Get your stock images from one of this winter’s top 10 agencies

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It’s wintertime again, and our visual fields cannot escape the invasion of holiday-themed images coming from all channels. In truth, only some of those images manage to impress, and the rest are just failed attempts at marketing. If you are a designer, blogger, publisher, you need to make sure that you’re using the finest season-specific images in your projects, because they have the potential to bring in more clients around this time of the year. These are the ten best sources you could get them from.  

YAY Images


YAY is the big winner this season. It’s known all over the designing community as “Spotify for images”, as you will find drop-dead-gorgeous images for the holidays, and small prices, here. After running a simple search, I came across more than 150.000 results – and the lovely thing about YAY is how easy it is to navigate from a pleasing result to similar images.

More than anything, YAY is a great option in this period because its subscriptions are subject to a 50% discount for the first month with coupon code “XMAS_GIFT”. The three subscription plans in question are termed Print, Digital, and Streaming. A Digital subscription is exactly what you need if you’re working on an app, PowerPoint, or e-book: take any number of images as large as 3 megapixels, for the small price of $49.90/month. Streaming is dedicated to online use (blogs, websites) of images that are 700 pixels wide/high, and you’d only have to pay $9.90 per month for unlimited access.

Choosing YAY as your constant stock image source opens up many possibilities. For instance, the agency has an in-browser filter and editor where users can alter the acquired images without having to download and then handle them with Photoshop. Moreover, there is no limit to the images you can take once a subscription plan is signed. Finally, YAY actually offers to host your images for you, so all I really need to do is paste a link towards it in my articles, which benefits my server.


2- mostphotos really drew my attention because of its content. Most of the submissions that make it through the door are screened for authenticity, more than anything else. The selection team at Mostphotos prefers genuine-looking images that have the quality of being local to most places in the world. In fact, these two criteria weigh so much, that it doesn’t matter if the photos are submitted by amateurs or by professionals. 10.000 fresh images are published each and every day, and augment the 5 and a half million-strong database.

Just so you know what to expect in the same situation, know that I started a “winter” search and found 100.000 crisp vectors and photos that I could inspect down to the last pixel with an accomplished zoom-in quality tester. In addition, if you work within a team, I have good news: create an account, and your co-workers can set up theirs individually – and completely free.

Mostphotos has attached a special discount to the subscriptions named “Mini 10” and “Mini 20”: you can save 10% of the standard price if you take up 6 months from the beginning, and 15% if you sign for an entire year.



Stocksy takes its rightful place in my top three stock image agencies for this year’s winter season. If you’re going to look for holiday-related images, you shouldn’t leave this agency out of your shopping itinerary.

Stocksy United is a co-op run entirely by its artists, and this makes all the difference when it comes to standards. As such, every new submission is ruthlessly assessed, and only allowed to pass through if it holds to a high aesthetic principle. For you as potential buyer, this means that you won’t waste time and energy scrolling through tons of kitschy-looking items as is the case of other agencies on the market.

Stocksy loves to point out that they’re quite singular and, to be honest, it’s true that these images look nothing like your average stock photo. Needless to say, the 100% exclusive content is also present in sections that are of great interest right now, namely “Holidays” and “Celebrate”. Starting with the small price of $10 for an individual royalty-free license, you can try Stocksy on for size.


Christmas presents

Stockfresh is welcome to join my list of most wanted stock photo sites of this winter. All in all, the agency has 3 million photos, vectors, and graphics on the shelves. It’s good to know that a swift “Christmas” search turns up 127.000 results, so if you ever come here to shop, chances are you won’t leave empty-handed.



For this winter, Shutterstock’s 30 million-strong collection doesn’t fail to impress. Peruse their massive archive and you’ll be amazed at how many delightful-looking holiday images beg for attention. In addition, Shutterstock users are constantly gifted with one free photo and one free vector every week.

Getty Images

6- gettyimages

Getty Images could not miss from this list, seeing as it’s one of the titans of the microstock industry. You can’t help but notice that the search process is endowed with many sensitive filters that have the power to narrow down a plump 65.000-rich quest for “Christmas” images, in any direction.



Hello iStock, the first ever microstock agency on the web. It’s still holding strong in the winter of 2013. It may prove useful to check the Editors’ Pick whenever you launch a certain search, because a “Christmas” search showed me more than 200.000 gorgeous recommendations.

Can Stock Photo


Can Stock Photo has plenty to offer for the upcoming holidays. Day in and day out, well over 21.000 contributors add up to the general abundance of this established stock image agency. For Christmas, 480.000 search results fill the screen, so there’s more than enough to choose from.



Inmagine does more than make the grade; it excels in providing clients with a broad set of 66.000 Christmas photos and illustrations, more than enough to meet the varied tastes of creative professionals who need winter-themed images to employ in their projects. Also, any image in the results page can be used to find similar matches.



Depositphotos ends my elitist compilation in style. Not only does this remarkable stock image source have 19 million creative assets to boast of, but it also made a habit of gift-wrapping an item from its Vectors Collection each and every week. Nevertheless, it’s the agency’s brilliant idea of having Sales Lightboxes that deserves the most applause. These special Lightboxes come to life with any festive season, and encase relevant images that are to be sold with 20% discount. Right now, the Christmas Lightbox is home to 925 such stock files.

Below you can see a few gorgeous images that you can purchase from the stock agencies presented in this article.

YAY Images




Purchase this image at


Purchase this image at

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.