In this honest Alamy review, I will explain Alamy pricing system, image quality, how to search images, and everything about Alamy Contributors program.
I am writing this review based on my own experience with Alamy, but I’ve also done research asking customers what they thought of Alamy.
My article: Learn how to claim Alamy 25% discount
Alamy Review Summary
There are numerous reasons to buy from Alamy.
First, it’s a renowned and reputable stock photo company with over 20 years of experience in this industry – it is reliable, serious, and inexpensive.
In case of trouble, there is always one of the best support teams ready to assist you with any problem or question.
Additionally, Alamy’s library houses a whopping 235 million stock images, vectors, videos, and 360-degree panoramic images, with a simple pricing system – no subscriptions, no need to register!
What is more, image pricing starts as low as $6.96 per download.
- Super-fast and kind support team
- Huge content library
- Excellent image quality
- No subscriptions
- No registration needed
- No questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee
- Questionable photo acquiring policy
- No subscription-based discounts
- Somewhat slow website
What is Alamy stock photo?
Alamy is one of the oldest stock photo agencies – it is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. In these years, it has earned a well-deserved worldwide reputation for offering high-quality stock images.
Currently, Alamy offers over 235 million stock images, vectors, illustrations, so you can always find the right content for your visual designs. Here are just a few reasons why you should choose Alamy over other stock photo sites:
- High-quality content comes from over 150,000 contributors.
- Almost 700 trustworthy agencies
- A library of 235 million images, with 100,000 more added every day.
- Alamy covers a vast majority of countries
Alamy sells its content on-demand only, but you can save by using credit packs. Rights Managed images cost between$19.99 and $199.99, depending on the intent. Royalty-Free images cost between $49 and $365, depending on the size.
Alamy’s prices are transparent and easy to determine since there are no credit options. Its diverse catalogue offers various themes and styles available under either Royalty-Free license, starting at as low as $6.96 per image, or Rights Managed license with prices starting at $19.99 per image.
There is, however, a downside to no subscription plans because there are no immediate discounts on bulk purchases or recurring customers, the problem which has been now resolved with image packs.
You can get up to a 30% discount with Alamy’s image packs. The agency is also willing to work out a special offer for your individual needs; all you need to do is contact them directly.
Importantly, Alamy offers a full refund, no questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee.
Popular image licenses
Alamy has pre-prepared Popular image licenses that are quick and easy to use. These licenses differ in applicability. The following can be used for:
- Personal use – $19.99. Personal prints, cards, and gifts, or reference for artists. Non-commercial use only, not for resale.
- Presentation or newsletters – $19.99. Use in a presentation/talk or in a newsletter.
- Website – $49.99. Websites, apps, social media, and blogs. Worldwide for 5 years.
- Magazines and books – $69.99. Magazine or book, inside use, 2,500 circulations, worldwide for 5 years
- Marketing package: Small business – $59.99. Marketing materials, worldwide for 5 years. For businesses of up to 10 employees.
- Marketing package: Large business – $199.99. Marketing materials, worldwide for 5 years. For businesses of more than 10 employees.
Royalty-Free image licenses
Royalty-free image licenses are flexible and user-friendly. All you need to do is select the resolution you need, and pay a one-off fee that allows you to use the selected image in any way you want, for an unlimited amount of time.
sYou can use them across multiple projects without having to buy extra licenses. It’s also a perfect choice if you don’t know how long your project is going to last, and therefore how long the images will be in use.
These images and illustrations are available in multiple sizes, ranging from XSmall to XXLarge.
Alamy offers a bespoke license, completely tailored to your needs. No matter if you’re a smaller business owner, who’s looking for a few stock images a year, or a well-established company, Alamy is happy to help you.
Related reading: Alamy stock photo Custom license
With Download packs, you get instant access to images. This is a pre-paid and download on-demand purchase option, ideal if you know you’ll need more than 10 images per year, as it can save you up to 30%.
There are a few rules:
- Use is restricted to the license you’ve bought
- Downloads are available for 12 months after purchase
- Your unused downloads are not rolled-over
- The download pack is never auto-renewed
The majority of its collection is available for download, but there are some restrictions. Some images can’t be sold in certain countries or for certain uses; however, Alamy will always let you know which licenses are available in advance.
Alamy accepts all major credit cards (MasterCard, VISA, American Express), PayPal, and Google Pay, so you won’t have any problems finding the right payment option for yourself. All payments are safe and quickly processed; thus, giving you chance to instantly start using the purchased images.
Below is a screenshot of Alamy payment dialogue.
Related reading: How to claim Alamy 25% discount
Image search tools
Alamy has a fantastic image search tool, that was so effective that Alamy even applied it for a patent. It is very easy to use and the implementation of various parameters makes finding the perfect image a simple task.
With the selection of proper search filters, you can narrow down your search and find exactly the image you’re looking for. You can search by:
- People – search by the number of people in an image or the age of the people, or even by their ethnicity
- Location – USA, UK, Australia, and Europe
- Image – select the orientation you want, pick the style or enter the minimum file size
- Viewpoint – pick the angle that suits your needs, you can choose between front, side, rear, profile
- Date taken – find images taken within specific time frames or search the most recently added content
Advanced search filter
Alamy’s Advanced search filter is a great tool if you want to search for a particular collection or photographer or do a more detailed search. You can search by contributor name, or terms such as “all words”, phrases, “at least one of the words”, or “without the words”.
Related reading: Alamy Search Tools on Alamy Blog
Lightboxes let you store images that you find and like when you’re searching, saving them for later, should you decide to purchase them.
To create a Lightbox, make sure you’re registered first. You can do this easily and quickly by clicking the “Sign Up” button, and popping in your details.
Once you’re logged in to your account, go to the homepage and select “My Alamy” in the top right corner and click “Lightbox” from the drop-down menu. Select “Add a Lightbox”, give it a name, and description (optional). Click “Save” and you’re all set to start adding images to your Lightbox.
To start adding content into your Lightbox, go to the homepage, and enter your search term in the search bar. There are 2 ways to add images from the search results page.
Option 1. When you find an image that you like, hover the mouse over it and a set of 4 icons will very conveniently pop-up. Click on the left-most icon.
Once you click the icon, a box will appear at the bottom of the screen, where you can select which Lightbox you want to add an image to.
Alamy promises that an icon changes once the image is added to a Lightbox to let you know that the task has been completed; however, no matter how many times I tried I couldn’t make it work. Although the image was saved to my Lightbox, the icon didn’t change. This is not a huge issue since you get a confirmation when your image is saved to your Lightbox. It is probably only a temporary bug.
Option 2. When you find an image that you like, you can click on it and you will land on the image page. Next, you can click on the “Add to Lightbox” option under the image.
Once again I couldn’t make the icon change work. Although not a deal-breaker, it would be nice to have. You can also learn more about Lightboxes in Alamy vlog:
To become an Alamy Contributor, create a free account on Alamy, and upload 3 best images to be reviewed. Within 3 work-days, Alamy team will check them for quality. When and if they pass the test, you can start uploading images as a part of contributors program.
Alamy stock photo has an easy to use and a profitable contributors program, which has over the years paid more than $200 million to the contributors.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an amateur landscape photographer who just wants to showcase you best images and make a few extra bucks or a professional stock photo photographer, Alamy welcomes all kinds of images. Its library doesn’t consist only of images; you can also sell footage, vectors, illustrations, reportage, and archival imagery.
Quick Summary of Alamy Contributors:
- You submit images, Alamy sells them,
- You can also sell through its network of distributors,
- You must be the copyright holder or have their permission (you’ll need written permission),
- All the information you supply must be correct, especially that regarding property or people in your images,
- You caption and keywords to your images,
- Alamy determines the prices,
- You get 50% of sales for exclusive images, and 40% for non-exclusive,
- You are informed of all your sales, and you can withdraw your earning when they exceed $50.
Why contribute to Alamy?
There are 2 main reasons to choose Alamy’s Contributors program.
- Your work doesn’t need to be exclusive to Alamy. You may share your content on other non-exclusive stock photo sites as well. The more sites you upload your content to, the bigger the chance to sell. I recommend uploading your work to Shutterstock as well.
- Alamy Contributors’ commissions are one of the best in the stock photo industry. You get 50% for exclusive images and 40% for non-exclusive images.
By contributing to Alamy, you’re guaranteed that thousands of people will see your work and you’ll gain tons of exposure.
How does Alamy Contributors work?
First, you need to apply for its program. You can do this here.
When you confirm your account, click “My Account” in the top right corner, choose the first option “Contributor dashboard”, and you’ll see big blue “Upload” button on the right. Choose the images you wish to upload and send them for a Quality Check. It usually takes somewhere between 12 hours and 3 days to get an answer. Images that had been approved are now ready to be uploaded.
To maximize your chance of success, give your images a captivating title and caption that will draw customers’ attention to your work. Next, you need to add keywords that are relevant to your content. You can add up to 50 keywords. What I do in this situation, is I try to imagine that I’m a customer and which keywords I’d type in the search bar to find the image I’m not selling.
Let me help you with an example. Let’s say that you have an image of oranges in a basket on a table covered in a blue sheet. First, just start describing everything that’s in the image: oranges, basket, table, sheet, fruit. Next, you describe colours: orange, blue, brown, orange and teal, orange and blue, etc. Now comes the hardest part; describing emotions. This depends on the mood in your image, but here are some that I use the most often: nostalgia, happiness, moody, health, love, boredom, etc.
How much money you can make with Alamy Contributors?
This is where the harsh truth kicks in. Twenty or so years ago when there was not much online content, it was much easier to sell stock images. Nowadays, there are tens (if not hundreds) of stock photo agencies with millions and even hundreds of millions of stock photo images in their libraries.
How are you going to compete with that? You need to know what kind of content you need to shoot.
What to shoot for Alamy Contributors?
To get the most out of stock photo sites, you need to follow the trends in the world. The majority of your customers are going to be large companies and media houses, which need images of the current events as soon as possible.
It is a good idea to follow the news to find out what’s happening in your local area. The smaller the area you are in, the lower the chance you’ll have any competition. A few good examples include protests, political rallies, parades, festivals, concerts, etc. You get the point.
IMPORTANT: Before shooting and posting these images, make sure you’re not breaking any laws.
Another great way to find what’s selling best is following Alamy’s Picture Needs. This is basically a list of topics that their collection lacks and their customers need.
FAQ | Alamy review
Is Alamy safe?
Yes, Alamy is a safe and reputable company. I’ve worked with them for years without any problems. You might find some poor reviews on sites such as TrustPilot, but every brand or service has negative reviews, due to the customers not reading the terms and conditions carefully.
How much does Alamy cost?
Alamy’s photos are available on-demand only, with the prices starting as low as $6.96 per download. The price depends on the License and Image resolution.
Is Alamy stock photo exclusive?
Alamy is a non-exclusive agency, meaning that you can sell images on their website as well as on other non-exclusive sites. Make sure you take advantage of that to get the most out of your work.
Is Alamy royalty-free?
Yes, Alamy also offers a Royalty-Free license, which means that you pay a one-off fee to use the image with no restrictions on how you use it, or for how long you use it. Royalty-free images can also be used across multiple projects, forever.
Can I use Alamy photos?
Yes, you can use Alamy photos, but only if either of these three conditions is met:
1. If it has a creative commons license that allows it to be shared for free you will still need to insert a credit line that details the contributing party’s information. For example © Contributor’s name / Alamy Stock Photo
2. You can share an image within Alamy. On the image page, you’ll find our ‘share’ button to the right-hand side, and from here you can select which social media channel you’d like to share the image on. The image will be shared equipped with watermark, credit line, and link back to the image page.
3. If you don’t want to share a watermarked image or assign a credit line to the image, your best option is to buy the image under a license that enables the use of the image online.
Conclusion | Alamy review
Alamy stock photo is a great macro-stock website with a long tradition and a well-established reputation. With 21 years of experience, they managed to build an impressive library of stock photos, illustrations, vectors, and 360-images, available at a decent price. The quality of their content is excellent, but what stands out, even more, is the variety.
Alamy has an average rating of 3.7 stars from 3 reviews on Sitejabber, 1.9 stars from 149 reviews on Trustpilot, and 3.6 stars from 7 reviews on G2. Consumers most often complain about poor image search system and contributors program that takes a long time to sell photos.
A downside to Alamy is that there are no subscription-based models, which are often more affordable. You can circumvent this by using Alamy’s download packs.
Further reading: Best Stock Photo Sites
Matic is a photographer and avid teacher of photography from Slovenia. In 2020, he founded Photutorial.com, website/blog dedicated to teaching photography, writing honest and helpful reviews, and inspiring photographers.