Pricing Type

Credits, Subscriptions

Price Range

From £7/credit pack

Incredible stock. Flexible pricing.

iStock by Getty Images is one of the world's leading stock content marketplaces, offering millions of hand-picked premium images at ridiculously low prices that you can only get from us.

- iStock

iStock Product Video

p About iStock

iStock is a royalty-free international micro photography provider which offers millions of photos, illustrations, clip art, video and audio tracks. You purchase a licence to use an image which can then be used anywhere you need visual imagery.

iStock is one of the most well known stock photography libraries and their service is both affordable and easy to use. Finding the image you want is straight forward: just search for the keywords around the subject you are looking for and you are returned with a good choice of alternatives. All images are of a high standard which is something you won't always find with the free stock photography sites.

There are some really intuitive features. For example they have just released a new feature whereby you upload an image of your own and they offer you similar alternatives based on your submission.

As iStock are comparatively affordable, they are of wide appeal. It means you might find that snappy image duplicated somewhere else on the internet, branding someone else's site or presentation. You may find more exclusivity with Alamy or Shutterstock.

iStock website homepage

Images are purchased either by a set number of credits or on a monthly subscription if you have high volume needs. If you don't use all your downloads within a month, iStock offer roll-overs if you are on an auto-renew or annual plan.

If you don't want to commit to a purchase, they do offer a free image, illustration and video every week.

Purchasing from iStock is easy. First you create an account, then you can browse iStock's extensive database. Once you have found an image you want, you can save it to your Lightbox (this is like your favourites area). The Lightbox gives you an area to compare and review your choices before you buy. You can have any number of Lightboxes to suit different projects.  Once you are ready to buy you need to decide how to pay, either via credits or on subscription. From there, you are free to download your asset and use away!

A word on licensing here. All images come with a 'standard licence' which means the image you are buying is royalty free, you only pay for the initial download, not repeat use of the image. You are allowed to use the image for any number of uses such as banners, background images, advertising and presentations. No matter how you use it, the image comes with a $10,000 legal guarantee.

If you purchase your file via a subscription service, you must use your purchase for an end project within 30 days of the end of the subscription period as then the licence terminates and you would need to purchase again. If you purchase using credits there is no licence expiry. Further information on licensing can be found on the iStock website.

As users of iStock ourselves, we have found the best value is to purchase a monthly subscription. Subscriptions start at just £25 for 10 Essential image downloads per month.  If you want to get 10 of the highest quality, unique stock images the best way to do this is via their Signature subscription which starts at £65 per month. With some other stock photography providers, you can pay this amount per photo. It all depends on what your image needs and budgets are.

iStock is easy to use with a good user interface and is excellent value for money.

There are also some partnership benefits and discounts given to iStock subscribers, including, Dropbox, and GoDaddy. regularly have current promo codes for iStock, please see our deals page for details.

b Features & Options of iStock


iStock provides ready-to-use photos, illustrations and vectors, audio and video clips that can be put in almost any project. All content comes from iStock’s community of contributors and is thoroughly vetted to ensure it meets their high standards.


Every file on iStock falls into one of two collections. The Essentials collection provides everyday content, while the Signature collection features millions of premium handpicked stock files that are exclusive to iStock. The credit cost of our files is:

  • Essentials photo, vector, illustration or audio clip – 1 credit.
  • Signature photo, vector, illustration or audio clip – 3 credits.
  • Essentials video clip – 6 credits.
  • Signature video clip – 18 credits.

iStock’s lowest prices on photo, vector and illustration downloads from both collections can be obtained with a premium Signature subscription. If you only need Essentials images, pay even less with an Essentials subscription.


When you download a file on iStock, you’re buying a license that lets you use the file in advertising, websites, blogs, presentations, video productions, podcasts and more. All files are royalty-free, which means you can use them in as many projects as you want for as long as you want, within the terms of the license. By purchasing extended licenses, you can use them in even more ways.

iStock Pricing

iStock Credit Packs

  • 1 credit – £7.
  • 3 credits – £20.
  • 6 credits – £36.
  • 12 credits – £69.
  • 24 credits – £132.
  • Other credit packs to 300 credits.

iStock Subscriptions

  • Essentials Subscription: £25/month – 10 images | £40/month – 25 images | £65/month – 50 images | £99/month – 100 images | £129/month – 250 images.
  • Signature Subscription: £65/month – 10 images (Essentials + Signature images) | £99/month – 25 images | £145/month – 50 images | £199/month – 100 images | £259/month – 250 images.

Ratings Summary

(3.4/5 from 9 reviews)

Rating score is a weighted average from the following respected sources:

  • Trustpilot: 3.5/10 from 8 user reviews
  • Review Centre: 4/5 from 1 user review
  • BusinessKitbag: 5/5 from 1 expert review