Free and Cheap Stock Photos
Here at Wise Bread, we're constantly on the lookout for great, affordable images to go with our articles. And with a blog created like every second, many of you are in the need of some nice images to go with your blog posts, too!
I had been a loyal user of iStockphoto for a few years, but what used to be $1 per credit has turned into $1.52. Not only that, but the price of each image has gone up to 2 credits. That's a 300% price hike.
Then I discovered stockxpert, which was great. They were everything iStockphoto was. $1 per credit. 1 credit per image. And many of the images were exactly the same ones from iStockphoto. Except they're shutting down as of February 11! (All unused credits will be transferred to iStockphoto. I smell a buyout.)
So I began to look around for another source and happily discovered there are good alternatives.
Flickr is a fan favorite, but the selection for the commercial use license is limited. However, we've used a ton of Flickr images here on Wise Bread, so it's not really that limited.
Stock.xchng is another popular one used by many bloggers. You do need to sign up for an account (this small barrier is the reason I haven't tried it).
Stockvault offers free stock photos, and you don't need to sign up for an account to download the images.
MorgueFile has a bunch of plainer looking stock photos, but completely decent and free.
Freedigitalphotos is another place to get free stock photos. Looks like a smaller selection than the others above, but hey, they're free.
$1 (or just a little more)
Dreamstime is a gem I just discovered. Credits start at $1.25 (for 8 credits) but quickly go down to $1 per credit if you buy 25.
At Fotolia, credits start at $1.14 per credit. It's a nice looking site that I'm eager to try out.
A little pricer
Can Stock Photo offers images for $2 a piece. They do have the lowest starting price for subscriptions. $35.95 per week to download 10 images per day.
Big Stock Photo offers credits starting at $3, but quickly go down with a few more credits -- it's $1.96 each if you buy 25 credits.
iStockphoto offers credits starting at $1.52 (with small discounts at larger packages). They recently raised most of their images to 2 credits. Additionally, they have quite a few photos that cost even more. I do have to say that I've never been disappointed at their selection quality.
Crestock is a nice looking site with lovely images. Their credits start at $4.50 (you need to buy 100 of them). Or buy images one at a time for $5.
Shutterstock rounds out my "pricey" list with $9.80 per image.
Going for Bulk
If you're looking to buy images in bulk, look for subscription options. I haven't listed them here because I don't know anyone who needs 25 images per day. But Photos.com has a really good subscription package ($100 for 1 month, 25 downloads per day). That's just $0.13 per image. (Getty Images is slightly cheaper at $0.11 per image, but you have to buy a year's subscription for $1,999 for 50 downloads per day).
Where do you get your stock images?