Getty Images Review (2023)

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Review Summary

Fact Checked

The Bottom Line

Getty Images is a fantastic stock photo agency for enterprises and large businesses, but it’s not the best option for individuals and businesses with smaller budgets. The main reason is that Getty Images’ pricing is very expensive compared to its alternatives, mainly because there are no subscription options.


  • Top-notch image quality
  • Very broad licensing terms
  • Personal photographers and API


  • Very expensive
  • No free trial
  • Very poor customer support
GettyImages Logo
Photutorial Score
Photutorial Score = 3.5/5

Photutorial scores are objectively determined by our editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors consumers should consider when choosing creative products and services.
Images197 million
Videos9.4 million
Extended license/
Free trialNo
LicensesRoyalty-free, Rights-managed

Best Getty Images Alternatives

Best overall & quality


Shutterstock logo


All-in-one subscriptions for downloads of images, videos, and music with 32% off with a yearly prepaid commitment. Get it with a 30-day free trial.
Best budget


Envato elements logo

Envato Elements

$16.50 or $39/month
Unlimited downloads of over 10 million assets at a very low price, making it ideal for entrepreneurs and developers.
Best for designers


Adobe Stock logo

Adobe Stock

The best stock image subscriptions for designers, with Creative Cloud integration and download of all standard assets.

Review Summary

Do we recommend Getty Images?

Getty Images offers excellent images and videos, but it’s too expensive for most users. If you can afford to spend between $50 and $500 per image, we definitely recommend Getty Images as a source of stock photos. But since most individuals and businesses cannot spend that much, we recommend several cheaper yet very good alternatives.

Should you get Getty Images?

If you’re an individual, blog/website owner, an entrepreneur, or an SME we think you shouldn’t get Getty Images because it’s too expensive for your budget and there’s just no need to pay that much. However, if you need editorial images/videos or can afford the high prices, the superb quality of images will be a welcome bonus to your brand/product.

What should I get instead?

From our experience, we recommend Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and iStock to most users. Depositphotos is another great option, particularly for those who need fewer (10 to 30 per month) images. You can also get started for free with several free trials.

Get Free Premium Stock Photos

Adobe Stock offers a 30-day free trial that allows you to download 10, 25, or 40 premium images for free and use them even commercially.

Who Is Getty Images Best For?

Getty Images is a fantastic stock photo agency for enterprises and large businesses, but it’s not the best option for individuals and businesses with smaller budgets. The main reason is that Getty Images’ pricing is very expensive compared to its alternatives, mainly because there are no subscription options.

Getty Images might be worth looking into if you need unlimited reproduction for your image, which would force you to get an Extended license anyway. In this case, it’s worth comparing the prices, the image quality, and the licensing terms to see which one best fits your requirements.

On the other hand, an exorbitant number of former Getty Images customers complain about being charged but not receiving the downloads. Moreover, they point out that customer support takes an unusually long time to reply (up to 14 days), and in some cases, they haven’t gotten a reply at all. A few customers also complain about the quality of prints they received from Getty Images and the delay they had to endure. Finally, a few non-customers complained about Getty Images accusing them of unlawful image use, so they replied by offering Getty Images to go to court, after which the stock photo agency gave in.

A note from the editor: Photutorial hasn’t found any issues with Getty Images, but considering the severe negative reviews, we warn you to proceed cautiously and consider alternatives too.

Related: Best stock photo sites

Best Alternatives

Getty ImagesShutterstockAdobe StockiStock
Best forBest for editorial imagesBest overallBest for Graphic DesignersBest for Subscriptions
Images185 million392 million280 million140 million
Extended license$50–$499/image$67.96–$99.50$79.99$144–$216
Free trialNoYes (10 images)Yes (10, 25, or 40 images)Yes (10 images)
LicensesRoyalty-free, Rights-managedRoyalty-freeRoyalty-freeRoyalty-free
Review(current article)Shutterstock reviewAdobe Stock reviewiStock review

Image Sizes

Getty Images sells images in four sizes and resolutions, which govern their prices.

  • Extra small: 72 dpi, 0.2 MP
  • Small: 72 dpi, 0.4 MP
  • Medium: 300dpi, 3.0 MP
  • Large: 300dpi, max resolution

Getty Images Pricing

Getty Images sells stock photos on-demand only, either each photo individually or in packages. Images and videos cost from $150 to $499, depending on resolution and package, which come in sizes of 1, 5, and 10 images. You may use the packs for any combination of images, videos, and editorial images.

Although not explicitly promoted on the pricing page, you can get every image in an “Extra small” size for $50, which can be good for websites. Although inexpensive, the 0.2 MP resolution is not enough for any image, in this day and age.

Monthly downloadsLarge images, 4K and HD videosMedium images, SD videosSmall images, low-res videos
1 image$499 per image$375 per image$175 per image
5 images$450 per image ($2,250)$325 per image ($1,625)$160 per image ($800)
10 images$425 per image ($4,250)$300 per image ($3,000)$150 per image ($1,500)

Getty Images subscriptions

Getty Images doesn’t offer subscriptions which is the reason for the above-average prices. The only way to save is by purchasing downloads in bulk, available in sizes of 5 and 10 downloads. This can reduce the price per image by up to 15%.

Getty Images Licensing

Getty Images offers three types of licenses: royalty-free (“RF”), rights-ready (“RR”), and rights-managed (“RM”). The Getty Images royalty-free content is licensed for perpetual, unlimited, worldwide use, and the pricing depends on the file resolution. Rights-ready and rights-managed content is licensed for a specific use, so the pricing depends on the file size, duration, geographic location of use, and placement.

Royalty-free: unlike other stock photo agencies, which cap reproduction at 500,000, Getty Image’s RF content can be used an unlimited number of times. As a result, Getty Images’ RF license is equal to the Enhanced or Extended licenses found at other stock photo agencies, both in the allowed uses and the price. It’s also worth noting that the royalty-free license is non-exclusive, meaning anyone else can use the same file.

Rights-ready/rights-managed: the main difference between RR/RM and RF is that RR/RM licenses are limited to specific use and period of time, size of the content, print run, medium, and other content.

Custom Content

All content on Getty Images is non-exclusive, which means that anyone else can use the same images and videos. While that’s fine for most users, some clients representing brands need unique images. So, instead of hiring a team of photographers, you can reach out to Getty Images, who then asks all of its 340,000 creators to provide content in accordance with your guidelines and requirements.


Getty Images offers similar tools and integrations as iStock and Shutterstock, including various integrations and editing tools.

  • Integrations: Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, WordPress VIP, and plugins deliver all Getty Images content to the apps and editors.
  • Media Manager: This is an integration of Getty Images’ database into the file management system by Brandfolder. This helps you keep all your files organized, which is especially useful when you have lots of content.
  • API: You can use the RESTful API to access Getty Images in your app.

Getty Images Review Summary

Getty Images has a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0, indicating that many customers are satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with Getty Images mention high-quality editorial content and simple licensing. Customers dissatisfied with Getty Images mention poor customer support and very high prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Getty Images mean?

Getty Images got its name from its co-founder Mark Getty, who founded Getty Images in 1995 together with Jonathan Klein. Nowadays, Getty Images is a synonym for premium stock photography and high-level services related to photo licensing.

Are Getty Images reliable?

Getty Images emphasizes legal image use, and it is therefore reliable both as a source of images for customers and as a place to sell content for creatives.

Why is Getty Images so expensive?

Getty Images is expensive because there are no subscriptions, which guarantee the lowest prices at other stock photo agencies. Another reason is that Getty Images offers very high-quality images with a broad license.

Rating Methodology

To review Getty Images accurately, we took a holistic view of 31 stock photo agencies that incorporated image number, quality, variety, prices and pricing options, licensing terms, features, and customer support.

  • Image quality & variety: 20% of the score. We browsed each stock photo site for over 50 search terms and analyzed the resulting image quality and variety. Both were scored qualitatively based on our expertise and experience. The quality check comprised technical quality, including exposure, sharpness, grain, saturation, color temperature, and added value. The variety check was primarily focused on checking what percentage of images came from the same photo shoot.
  • Stock photo prices and pricing options: 20% of the score. Price is crucial in choosing stock photos, and having various options helps customers find the best plans. We checked whether the stock photo agency offers subscriptions, on-demand options, and which sizes. In addition, having a free trial is a bonus as it allows customers to get an insight into what they can expect. Finally, we considered the minimum, median, and maximum price per image and the price per extended license image.
  • Licensing terms: 20% of the score. We read and took notes on every stock image license. We compared them based on how many copies, reprints, impressions they allow, and indemnity value.
  • Image number: 15% of the score. The number of images is essential when rating stock photo sites because you can quickly run out of free photos when you need thousands of images. We checked each stock photo site’s database and took notes on the number of images.
  • Additional features: 15% of the score. Additional features are meant to simplify or enhance a customer’s workflow. We reviewed and tested all the additional features where possible. Since some are limited to enterprises, or we couldn’t get in touch with the support team, we searched for customers with access to the additional features and asked for their opinion.
  • Customer support: 10% of the score. Crucially, when testing customer support, we didn’t tell them who we were, so we got treated like every other customer. We took notes of the response times, contact options (live chat, email, and telephone), and the usefulness and kindness of the support teams.

Within each category, we also considered several characteristics, the number of images per most popular searches, technical quality, and added value. We also looked at the variety of pricing plans, minimum, median, and maximum image prices, and free trial terms. Finally, we evaluated Getty Images’ customer support, licensing, and additional features that would enhance customers’ workflow.

About your guide

Matic Broz profile image
Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a multifaceted creative professional, with experience as a photographer, graphic designer, and business owner. He has a decade of experience in helping other creatives improve their craft and start their own businesses. His writing and research have been featured in notable publications such as The Guardian, PetaPixel, and USA Today. Additionally, his scientific research has been recognized with a cover feature in the prestigious MDPI-owned journal. In his leisure time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and spending time with dogs. Read more

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