Stock Photography Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

The number of stock photography site on the internet today is dizzying. Some of them are also quite expensive. If you rely on stock photography for your designs, like I do, it can really cut into your profits. When you do a search for these sites the big name ones such as Shutterstock.com or iStockphoto.com usually come up first.

They offer a variety of plans for users to download and use their photos. But their prices for these plans are ridiculous! You don’t have to go broke using these sites if you dig a little deeper and look for cost friendly ones. Here is a rundown on the more reasonable stock photography websites. Some of them even offer free photos.

Pixabay.com – This website is my one of my go-to sites for stock photography because they are completely free. I have only run into a few photos that are listed editorial use only so those ones cost money.

You can donate to this site if you want to but other than that you don’t pay anything for the majority of the images. There are tons of them in just about any search category that you can think of. Some are of a lesser quality than other so you have to watch what you use but you can find some really good ones.

Crestock.com – This website charges but they offer a lot of low cost ways that you can pay. In other words you don’t have to pay for an expensive plan if you don’t want to. You can pay per image, you buy credits, or you can buy plans which include so many photos. Their image sizes and prices are: X-Small $1.00, Small $4.00, Medium $6.00, Large $10.00, X-Large $15.00, XX-Large $20.00. Their credit range is anywhere from 10 credits for $10.00 to 1000 credits for $750.00. Their plans are on the expensive side, which start at $199.00 for 30 days 600 images, going up to$1799.00 for 1 year 7300 images. I never use the plans on this site but I do buy individual images here.

123rf.com – This works on buying credits or plans. Their credits start at 40 credits for $39.00 and go up to 2000 credits for $1633.00. Their plans range from $59.00 a month for 150 images to 159.00 a month for 780 images. I know that these prices sound high but they also offer a large collection of free images that you can download so I thought that this site was worth mentioning. They ask that you place a credit to the photographer within your product or design. The images expire after a period and they are constantly adding new ones.

Canstockphoto.com – This site also gives you a lot of options to buy and is one that I use a lot. I like their pricing and their selection of images. They offer their customers the ability to buy individual images, credits, or subscription plans. If you want to buy individual images their prices start at Small JPEG $2.50, Medium JPEG $6.00, Large JPEG $7.00, X-Large JPEG $8.00, and XX-Large TIFF $12.00.

Their credits start at $9.00 for 12 credits and go up to $200.00 for 360 credits. They run subscription plans a bit differently from other stock photography sites. You have the option to choose how many images you want to download per day, the image sizes, the subscription length, and the number of users. Whatever options you select determines how much you will pay. I usually select 10 images per day in Small, Medium, and Large JPG for 1 Week. This package costs me $39.00 and I get 70 images.

So there you have it. Here are some low cost stock photography sites to get you started. I am sure that there are more sites out there if you do some searches. These are the ones that I use for my design projects. Happy designing!

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