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Stock Photo Comparison | Depositphotos vs. Getty Images vs. iStock vs. …

by Adam Noar

People are highly visual.

In fact, according to one of my favorite books on presentation design, Brain Rules by John Medina, vision actually trumps all of the other human senses. The research within the book points out that if you hear something, three days later you will remember only 10% of it. However, if you add a picture you end up remembering 65% of the information. That’s a big difference in recall.

Therefore, when dealing with presentations, we need to fill them with exciting and relevant IMAGES. (For more info on how to use visuals to enhance your presentation, I highly recommend you check out my eBook Slides Made Simple.)

So the question is …

Where do we find these quality images for our presentations?

A quick and simple solution for many is to immediately turn to Google. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t run into any copyright licensing issues when taking random photos off the internet. Otherwise, you run the risk of legal issues being brought against you or your business.

That’s why if you’re using your presentation commercially, in any way, you must either provide proper attribution to that image (if the owner of the image allows it) OR you can use a royalty free stock photography company, like Depositphotos, and purchase the rights to use a particular image as many times as you want (no attribution required).

Choosing the right stock photography site to use for your presentations can be a bit overwhelming, since there are many different options and plans available. That’s why I have broken out the pros and cons for several industry leaders, including: Depositphotos, iStock, Getty Images, and Thinkstock.

Cheap Stock Images
Deposit Photos – This is the stock photography site that I have a personal subscription to. They are a newer company, and have a really affordable pricing structure (a 3 MP image costs only $2, which is the lowest price around). On top of that, they offer a FREE trial subscription which gives you seven days to test the  website out for free (5 images per day).

The good:

  • FREE trial subscription.
  • They offer images, illustrations, and vector images.
  • Very affordable (for a one month subscription you can pay $99 and get 10 images per day). You save more money if you sign up for a longer subscription).
  • Simple website and easy navigation to find images.
  • Live chat – If you need help or have a question. I’ve used this several times. They also provide good customer service.
  • Feedback system for image providers (so you can tell providers what type of images you want to see).
  • Tons of images (8 Million+).

The bad:

  • Video and audio files are not offered (I’m not really concerned with this, but this might be a concern if you need these items).
  • Advanced search options are OK, but could use some more filters to narrow down image options.

iStockphoto – iStock is another popular option for many graphic designers. They have tons of images (10 Million+) and offer an affordable subscription plan.

The good:

  • Affordable.
  • Tons of images (10 Million+).
  • Pay as you go (instead of paying for credits in advance).
  • Offers video and audio files.
  • Live chat available.

The bad:

  • Website has been known to have issues and bugs.
  • Other stock sites have stronger selection of print media images.

Getty Images
Getty Images – Getty images is probably the most widely recognized stock image website in the world. They offer TONS of images for sale (70 Million+), making the other stocks look tiny in comparison. They are also ultra-premium ($180 is their lowest price for a 3 MP image).

The good:

  • Largest collection of stock images (70 Million).
  • You can purchase rights to certain images so that no one else will be able to use them.
  • Simple website.
  • Best site for highly conceptual and artistic print media images.
  • Offer access to elite collections like National Geographic, Time & Life Pictures, and Stone+.

The bad:

  • Very expensive.
  • No vector images offered.

Thinkstock – Thinkstock is great for photos, vectors, and illustrations. Thinkstock offers a subscription service only, and is relatively expensive.

The good:

  • Large subscription packages are available.
  • Images, illustrations, and vectors available.
  • Live chat customer service help available.

The bad:

  • No video or audio available.
  • No single image purchase available (subscription only).
  • Expensive ($2,388 for 25 images per day).

I hope you found the above breakdown useful. When choosing a stock photography site, you just need to think about what is best for YOUR individual needs:

  • How many images do you need per day?
  • What is the quality and resolution of photos do you need?
  • Are you willing to pay for “exclusive” images that nobody else can use?
  • What type of photos do you need? Do you need illustrations and vector images?
  • Do you need video and audio files too?

Knowing the answers to these type of questions can help you narrow down your search.

So, here’s my question for YOU …

Which stock photography site do you prefer to use for your presentations and why? I’m really interested to know your thoughts, so please leave your comments below! Also, do you have a friend that could benefit from presentation tips like this? If so, make sure to email them with a link to this post.

Did you find this information helpful? This presentation tip is just one of the hundreds of tips discussed in my personally written eBook, Slides Made Simple! If you want to take your presentation game to the next level, and get your audience to take action on your ideas, pick up your copy of this book today!

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