Best Sites to Find Cheap Stock Images

Stock images are an important commodity in the internet because of the variety of uses most especially for business, online marketing or personal blogs. Due to the fact that a picture is worth a thousand words, a carefully picked and appropriate image can do wonders to those who would benefit from its use.

Because of this, cheap stock images are being sought because you can’t just simply grab an image without giving due to its creator or make it worth his time by paying for the image.

In order to avoid any legal repercussions from using any image you get in the internet for commercial use or personal gain, it’s better to settle for cheap stock images if you really need them. There are several images that belong in the public domain though – meaning they don’t belong just to anyone and can be used by anyone, but don’t expect much.

What some people want is to look for subscription plans for 3 stock photo agencies and compare their rates. Several people have limited budget while some can afford a high budget. From single images amounting to a measly $1 to images that can even reach far beyond that, it is wise to apply for a paid subscription rather than single purchases if you plan to use a lot of images.

The list will focus on rates that take in consideration both single purchases and subscription fees.

To make accurate comparisons, you need to standardize the prices. Different photo sites have different prices and packages so you need to make a few trips to several sites to compare their rates.

Here is a list of royalty free stock photos only (without the inclusion of special collections, exclusives, or vector images):

  • Shuttershock – a very popular site for lots of stock photos and images. The lowest price on Shutterstock is 28¢ for a single royalty stock photo. Signing up for an account on Shutterstock will give you access to weekly free photos and other bonuses. You would find several samples and thumbnails with watermarks on the images but rest assured you won’t be seeing those in the images you purchased.
  • Dollar Photo Club – with an offer of $1 per image in any size (vectors included), that’s basically a steal. Also offering 100 images for only $99 is just downright cheap compared to all the other stock agencies in our list. They also offer an incentive of 10 free images if you subscribe to a $99 yearly subscription.
  • Dreamstime – has a very flexible purchasing system that can easily direct users to their cheap royalty free stock images amounting to a measly 20¢ per image (lowest price). Aside from the easy and free sign up, you will also have access to their free photo gallery after the sign up process.
  • Fotolia – also has one of the cheapest royalty free stock photos around. The lowest price can amount to a mere 14¢. They also have rates of $1 for large images. They also offer cheap subscription rates and the royalty-free images they have offer up for sale have worldwide licenses “that don’t expire”.
  • Deposit Photos – 10¢ per royalty free stock photo is definitely one of the cheapest around. They offer a free trial for all new members that allows them to download 35 photos (5 photos a day for a week) The cheapest stock photo agency on a price per photo comparison
  • Photospin – the cheapest stock photo agency offering a surprising 1¢ per stock photo (for the cheapest onesthey have). Coupled with very large image library of over 2.5 million images, photospin is popular image library since 1999. Managed by designers, photographers, and IT specialists, they cater to the huge demand of stock images in the internet and they deliver the cheapest prices of a stock image available for personal and commercial use.
  • Photodune – a popular site that not only sells royalty-free photos and images with a starting price of $1, but they also buy them. Their price basis is dependent on the size or megapixels of each file.
  • iStockphoto – they have “credit packs” for the regulars and a library of content nearing a whopping 10 million. This impressive number of content includes high resolution images, clip art, stock photos, vector illustrations, videos, and music files.
  • PressFoto – featuring over 6 million stock photos, images, clipart, vectors, and videos, this site allows you to pay as you go and allows you to use real money in the form of US dollars and not in credits as many stock photo websites utilize. With real money, you can purchase subscriptions as well as individual photos, images, or other contents and even rent them if you have a website you want to use them on.

Given the numerous sites to get cheap stock images from, you must always take into consideration that you should always optimize the worth for your buck. It is wise to not simply be allured by cheap stock images.

Some images are expensive for a reason – the most likely reason is that they are simply gorgeous with a generous serving of pixels reaching high resolution.

Before subscribing or becoming a regular buyer of images from stock photo agencies, you should always try out the free images or some other images at specific price ranges and compare their qualities. Remember, it’s never always a good thing to settle for the cheapest price. Why not settle for a better quality that only costs several cents more?


3 Stock Photo Websites That Changed The Game in 2015

The idea behind the stock photo industry isn’t a particularly new one: for as long as there have been photographs, businesses have wanted to use them for advertising and marketing, and photographers and other business people have found unique ways to keep entrepreneurs supplied with the imagery they need.  But the industry dynamics surrounding modern stock photo agencies are fairly new, as the development of Microstock photography as a business model has only really blossomed in this century.  Stock photography isn’t new, but the way that modern stock photo websites operate, deal with customers, and license their products is very much so a young industry.  And it’s constantly evolving.

Over the past year, the best stock photo sites have tried to push boundaries and change the way that the game is played.  Stock photo sites that cling to old ideas and don’t try to bring new products and solutions to the table likely won’t be along for too long, as the industry continues to evolve quickly and the best stock photo sites continue to innovate.  And while that will remain true in years to come, this past year has certainly seen some big and interesting innovations.  Here’s a look at some of the biggest changes in the stock photography game this year, as well as a bit about the stock photo agency most responsible for the changes.

Creative Application Integration and Adobe Stock

adobe-stock-homepageWhen Adobe launched a stock photography service this year, they had the funding and brand name reputation to deliver one of the best stock photo sites around straight out of the gate.  And when they made the choice to purchase Fotolia’s existing library in order to jump start their own stock pho offerings, they let anyone paying attention know that they would be taking the industry seriously and investing in high quality royalty free stock photos to compete.  Since their launch earlier this year, they have already carved out a niche of the industry and demonstrated that they intend to sit atop the heap of other recently founded stock photo agencies due to their knack for innovation.

Since it’s launch, Adobe Stock  has put a lot of effort into developing and marketing one very innovative feature that certainly changed the game last year: full creative application integration.  Adobe’s name is already synonymous with creativity and technology, thanks to their dominance of the professional creative software game with programs like Photoshop and Indesign.  When they launched their stock photo agency, Adobe saw an opportunity to use this existing market to sell stock photos.  And the way they have done so through app integration was definitely one of the biggest things to happen in the industry last year.

Now, any user of Adobe’s creative suite software like Photoshop and Indesign can access Adobe’s new stock photo library directly from within these popular apps.  You can edit images and complete entire projects before downloading the images used, and then pay to remove watermarks once you have a final draft that you like.  For creative designers, graphics professionals, and web developers alike, this innovation has made it easier to purchase and use stock photography directly within the apps that creative professionals already know, love, and rely on.

It will be interesting to see just how this ends up changing the game overall.  On the one hand, no other photo stock agencies have a stable of creative programs like Adobe does, and it’s not likely that say Shutterstock or iStockphoto will try to develop a software package to compete with Photoshop.  But the big emphasis that Adobe has put on marketing their images to creative professionals, instead of the traditional markets of web designers and online marketers, will definitely change the way that other agencies interact with customers going forward.  Big changes will come out of Adobe’s entry into the stock photo market, and many of them will likely stem from their innovative app integration features.

New Licensing Parameters and Shutterstock

shutterstock-licensingShutterstock is one of the biggest stock photo sites around for a reason: they have great high-quality imagery, an easy to use interface, and a lot of experience in the industry.  Beyond that, they also aren’t afraid to innovate and push the limits, and use their size as leverage to try new things and set new expectations instead of get lazy or trust in the old ways.  And this year they made a huge move that will definitely pan out to change things in a major way by changing their whole approach to licensing royalty free stock photos.

Traditionally, whenever you have purchased a photo from a stock photo agency like Shutterstock, or even downloaded free stock photos through a promotion, the terms of service of the stock photo agency you are downloading from has protected you from legal action.  But Shutterstock has done two important things that drastically improve these protections built into their royalty free stock photos licensing.

First, they have raised indemnification protections to $10,000 for standard licenses and $250,000 for extended licenses for all of their imagery.  That means that you have legal protection up to those thresholds if anything goes wrong with an image you have downloaded.  Second, they have instituted these protections on a per image rather than per user basis.  In the past, even the best stock photo agencies usually didn’t offer such high levels of protection on every single image they offered.  But now, even if you have a huge project with hundreds of images downloaded from Shutterstock, you can rest easy knowing that each and every image has unique legal protections.

Shutterstock had a lot of other big updates this year, too.  They have lifted daily download caps for their subscriptions, finally realizing that people use different amounts of images every day, and it’s impossible to plan out usage on a daily level.  They’ve made it easier to legally use images in eBooks and emails, by removing a recipient and download cap on all of their imagery.  But all of these smaller feature changes probably won’t prove to be as innovative as their new terms of service licensing agreement, and the protections it affords.

Overall, we can expect more stock photo agencies to change their terms of use and licensing metrics in favor of users in the coming months and years.  Shutterstock made huge moves to give their users more value for their dollar, with more flexible downloads and fewer limitations on how images can be used and distributed.  And their new and more generous licensing terms, especially their greatly enhanced legal protections, will definitely have a ripple effect in the stock photo industry moving forward.

Small Business Solutions and Stock Photo Secrets

small-business-solutionsWhile we may not have the international brand recognition or multi-billion dollar budgets of companies as huge as Shutterstock or Adobe, we like to think that here at StockPhotoSecrets we stay on the cutting edge of the stock photo industry.  And this year we pushed a few innovations through that had a big impact on the way that small business owners can use and relate to stock photos.

First, we have been offering a ton of great discount deals to other agencies lately to help small business owners on a budget find stock photos free or at big discounts.  Just search for “promo code” in our search box at the top of this page, and you’ll find links to lots of stock photos for free.  Even if you can only get a few free stock photos per deal, these coupons make it more affordable for small business owners to start exploring some of the bigger agencies out there.

Beside just offering great deals for other agencies, we have also been developing our own internal small business solutions, offering some great image packages through our shop.  With the $99 Club, we have made it incredibly affordable for small business owners to get access to stock photos, as anyone can get 200 downloads a year for just $99.  We have also pioneered other low volume options like this, all in the name of giving small businesses access to stock photography for prices and in quantities that make sense.

We may not be as huge of a player as Adobe or Shutterstock, but you can bet that this small business focus is getting adopted by other stock photo agencies as well.  As evidenced by the great new licensing terms that Shutterstock has offered this year, users want more flexibility, and we are proud to continue innovating flexible solutions for small business owners.

What’s Next for Stock Photography?

It’s impossible to know exactly what the future holds for the stock photo industry.  But if the big game-changing innovations this year show us anything, it’s that this a young industry open to change and innovation.  In coming years, it’s likely that free stock photos to entice smaller users, better licensing terms that provide value to customers, and more creative ways to market stock photos like Adobe’s app integration.  It will be exciting to see what the future holds, but 2015 was certainly a great year full of game-changing moves in the stock photo world.