PhotoSpin Review


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  1. Jey Pandian says:

    Thanks for this review Rae, I’ve recently started to hate iStockphotos too. This sounds like a very good alternative.

  2. This helped me a lot. Im just starting out as an SEO. I didnt want to give my first born child and my car to istockphoto…I’d rather give $329 to photospin.


  3. Ruth Shapland says:

    Thanks Rae, insightful as always! I wanted to share my stock experience as it has been suspiciously similar experience to yours. I used to source my images from istock religiously. In my eyes they could do know wrong… then the Vetta collection came along (or more specifically the Vetta prices) and it has been downhill since then!

    In my search for alternatives I landed on ingimage – a subscription site which seems to have a very similar approach to PhotoSpin (I was similarly impressed by real people on the phone!). The only difference being ingimage has a larger collection and proportionately higher price. Also it is more geared towards high-res images users (such as graphic designers like me).

    PhotoSpin: Choice of 650,000 images / $549 per year (up to 50 XL images per day)
    Ingimage: Choice of 1,200,000 images / $899 per year (up to 50 XL images per day)

    I renewed my subscription too! But I have to say that 10% offer is tempting!

  4. Rafael Montilla says:

    Great post, buying good photos, it is very expensive, I still buy photos from istockphoto but not as before, you are right, they gone crazy!!!

    Next time visit my fan page, if you like any of my photos, they are free for you.

  5. Marjorie R. Asturias says:

    Clearly, I’m a little late to the conversation, but I figured out why Photospin is so cheap compared to the “big guns.” I was just about to subscribe (largely on the strength of your recommendation) but then saw the legal fine print.

    The subscription fee (which has increased by $100 since this review was written) actually confers limited rights to the subscriber. If you purchase a Single Image license, you can use that image in perpetuity (provided that you don’t violate their terms of use). If you are a Subscriber, though, then you have far fewer rights to any image you download. You can’t, for example, store images on your local drive that you’re not using. There is some wiggle room for content that you used for a client project, but otherwise if you download a bunch of images to use for a project and then use only half of them, you are literally required by Photospin to delete the unused images.

    And any other images you do use? Your rights to them expire within one year after your subscription payment, unless you renew. If you used them in a client project, it looks like you can still keep them for the duration of the project, but ONLY AS LONG AS THE PROJECT DOESN’T CHANGE. If the client wants a website redesign, for example, then any Photospin image you used MUST be relicensed (unless you’re still an active subscriber).

    The full terms are listed here: (Considering that it’s legalese, it’s actually a pretty quick and easy read.)

    Shutterstock and iStockphoto, however, have much more generous licenses, allowing you, for example, the rights to use whatever image you download or purchase (whether by subscription or single-image license) in perpetuity, as long as you don’t violate the terms of use.

    That’s why they’re more expensive, I’m sure.

    I will probably still use Photospin because of how much cheaper it is, but as our company grows I will definitely move into the bigger databases.


    • Thanks for all the info Marjorie! Yeah, don’t get me wrong – especially for an agency, there’s advantages to the bigger (more expensive) companies. But, individual bloggers typically just can’t afford those rates. I definitely didn’t know about the one year thing, so thanks for the tip on that!

  6. Rolf Stalder says:

    Well, I really ask how the hell photographers should be able to make a living with such low prices. The quality should be top, but the people don’t want to pay anything – and to be honest, those prices don’t reflect and respect the work of the photographers anymore.

  7. Bari Krisinger says:

    As a photographer, I’ve found if you want to GIVE YOUR WORK AWAY, Photospin is the way to go. Just checked my running total after two years and I’ve made under 50 CENTS from 33 photos. There were several downloads over the months, but with the complicated formula they use, I got monetary credit for just a few at literally pennies a shot. What a joke! I will never submit anything more to this entity unless I just want to prove my work is acceptable enough to call myself a semi-professional.
    On the other side, I have worked with a graphic designer who swears this is the cheapest site for high quality photos. She may be right. A lot of good stuff for about $250 a year for 50 downloads a day. The old adage “buy low, sell high” is working well here. I suppose there will be a constant supply of photographers willing to submit until they eventually find out they get paid crumbs. It doesn’t seem like anyone good ever sticks around for very long on Photospin. What can you say? There is always someone making big money off an artist’s toil–managers, agents, record companies and yes, stock photo sites too.

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