Cheap Images

Finding and Using Cheap Stock Photos versus Free Images

There are plenty of stock photos online that you can use for commercial and non-commercial purposes, but how do you find the best ones? If you are a starting a blog, website or business, the Internet is one giant source of free images. However, using these images without permission is illegal. This is when cheap stock photos become a better option. For an affordable price, you can use the image without worrying about the copyright police chasing your back.

Copyrighted Images
Copyright is the legal protection extended to owners or photographer of original artistic works such as images, illustrations and vectors. It grants the owner or photographer exclusive rights to make copies of their original work and to publish or transmit them. This means that it is illegal for anyone, other than the owner or photographer, to use the creative files without permission.

If you carry out any of the above stated activities, you are violating the copyright law, subjecting you to legal sanctions, including fines. Now, do not take these fines lightly because they can be hefty. In fact, they can be worth more than what you earn from your illegal usages. Plus, copyright violations can hurt you reputation with your clients. To avoid these, you should assume that all images are copyrighted.

Difference between Free and Cheap Stock Photos
Free photos come in many forms – public domain, copyright-free or openly-licensed. When the image is in public domain, it means it has no legal owner. Either its copyright has expired or was
never renewed. Copyright-free images are generally safe to take, but be sure to read the terms and conditions. Lastly, openly-licensed means the owner has granted certain reprint permissions. However, just because these images are free does not mean you can use them freely. You need to track down the copyright holder to get permission, which is a great hassle.

Cheap stock photos save you from all these hassle for only little amount. You no longer need track down the copyright holders to ask for their blessing. All you have to do is choose a stock photo agency, where you can purchase and download images legally. These stock sites give you access to millions of images and grant you the license to use them for your creative projects. Generally, stock images come with a royalty-free license that allows you to use the image for any purpose and for as long as you like.

Free images can be very tempting, but they put you at greater risk of losing your money and hitting your reputation. Thus, it is best to get cheap stock photos instead. Plenty of image plans are offered by stock agencies. You can choose whichever fits your creative needs and your budget.

List of the cheapest Stock Photo Agencies

The explosive growth of stock photography online has been great for web developers and other publishers who need to accent their printed material. Prices have gone down significantly as competition has ramped up, yielding cheap stock photos of high quality that can come from several trusted industry websites. Those considering the best places to buy cheap photos should consider the industry’s current list of cheapest stock photo agencies here.

4 Ressources to get cheap Stock Photos

cheap stock images

1. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is easily one of the largest and cheapest stock agencies websites online, having entered the business in early 2003 with just a small library of available images. Over 11 years later, the site is still going strong. Shutterstock is now a publicly traded company that hosts more than 30 million royalty-free images for use by web developers and others.

The company also licenses the rights to more than 1 million videos that add rich content to websites and make them a great deal more engaging. Nearly 20,000 new images are added to the company’s library every day, and all without causing a significant rise in expenses for contributors or stock photo users. In fact, the company currently charges just $29 for two images, or $249 per month for up to 25 downloaded images per day, every day of the month.

2. iStock

Originally founded by an independent entrepreneur for free stock imagery under the iStockphoto brand, the company was later purchased by Getty Images and rebranded as the for-pay iStock known today. The company participates in a points-based purchase system, with credits costing just $19.99. Photos are purchased using varying amounts of purchased credit, with prices that vary based on the photo’s quality, age, original photographer, and other costs. Because the service is operated by Getty Images, it’s highly competitive with Shutterstock in terms of photo quality and the many, varied options available for web developers and publishers.

3. Fotolia

is not nearly as big as iStock or Shutterstock, but the company still ranks as one of the cheapest stock agencies in the industry. Currently, Fotolia offers photos at varying prices ranges that start at just $0.75 per photo. Buyers can decide which photos to purchased based on their overall quality, their cost, and how those photos will blend into their printed or online materials. As with iStock, Fotolia does use a credit-based photo purchasing system, which may require customers to buy excess credits in advance so that they can afford the cheap image for their needs.

4. Bigstock Photos

The Bigstock system is another credit-based system, at least for those customers who wish to purchase photos individually. Credits are purchased using cash, with a minimum purchase of 10 credits required. Customers looking to buy cheap photos individually can do so for 99 cents per image, while monthly subscriptions start at $69 for five cheap image downloads per day, each day of the month. It’s worth noting that the company was purchased by Shutterstock in 2009, but still operates its own, independent gallery of stock photographs. The primary difference between these two services is Bigstock’s much larger index of international images from photographers all around the world.

This collection is quite a bit bigger than Shutterstock’s more limited international selections.

Low-Cost Options Abound for Cheap Stock Photos

Whether it’s a credit-based system or a monthly plan, today’s leading stock photography sites have drastically reduced their prices even as the number and quality of photos offered to customers. These flexible pricing plans allow buyers to minimize their up-front costs while granting them access to millions of high-quality, vibrant photographs from the world’s best and busiest photographers.