My previous post about free stock photos, however sometimes you might not find the photo that you are looking for at those sites. In that case the solution is to look at some of the commercial stock photography agencies. Stock photos at most of the well know stock photo agencies are really expensive with a photo price ranging from about 100 up to several thousands of dollars. If you are running a big business and you are looking for that unique image that maybe ok with you, however if you are just looking for photos for your website or blog those prices are simply out of reach.
So, what is the alternative in that case? The answer is microstock photography sites. Microstock sites as they are commonly called offer stock photography at very affordable prices. Their prices range from 1$ per photo up to about 10$. You might be wondering about the quality of so cheap images, I can simply say that the quality in most cases is excellent. The way this sites work is simple, photographers and illustrators from all around the world upload their photos, these photos are then reviewed by human inspectors and if they meet the quality criteria of the sites they are added to their database. When a stock photo is sold the creator receives a commission. Personally, I am a contributing photographer at a number of these agencies and I make a nice side income from this activity of mine which at least funds my hobby of photography. Here are the links to the three I personally recommend both for buying but also for selling your photos and illustrations. (Note: I have included my referral link for some of these agencies, o if you sign up under me I will get a small commission if you buy or sell your images) There are many more but those are the ones that I like the most.
Dreamstime: Dreamstime is the first place that I visit when I am looking to buy stock photos. Why? Because it’s the cheapest and the quality is really good. Most of the photos cost just 1$ (very few cost 3$) and if you plan on selling your photos there you will get 50% commission. Dreamstime now offers almost 220.000 images for download right now.
Istockphoto: Istockphoto was the pioneer of microstock photography, the quality is excellent and the selection is very big. At the moment of writing this post Istockphoto has 584619 files for download. Besides stock photography Istockphoto offers a large selection of vector files (.eps). The prices range from 1 to 20$ depending on the size of the photo.
Fotolia: Fotolia is a relatively new microstock agency (a few months old) however they entered the microstock market very dynamically. In that short period they have managed to an archive of almost 250000 photos. Prices start from 1$ per photo as well. One thing that I should note is that fotolia also offers a collection of free photos as well.
Here are the links to the other microstock sites that I know just in case you are looking for more affordable stock photography resources.
There are also some subscription based affordable Stock Photography agencies which I haven’t mention in this post but I will probably make a post about them in the future.