Stock photos are a great resource to save time and money in creating visuals for marketing, advertising, branding or social media presence, etc. But what if you want images you can print on t-shirts (or any other item) for series production and sell them to make some bucks? Well, you can. All you've to do is purchase images for commercial use, under an Extended License agreement.
Don't be put off by how complicated it sounds: it's dead simple. An Extended license is the same Royalty Free license you use for every other projects, only adding the necessary rights to use the images in products for resale, and unlimited copies.
So, when do you need an Extended License? Where to buy stock photos for commercial use? How much will they cost you? Read on as we answer all these questions one by one!
Quick advice: you can get images for commercial use at the lowest price in the market with
First of all, let's make clear here we are talking about images under Royalty Free license, which gives you a number of preset rights for a one time fee, letting you use the photos forever, in as many designs as you want.
Now, stock photos under this license can be used for commercial purposes (the agency makes sure to check all rights are cleared for such use). With the Standard license (the default one at pretty much every agency) you can use the photos in any commercial project that doesn't involve selling the image repeatedly and directly. Marketing campaigns, adverts, banners, social media posts, store decoration, and more are typical commercial uses.
The main restrictions in this license are the number of copies you can distribute (commonly set at 500,000 units), and the prohibition to use photos in products or designs you will then resell for a profit.
What is an Extended License?
Extended License mainly adds to very important rights:
- Unlimited print run
- Use in products for resale
When you buy images under Extended License, they are photos for commercial use that you can legally include into products you will repeatedly sell to multiple clients. And you don't have to worry about production run, as you can use the image in unlimited reproductions.
When Do I Need an Extended License?
As you likely guessed, you're going to need an Extended License when:
- You intend to distribute more than the Standard limit of copies (even if it's not for reselling purposes)
- You want to use the photo in a design that will be reproduced and sold for a profit (be it in physical or digital products)
If you're looking for images to print on t-shirts, hats, mugs, posters, etc., then you definitely need to purchase images for commercial use with Extended License.
What is the Best Source for Buying Images for Commercial Use?
As we said, many stock photo agencies include Extended Licenses in their offer. In pretty much all cases these license can be acquired on demand, but not with subscriptions.
Here we bring you a list of the best places to purchase stock photos for commercial use with Extended License. Have a quick look at their amazing prices!
Best 5 Stock Photo Offers: Prices for Extended Licenses
|Agency||Price per Photo with
|Best Price per Photo|
|$80 / $40 for members||$44 / $22 for members|
Best 5 Offers in Stock Photos for Commercial Use
The shop has a collection with 4 million images, vectors and fonts to choose from, all up to XXL size at no added cost. Plus, 100,000 new files are added every month. Having deals for monthly and annual subscriptions, plus on demand image packs and a very popular annual plan -99club offer-, the shop has recently added great Extended License packs that let you purchase stock photos for commercial use including products for resale.
One of the most popular stock photo agencies in business,
Shutterstock has one of the largest image collections in the industry with over 100 million photos, vectors and illustrations. They offer subscriptions and image packs, and when it comes to Extended License they're available on demand, also in pack form where the more images you buy in advance, the more money you save in the long run.
Their Enhanced License packs are at $199 for 2 images, $449 for 5, and $1699 for 25. Depending on how many you want to buy, they'll cost you between $68 and $99.50 each. The packs are valid for one year after purchase date, so you have a lot of flexibility to invest and use your photos for commercial use.
Adobe Stock has over 60 million files in their library, all royalty free images for commercial use. They have subscription plans with many options, and also credit packs for bonus content. All their photos have Extended license (called Enhanced) available, which gives you the right to unlimited print run and use in products to be resold.
Their Enhanced license is priced at just $79,99 per photo, and you pay as you go. It's a very simple and straight forward system that lets you get just as many images as you need, whenever you need them.
This image bank counts with over 60 million photos, vectors and illustrators ready to download and use commercially. You can buy them with subscription plans or image packs, and Extended Licenses are also available as on demand packs you pay in advance and use whenever you want within one year.
Enhanced License packs come with 1 image for $89, 5 images for $359 or 25 images for $1599. Depending on how much you want to invest, they'll cost you from $64 to $89 per photo. Certainly a good deal!
One of the oldest established and most popular stock photo agencies in the industry,
iStock offers millions of photos and illustrations curated into two main collections, one economic and the other exclusive. You can get these images with a subscription, or on demand with credits. Extended Licenses are available with credits only, and each bonus right comes as a separate license.
All Extended License options are 18 credits each (depending on the pack you buy, this will be between $144 and $170). Physical Products is the label of the option for products for resale, and there's also Unlimited Reproduction, Multi-Seat and other alternatives. It's important to note each of these options adds 18 credits to the individual image price, which is either 1 or 3 credits depending on the collection. Like this, a photo for printing on a t-shirt or any other item can cost you roughly from $152 to $192. Considering this agency offers premium, exclusive images and high quality budget photos, it's a very reasonable deal.
Licensing Images for Commercial Use: Cost-Effective Way to Make Money from Your Designs!
Being a one time fee license that grants you perpetual use of the images, buying stock photos for commercial use with Extended License is a very cost-effective way to create amazing designs to print on t-shirts, hats, mugs, and any other apparel or physical item you can then sell to make money.
The costs are really low: at any of the above listed companies, you can purchase photos for commercial use for less than $100.
By far the best deal is that of our SPS Shop, with the cheapest Extended Licenses in the market at just $22 per photo.