent starting point if you’re looking for something that helps elevate your next creative project.

Shutterstock’s photos cross numerous themes. You’ll find a wide selection of pictures in the travel sector, with numerous cities across the world – including the most important ones like London and New York City – featuring.

On top of that, Shutterstock has photos within the lifestyle and business niches. If you need corporate images, it’s an especially useful place to go.

Other Shutterstock image categories include wildlife and technology. Shutterstock also has images in the sports and celebrity fields, plus numerous others. On top of the above, you can use Shutterstock to generate images with artificial intelligence (AI).

Pros
  • 200+ million images are available
  • Use an AI image generator
Cons
  • Some people might find that Shutterstock is too expensive
  • Some images in the sports categories are quite old

Who are the main competitors to Getty Images?

Even though Shutterstock is perhaps the best alternative to Getty Images, it’s not the only competitor site. Below, you’ll find a selection of the other most prominent websites like Getty Images.

Alternative To Getty Images

Adobe Stock

Adobe is arguably the most famous company in the creative sector, and it’s primarily known for its suite of apps in Adobe Creative Cloud – such as Photoshop. And if you want to take your next project a step further, you may wish to consider trying Adobe Stock. 

Adobe Stock has over 280 million images to choose from, making it one of the largest stock websites on our list of Getty Images alternatives. You can also pick from around 25 million videos, which you may find particularly useful if you’re trying to create content for a YouTube channel or something similar. 

You’ll find plenty of high-resolution images dotted across numerous categories when using Adobe Stock. Many of these are colorful and vibrant, making them perfect if your brand represents something that’s fun and exciting. 

You can download photos for different seasons, such as fall, and images that play with lights and shadows. 

You’ll also find numerous images designed specifically for businesses, plus much more. Besides photos and videos, Adobe Stock has numerous vectors and other illustrations to add to your projects. And even if you don’t subscribe to a paid plan, you can find a small selection that is available for free. 

Adobe Stock has numerous pricing options. You can choose how many credits you’d like to have each month and pay according to that.

Pros
  • Millions of visuals are available
  • Beautiful imagery
  • Well-designed website
Cons
  • Some users might find the credits option to be limiting
  • Can get expensive
Alternative To Getty Images

123RF

Another alternative to Getty Images is 123RF. The platform has over 80 million images and has grown significantly since it launched in 2005.

123RF has several stock image websites that sports publications and websites will find useful, with multiple unique shots from competitions like the Premier League being available.

Elsewhere, you’ll find several pictures in the travel category. Moreover, you can choose from numerous shots in business, music, and technology sectors. 123RF is a great platform if you need shots for landscapes and plenty of other genres as well.

In addition to images that you need to pay for, 123RF has a selection of pictures that you can use and download for free. Moreover, you can choose whether you’d like to purchase pictures or credits – and prices are reasonable compared to some of the other stock image sites.

Besides photos, 123RF has numerous vectors and illustrations to choose from. You can also use several handy tools and effects, such as filters and background removal.

When paying for subscriptions, you can choose whether you’d like to pay monthly or yearly – or for credits you can use whenever you need them.

Pros
  • Lots of images in numerous categories
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • Images and videos are both available
Cons
  • Not as many visuals are available as what you'll find on some of the other Getty Images alternatives
Alternative To Getty Images

Alamy

Before we move on and look at the rest of the best Getty Images alternatives, let’s first check out Alamy – one of the main Getty Images competitors.

If you’re looking for high-quality editorial photos, this is one of the best places you can go to; you will find numerous that cover some of the latest events going on in the world, and these cover various categories. For example, you’ll find visuals related to the weather and protests – plus much more.

You don’t just need to use the website for editorial shots when using Alamy. The website has several stock images that you can use on company websites, too, such as many that depict numerous corporate settings.

On top of that, you can use Alamy to find pictures that cover several cities across the globe – plus various extra categories.

Alamy also has a wide variety of images that you’ll find from historical events that have taken place decades ago. So, if you need to write an article or use these for another reason, you should be able to find what you’re looking for.

Some of the top examples include Martin Luther King’s speech and the Second World War.

Alamy has numerous licenses available. You can choose the size of the photos you’d like to download and how many you want in your plan. Moreover, you can pick where you’d like the visuals you download to be licensed.

Pros
  • Flexible pricing options
  • Multiple editorial shots are available
  • Download images in several sizes
  • Access photos from the latest events
Cons
  • Can get expensive
  • There are arguably better options for ordinary stock photos

What other alternatives to Getty Images are there?

We’ve covered some of the top alternatives to Getty Images so far, but let’s look at some of the other options available. You’ll find the rest of our favorite stock image websites in the sections below.

Alternative To Getty Images

Unsplash

Unsplash isn’t strictly a competitor to Getty Images; Getty actually acquired the company in 2021. However, its offering does differ from Getty Images – and you’ll find a huge selection of high-quality free photos if you want to make your website look amazing.

Unsplash is quite new to the stock image space, originally founded in 2013. Today, you’ll find over three million pictures to choose from.

Over 200,000 photographers have contributed their shots to Unsplash. You can find photos in several categories: art, travel, technology, and fitness.

You can download many of these pictures for free; even if you don’t use them in your creative projects, you might find that some of them are excellent options for computer and smartphone backgrounds.

When using Unsplash, you can browse several genres as well. For example, the platform has numerous images within street and landscape photography – plus a broad range of others. Unsplash also has 3D renders available, along with various other illustrations.

In addition to the free photos available, Unsplash also has a premium version that you can sign up for – known as Unsplash+.

Pros
  • Lots of beautiful images are available for free
  • One set monthly subscription price for Unsplash+
  • A wide selection of horizontal and vertical photos available for download
Cons
  • A smaller catalog than what you'll find with some of the other websites on this list
  • You can't guarantee that photos users upload weren't taken from someone else
Alternative To Getty Images

Storyblocks

Another alternative to Getty Images that you might want to consider checking out is Storyblocks. The platform has been around since 2011, and you might have seen some YouTubers mention that they use content from Storyblocks in their videos.

However, you don’t only need to use it for moving visuals; you’ll find plenty of photos you can also download.

Storyblocks has a wide selection of beautiful royalty-free images that you can use in your creative projects. You can pick from numerous categories; for example, if you run a blog about finance, you might find some of the piggy bank images to fit your needs in particular.

On top of that, you can use these visuals in numerous places – such as on your social media platforms.

When you download images from Storyblocks, you’ll own the rights to use that content forever – even if you later decide to cancel your subscription. On top of that, you might find the pricing more affordable than what you will see with some of the other options on our list.

Storyblocks lets you purchase subscription plans for businesses, and you can also choose to buy one as an individual instead.

Pros
  • A good selection of images in numerous categories
  • Affordable and transparent pricing
Cons
  • Still not as many visuals as what you'll find with other Getty Images alternatives
Alternative To Getty Images

Bigstock

If you’re looking for editorial photos, you might want to consider checking out Bigstock. You can choose from a broad range of editorial images for timely news topics and various other less time-sensitive pictures.

You’ve got the option to download several vectors and other visuals, too, such as videos.

In terms of pictures, you’ll find images in several categories. Examples include food, backgrounds, and holidays. If you need pictures of people for your website or other visual assets, you’ll also probably find what you need when browsing the website.

Another category that might interest you is the conceptual art section.

You can use Bigstock in several languages, including English, Italian, and Korean. With pricing, you can choose how many images you’d like in your monthly subscription; the more you choose, the higher the price.

On top of that, you will find different pricing plans for videos – if you’d rather use those instead.

Pros
  • Numerous editorial images are available to download
  • Choose from various categories
  • Different pricing options
Cons
  • Some users might find the 10-per-day limit too strict on the main plan, and the 50-per-month – with no daily limit – is also somewhat hard to navigate
Alternative To Getty Images

DepositPhotos

When looking for royalty-free pictures, DepositPhotos is another place where you can find what you’re looking for. DepositPhotos offers over 180 million stock images, making it one of the more comprehensive options on our list.

You can choose several photos from numerous holidays, along with a wide selection of pictures that are designed specifically for advertising.

DepositPhotos also has images in several other categories, such as family, science, and landscapes. Within each category, you’ll find several subcategories worth checking out if you need to break things down further.

For example, instead of looking just for landscape pictures, you can find ones that were taken during the winter.

When using the platform, you can also decide whether you want to see horizontal or vertical images – or both. Moreover, you can pick how many people you’d like to feature in each of your pictures. You can pick from a wide range of vectors and illustrations as well.

Besides signing up for a paid plan, you can find a selection of free visuals with DepositPhotos. The platform is available in several languages, including German, Portuguese, Turkish, and Greek.

Pros
  • Good search functionalities are available
  • Well over 100 million images are available for download
  • Use DepositPhotos in multiple languages
Cons
  • The free photos available are okay, but you'll probably find a place like Unsplash better
Alternative To Getty Images

iStockPhoto

It wouldn’t be a list of the best Getty Images alternatives without mentioning iStockPhoto. Like Unsplash, this website is actually owned by the same company. However, it’s one of the better options if you’re looking for stock pictures – rather than editorial ones.

iStockPhoto has been around since 2000, making it one of the older options on this list. The company wasn’t a part of the Getty Images family until 2006, and since then, it has provided a viable alternative for images in multiple categories. You can use iStock to find pictures that you can use on multiple mediums.

When searching for stock images with iStock, you’ll find a selection of horizontal and vertical pictures. The website also features certain artists each month, making it a great tool for discovering pictures and people that you might otherwise not have noticed.

iStock offers a range of subscription options. You can decide how many pictures you’d like to download each month, and you also can pick whether you want a plan that just allows you to download photos – or one that also includes other forms of media.

Pros
  • Photos, videos, and audio are all available
  • Flexible subscription options
  • High-quality stock images in numerous categories
Cons
  • Premium subscriptions are quite expensive

Frequently asked questions

Now that you know some of the top alternatives to Getty Images, let’s answer some of the most common questions related to the platform itself.

Why does Getty charge so much?

Getty Images costs a lot of money for several reasons. First, it’s important to remember that you’ll often get many main event pictures as soon as they’re published – which requires much logistical work.

Moreover, Getty Images is typically the standard for the publishing industry – meaning that they can demand higher prices than other sites might be able to. 

Is Getty the best?

If we look at Getty Images compared to the other alternatives we’ve mentioned on our list, it would be hard to argue that Getty is the best for editorial photos. But when it comes to stock images, you might find that some of the other options we’ve mentioned are better.

For example, iStock and Shutterstock both offer a wide selection of visuals in this respect.

Which is better, Shutterstock or Getty images?

Shutterstock is arguably a better option if you’re looking for stock photos. For example, you’ll find a broad range of pictures that feature in travel magazines and books. However, if you’re looking for editorial images, you’ll probably have more luck using Getty Images instead.

Websites like Getty Images

You will find a broad selection of options if you’re looking for a Getty Images alternative.

Competitors to Getty Images cover numerous categories, including editorial and royalty-free stock photography. Regardless of what you’re looking for, you shouldn’t have too many problems finding it somewhere on at least one of the websites we’ve discussed today.

While many of the stock image sites we’ve included in this article require a subscription, others are accessible for free. So, if you’ve got less of a budget to work with, you might want to consider using these instead. As your business scales, you can move on and try some of the other options.

Although stock images can work in several settings, you might also want to think about incorporating professional brand photography into your marketing strategy. If you’d like to learn more about that, you can read the complete guide we’ve written to it here.

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Danny Maiorca
Content writer
Danny Maiorca
Content writer
Danny is a senior writer and regular contributor to the pages of Brand Fabrik, where he creates resources, guides and reviews to assist readers from the creative services community. Adding sparkle and clarity to his content, Danny allows our brand personality to shine.

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