Why Are Adobe Stock Images So Expensive?

Whether you want photos for your website or social media use, it’s essential to go for high-quality images, and Adobe Stock Images has been a preferred option for many. First, the images are crystal clear and detailed enough to draw attention. Secondly, you can get almost any type of image you need. However, there is a slight concern regarding the pricing, with many people considering Adobe Stock Images expensive.

Adobe Stock Images are expensive because the company pays a huge commission (30%) to photographers. They also don’t allow low-quality images on their catalog, ensuring you get your money’s worth. However, if you compare the price with hiring a photographer, you’ll find Adobe’s cost relatively lower.

That’s not all, as you still need to know how Adobe Stock Images compare to other royalty-free images, what Adobe Stock Images are used for, and whether these images are copyright-free, which you will learn if you read on.

What Makes Adobe Stock Images Expensive?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is true when you apply the concept to your business. Having a crystal-clear image on your blog or social media post can trigger engagement and draw readers’ attention. A good image helps create a mental picture regarding your posts, which is why you need a strong one.

Adobe Stock Images is the best place to source high-quality pictures for many bloggers and online entrepreneurs. The platform has a massive database of images, and there is a significant likelihood you’ll get what you need.

Some people have raised concerns regarding the pricing, with many seeing the cost as too high for images they only post on a blog. Adobe has good reasons for this, though, and they include:

  • High commission – Adobe is one of the companies that pay a high commission to photographers, which stands at 30%. Given that an average image sells at $9.99, this only leaves the company with roughly $5.99 profit.
  • A huge catalog – The database is filled with almost any type of image, and there’s always something for anyone.
  • The company name – Adobe is a massive brand with an equally huge reputation, and it would make sense to charge higher for their products.
  • High-quality images – You don’t have to worry about low-quality images as Adobe doesn’t allow any on their database.

It might sound illogical to pay $9.99 for an image you’ll only use once, but if you look at the scenario closely, you’ll see that the images are not that expensive. For instance, it might cost you ten times that amount to hire a professional photographer to take photos for you. Also, it protects you from copyright claims, which might affect your business and its reputation.

If you’re handy with a camera, you can decide to take photos to use on your blog, as this would be cheaper, but it is also extremely time-consuming.

Are Adobe Stock Images Copyright Free?

Adobe Stock Images fall under the Royalty Free License, allowing you to use them as you see fit without worrying about copyright claims. However, this only applies if you got them through the program and have not tried to download them illegally.

With over 60 million images in their database, you’re sure to find more than enough images to use on your business or social media pages.

Copyright claims can be devastating to your business, and to some extent, Google might even demote your website from its listing, making you lose clients and watch as your effort goes down the drain.

How Do Adobe Stock Images Compare to Other Royalty-Free Images?

Adobe Stock Images is a clear leader, with millions of images in its database when it comes to royalty-free images. However, other platforms offer similar products and are not very far behind. They include:

  • Envato Elements – For $16.50/month you get unlimited downloads from over 55 million stock images. This is our personal preferred alternative to Adobe Stock Images.
  • iStock – You pay $99 for 10 images, which is a bit pricey compared to Adobe Stock Images.
  • Shutterstock – You pay $25 for 10 images, but they don’t have as many images as Adobe Stock Images.

Although these alternative platforms offer a direct competition for Adobe Stock Images, they either lack enough photos or are more costly, leaving Adobe as the favorite for many.

If you’re handy and prefer something customized to your needs, we highly recommend Placeit, which offers stock images along with a full graphic design suite of over 90,000 templates to use those images in.

In Which Ways Will I Be Able to Use Photos from Adobe Stock Images?

There is no limitation to how and where you can use the stock images as you acquire the rights to use them as you see fit. You retain ownership of the photo once you buy it.

Here’s how you can use Adobe Stock Images:

  • On a blog post – Spice up your blog with high-quality photos to engage your readers. It’s estimated that blogs with clear photos get at least 35% more interaction from readers and are 20% likely to result in sales.
  • On a sales page – Although you’re supposed to take photos of the products you’re selling, you can always find high-quality images on Adobe Stock Images to boost up your sales page.
  • On social media pages – Social media users are likely to interact with posts with photos on them compared to plain text.
  • Promotional emails – Sending customized emails with images in them can help to improve conversion and generate sales.
  • YouTube thumbnails – Besides a catchy title, a YouTube thumbnail is known to help drive engagement and CTR.

There are countless ways you can use photos from Adobe Stock Images, and your imagination only limits you.


Adobe Stock Images is a go-to platform for anyone who needs crystal-clear images for personal or commercial use. The platform has over six million photos to choose from, and they only allow high-quality images. However, some consider the price high, although hiring a professional photographer could be more expensive. You can use Adobe Stock Images as you wish since they fall under the royalty-free license category.