DollarPhotoClub Closing – The End of a Beautiful Era

DollarPhotoClub Closing – The End of a Beautiful Era

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A beautiful era is coming to an end. For the past  couple of years I have been a member of the DollarPhotoClub, an absolutely fabulous stock photography site that charged only one dollar per good quality image download. For the first time in my entire design career I didn’t think twice before agreeing to download a piece of royalty free stock imagery. At that price it was barely worthwhile downloading a low quality comp version of the artwork for approval purposes, what wasn’t used in one design project could easily be repurposed for use in another at a later date.


Late last month, I logged into my account to find a notice on the homepage of their site:

Dollar Photo Club is closing as of April 15, 2016 As of April 15, 2016, all Dollar Photo Club memberships will be terminated, renewals will not be processed and your unused downloads will expire.

However, in order for you to continue enjoying your current conditions for 1 additional year, we have established the following exclusive promotion: Benefit from an Adobe Stock monthly plan with 10 images per month for 1 year at an amazing discounted price All your Dollar Photo Club unused downloads will be transferred to your Adobe Stock account once the promotion is redeemed. These downloads will remain valid for 1 year from their activationDollarPhotoClub

I had known for a while that the parent company of DollarPhotoClub, Fotolia was bought out by Adobe, see Adobe’s press release here, but I was hoping, maybe a little naively, that it wouldn’t affect the existing memberships. It does make good business sense for Adobe to acquire their competition and merge them with the larger Adobe Stock.


I do like the way Adobe Stock integrates seamlessly into the Adobe Creative Cloud package, they also seem to have a good selection of stock photo’s but it’s over twice the price of what I am happy paying.


This morning I did a little research on the prices of alternative stock photo sites. I trawled through the most popular stock photo sites and did a price comparison. Obviously these prices are only correct as of the date of this post, they may alter and/or be subject to special offers in the future. I tried to keep the comparisons as evenly matched as possible, but there are differences in the plans offered. I did not make any comparison on ‘Pay as you go’ stock, where possible these comparisons show monthly charges taken on an annual contract.


Cost Monthly Plan
Image Downloads
Cost per Image
Shutterstock £119.00 750 £0.16
Depositphotos £37.00 50 £0.74
iStock £49.00 50 £0.98
Bigstock £59.00 50 £1.18
Adobe Stock £19.99 10 £2.00
Stockfresh £22.72 10 £2.27
Fotolia £16.00 5 £3.20
Dreamstime £45.00 10 £4.50
123RF £39.00 5 £7.80

As you can see by the data Shutterstock is by far the cheapest per image, but that involves economies of scale. There’s no way I’d go through 750 images a month to justify paying £119.00. Depositphotos and iStock were quite a surprise to me, the last time I used iStock I used to buy on PAYG and they were expensive, but looking at the data their monthly plans seem rather reasonable. However, yes there’s always a but, I still have over 70 images left in credit on DollarPhotoClub. I have two options:


  1. Spend a day downloading DollarPhotoClub images that I think I might have use for in the future until I use up my credit.
  2. Bite the bullet and take them up on their very kind offer and roll those credits over to  Adobe Stock and use those credits on images that I actually need on future design projects.


Option two is looking the most favourable and who knows, Adobe Stock may blow my socks off with all it’s bells and whistles.


I’ve also discovered an alternative to the DollarPhotoClub. It seems very similar. though the selection isn’t quite what I require at the moment, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. The 99club are currently offering an annual membership for just £75 for 200 XXL royalty free image downloads a year. Now that’s a price I’m happy to pay so watch out Adobe, if my socks aren’t blown well and truly to the other side of the room I’m going to be filling out my membership form for the 99club.


photo credit: Self Portrait : 自画像 via photopin (license)