Every so often I add another stock photography site to my master list of reviews. Today I'll look at Depositphotos.com.
Depositphotos boasts an interesting "About Us" page that offers a more intimate look at the company than most such sites. It says they were founded in 2009, they offer round-the-clock support and website operation in 20 languages from offices located in five countries, and now host more than 50 million still and video image files for download.
The site offers videos as well as photos, but I will be focusing this review purely on static imagery.
When dealing with many millions of photos, search capabilities and response time are major differentiators. Depositphotos starts with a simple keyword search bar at the top of the page, and then offers additional filters in a margin-based sidebar. You can set criteria for things such as image orientation (eg: vertical vs. horizontal), number of people, and dominant color palette. Drill-downs under the "People" filter let you select for gender, age, and ethnicity.
Unfortunately you cannot multi-select choices… So you can't see results for people aged 20-60 for instance. First you have to select the 20-29 group and look through those. Then select the 30-39 group and look through those. It would be more convenient if you could see multiple criteria groups at one time if desired. There is also a filter to look for photos categorized into one of 37 conceptual categories such as Business, Celebrities, Nature, and so on.
If you are sharp-eyed, you will see an unusual selector at the top of the search criteria. A slider moves between "Relevance" and "Quality"… I could not find a description of how this affected the results, so I used online chat and got help from a support person. She said that moving the slider to the right favors results from contributors selected by the Depositphotos content team as featuring higher quality contributions. But this reduces the concentration on the exact search terms you might have typed in.
Depositphotos has borrowed an idea from Google Image Search as an alternative way to find pictures of interest. Instead of entering keywords, you can click a small picture icon in the search bar. This lets you give the search engine an existing picture (either by referencing an online URL or uploading an image from your computer).
The software then attempts to find images with broadly matching content or layout. Result relevance can vary widely, but this is a welcome additional avenue for finding pictures when you have an idea of what you are looking for based on someone else's copyrighted work.
Response speeds after changing a search criterion are excellent. I saw almost instant result updates after each selection.
As is so often the case, the image library is very heavily weighted towards Caucasian models who look American/Canadian/European. Looking for models who seem to represent other nationalities or ethnicities severely limits your result pool. I hope contributors pay attention to this imbalance and start uploading a more diverse group of models!
A selection of pricing models lets individuals choose the plan that best suits their needs. You can choose monthly or yearly subscriptions allowing a given number of downloads per month, or credits allowing a certain number of downloads over the course of a year. Savvy web searchers can usually find discount codes offering 10% off a license plan, and there are occasional sales. I just reloaded my account with a "Christmas Special" offer of 100 image downloads for $100, good for one year of use. By stacking a discount code, that was less than $1 per high resolution photo, which will make my presentation creation more economical throughout 2017.
I find Depositphotos to be a worthy contender in a crowded field. Wait for a sale and stock up. Wow… I hadn't even intended that as a pun, but I'll take it in retrospect!