I’m always on the lookout for stock photography resources, and I tend to bookmark any stock photo site that shows any potential. But let’s be honest, client budgets aren’t what they used to be. Sites like Getty and Masterfile are just too expensive. At the other end, ThinkStock, Shutterstock and iStockPhoto are affordable but have a rather poor selection of images for high-end advertising use; they’re overloaded with cliché images with poor cropping and mediocre subject matter.
Enter Stocksy, a curated royalty free stock photo site run by the photographers themselves. By curated I mean that you can’t simply submit photos for inclusion on the site like you can at other sites. You have to be invited by the photographers that run the site. This ensures high-quality images, not high volume.
In browsing through the site, I found numerous images that could easily be dropped into a national ad campaign without having to search through hundreds of pages of search results or spend an hour correcting/changing colors, focus or figuring out how to clone out frivolous background matter.
There are plenty of high-concept images, as well as everyday subject matter. I particularly like the site because the images appear to have been shot for a reason—with the color saturation, focus and cropping kept in mind.
The image pricing at Stocksy is reasonable and on par with other sites like iStockPhoto. Single image prices range from $10 for a 12×18 72dpi web size, to $100 for an extra large 10×14 300dpi size.