An author’s experience using DepositPhotos stock images to create LGBTQ+ book covers


DepositPhotos is a stock image site offering photos and vector images. It lets you buy the rights to use the images one at a time, in bulk, and through subscriptions that allow you to download a certain number of images each month. Once you’ve downloaded the images, you can use them for as long as you want and in as many places as you want. One image can be used on an ebook cover unlimited times, and on the covers of up to 500,000 print copies.

And right now, they’ve partnered with deal site AppSumo to offer a credit for 100 photos for just $49.

I’ve bought this deal before and it’s one of the best business investments I’ve made in terms of cost and impact. I love the huge catalog of photos they offer and have always been able to find ones that work great for my book covers or on blog posts.

Here I’ll walk you through few book covers I’ve made with art from Deposit Photos. This is the first one, where I used a photo of two men in bed as the base:

Mi alma book cover

Then I made this one, where I used a silhouette of a couple holding hands at the center and layered it with an image of stars and another abstract one I got from searching “abstract light”:

And recently I slapped this one together using a photo of a couple from DepositPhotos with an American Sign Language image I had previously downloaded from Dreamstime, another stock image site (though DepositPhotos has lots of signing images too:

reading the signs book cover


The designer for Sexy to Go: Gay Romancea multi-author anthology I was in, got the cover image from DepositPhotos:

Sexy to Go Gay Romance book cover

DepositPhotos has hundreds of photos of same-sex couples—not just the ones I’ve used above. To check for yourself, you can do a search like “gay couple”, which also includes images of female couples. But if you’re specifically looking for photos of female couples, try a search like lesbian couples (be advised the search results may include scantily clad people.

Here’s an example of a social media image made with DepositPhotos stock:


DepositPhotos search function is sometimes great, and sometimes weird. For example, the “gay couple” search works exactly as expected, but the searches “two men kissing” and “two women kissing” get you a ton of heterosexual kisses. Change it to “two men gay kissing” or “two lesbians kissing” and you fare much better.

Since many stock photo sites carry the same images, some folks suggest using the more advanced image searches on Adobe Stock and Shutterstock to find what you want, then looking for that image on DepositPhotos using the artist’s name or the photo identification number.

Overall, I’ve been happy with DepositPhotos. Besides the plethora of gay images, I like that every photo comes with the guarantee of a model release (legal documents where the model gives permission for their image to be used). That means you can use the models’ faces without worrying you’ll get sued. So we could’ve used the models faces in the covers above, but cropped them because apparently that’s our aesthetic preference.

DepositPhotos also has vector images in stock that you can use to design a logo for your website or book series. Here are a few writing-related images that can be used for logos. And check out these rainbow ones. Cool!

To buy stock images from DepositPhotos, sign up with a monthly subscription or buy vouchers for a set number of images (10, 25, or 100). The most popular subscription is $29/month, which entitles you to 30 downloads. (Unused downloads carry over month to month.) If you opt for more each month, the price per photo goes down.

Or, as I mentioned above, get credits for 100 photos for $49 for a limited time! The credits never expire, so if you don’t know what photos you want to use yet, that’s fine. Decide whenever the muse comes to your aid.

Check out DepositPhotos here!


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