Where to Buy Cheap Stock Photos

Tired of overusing a limited pool of cheap stock photos? ‘A picture paints a thousand words’, cliché as it may seem but images greatly help illustrate and convey the message you want your readers to understand. Moreover, smart phrases paired with catchy graphics also do a lot to tickle the fancy and interest of the online crowd. Images also help market your website for you – whether it may be through your website or through your social media posts. Moreover, getting the right content is indeed important in settling your own unique brand. Are you the artsy kind? What is your company all about? What is your blog all about? Settling with the right images greatly help establish your own ‘signature’ – in the manner of how you right your articles, the aesthetics of your site and the graphics that you publish with it. If you’re out of images and getting the pictures yourself is hard, then you can settle for stock photos from reputable websites that offer royalty-free images that are absolutely picturesque.

Of course, cheap does not have to be substandard – or mediocre. It is never enough to settle for a disagreeable image just because it is cheap. Moreover, there are also perks to get ‘unique’ images – ones that are not heavily used by the internet. For example, there is one image of a woman in tight prayer. The image is a high resolution file and has been circulating online for a long period of time.  It has been used in ads, advocacy campaigns, as a social media post, in holiday reminders and many more. Thus, using the same image overused by many is like being in a party and seeing another person wear the exact outfit as yours.

Thus, it pays to dig deeper in the world of royalty-free stock images. Why settle for less when you can have amazing images with half the price of what you are willing to pay for? Here are some of the websites worth browsing:

  • Shutterstock – to date, there are over 57 million royalty-free stock images in Shutterstock with almost half a million images added every week. Founded in 2003 in New York City, the global marketplace is a leading provider of digital imagery licensing – functioning in over 150 countries and in 20 languages – contributed by thousands of professionals from around the world. With Shutterstock, you get photos, vectors, editorials, illustrations, icons, footages, and music that are pre-designed to work well with your site. You can try for free – simply register and browse through a collection of well-inspired images which you can create lightboxes to organize your selections. Should you use the images for commercial or merchandising use, you can obtain the standard license through Shutterstocks’ best value professional and basic plans. All JPEG and vectors, for a basic plan, costs $49 for 5 downloads. Should you require more, you can subscribe to a yearlong plan for a whopping 750 images every month, including access to all JPEG and vector sizes for the affordable price of $199 per month. For a single month’s use of 750 royalty-free images, it is available for the price of $249. You can also obtain Shutterstocks’ enhanced subscription with access to all TIFF, JPEG and vector sizes for unlimited runs and high-viewership commercial uses.
  • Dreamstime – with Dreamstine, you get access to latest stock photos, free images, and stock footage. To date, there are over 33 million stock images – high and low resolution images, illustrations, and vectors. A useful addition with Dreamstine is that you can have the Dreamstine WordPress Plugin installed in your site. The plugin helps resize and resettle your images for the perfect fit – for your sites’ background, texture, banner, web and social icons, and website buttons.
  • Fotolia – includes a variety of images that fit a wide range of niches. Fotolia is a world-leading image bank – providing unlimited access to over 41 million images. Not only images but illustrations, vectors, and video clips as well – provided, predesigned, and enhanced by a diverse community of artists, designers, graphic experts, and agencies from around the world to create a collection for both crowdsourced and professional images in one convenient website. When it comes to payment plans, Fotolia offers flexible payment solutions to fill the pocket-savvy consumer. A Pay-As-You-Go plan for one image can go as low as $0.74. A Monthly Pack plan for one image can go as low as $0.64 while a Subscription plan for a bulk buy can go for a whopping $0.19 per image. Should you require a one day shot, the basic subscription for one day for 25 large sized images costs $249.
  • Depositphotos – if you are in need of amazing and purely beautiful graphics, then Depositphotos is your photo bank. You can register for free and get access to over 35 million stock photos, vectors, and videos. You can subscribe in their numerous plans to get the most of what you are looking for with their daily and monthly subscription, as well as their Pay-As-You-Go Credit plans. The most basic 1 month subscription for 2 images downloads go as low as $20. With Depositphotos, you get the Standard and Extended license for a more secure feel when using the images.

Getting the right image with the perfect subscription plan is important, not to mention a wise move for you and your website. You can download a number of royalty-free images and vectors that are suitable and compatible to create the well-balanced ambience that your website provides. Spending much is not a wise move.  You can try for a test subscription to find the photo bank that will suit you best. When it comes to cheap stock photos, there are numerous websites that are willing to provide you the appropriate and aesthetic images that you need for a lesser price.

123RF Free Images: What Else Can I Get for Free?

123rf-logoMost of the time, stock photo sites that offer a lot of free image downloads don’t have the highest quality imagery to offer.  The old axiom that “you get what you pay for” is certainly true where free stock photos are concerned the vast majority of the time, as free download sites may only offer low definition or incorrectly licensed imagery.  But 123RF is definitely an exception to this rule and offers some very high-quality images for free download to anyone interested in exploring their library.  Here’s why you should check out the 123RF free images you can download free of charge, as well as a look at some of the other free resources that 123RF has to offer, they also have coupon codes from stockphotosecrets.com.

123RF Free Images


By checking out the “free” section on 123RF’s website, you can see they have a few different kinds of free imagery to choose from.  In the “free stock images” section, you will find a whole lot of photos to choose from, and browsing and searching is just as easy as it is in their paid library.  Images do expire in this section often, so be sure to check back to see what new imagery is available for free download at any given time.

You will also see in their “free” section a link to 123RF’s blog, where they upload some higher quality HD imagery for free download.  Most sites that do offer free images don’t have very many HD ones to choose from, but 123RF breaks the mold in this case and has a fair amount of free HD imagery for you to peruse through their blog.

More Free Options on 123RF


If you are only looking at 123RF’s free images, you are missing out on some of the other great free content the site offers.  123RF also provides free downloads for stock audio, which you can use for commercial purposes just like you would use stock photos.  They also offer some very artistic and high-quality PSD Digital Art downloads, which can give your website a fun and unique look.

Overall, 123RF has a lot more high-quality free options than most sites that offer free image downloads, with over over 30,000 stock images, graphics, digital art pieces, and audio clips in their free download library.  That being said, everyone who would like to download free imagery from 123RF can do so, so if you want your site to look unique, it’s worth it to invest in pay to download images.