Looking for stock photos for romance, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, contemporary or any other genre? Here’s where to find them.
I list a few large vendors that I’ve found useful, such as Depositphotos and Shutterstock. Since most people already know about the big ones like Getty, Adobe Stock, and Alamy, I don’t list them. The list focuses on smaller vendors who specialize in stock photos for book covers.
It includes a rough guide for photo costs of print quality images, and notes on which genres the vendor supplies. I also note vendors that carry photos of persons of color and gay/lesbian content. And because it’s occasionally useful, I note sites that sell renders of 3D character models.
If you find this post useful, please do link to it! I would highly appreciate it if you credited me and linked back to my website: https://www.scarlettebooks.com.
Why don’t you list free stock photo sites? Because with free sites, even if the site claims you can use the photo commercially, you cannot be sure that the person who uploaded the picture owns it, and because free sites do not require model or property releases. Read my post titled 5 Reasons Not to Use Free Stock Photos on Your Book Cover for more detail: https://www.scarlettebooks.com/5-reasons-not-to-use-free-stock-photos-on-your-book-cover/
You’re missing a stock photo site! Email me the details at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll evaluate it. Thanks! (If I’ve found that the owner of a site is a jerk on the internet, I reserve the right not to link to their site.) If you’re a stock site owner and want to be listed, or if you own one of these sites and I’ve mis-categorized something (quite likely!), please let me know.
I don’t understand what you mean by a category. Does the cell at the top of that column have a black triangle in the upper right corner? Hover the pointer over that and it’ll open up and show you any notes I have about it. Otherwise, ask me about it by emailing me at email@example.com or by leaving a comment here: https://www.scarlettebooks.com/where-to-find-stock-photos-for-book-covers/
Have you used all these sites? Nope. But I created this list to bookmark them so I can check back every so often and purchase from them if I have a call to.
Are you using affiliate links? For a couple of them, yes. That means if you purchase something after using my link to get to the site, I’ll get a little kickback at no extra cost to you. Thank you! However, if you are opposed to affiliate linking, you can Google the site’s name and reach them that way.
Do you keep any sources secret? Nope. (1) if you have to keep your sources secret, that means you don’t have confidence in yourself as a designer, but more importantly (2) if I keep sources secret, then those models, photographers, and websites don’t get new customers, and if they don’t get enough customers they stop selling pictures. Which means it’s in my best self-interest to ensure these sites keep posting new pictures!