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Alamy Reviews 2023

Alamy is a stock photography agency with a long history in the market, offering high quality stock images with both Rights Managed and Royalty Free license available. They’ve over 145 million photos and a simple pricing system to provide you with the right visuals for your designs. Available on demand only, Alamy’s photos cost depends on the license type you choose. Rights Managed photos cost between $19,99 and $199,99 according to intended use. Royalty free images are from $49 to $365 according to size. You can also save using credit packs. Alamy is a traditional and reliable name in stock photos, so it’s certainly worth knowing about this agency.

Alamy Review Basics

  • Over 160 million images making Alamy the largest stock photo database
  • 150,000 images added every day
  • Alamy has been online since 1999 – They’re celebrating their 20th anniversary on November 2019
  • File types sold on Alamy are stock photos, illustrations, and vectors
  • Accepts payment by PayPal, Visa, American Express and MasterCard
  • Royalty-free and rights-managed  licenses available


  • Fresh picks section with curated galleries (6 new collections added monthly)
  • Historical archive with historically relevant images
  • An advanced search engine that is Searchable by keywords, categories, licenses and buying options, region, ethnicity, release date, orientation, and reverse image search. This search tool is easy to use and navigate
  • Languages including English and German with international contact emails in Canada, USA, Germany, and India
  • Alamy has its corporate headquarters in Oxford, England with offices located in 4 other countries.
  • I’d be remiss to ignore the history behind this brand. Created in 1999 (nothing says turn of the century like launching stock photos on the fancy new internet) by James West and Mike Fischer, this business is all about image. 
  • Wanting the world to tell stories through accessible images, this site is all about providing the world with affordable images to use as needed.
  • Working with contributors from over 170 countries, this business established themselves as being a go-to for good photos of every kind. 
  • Offering a wide selection of categories with over 100k new images added daily, there’s a never-ending supply at the ready to conquer whatever campaign is in need of an image. 
  • Non-exclusive in nature, this company makes it easy for photographers to get their into the public eye and earn solid money in the process.
  • In addition to supporting photographers and artists through their distribution, this brand is big into supporting growth and change. 
  • Offering students 100% commission for two years during their period of study allows younger artists to get their work into the world with a bit of a push in the working world. 
  • Supporting philanthropic endeavors with a portion of their earnings, Alamy also annually puts funds towards medical and educational research worldwide.
  • Providing a solid start to any photographer’s career, Alamy offers the chance to tell stories through photos, whether buying or contributing. 
  • Of course, their generosity is only one element this Alamy review discovered in our research. Check out these other highlights for a well-rounded image of the business:


  • Expansive library with hundreds of thousands of stock images for purchase
  • Multiple purchasing models
  • Both micro stock and macro stock are available
  • Non-exclusivity policy in place for contributors
  • Charitable donations annually
  • Fund research in medical and educational fields


Alamy Stock Photo Review

Alamy Stock Photo

I want my Alamy review to be as detailed as possible and that means covering every angle. We have to consider both sides at play for both the buyer and the contributor (who knows how many photographers are reading this?). 

That’s why I’ll be breaking this down into two sections – read the portion applicable and carry on or take a glance through both to be informed on the whole business at play.


How Does Alamy Work? 


Alamy’s contributors go through a bit more of a process to get their pieces on the market, however, it’s still quite straightforward. 

It all starts with a photo you love that should have some exposure in the world. Any subject works, as the Alamy library seems to have a spot for every category.

Getting them uploaded doesn’t take much time at all. Creators simply have to:

  1. Upload or transfer the images
  2. Wait while Quality Control checks over the image before approving
  3. Add necessary tags and captions that will allow customers easy access to finding the image
  4. Submit the image for next-day sales

Once that’s done, photos are live for sale and available to the public. All contributors receive fair pay with images used in papers, shows, and a wide range of websites

Let the photos air and rake in the money as more people discover the beauty in the story provided from your lens to their screen.

Contributors have a non-exclusivity agreement in place meaning photographers are able to submit their photos to additional stock sites for wider exposure. 

Take advantage of the Alamy tools that track analytics and customer needs, suggesting popular categories to add to over time.

All photographers have full control of their images with no additional editing done on Alamy’s part. Once Quality Control has been checked, the rest is up to the contributor to determine just how to finish things with finesse. 

The more photos uploaded, the better the chance of bringing in more money. Simple and quick, this process makes it easy to explore the world of artist exposure.

Alamy vs Shutterstock

We all know that Alamy isn’t the only name in the market for stock images. There’s a variety of brands that pop up offering a similar contributor-buyer relationship with benefits on both sides. One of the biggest names in the industry – Shutterstock.

Dating back to 2003, Shutterstock was quick to make their name stand out for their wide and expansive selection of photos at affordable prices. 

Focusing on micro stock, these images maintain lower costs for licensing use of images, paying photographers with each download to really support the international artists that have created such an extensive library.

The main difference between these names comes from their status of pricing. Shutterstock offers only micro stock while Alamy goes for both micro and macro. What’s the difference? Cost. 

Micro images typically revolve around general images sold for low costs with photographers earning a few cents per image sold. Macro stock photos go for double, sometimes triple-digit prices for more editorial purposes.  

Writing this Alamy review, I know that there are pros and cons to each brand. I’m not going to sway readers either way, but instead, offer up a suggestion on which one to choose for general needs.

  • General pictures of pets, posing people, wallpapers, patterns, etc., are your forte
  • Fast money is preferred (contributors see their pay at quicker intervals)
  • Big money doesn’t matter most (as photographers earn approximately 10 cents per purchase)
  • Captioning, titling, and hash-tagging isn’t a favored past time (keyword suggestions appear for the photographer to select)

Choose Alamy if

  • Larger, editorial images are the dream (i.e. buildings, streetscapes, people, events, etc.)
  • Lots of sales aren’t the priority
  • Waiting for larger sales is a game worth playing
  • Statistics and measuring tools interest you
  • Community atmosphere through forum posts appeals

Both businesses have their own benefits and, with Alamy’s non-exclusivity agreement, it’s possible to work both

Find the brand that best suits your personal style and needs and go from there. It may take a bit of time and research, but either way contributors and buyers find the support they need through an open and caring environment.


Is Alamy Legit?

As far as I can tell while doing my research for this Alamy review, the business is legit. Their expansive inventory and listing of contributors speak to all that this brand offers the industry. The only issues I’ve seen come from an apparent lack of customer service support from the company. 

It seems contributors have found more dilemmas with the business than buyers, however, I’m only pulling this information from a small and select pool of reviewers, so it may not accurately reflect the business as a whole.

Alamy encourages photographers to upload their images and allow the site to sell them to news organizations, bloggers and others. However, Alamy differentiates itself by making top royalty rates more widely available to its contributors. For instance, where you’d need to sell an astounding 25,000 images to earn a 40% royalty at Shutterstock, you can earn that 40% royalty at Alamy after ringing up just $250 in annual sales. The site bumps you up to the higher royalty level whenever you qualify.

In addition, where iStock and Getty Images impose huge restrictions on contributors who go after “exclusive” license deals, Alamy’s exclusive license simply means that you have not submitted that particular piece of art to any other site for licensing. And, if you agree to this exclusive deal, you earn a 50% commission on that sale. You can sign up to list your photography on Alamy here.

On the other hand…

Unfortunately, the friendlier freelancer terms may be necessary because Alamy doesn’t have the market penetration that the big guys command. This may mean that you’ll make fewer sales here. As a result you should also upload your non-exclusive photo stock to other sites including Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and Getty Images.

Contributors are paid once a month, once they have accumulated at least $50 in their account.

Want to try Alamy?

Here’s a direct link to the Alamy site

What their users say:

“I love you Alamy, but I’m breaking up with you,” –Brutallyhonestmicrostock

From Trust Pilot

“Great site for contributors with the best earnings in the market! The only problem is that to get a sale is extremely difficult!”

“I have been contributing to Alamy for a few years now. After the initial rejection, I left it for a while until I felt that my photography had improved sufficiently. I have never sold a photo in the time I have been with them. Maybe it is the subject matter. But I will be going elsewhere I think.”

Koshal S.

UI/UX Designer

Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)

“Alamy started as a stock photo agency that Picture BUYERS trusted. I licensed thousands of dollars of images during my years as a photo editor for a large publisher. Now that I’m retired, I sell my own images on Alamy. I really can’t understand the bad reviews here. I’m happy with the results of my sales – not a lot, but I only have 500 images on their site.”

Maria B.

PR Account Coordinator

Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)

Stock photography – This is a really awesome place to get stock photography, or just browse through pictures, I spend hours on it.

Terry P.

Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)

Excellent Content and Pricing!

I like Alamy’s setup of pricing but their best attribute is the massive content their site hosts. Photographers and libraries, past and present, can be found here which is a need for me and they get the job done. Only recently have they reached out to me to begin establishing a relationship which is good. I would say they need to do more of this as stock photography sites of their market, which primarily would be AgeFotoStock, already have superior customer service but I cannot say anything negative at this point regarding the site as they have always met my needs.

Boris P.

Web Developer

Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)

The quality of the photos and videos is what I like the most. We good awesome value for the money. The prices are low enough that we can acquire many professional media files for use in many types of internal and public-facing business materials. The website is easy to use to find, buy and download photos. We don’t have to interact with an actual person though support team members are readily available.

Raul D.

Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)

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