If you google "stock photography" you will find there are roughly 28 million results. Although, the majority of that is fluff, the fact still remains there are an exorbitant amount of stock photography sites to choose from. I have tried out a good many of them. Most of them are good, quality sites. However, one site in particular stands out in my book, Fotolia.
Fotolia is fairly new in comparison to other big sites like ShutterStock and iStockPhoto, but they are quickly making a name for themselves. Launched in 2005, their website offers a great, user-friendly interface with a pleasant, simple layout for strikingly easy navigation. Like any smart company, they are continually changing with the times. They have recently begun accepting video footage to be offered for sale through their website.
The one thing I think makes Fotolia exceptional is the time and effort they put into evaluating your images. Unlike some of the other large sites, Fotolia lets you submit all the images you want and does not penalize you for submitting photos that eventually get rejected. Some sites suspend your account if you have some photos that don't make the cut, or expect you to submit your best photos and if they don't like them, you're done! Fotolia takes the time to look at all your photos and if they choose to decline your photo, they provide a specific reason for each and every rejection.
Fotolia is also a great place for buyers. With a subscription (like a monthly or annual plan) you can download images for just 30 cents! Regular downloads are very reasonable as well, starting at $1. Fotolia is constantly growing and the quality of images is great, but the selection is even better. Their library is full of so many great, creative images, that there is no way you can't find what your looking for.
How I can use stock photography? Stay tuned for our next post on how to cash in as a buyer.
This is a personal favorite of mine and not a representation of any kind of analytical comparison. I was neither paid, nor asked by Fotolia to write this post.