Dreamstime is a stock photo agency with a long history of selling stock images, videos, and audio. Dreamstime is also where you’ll find the cheapest royalty-free and extended license stock photos.
- 160+ million images
- 4.1+ million new monthly images
- The lowest stock photo prices
- Extended license with subscriptions
- Somewhat generic stock images
- Not all photos are high quality
This is my in-depth review of Dreamstime.
In this post I’ll show you:
- Dreamstime best & worst features
- Dreamstime pricing and licenses
- Whether or not I recommend it
- Lots more
Let’s dive right in.
My Experience With Dreamstime
Before we get any deeper into my Dreamstime review, I want to point out a few things.
First, I’m a current Dreamstime user. I’m not just some guy rewriting what he read somewhere else.
A long time ago, I didn’t know about Dreamstime either.
Then, I found the 30% discount and I tried their subscription plan.
In all this time, I’ve never had a negative experience with Dreamstime. Other than that sometimes I don’t find the image I’m looking for.
Second, you may have noticed my 30% discount in the intro of this article.
No: I wasn’t paid by Dreamstime to say that. They simply offered the discount for every Photutorial read because I featured their post.
With that out of the way, let’s get right into the review.
Dreamstime is a microstock photo agency that was founded 21 years ago, in 2000. While its website is not the most modern one, you will find plenty of high-quality stock images.
Over the years, Dreamstime has built a well-deserved reputation for being fair. Also, they served millions of satisfied customers and put together a library of high-quality stock photos.
Being known for its inexpensive stock photos, reliability, and outstanding support staff, Dreamstime is a favourite among both customers, including big and small businesses, bloggers, and individuals.
Here are key Dreamstime features:
- 20 years+ of reliable and fair service
- 160+ million photos, illustrations, and vectors
- 33 million registered users
- 600,000 contributing photographers
- 4.1 million+ new monthly images
- Cheapest stock photos
- Owns an active blog
- Member od DMLA
- The first to receive CEPIC
- Founding member of European Tech Alliance
Dreamstime has seven different subscription plans (from $0.158/image) and ten different credit packages (from $0.616/credit) for royalty-free images, extended license images, and videos.
By purchasing a subscription plan, you get a fixed amount of downloads per month. You also pay a fixed amount of money each month until you cancel.
Subscription plans are the best option for you if you need stock photos for a longer time. This way you’ll also get the most out of your money.
If the image price is a big factor for you, remember the following:
The bigger the subscription plan, the more it costs, but it’s also more cost-efficient.
So, don’t forget that if you choose an annual plan (12 months in the duration column) you get an additional discount.
The lowest subscription prices come with the 750 monthly images prepaid plan. $0.158 is the lowest price per royalty-free image that I know of.
When you buy a Credit package, you get a fixed amount of credits.
You can then use the credits to purchase photos, vectors, and videos.
Credit packages are the best option for you if you don’t want to depend on monthly downloads of subscriptions.
Credits cost from $1.36 with the smallest credit package and as low as $0.616 with the largest credit package.
You can purchase Dreamstime credits with 10 different Credit packages that differ in the number of credits, price, and price per credit.
You get the lowest price by purchasing the largest 2,000-credits pack, resulting in $0.616/credit.
How many credits do photos cost?
Photos don’t have a fixed credit price, which is kind of annoying.
You can download Dreamstime images in seven different sizes and two formats, jpg and tiff.
|Size||Resolution||Pixel per inch||Format|
In fact, the price of photos depends on the size and Content level (0 to 5). The Content level depends on the number of downloads and the age of the photo. Read more about levels.
When you purchase images with a Subscription plan, you only pay with one download that has been given to you at the beginning of the month.
Here’s the price of images in credits based on size and Content level:
|Image size||Level 0||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
The price of all stock photos depends on their level, ranging from 0 to 5. Levels are determined based on the age of the photo and the number of downloads.
|Level||Numbers of downloads||Age|
|Level 0||0||> 6 months|
|Level 1||0||< 6 months|
|Level 5||> 25||/|
Dreamstime sells content under two licenses: Royalty-free and Extended.
The two differ in price, legal indemnification amount, and permitted uses.
Royalty-Free (RF) license
Royalty-Free (RF) license is the most common form of a license. It also gives you the most freedom.
It’s a lifetime license that allows you unlimited printed and electronic copies.
Here’s how the RF license works:
- You pay for the image once and use it as much as you like
- There are no additional or recurring fees – once you purchase it, you can use it for as long as you want
- RF license is granted only for non-watermarked and high-resolution images
- Free files downloaded from the Free Photos section may be used under the RF-LL license
You can use RF license for:
- Your website
- Advertising postcards, flyers, and posters
- Interior designs to decorate your home and office
- To illustrate books, CDs, magazine, newspapers, and their covers
- Create posters, company presentations, and wrappings for products.
In contrast, you cannot use RF licensed photos to create any sort of product that you’re going to resell. That includes postcards, calendars, posters, T-shirts that will be resold or to create logos and trademarks.
If you have any doubts about the proper use of the license, contact Dreamstime first.
How to get RF images from Dreamstime?
You can get royalty-free images with subscription plans and with credits.
To start, simply pick a plan you like best.
As soon as you confirm the payment, you can start downloading royalty-free images.
Extended License (EL)
Extended Licenses, as the name suggests, extend the rights you gain in comparison to a Royalty-Free license.
Extended license features:
- Lifetime license
- Unlimited printed and electronic copies
- Unlimited online usage
- Unlimited printed items for distribution
- Unlimited digital items for distribution
Dreamstime offers four Extended Licenses that are not mutually exclusive:
- Unlimited Seats (U-EL) – Extends the regular RF license to an unlimited number of sit within the same organization.
- Web Usage (W-EL) – includes the right to use media for web templates that are sold to more customers, screensavers, e-cards, PowerPoint representations or as wallpapers.
- Print Usage (P-EL) – includes the right to use the media to be reprinted on items such as greeting cards, mugs, T-shirts, etc.
- Sell the Rights (SR-EL) – the license represents full ownership of the images; however, the buyer may not claim that the file was created by them nor should they sell it.
Best of all, you can purchase an Extended license with subscription plans which are a lot more affordable (3.88x) than purchasing it on-demand.
Read more about Dreamstime licenses.
|Unlimited Seats||U-EL||50 credits|
|Web Usage||W-EL||50 credits|
|Print Usage||P-EL||50 credits|
|Extended License Subscription||EL||1 download|
|1 Year Exclusivity||SR-EL1||$62.5|
|3 Year Exclusivity||SR-EL3||$150|
|Sell the rights||SR-EL||$250|
|Universal Extended License||U-U||$1,000|
Dreamstime Image Quality
Dreamstime sells more than 150 million images, all of which were carefully checked for technical quality and overall usefulness by the Dreamstime curators.
I dare say, that even if you download tens of stock images every day, you’ll never run out of fresh ones. In the screenshot above, you can see that by typing “Christmas”, you get a lot of high-quality, beautiful stock photos, and there’s plenty more where this came from.
With more than 4 million being uploaded every month, Dreamstime is also one of the fast-growing stock photo sites.
How to download images from Dreamstime?
Immediately when you try to search for photos, you’ll find a few suggestion tiles with the best selling collections of photos.
If you’re at all familiar with Google Image Search, you’ll immediately understand Dreamstime Image searching tools.
The most useful search option is by searching with a keyword. For example, “Puppies”.
To find the best image for your project, you may sort them by several filters.
Take your time to find the best photo. Sometimes, it won’t be on the first page.
When you find an image you like, click on it.
First, make sure you picked the right license.
If you forgot which is which, go back to the Licenses chapter.
Finally, choose the image size and click the Download button.
Dreamstime free downloads
You can download Free Photos and Images by clicking here.
In short, you can download photos and use them as long as you abide by the rule of the RF license and attribute the author and Dreamstime as such: Free photo 144892350 © Publicdomainphotos – Dreamstime.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dreamstime legitimate?
In 21 years of experience with stock photography, Dreamstime has acquired more than 33 million registered users and 152,000,000 stock images. Hence, everything about Dreamstime is 100% legitimate and safe to use.
Are Dreamstime images free?
Dreamstime has a large database of free images, which you can license free of charge (require attribution). Dreamstime also license images under Royalty-Free and Extended license, for which you need to pay a one-time fee.
Is Dreamstime copyright free?
Dreamstime is not copyright free. You may, however, use CC0 photos for free, but you need to attribute the author and Dreamstime.
How much does Dreamstime cost?
Dreamstime sells content with subscription plans $0.16 – $4.60, and with credit packs for $0.88 – $24.48 per image. Extended licenses cost between $16.50 and $62.50.
Is Dreamstime royalty-free?
Dreamstime is an online provider of microstock under royalty-free and extended licenses.
How do I cancel Dreamstime subscription?
1. Log in to your Dreamstime account
2. Click on My Account
3. Select Payment Management
4. Uncheck Auto-renewal
Dreamstime review: The Bottom Line
Among all the microstock sites, Dreamstime sells its photos at the lowest prices and takes special care of the image quality and its contributors.
The variety of subscription plans and credit packs guarantees that you’ll find a plan that suits you.
Whether you’re looking to buy some stock photos or looking to earn more money, Dreamstime is a great option.
I recommend Dreamstime to you if you’re looking for a great combination of a large number of high-quality stock photos and the lowest prices. With $0.158/photo, Dreamstime is the most inexpensive stock photo agency.
Now I’d Like to Hear From You
So that was my Dreamstime review.
Now I want to hear about your experience with Dreamstime.
What did you like? Is there something that bothered you?
Let me know by leaving a comment.