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Best Stock Image Free Trials

Matic Broz profile picture By Matic Broz Updated August 2, 2022
The Best Stock Photo Free Trials thumbnail

After extensively testing over 30 stock photo websites, we found eight free trials that are worth signing up for. The best free trial is Adobe Stock, which gives you up to 40 free images during a 30-day period. By using all the free trials, you can get up to 120 free stock images, plus unlimited downloads with Canva. All stock photo trials require signing up for a free account and entering your credit card information. If you don’t want to be charged, you need to cancel the trial before it expires.

Best Stock Image Free Trials of 2022

  1. Adobe Stock small icon
    30 days; 10, 25, or 40 images
    Adobe Stock free trial
    Adobe Stock (worth: $29.99–$79.99)
    Get free Read more
  2. Shutterstock icon
    30 days; 10 images
    Shutterstock free trial
    Shutterstock (worth: $29)
    Get free Read more
  3. iStock icon
    30 days; 10 images
    iStock free trial
    iStock by Getty Images (worth: $29.99)
    Get free Read more
  4. Depositphotos icon
    7-days; 10 images
    Depositphotos free trial
    Depositphotos (worth: $24.92–$36.00)
    Get free Read more
  5. Canva icon 70px
    30 days; unlimited downloads
    Canva free trial
    Canva (worth: $9.99–$12.99)
    Get free Read more
  6. 123RF icon
    10 images; 30 days
    123RF free trial
    123RF (worth: $19)
    Get free Read more
  7. Bigstock icon
    7 days; 35 images or videos
    Bigstock free trial
    BIgstock (worth: $18.55)
    Get free Read more

How We Picked

For this guide, we spent more than 2 years monitoring all stock image free trials. During this time, we tested, tried, and reviewed over 30 stock photo sites, which included testing their free trial to find out whether they work as promised and whether there are any hidden tricks.

When selecting and ranking stock image free trials, we looked at the number of images you get, how much it saves you, the quality of images (or other assets) you get, and the duration of the trial. We also sifted through thousands of consumer reviews to find out what other customers thought, too–and, as always, we took into consideration feedback from you, our readers.

Lastly, we checked how broad the licensing terms of the content you download with the free trial are. For example, some stock agencies give you only watermarked previews, which you may not use, while others give you excellent, royalty-free images.

We’re constantly keeping our eye on what’s out there and updating this guide accordingly. Case in point: We updated this guide three times this year, when iStock and Depositphotos introduced their own free trial and when Shutterstock changed the terms of its trial (for the better).

If you’re ready to get free stock images, check out our ultimate guide to finding the best stock image free trial for you or your design needs.

1. Adobe Stock: Best overall

  • Number of free images: 10, 25, 40
  • Duration: 30 days
  • You save: $29.99–$79.99

Adobe Stock’s free trial is the best in the industry, as it allows you to get 10, 25, or 40 free trial stock photos based on what size of a subscription plan you pick. It’s the largest free trial you can get, and there are no hidden fees or tricks.

You can get the free trial with Adobe Stock’s annual subscriptions of 10, 25, or 40 monthly downloads that cost $29.99–$79.99/month. This means you can download 10 standard assets of your choice, which include standard photos, vectors, illustrations, music tracks, 3D, and templates.

Each asset you download during the free trial is licensed with Adobe Stock’s Standard License. It grants you unlimited web impressions of the asset, 500K copies or prints, and up to $10,000 in indemnity.

After 30 days, you will be automatically charged a monthly fee if you don’t cancel in time. Even if you forget to cancel and you do get charged, you can contact Adobe and ask for a refund.

How to get it:

  1. Go to Adobe Stock.
  2. Click “Pricing” in the top right.
  3. Pick an annual subscription plan.
  4. Click the “Start free trial” button.
  5. Sign in to your Adobe account (or create one).
  6. Enter your payment information (you won’t be charged).
  7. Click “Continue“.
  8. Confirm the free trial order.

2. Shutterstock

  • Number of free images: 10
  • Duration: 30 days
  • You save: $29.00

Shutterstock offers a free trial that has been heavily criticized in the past for its cancelation policy. Until early 2022, Shutterstock’s free trial had to be canceled 96 hours (four days) before expiration, or it was charged for a full month. Due to widespread criticism, including from us, Shutterstock has shortened this deadline to 48 hours. To our relief, Shutterstock eliminated the cancelation period altogether in April 2022. Now you can cancel your free trial within the last hour – but we do not recommend waiting until the last second.

Now, Shutterstock’s free trial is completely safe to use and we recommend you use it. It is available with the annual subscription of 10 downloads per month worth $29. You can download images at any point during the 30-day period.

They come with Shutterstock’s Standard License that gives you unlimited online impression rights, 500,000 copies or prints, and up to $10,000 indemnity.

How to get it:

  1. Go to Shutterstock.
  2. Click “Start your free trial” in the top bar.
  3. Sign in to your Shutterstock account (or create one).
  4. Enter your payment information (you won’t be charged).
  5. Click “Continue“.
  6. Confirm the free trial order.

3. iStock

  • Number of free images: 10
  • Duration: 30 days
  • You save: $29.00
  • Notes: available only in certain countries

iStock introduced its free trial only recently, on January 26, 2022. But the free trial is available only in a select group of countries, which changes regularly. Thus, the best way to check whether you’re eligible for the trial is to check manually on iStock’s pricing page.

The free trial gives you one month of access to the Essentials collection of 10 monthly downloads, which costs $29.99/month. Every image you download is licensed under a royalty-free license, which allows you to use it for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Even if you cancel the trial, you can keep using all the images you downloaded.

How to get it:

  1. Go to iStock.
  2. Click on the “Start your free trial” button.
  3. Create a free account.
  4. Enter your billing information.
  5. Verify that the free trial worked.
  6. Complete checkout

Read more: How to get iStock free trial?

4. Depositphotos

  • Number of free images: 10
  • Duration: 7 days
  • You save: $24.92–$36.00

Depositphotos’ free trial is shorter (7 days) than most of its competitors’ (30 days), but you get 10 free stock photos or vectors nonetheless. However, besides being available with annual subscriptions, you can also get it with monthly plans, which is not common.

The images you download during the trial period come with Depositphotos Standard License, which grants you similar rights as Shutterstock’s and Adobe Stock’s licenses, but only $5,000 in indemnity (Low indemnity is an important trustworthiness signal, according to our research).

How to get it:

  1. Go to Depositphotos.
  2. Click “Pricing” in the top right corner.
  3. In the “Subscription” panel, select 25 images/mo plan.
  4. Click on the “Free 7 day trial” button.
  5. Enter your billing information.
  6. Click on the “Start Free Trial” button.

5. Canva

  • Number of free images: unlimited
  • Duration: 30 days
  • You save: $9.99–$12.99

Canva Pro is a membership service that gives access to the famous Canva image editor as well as premium services such as a Business Brand Kit manager, a Migration Assistance Tool, thousands of design templates, and free photos from hundreds of sources around the world. With this subscription, you may get as many photos as you need, with limitless downloads being only one of the benefits of subscribing to your membership. After your trial expires, you pay only $9.95/month. The free trial lasts for 30 days and gives you access to 100+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics. You also get 610,000+ premium templates, 100GB of cloud storage, and various other tools for image editing and branding.

  1. Go to Canva.
  2. In the top bar, hover “Plans” and click on “Pro”.
  3. Click on the purple “Start your free Pro trial” button.
  4. Sign in to your Canva account (or create one).
  5. Enter your payment information (you won’t be charged).
  6. Click “Continue”.
  7. Confirm the free trial order.

6. Bigstock

  • Number of free images: 35 images or videos
  • Duration: 7 days
  • You save: $29.00

We’re not huge fans of Bigstock, but it’s among the cheapest stock photo sites and offers several free trials. Every trial is linked to a subscription plan that you get free for a week. Three stock image plans and two stock footage plans come with a free trial. Since these plans give you a certain number of downloads per day, you could potentially get up to 70 videos or 70 images during the free trial. But the free trial is limited to 35 images or videos only. As a result, Bigstockphoto’s free week is more generous than some other stock photo trials, though the overall quality is considerably lower.

  1. Go to Bigstock.
  2. Click on the blue “Image free trial” button.
  3. Sign in to your Bigstock account (or create one).
  4. Enter your payment information (you won’t be charged).
  5. Click “Continue“.
  6. Confirm the free trial order.

7. 123RF

  • Number of free images: 10
  • Duration: 30 days
  • You save: $19.00

123RF‘s free trial comes with the smallest subscription plans of 10 monthly downloads. However, what separates it from other offers in this list, you can’t get it directly from the pricing page, neither it’s promoted anywhere. We found it by mistake. To use the free trial, you need to go to 123rf.com/free-trial/.

Summary: Best Stock Image Free Trials

Stock photo siteNumber of free imagesDurationWorth
Adobe Stock10, 25, or 4030 days$29.99–$79.99
Shutterstock1030 days$29.00
iStock1030 days$29.00
Depositphotos107 days$24.92–$36.00
CanvaUnlimited30 days$9.99–$12.99
Bigstock357 days$18.55
123RF1030 days$19.00

What about other stock agencies?

According to our latest research, only the 7 stock photo sites mentioned above offer a free trial that’s worth your time.

Does Getty Images have a free trial?

No, Getty Images does not offer a free trial. It is a premium stock photo agency where each image costs between $50 and $499. So a free trial of 10 or even 1 image is not possible. Also, Getty Images is aimed at clients with high budgets who do not need free trials.

If you’re an enterprise-level customer, you might be able to bargain a free demo of Getty Images’ API or enterprise platform. Yet, you might not be able to get in touch, as their customer support is notorious for being one of the worst.

Does Alamy have a free trial?

No, Alamy doesn’t have a free trial. The cheapest way to get stock photos at Alamy is with image packs, costing $13.96–$169.80/image, or vectors for $9.99.

Does Dreamstime have a free trial?

Officially yes, but actually no. To clarify: Dreamstime advertises its 7-day free trial, during which you can download 15 watermarked images to test your designs. But because of the watermark, you are only allowed to use these images for testing purposes. Besides, the free trial version is not available at the moment.

We did not include Dreamstime’s “free trial” in our list because it is not a real free trial but just bait to entice customers to subscribe. With almost all other stock photo agencies, you can download the images for testing purposes, and you do not even have to create an account, let alone start a free trial.

What is a Stock Image Free Trial?

A stock image free trial is a period, usually 7 or 30 days long, offered by some stock photo agencies that allows you to download a certain number (usually 10) of stock images, videos, or audio files for free. Unless otherwise specified, you can continue to use the downloaded files after the free trial period expires.

When you sign up for a free trial offer, you should read the terms and conditions thoroughly, because some trials contain tricks. For example, with the Shutterstock free trial, you must cancel two days before the trial expires or you’ll be charged for the entire next month.

How Do You Get a Stock Photo Free Trial?

Free trials for stock images are usually only available in conjunction with an annual subscription. To get a trial subscription, check the pricing page of a stock photo website for subscription plans.

Once you find a free trial subscription, proceed to checkout where you’ll be asked to enter your payment information, but you won’t be charged. You’ll need to provide your payment information, so you’ll be charged when the free trial expires if you don’t cancel it.

Why not Dreamstime?

Dreamstime offers a few subscription plans, one of which includes a free trial (15 monthly downloads). However, Dreamtime’s free trial isn’t very good as you can only download watermarked images. To explain, most stock photo sites give you the option to download watermarked images anyway, so the free trial is quite pointless.

  1. Go to Dreamstime.
  2. Click “Prices and download plans” in the top right.
  3. Pick the 15 monthly downloads subscription plan.
  4. Click the “Buy” button.
  5. Sign in to your Dreamstime account (or create one).
  6. Enter your payment information (you won’t be charged).
  7. Click “Continue“.
  8. Confirm the free trial order.

Best Stock Image Free Trials FAQ

Are there any free stock photos?

You can find free images on sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. But you can also get high-quality, royalty-free images from paid stock photo sites by signing up for a free trial. During the 30-day trial period, you can download up to 40 images and then cancel.

Where can I get high-quality stock photos for free?

You can get high-quality stock photos for free by using the free trials of paid stock photo sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Canva. Here, you can download royalty-free photos for free for the first 30 days of an annual subscription. If you cancel before your subscription expires, you don’t have to pay anything.

How to cancel the Adobe Stock free trial?

Canceling Adobe Stock free trial is fairly simple. Sign in to your account, and under Plans and payment, click on the Manage plan button, and choose to Cancel plan. Adobe will ask you to give them a reason for the cancellation, but you may skip it.
The best part is that you don’t have to be afraid of missing the deadline because you’re allowed to cancel at the last minute. For example, Shutterstock requires you to cancel 4 days in advance, which catches many customers off guard.

How to cancel Shutterstock free trial?

To cancel the Shutterstock free trial, go to the Plans page in your account and press the Cancel plan early button. Canceling the trial at least four days before it expires is completely free. Within the four-day period before the subscription starts, you can no longer cancel the trial.

How to cancel Dreamstime free trial?

Log into your account and go to the Payment Management page. From there, select the subscription plan you wish to cancel and click on the Cancel Subscription button.

Is there a free trial for iStock?

iStock doesn’t currently have a free trial. In 2022, from January to April, iStock ran a free trial for a handful of countries, but it’s no longer available. However, by creating an iStock account, you can get one free photo every week.

How do I get Getty Images free trial?

GettyImages doesn’t have a free trial. Although there are illegal ways to acquire unwatermarked images, I strongly advise you against it. Their team patrols the internet looking for misuse of their images, for which you may pay high fees.

How to get CanStockPhoto free trial?

CanStockPhoto is a little-known stock photo site that doesn’t offer a free trial with any of its plans.

About your guide

Matic Broz profile image
Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire, Skylum, and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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