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All files belong to one of two collections. Every size is the same price.
Signature collection - Best quality
3 credits18 credits

Not available with Essentials subscriptionsNot available with any subscription
Essentials collection - Lowest price
1 credit6 credits


Available with any subscriptionNot available with any subscription

Frequently asked questions

Why do I need to pay for stock images if they are royalty-free?

The word "free" in royalty-free doesn't mean that images are free to use, but rather that after you pay for a license once, you can use the content as often as you want, without paying the copyright holder a royalty each time you use it.

You get the right to use the file—with a legal guarantee that protects you for up to $10,000—and our contributors get paid for the great work they do. It's a win-win, and it's why everything on iStock is only available royalty-free.

Should I get credits or a subscription?

If you have one-off or hard-to-predict image needs or require video clips, credits are a great option. Buy just enough for the images you need or stock up and save on future downloads — the more you buy, the less they cost.

If you have larger or ongoing image needs (as few as 4 images a month), you'll save on every photo, vector and illustration that you download with a subscription. With monthly and annual plans available and download limits ranging from 10 to 750 images a month, you can enjoy huge savings without making a huge commitment.

What’s the difference between the Essentials and Signature collections?

Every file on iStock falls into one of two collections. Our Essentials collection gives you the everyday content you need (view sample Essentials images), while the Signature collection features millions of premium handpicked stock files that you can only get from us (view sample Signature images). The credit cost to download a file with our standard license depends on the file type and collection it belongs to:

• Essentials photo, vector or illustration – 1 credit
• Signature photo, vector or illustration – 3 credits
• Essentials video clip – 6 credits
• Signature video clip – 18 credits

How do I know if I need a standard or extended license?

Every file downloaded on iStock comes with a standard license that lets you use it in a wide variety of ways. From social media ads to billboards, PowerPoint presentations to feature films, you're free to modify, resize and customize every asset on iStock to fit your projects. With the exception of "Editorial use only" photos (which can only be used in editorial projects and can't be modified), the possibilities are limitless. Just make sure your modifications don't violate the content license agreement.

If, however, you require over 500,000 prints, create products for resale, or share files with multiple users, you'll need to add an extended license to your credit purchase. The cost of an extended license is 18 credits for images and 21 credits for videos, in addition to your standard license.

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What happens if I don't use all of my subscription downloads each month?

Your subscription gives you access to a set number of downloads each month. You can rollover up to 250 unused downloads month to month if you've got an annual subscription or a subscription with auto-renew enabled. If auto-renew is disabled when your subscription term ends, you will lose all rollover downloads that you've accrued.

How can I download files not available with my subscription?

If you need a file that isn’t available for download with your subscription, you can always download it with credits.

This is a great way to supplement a Basic subscription with premium Signature collection content or download video clips.

Do my licensed image downloads ever expire?

There is no expiration date on your rights to use files downloaded during your subscription period.

Files licensed with credits can also be used in as many projects you like for as long as you want. Credits never expires as long as you sign into your account at least once a year.

I have a Basic subscription. Can I upgrade to a Premium subscription?

You can't currently upgrade a subscription online, but you can give us a call anytime—we'd be happy to help you! Pricing will be determined by how much time is remaining on your current subscription.

If I choose an annual subscription, will I be charged monthly or for the total amount?

At checkout, you'll be able to choose between three billing schedule options:

• Monthly (12 payments)
• Quarterly (4 payments)
• Single payment

The total amount will be the same, regardless of the billing schedule you choose.

Can I share my subscription with my teammates?

Our standard subscriptions are built for a single user, which means the same person has to sign in, download and use the files licensed with their subscription. If multiple members of your team need to be able to download and use subscription content, iStock Teamshare might be the right option for you.

Teamshare lets you pay a flat rate for each additional user sharing or accessing a subscription and everyone on a Teamshare subscription draws from the same monthly download limit. To learn more about how iStock Teamshare works, contact us.

If I change my mind, can I get a refund for my purchase?

We’ll gladly refund credit pack purchases made within 14 days of your invoice date, provided you haven’t used any credits from the credit pack.

With monthly subscriptions, you’re free to cancel your subscription at any time. Or, if the subscription just isn’t right for you, we’ll refund it within 14 days of your invoice date, provided you have not downloaded more than 5 images and have not made use of any downloaded images. All refund requests must be submitted in writing by letter, email or through our contact us form.

Have more questions? Check out our extended FAQs

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