Top 5 Cheap Stock Photo Sites

If you are trying to run a website, or another media type you may have been in the same situation – your content is rich, but visually isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

How do you fix it without breaking the bank?  By adding great stock photo sites to your arsenal. Visitors need some sort of imagery (read this great post to confirm that!) – Large blocks of text will turn readers off.  There’s no reason to not get the recognition major companies are getting solely because you lack visual appeal. Quality stock images can make even the most average website look a lot better. Poor images will of course do the opposite.

Below is a list of the top five stock photo sites to help you give yourself that extra, reliable, and affordable boost.


1.  iStockphotoistockphoto homepage

( – One minute after browsing this site and you’ll realize you’ve hit the mother-load of possibilities.  Besides having a great deal of options (like audio files), this site offers some content for free, plus a price deal for those who purchase credits in large quantities.  Credits can cost as low as $1.47 and as high as $1.67 each.

TIP – While istockphotos have a lot of stock photographs that are exclusive to them, you will find that these are more expensive in terms of credits than non-exclusive files. So consider the latter if you want to keep costs down.

As you can see from the image above, they have recently halved the price of many of their files. So now is a good time to take a look at their relatively cheap stock photos.

They also offer a great referral program that can help offset the costs of the expensive credit packages depending on how many people you can bring in, and how you choose to be rewarded.

Sign up today for 10 free credits to get you started!


2.  Dreamstime

Dreamstime stock images royalty free

( – A popular destination for those not only looking for the quality image that will propel their project forward, but also those who are looking to sell their photos.

With a vast (and still growing) library of content, this is one of the best stock photo sites to find what you need.  They offer daily deals as high as 60% off credits for those who check back often, as well as discounts for larger packages.  If bulk is what you’re after though, they also offer time-based subscriptions.  One month’s worth of downloads (with a limit of 25 downloads a day) costs $215 – Another great deal if you need a lot of photos.

There’s also a free section, where you can get 10 free images to start with, and many more if you purchase one of their plans. There are 900,000 photos in the free section alone!


3.  ShutterstockShutterstock

( – With over 25 million photos, vectors, illustrations and videos, where could you go wrong?  Well organized, with a great variety of content, this site will definitely help you catch viewers’ attention.

If you need a lot of images, a year’s subscription costs $127 a month – giving you 25 photos a day, any size!!! Make use of this and your stock photos are only going to cost less than 17 cents each – For any file size!

Even signing up for one month makes sense – If you make use of the 25 downloads a day that you are entitled to, you will get 750 royalty free photos in that month – a lot cheaper than paying on demand with credits!

If you don’t need that many, they offer a pay-as-you-go option that features 12 downloads (small or medium sized only) for $29.  They also allow for free browsing, so before you commit to a plan you can safely look at what they have to offer. Oh and there’s a free photo of the week – which is nice!


4.  FotoliaFotolia stock images

( – A site that offers many payment plans for all kinds of users – photos can be bought in different sizes, though if you plan on purchasing many images in the best quality offered, their subscription plan can’t be beat.

By buying their biggest package ($7,000), you can get credit costs down to $.74 each.  However, that’s a huge expense for those who need to download a large amount of photos in a short amount of time.  If that’s the case, they offer a monthly subscription price that doesn’t limit your daily downloads.  A good point this, with their monthly plan you can download your royalty free stock photos at any time within the month.

The monthly package with the best value allows for 1,000 XXL images, or 2,000 medium images for $800.


5.  DepositphotoDepositphotos

( – Low prices, high quality royalty-free photos, vector images and videos—It’s a blogger’s dream!

Buy either a subscription or pay as you go, they’re the perfect pick for the one-time browser, and the revisiting web developer.  This site allows for the most flexibility in terms of what you can pay for.  They offer a daily and monthly subscription fee with the best values being found in the larger packages, as well as a pay-as-you-go option.

Depending on how much and how often you’ll be downloading photos, these packages can pack a lot for your buck. As with the other sites, if you need more than a few images, go with a subscription. Even buying one month at $69 will give you 150 images, at $0.46 per photo. This image can be any file size – So a no-brainer compared to buying credits.

Use Promo code for deposit photos: DS1230836 to get 15% off subscriptions or DC2547302 – 15% off to buy credits



Remember, quality royalty-free images will cost. But by knowing what you need and buying smart, you can save a small fortune buy using any of the above cheap premium stock photo sites.

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