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Review of iStockPhoto

iStockPhoto reviews

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47 reviews
1240 20th Ave SE, Suite 200
Calgary, Alberta T2G 1M8, Canada
Tel: 866 478 6251
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47 Reviews From Our Community

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I also don't like that when you buy their credits they EXPIRE!!!! (in 10 reviews)

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1 review
0 helpful votes

I've been using them for many years and have been suckered into buying their annual subscription. But since then the quality of their photos has seriously gone down hill. Before I could I could find nice newsletters to use for our n ewsleters quickly, but now the pickings are paltry and totally AMATEUR.

If someone has a better site they know about , please share.

Ask Nils about iStockPhoto
1 review
0 helpful votes

Customer service sucks. Beware!

Ask Lisa about iStockPhoto
1 review
2 helpful votes

I'm in Australia, and by Australian law pricing must not be misleading or deceptive, it must show all included taxes and charges.

iStock advertised that a particular subscription would cost $230 AUD. I spent 3 weeks choosing images. When I went to buy the subscription they charged an additional $23 in tax, and then I also found on my credit card over $5 in foreign exchange conversion fees. Unfortunately I needed to continue with the purchase as I had already committed time to finding the images I needed.

I have written to iStock twice to get them to refund the additional money, I have also spoken to them several times and they are not interested.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission agree that iStock is in breach of Australian law and I am currently taking up the matter with the Office of Fair Trading.

I suggest you don't deal with iStock as there are plenty of honest businesses out there you can work with.

Ask Paul about iStockPhoto
1 review
3 helpful votes

Poor services for contributors have dwindled to non existent over the years as they find new ways to chip away at the time spend actually addressing contributor concerns. They do not value contributors and it shows in the customer service. Its bad enough that they only give you Approx 30% of the small amount they sell your work. IstockPhoto are parasites not in any way designed to empower or help artists.

Ask Mike about iStockPhoto
1 review
19 helpful votes

First, I've never written an online review of a company before, but I have had such a horrible experience with iStock recently that I had to warn people. Hopefully I can save someone from the painful, stressful experience I just had. I signed up in June 2015 for the monthly subscription. At the time it was $199 to download up to 200 images. It's now only $166 for 750 images, which seems like a great deal, right? Well, it's NOT! Don't do it! It's a trap. Here's how it worked for me... Many of the images I wanted were "signature" images. So, I had to upgrade to the "premium subscription" and pay another $150 to access the images I wanted. I downloaded approximately 40 of my 200 images. A few weeks later, a very "nice" rep by the name of Eric Niederer called me, offering to help me and give me some great offers/specials after he better understood my graphic needs. A few minutes later after I explained what two projects I was using the images for (a corporate brochure and refreshing our corporate website), he turned from "nice" to evil, telling me I was out of compliance, and had voided the terms and conditions of the agreement because I had allowed our website developer to upload a few of the images to our development site. He said that I was the only one under that program who could touch the images in any shape or form. By letting anyone else touch the image, even if only to upload it, I wash in breach of the agreement. He then went on to tell me that unless I paid their company $3,600 I was going to regret the legal problems I was going to have. Meanwhile, I hadn't even used or published any of the images and had only downloaded 40 of the 200. He also explained that I could only use the images for a period of 30 days (only while the subscription was in effect). Any image not used in "final" content within the timeframe that my subscription was live (for 30 days) needed to be destroyed and could never be used. I was in complete shock. I explained that I hadn't read the terms and conditions, but that a reasonable, rational person would think you could use the images in corporate materials because they had been purchased. I told him I was shocked and confused and had to think about what he had said and talk to my boss. That was on a Thursday. They next morning (this past Friday) he emailed asking what my decision was. I said I hadn't spoken to my boss yet (which I hadn't as it had been less than 24 hours and I only meet with my boss weekly). He said that was fine "if that was my answer", but he was going to send over a second "out of compliance issue" and that I only had five days to make my final decision. That was last week. Today he called almost hourly (I didn't answer because I recognized the number). I have never been treated so poorly by a company and literally felt violated, harassed, and entrapped. He even admitted he knew I hadn't done anything malicious, and that he doesn't usually read the fine print in the terms and conditions either, but regardless I can either pay them $3,600 dollars or "take my chances". Wow. Not the kind of company I will ever do business with again. Completely misleading advertising and really unethical business practices if you ask me. I am not going to use any of the 40 images I downloaded. They basically got $350 from me, and then threatened to sue me for an honest mistake. Let me add that Ghetty images recently bought iStock. I have been told by several others that Ghetty has been doing this sort of thing for years (calling people and threatening to sue them unless they pay thousands of dollars). For your protection and peace of mind, please do yourself and your company a favor and use another image provider other than iStock or Ghetty. I am still in complete disbelief that businesses think they can operate like this in 2015. Misleading marketing, awful customer service, very poor long term strategic planning. iStock did the complete opposite of what you want to do to retain and wow customers. They wowed me for all the wrong reasons. Hope this review helps someone...

Ask J about iStockPhoto
1 review
9 helpful votes

iStockPhoto has the worst customer service I've ever experienced anywhere. I was locked out of my company account - exactly one day after purchasing their most expensive subscription - and when i called to unlock it, they refused to do so and instead kept asking me questions as if i was a thief violating their copyright laws. they told me that if i download an image and email it to my coworker, i am in violation of their copyright laws. really? i purchased this photograph and I can't even share it with someone who is on the same work project that I am on? eventually after hours of talking to them, we tried to cancel because i'd rather pull all my teeth out then have them talk to me the way they do. and they said we were stuck with them for a year because we had already downloaded 32 photographs. They would not let us pay for the photographs we downloaded and cancel our subscription. so we're stuck.. with terrible service and nasty operators. run away from this company! all they want is your money and they don't care about helping anyone.

Ask jane about iStockPhoto
3 reviews
1 helpful vote

You find good information and more beautiful photo .

Ask Breban about iStockPhoto
2 reviews
295 helpful votes

I like good photos and have nothing against this site. Photographer also need earn money and good photos are not free. And I said is like a professional photographer. When I was a beginner I was looking for good site with helpful tips for making good photos and I try this You are welcome=)

Ask Natasha about iStockPhoto
1 review
5 helpful votes

As a long time customer, I have seen the steady decline of this provider over the years. Now the only thing they care about is $$. There are much better photography providers available. Choose them instead.

Ask Jay about iStockPhoto
1 review
9 helpful votes

iStockPhoto has been nothing but trouble for us. Their site never works, they are constantly changing their rules, the customer support team is NASTY, and they don't have as many unique images as they seem to think they do. Do yourself a favor and RESEARCH your options before just going with a known name like iStock. I can't rate them poorly enough.

Ask Cheryl about iStockPhoto
1 review
3 helpful votes

Istock/Getty has been treating its customers like a number and treats the overall Graphic Arts Community poorly. They took low cost access to quality images and increased prices dramatically. I continually read how Getty extorts websites that cannot prove they purchased an Istock image for hundreds or thousands of dollars, when the original image may have cost $10-$30. If you've been in graphic arts for any amount of time there is no doubt you don't have every receipt for every last image, graphic, software or digital material you have purchased. While they may collect on a few cases here and they Getty has alienated more buyers and sent them to other resources.

Ask Ken about iStockPhoto
1 review
2 helpful votes

I would not use this site again even if it was free. So many things wrong. Features are so limited its incredible they are a real business.

Ask Tyler about iStockPhoto
10 reviews
15 helpful votes


Ask Velma about iStockPhoto
1 review
7 helpful votes

Don't ever sign up to

JUST DON'T <--- So many reasons why

Ask Iva about iStockPhoto
1 review
8 helpful votes

I have been using Istock for years and I have to say this is the FIRST REVIEW I have ever written. I am not sure if it is be cause I am so irritated about how they changed the pricing procedure but it was a good deal for us at one point. Our company invested a lot of money into Istock but now it seems very over priced. We don't want a subscription because we operate one project at a time. Some months we will need 12 photos and others, none. As far as I am concerned we will get our stock images elsewhere. Nice work, you ruined our opinion of you.

Ask Tiffany about iStockPhoto
1 review
4 helpful votes

I feel that istock has ripped me off for $200 by their lack of clear disclosure on what the subscription included. I then tried to contact them by telephone and could not reach anyone. After three attempts I wrote and emailed....still nothing. I finally reached them a week and many calls later only to be told the refund policy precluded anything after ten days....I was then told "I'm sorry you are confused". Who would say that to a customer? istock does not deserve anyone's business. Find another vendor....we are!

Ask Tom about iStockPhoto
3 reviews
5 helpful votes

Echoing other recent reviews: been a member and contributor since'02. Not a huge contributor or user, but Always made enough in credits to support(convert) my modest image needs. Today I login to start another light box and only see a $3 balance.WTF???. Dig around and see ALL my credits and purchases have expired!!!! Even though they display a "credits never expire" statement on the pricing page.They've been receiving income from MY work and continue too without compensating me! Hello state attorney general & FTC, have I got something for you! Maybe John Stossel too.

And the pricing is increased too. Dang Getty corporate crap.It used to be a community of artists, now its the Suits running the loony bin.. Somebody needs to start another Stock site modeled after the original Artists helping artists.

Ask All about iStockPhoto
1 review
6 helpful votes

ISTOCKPHOTO IS A SCAM!!! Their customer service is sickeningly twisted. For the love of god stay away from this place and never NEVER sign up for their plans.

Ask Andrew about iStockPhoto
1 review
4 helpful votes

Shocking customer service, poor packages, overpriced, STAY AWAY, far better providers out there for a fairer price.

Ask JAMES about iStockPhoto
1 review
12 helpful votes

I have been an image contributor since 2008 and I have to say that over the past 5 years the site has been on a steady decline. Contributor services are the absolute worst. If a contributor has a problem forget it, there isn't a direct phone line to call. Contributors can only open a support ticket online and it may take several weeks to finally get a response. Bottom line, they do not take care of the content suppliers. They do not listen to contributor or buyer concerns. Inspectors are highly inconsistent. If you need a 2nd opinion from "Scout" GOOD LUCK!!! you will be waiting a very long time to get it. My wait time for one image recently was so long that when they finally responded to my ticket, I was told "I am sorry but the photo is no longer available for us to review". Unsatisfactory!!!

As an exclusive contributor unfortunately I cannot recommend this site to contributors or to buyers, that's just how bad that it's become. There are other sites that have far better prices and they actually take care of their exclusive contributors and listen to buyer and contributor concerns. If you are thinking of becoming an exclusive contributor, do yourself a huge favor and make sure that you do your research and then research some more. There isn't any incentive to being an exclusive contributor here now. The grass definitely isn't greener. Payouts are becoming less and less and we do not have the ability to get more images to their parent site in order to make more money from our work. It's become impossible to move up in pay level because the redeemed credit targets is broken. They've actually had to grandfather contributors to maintain their current pay level for at least 3 or 4 years consecutively. They'll tell you that they are doing contributors a favor by grandfathering but in reality that way of doing things isn't working and they will not change it. The majority of sales generated now are through subscriptions and partner programs, all of which do not generate credits toward contributor redeemed credit targets because the only way to increase your redeemed credit totals is if a buyer purchases images with credits!

I'm happy that I don't have to rely on the income to survive as it has become very very low... it's a joke actually. Even though I'm still an exclusive contributor who's invested a lot into this company, I'm to the point where I don't even care if this ship finally sinks completely. Call me sick, but I'd actually get some sort of enjoyment from it.

Additional info:

There are also rumors on the discussion boards that some of the Forum Moderators and file inspectors (who are also contributors) have access to individual contributor account pay balance info... I don't have words for this.

Ask Clyde about iStockPhoto
1 review
5 helpful votes

Finally finished with this place. My last 10 credits were "restructured" "in my advantage" to 2 credits but every photo I've looked at is 3 credits. As a web developer, I don't have any need for sizes other than the small which used to cost a thanks to their "improved pricing" a small costs the same as a large.
I have steered all my clients away from this place. Thankfully, there are much better business models out there that don't cheat their clients.

I should mention that if the pricing structure had been improved to support the contributing photographers, it might not have been so distasteful. Also, had they properly grandfathered existing credits instead of reducing them... I look forward to the class action suit.

Ask MaryAnn about iStockPhoto
1 review
10 helpful votes

As with many others I too am fed up with istock and their changes in pricing/credits.

Yet again they have devalued my investment and I can't see how it can be legal.

Example, invest £100 and get for ease of maths 100 credits. I used to get low res images for 1 credit but then they all went up to 2 credits. Over night the value of my investment halved.

Recently I had about 48 credits left so could buy 24 low res images. Then iStock changed the structure again so I could only buy a maximum of 10 photos. I am no maths expert but I think that works out that iStock reduced the value of my investment over night by 60%.

My advice do not touch iStock. Overpriced and it wont be long before they change their structure again and you get even less for your money.

Ask Andy about iStockPhoto
1 review
7 helpful votes

I was a customer since the beginning of iStock, but as several here have posted, since getty bought them, they've gone to $#*!. In particular, their practice of expiring your money. Yes you read it right. You deposit money into your iStock account. If you don't use your money within an allotted time, they take your money and you get nothing. That is theft, plain and simple. But that's standard practice in the business world these days, isn't it.

To hell with iStock. Why throw away money when there are so many good stock photo sites to choose from???

Ask Tony about iStockPhoto
5 reviews
11 helpful votes

iStockPhoto has excellent collection of photographs, backgrounds, technological perspectives, and so on. But all those collections are looking similar and I didn’t find any variety in a particular category. Either a photographer or a technology enthusiast is always searching for unique and new concepts. Thus, this site is not up to the extent of the vision of enthusiasts.

Ask pamela about iStockPhoto
1 review
11 helpful votes

Ever since GettyImages purchased iStock it has become too expensive. And the recent 5:1 conversion was a big hit (without any notification), my 50 credits went down to 10. It doesn't make much sense for a web designer. I used to purchase the small image for a couple credits ($2-3). Now I have to spend $15-45 for the same type of image.

Try or

Ask j about iStockPhoto
1 review
5 helpful votes

September 2014 istockphoto changed the credit system. Before the 5:1 conversion my creditsBalance was 17. After the 5:1 conversion i've got 4 credits.

I'm only used 2 credit images in the old system, so for 17 credits i can download 8 pictures.

In the new system i can only download 4 images for those 4 credits.

Conclusion: istockphoto ripped me of for 50% !!!

Ask mark about iStockPhoto
1 review
9 helpful votes

Horrible customer service! Beyond overpriced! I would never recommend to my worst enemy.

Stay far away!

Do not deserve ANY stars!

Ask Jill about iStockPhoto
1 review
13 helpful votes

Total Scam! Do not subscribe!!! I paid $499 for a 1 month subscription to download 250 images. After two weeks of downloading about half my photos, I get a call from their sales rep telling me that in the fine print of the agreement I am required to use all the images I download in a professional publication before the end of the month or I must delete them. He then tries to pressure me into spending $1999 for a 1 year subscription. I spoke with the manager and they would not refund me and they cancelled my subscription so that I can't download the rest of the images I paid for. It's a total rip off!

Ask Julie about iStockPhoto
4 reviews
41 helpful votes

I've used many stock image sites over the years to get images for some of my projects. And really like iStockphoto and iStockvideo. I lost the image I'd downloaded months before and they allowed me to download again at no extra charge. Friendly customer support highly trusted and professional people.

Ask Nasima about iStockPhoto
4 reviews
8 helpful votes

I recently went to the site and entered a search term. I got 454 hits. AS I started to review the photos I saw that a SIGNIFICANT number 40 or more + had NOTHING to do with the search tern I had entered. When I sent a polite e-mail explaining what was happening I was told that if I wanted to spend my time explaining why each one of the errors was wrong they might consider removing the term-in-error. I sent another e-mail offering to talk to someone on the phone but explained that I did not have the time to correct their error. Basically I got blown off and they pointed out that their customer agreement clearly states that they have no responsibility for the accuracy of the information on their site. Their customer service was significantly better and their prices MUCH MORE REASONABLE before they got bought out by GETTY.

Ask Maurie about iStockPhoto
1 review
2 helpful votes

Complete scam, check out the recent disaster with their partner program and posting fake sales only to claw them back from contributors claiming they were all errors. The reason you will see people defending this place is it actually used to be a legit business until it was bought us by fraudsters in 2012

Ask andrew about iStockPhoto
1 review
3 helpful votes

I am contributor and have noticed my sales and views come to a grinding halt. No downloads and no views for weeks.
Are people deserting it for Shutterstock?...

Ask Steve about iStockPhoto
1 review
3 helpful votes

I was one of the first istockphoto users and I remember a time when I could get quality images for under a dollar. It was a great way to find excellent images and the community was vibrant and wonderful. Now the site is relatively useless. They way they price the photos you are paying upwards of $30 for a decent image and the filter forces you to go through all of the highest price ones first. Note, the highest prices ones are often not the best images. After searching forever, you might find what you are looking for at a decent price. I hope istockphoto does not continue down this road of bleeding their customers. I also don't like that when you buy their credits they EXPIRE!!!! is that even legal??? I lost credits I purchased because I didn't use them in time. I know gift cards are not supposed to expire, so this makes very little sense except to rip off customers who have paid hundreds of dollars and then lose it all if they don't buy a photo before a year. It is ridiculous for them to do this. Maybe a new company will start up that can replace istock photo and charge prices that are more reasonable.

Ask Margaret about iStockPhoto
5 reviews
13 helpful votes

Worst stock site ever. Terrible credit system and customer support is even worse. Photographers get only 15% of the price we pay. Customer support and usability has to be royal for these 85% of price. I'll never use this agency again.

Ask Vadym about iStockPhoto
3 reviews
23 helpful votes

This site is not what is use to be and they care about one thing - Cheating People Out Of Money! Don't be fooled. This site is in the business of thievery and have no Respect or Value for their Customers! I have been using this site for nearly 2 years as a freelance designer for many clients. As a loyal customer, I had 3 photos to purchase recently and was forced into buying more credits than I needed so I called support to help me out and they they refuse to offer a refund on my remaining credits so that I can purchase the last photo a different way. The company changed their pricing/credit option recently with no notice to customers. They also impose a time limit to use the credits you pay for that you can't get a refund on. No big deal, Just More Money down the drain. I will not use this site again as they are NOT CUSTOMER Oriented and they need to stop taking advantage of people. One Customer Lost for Life Here! We do have a choice of who to do business with and there are plenty of other options in the marketplace for creative professionals who don't want to support Internet Crooks like iStock.

Ask Angela about iStockPhoto
11 reviews
11 helpful votes

Easy, hassle free and a very nice collection of stock images for every occasion.. I had to send ideas to the designer for some promotional banners for Father's day and the website made my life easier by giving special promotional images on their landing page - how convenient is that!

Ask Janice about iStockPhoto
1 review
1 helpful vote

They make you buy credits at full price to purchase your image, then tell you that they expire a year from the date of purchase........ They do not refund your credits, they just are gone. even though you paid good money for them. When i complained about it they basically said tough luck. They are stealing your money by making these credits have an expiration date. There is no need for them to expire if i paid for them. Very annoying!

Ask Abby about iStockPhoto
1 review
6 helpful votes

Used to really like this site. Their prices are crazy. Search for a picture and one costs a few dollars, and the one right next to it costs over $100. Their site always crashes too. Not happy here anymore.

Ask Donnie about iStockPhoto
1 review
8 helpful votes

I joined, paid money to purchase credits to download an image. All the downloads fail, unable to log in from any other device accept the one I used to join up on - an ipad which you cannot download to. Support have no idea or care. So they take your money but provide nothing - a rip off!

Ask Imelda about iStockPhoto
40 reviews
215 helpful votes

I don't do much in the way of photography and I don't sell photos. I did need a new piece of artwork for my living room and found on istockphoto that I could download a really cool photo and print it out in high resolution and simply hang it on my wall. Much better than buying a print at a store!

Ask Heather about iStockPhoto
40 reviews
459 helpful votes

I use this website to sell my photos and for anyone who either needs stock photos or wants to make some extra $$$ this is the best site out there. Don't expect to make a fortune, but you can expect to make some money proportional to the amount of work you put into it. It does take time to make some money so do not be discouraged if at first you are not collecting a big paycheck.

Ask Barney about iStockPhoto
1 review
8 helpful votes

Do not send photos to iStockphoto. It is no longer the most powerful in terms of sales, indeed Fotolia and Dreamstime can do better. I have been contributor in iStock since November 2007. At the beginning all was at its best, I uploaded lots of photos and my sales increased. Then I became exclusive and my sales kept growing from 80 files per month to 120 in January 2009. But on February 17th, my sales dropped from an average of 5/day to less than 1 per day. Since then I could not sell more than 2 files peer day and last week was dreadful with only 8 files sold. I worked hard to upload 500 files - in fact 1000 because 50% files are rejected - and when I began to earn some money, they threw me by the window. Impossible to know why my sales dropped in one night. The support says that its because the quality of other contributors has increased, but if you look at the database, you don't see a significant quality increase and anyway the quality on the files could not increase 10 fold in one single night, on February 17th. What they did with me. They used my files to draw traffic via Google paying me only 25% of the price and when I could earn some money they pushed my sales down. In iStock there are some happy few who sell 300 files a day or more and earn several thousand Dollars per month. These contributors are protected and most customers are directed to these contributors. The new ones see their best files rejected when the risk to compete with those of the happy few, I was here only to make volume and to attract people from the net. Other contributors took the money and iStock make fantastic profits without any risk.

Ask Henri about iStockPhoto
18 reviews
69 helpful votes

I have only made about 30 dollars from this website but it has been fun to at least sell some of my animal photos. Taking photos of very exotic animals or places really helps because those are the ones that are the most difficult to get.

Ask Papa about iStockPhoto
1 review
5 helpful votes

great site but it's gotten really expensive compared to when I first started using it.

Ask Russell about iStockPhoto
6 reviews
12 helpful votes

Perfect resource for art directors/designers - This is an excellent site for finding virtually any type of photographic image. I've used the site extensively for the past few years and have racked up a large number of images.
I'm excited to know that I can submit some of my own work to the site and generate some additional income.

Ask keith about iStockPhoto
64 reviews
238 helpful votes

Pro/Amateur photographers turn your images into cash overnight - I have always been a little bit skeptical about giving away "rights" to some of my more precious images, but this is probably one of the best sites to start selling some of your images for cash. It is great for both pro photographers as well as advanced amateur photographers. I have taken photos of some of my rings and sold a few hundred of those photos. Take a look at this:

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it is merely a photo of a girl in front of a got sold 7000 times and that photographer made some pretty nice cash. Best of all, you don't really need to be a pro stock photographer. Here are my few tips for this site:

1. You don't really need a pro level helps if you have one, but even if you don't you can still join. I joined when this site first launched and some of my photos which sold a few hundred times were taken on a small pentax optio 4MP camera. You might need to say you have a pro DSLR for them to "approve you". But just edit the EXIF data to hide the camera and upscale your photo if you need a little higher resolution. It is not the camera that makes the photo.

2. If you apply to be a photographer, make sure the sample images that you send them to become approved as a photographer are really really good. Take a look at the shots that sell the most and imitate those types of looks.

3. Sometimes it is best to figure out what photos are "rare" and take those shots. I had a friend who is a doctor and he let me just take photos of his stethoscope and reflex hammer and those have been some of my best sellers. Don't just do what everyone is doing...too much competition.

Ask Stacy about iStockPhoto
14 reviews
41 helpful votes

You have a hard drive full of photos and you have no idea what to do with them? Sell them. Put the best ones on istockphoto and make sure you tag them with the proper words and someone in the world will find it useful and buy it from you.

Ask Jonny about iStockPhoto

1 Questions & Answers

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A: I can not help you, Istock sucks
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