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Cheats & Tips

November 12, 2012

These free stock photography apps make your content illustration faster and easier

It’s certainly true that mobile technology has vastly improved the way we work. Using apps saves us time when not in front of a computer, and we can still keep storyboarding ideas on our Smartphone or iPad when in line for our morning coffee.

Since the launch of iTunes in 2008, we have downloaded over 30 billion apps from the 650,000 available – but how to find what we need?

Busy brand storytellers, we have put together a comprehensive list of the best stock photography apps that will help illustrate your articles, blog posts, or advertising campaigns, wherever you may be.


Shutterstock won the People’s Voice category for Utilities and Services at the Webby Awards earlier this year for their iPad app. Now, they’ve just launched an iPhone version optimised for iOS 5. The interface is great, and the app works seamlessly with your free Shutterstock account. We like it because of being able to evaluate HD images in its mosaic-like picture viewer, and that you can filter colour searches through innovative ways like taking a photo with your iPhone. The disadvantage – it no longer supports iOS 4.

Getty Images

This image media giant needs no introduction, and you’ll be familiar with the high price tags for their world-class professional images. Recently updated and supporting nine languages so far, the Getty Images app gives full access to their entire market-leading collection. Images are served in square thumbnail view, and whichever images you like best are saved to your account for later download when you’re next back at your desk. Simple to use, but no outstanding features.


If you use iStockphoto, there’s an app for that. Owned by Getty and looked upon as their cooler, artistic younger cousin, the iStockphoto app hasn’t been updated in some time. It functions well as a device for image search, but where it really adds value is if you’re a contributor. Using this app, you can quickly see the state of your accepted or rejected files, sales figures, and download statistics. But to be fair, if this is what you need the app for, you’d be better off using the purpose-built iStockphoto Contributor Application.

Stock Photo Power

If you’re not tied into a company account with any of the above stock photo providers, you may want to give this app a try. You can search over 50 million stock photos across 13 popular microstock agencies including Shutterstock, 123 Royalty Free, Yay Micro, Veer, and Pixmac. The app doesn’t require you to have an account with each agency, rather it lets you view images online, save for later reference, or share with others to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

  • 30 Best iPhone and iPad apps this week
  • Shutterstock Announces Universal iOS App
  • Images – The Perfect Complement to Social Media Marketing
  • Photos-The Perfect Social Media Marketing Tool
  • Photo Sharing App EyeEm Eyes Up Revenue Model After Passing 1M Downloads
  • 70 Money & Rare Coins Stock Photos

About the Author

Evon Koprowski
Brand storyteller, creative strategist, content marketer and all round bon vivant at Red Fortune Media where I growth hack projects for the arts, culture, tourism, technology and social sectors. I'm freelance - if I can help you, get in touch.

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