There have been many stock photo sites that seem like they’re a little out of their minds. How much for this photo of a guy I don’t know, smiling with a co-worker? $50 for 10 credits and each photo is 3 credits and… my brain is already fried. How much are they really costing you? In the world of requiring stock photos, it doesn’t have to mean your peace of mind. Every site will have different content quality and different prices. But, in the end, they are trying to do the same thing as everyone else and that is make money. Make sure that you know what you’re getting. We can help. Below we have acquired a list of some of the most popular stock photo sites and what you can expect.
Unsplash – Advertised as a completely free* stock image site, Unsplash is just one of the “free the photo” sites that have been popping up as of late. Posting 10 new photos every 10 days, Unsplash wants you to use their photos as you please license be damned!
*While most photo downloads require no recognition of any kind, some ask for attribution. Make sure to do your own research for each photo.
Stock.XCHNG – As one of the most popular sites for designers, Stock.XCHNG boasts as the leading source of free stock photos. Even my designer friends mentioned this site when I asked. It’s the real deal. And why you may find a lot of free images, some you will have to pay for. But content is king and if it makes your day easier to bite the bullet, make sure the prices eqals you get what you want.
DeviantART – Known as a virtual heaven for artists, DeviantART is both quality and hip. Don’t let it’s modernism scare you off, though. They have a large stock photo section with hi-resolution photos that are perfect for printing. While these photos are unique and absolutely georgeous, you get what you pay for and while DeviantART does have some free images, it is also one of the priciest stock photo sites available.
VectorStock – VectorStock is perfect for print projects. The best part about VectorStock? Their beautiful line of icons, backgrounds and logos for you to print can be re-sized without sacrificing quality. That’s something all of us are willing to pay a little more for.
iStock – As one of the better known sites, iStock has been a staple in stock photo hunting for many years. When you’re backed by Getty Images that isn’t exactly a surprise. High quality images and decent pricing are just a few reasons that iStock is so popular with designers. With a plethora of stock available, while most images aren’t free it isn’t going to break your bank either. You can sign up for subscriptions or just buy single credits, whatever you believe is best for you and your business.
Veer – If you need to buy in bulk, then Veer just might be for you. Unlike iStock, Veer has month-to-month subscriptions and their best deal allows you to download 20 photos per day for a flat rate.
Shutterstock – Speaking of you get what you pay for, that can’t be more true for Shutterstock. While you get beautiful, hi-resolution pictures that are unique and perfect for printing, you will pay for them. If you find yourself on their site a little more frequently, there are subscription plans available.
Illustration LTD – While this may be veering off of the stock photo path, sometimes all you really need is an illustrator. Illustrator LTD connects designers with top-notch illustrators to give their projects a little more creativity and flair. While there are watermarks on the images, the site is user-friendly and can connect you to an illustrator for original work.
New Old Stock – Free vintage photos from public archives that have no known copyright restrictions. Yea, you heard me right.
Death to the Stock Photos – Free stock photos. That’s what you want, right? Deathtostockphotos.com wants to give it to you. When you sign up, once a month, you will receive a variety pack of 10 stock photos completely free to be used commerically or for your own blog or website. Using their own licence to give away these photos, Death to Stock Photos has a real mission statement right in their name.
As with most things, with stock photos you have supply and demand. Demand hi-quality photos? You will be supplied with a pricey price package. But, you will most likely get exactly what you want. Totally free sites are all the rage now. It all seems very modern but between all of those stock photo sites out there, there is something to help your small business get noticed. And that’s the real point isn’t it? Just check some of them out before you buy. Just because it is the most expensive site, doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Take the time to do a little searching and you will have hi-quality pictures to put on your website and will look better today than you did yesterday.