In my last post I listed cool sites with free stock photos.

However let’s be honest, sometimes free stock photos just don’t cut it. They are used on multiple websites and your visitors may have seen them already. Thus they simply overlook them. If you have some money to spare, you can get premium stock photos instead. In this post I’ll show you where to get premium stock photos and what you need to check before using them.

Premium Stock Photos

Premium stock photos are stock photos you pay for. Typically these are high quality photos taken by professional photographers or agencies. Because people would need to pay for them, they are not as widely used as free stock photos. However on some sites you really have to pay a lot for a single image (they have to pay their lawyers to sue copyright breachers, right?).

Premium Stock Photos

Stock Photo Licensing

Even though you pay for premium stock photos you should always read the license attached. Paying doesn’t mean you don’t have to credit the vendor or author.

How Many Websites Use This Photo Already

Reverse image lookup is a powerful way to find copyright breaches and get a list of sites using a particular image or photo. Google itself provides a reverse image lookup tool. After you clicked the link simply press on the camera icon (“Image Search”) and upload your picture (or provide a link to a picture). You will get all the website addresses where this image can be found.

However my real secret top tool for reverse image search tasks is TinyEye. It delivers great results and also finds the (original) copyright holder for your images.

On a side note: Reverse image searches use algorithms like SIFT (Scale-invariant feature transform) to extract key-point features of an image. These algorithms are also used in robotics.

Best Stock Photo Sites

Alright, here is my list of best stock photo sites featuring great images (and some are relatively cheap too).

  • DollarPhotoClub – A new stock photography website featuring flexible plans and cool premium stock photos.
  • Veer – Site for creative people featuring images and fonts. Owned by the Getty images empire.
  • Stockunlimited – Cool stock images with reasonable pricing plans. Recommended!
  • iStockPhoto – Not only beautiful photos but also a great website.
  • – Premium Stock Photos, Images, Infographics, Videos, Audio and more.
  • Fotolia – Premium Stock Photos and Images.
  • Shutterstock – Probably the most popular stock photo site.
  • Stockphoto – Premium stock photo site with on point name.
  • BigStockPhoto – Premium photos and videos.
  • ThinkStockPhotos – A premium stock photo and image vendor, owned by getty images.
  • CanStockPhoto – A premium stock photography agency.
  • GettyImages – Very popular premium stock photo empire.
  • GalleryStock – Premium stock photos listed in beautiful galleries.
  • VectorStock – Great premium vector stock images.

Alright, that’s it for today. Hope you got a few suitable vendors for your next web project.