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 ones they 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?