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Getty Images Review May 2022

Matic BrozUpdated May 17, 2022

Our Verdict

Getty Images is a widely-known and expensive stock photo agency, selling royalty-free and rights-managed images and videos. You can buy images and videos for $50–$499 based on image size and buying options.

Pros

  • The largest collection of editorial content in the world, with over 130 million files.
  • Simple licensing options.

Cons

  • Many strongly-worded negative reviews are possibly indicative of poor customer treatment and service.
  • Very expensive and no subscription plans.

Best Premium

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on Getty Images’ website

4.4

rating 4.5

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websitegettyimages.com
Content185 million
Pricing$50–$499/image
Free trialNo
LicensesRoyalty-free, Rights-managed

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 amount of former Getty Images customers complain about being charged but not receiving the downloads. Moreover, they point out that the customer support took unusually long to reply (up to 14 weeks) and in some cases, they haven’t gotten a reply altogether. 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 the 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

Best Overall

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on Shutterstock’s website

5.0

rating 5-0

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websiteshutterstock.com
Pricing$0.22-$14.50/image
Extended license$67.96
Free trialYes (10 images)
LicensesRoyalty-free
ReviewShutterstock review

Best for Graphic Designers

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on Adobe Stock’s website

5.0

rating 5-0

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websitestock.adobe.com
Pricing$0.26-$9.99/image
Extended license$79.99
Free trialYes (10, 25, or 40 images)
LicensesRoyalty-free
ReviewAdobe Stock review

Best for Commercial Use

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on iStock’s website

4.8

rating 4.5

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websiteistockphoto.com
Pricing$0.22-$9.90/image
Extended license$144–$216
Free trialNo
LicensesRoyalty-free
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 Licensing

Getty Images offers three types of licenses: royalty-free (“RF”), rights-ready (“RR”), and rights-managed (“RM”). 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.

Tools

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 WordPress.org 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.

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.

Methodology

Photutorial reviewed Getty Images based on 14 data points in the categories of image quality and variety, pricing, licensing, image number, customer support, and additional features. Photutorial rated Getty Images based on the weighting assigned to each category.

  • Image quality & variety: 20%
  • Pricing: 20%
  • Licensing: 20%
  • Image number: 15%
  • Additional features: 15%
  • Customer support: 10%

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 customer’s workflow.

Information provided on Photutorial is for educational purposes only. Your situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, nor do we recommend or advise individuals to buy or sell particular stocks or services. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Photutorial adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

About the author

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 and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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