Cheap Stock Photos Getting More Popular than Ever

Are cheap stock photos losing their dash? No, they are not. Stock photography and the need for stock images is, in fact, not slowing down any time soon. The proliferation of stock photo agencies has gotten people to notice the importance of stock photos to many creative projects, including blogs, websites, design, presentations and promotional materials. This means that the future of stock photography is bright.

Nowadays, it is more common for people to see the same images in different projects. Do not be surprised to see your downloaded stock photo in your competitors’ website and even those that are not related to your niche. Thus, the need for more stock images is increasing. More consumers are asking for more stock photos to choose from, leading to more stock sites offering high quality, artistic and unique images.

With more variety to choose from in terms of style and design, cheap stock photography is moving towards hosting images taken by everyone in hopes to increase the options for creative professionals. Even larger stock sites are leaning toward curating more artistic and higher quality images from various photographers to offer custom looking, natural images to their customers.

Camera technology has also come a long way. Equipment is becoming more affordable, making it cheaper to shoot quality images. This allows more people, even amateur photographers, to take photos and upload them on various stock photo websites. While photoshoots still exist for different needs and reasons, cheap stock photos have become a more popular choice due to their affordability and time-saving qualities.

With the increasing popularity of stock images, both small and large stock photo sites are offering products and services that will set them apart from the others. Smaller stock sites focus more on fulfilling specific creative needs by providing high quality images in a particular style, subject matter, theme or look. On the other hand, larger stock sites are finding ways to disrupt the stock image industry. They are looking at how images are used, who is buying them, and how to make the search and purchase experience better.

As stock photography grows, it is likely that new ways to use cheap stock photos will be developed. Stock sites are already offering a unique and higher level of user experience by moving to royalty-free pricing model, providing theme sets and providing free high quality images. In the future, it is likely that finding and using stock photography will become easier than it is now.


Stock photography is likely to continue its path on providing high quality images in various styles, themes and angles. More high-end images are required by creative professionals, but those needs are being fulfilled by larger stock photo websites. On the other hand, smaller stock sites are catering to the creative community with specific needs. It is safe to say that the stock photo industry will stay for a long while.

Find the Perfect Asset for your Project with Adobe Stock

Although the stock site has only been in the industry for a little over a year, it certainly has impressed the creative community. Adobe Stock has unique features that make it worth considering, especially for Creative Cloud users. You can work faster as you can search for the perfect image right inside your favorite CC desktop application. Not only that, you can also design comp images, license and manage them directly.

As a standalone website, anyone can access Adobe Stock’s library.  Here are a few great things about the stock site that you should know:

  • Did you know that it has one of the largest libraries in the market? Adobe Stock started with over 40 million images from Fotolia and the Dollar Photo Club. Then, it started accepting contributions from talented artists and photographers around the world. To date, the stock site has over 50 million stock footages and images.
  • Wherever you are, you can certainly access the stock site. Adobe Stock is available in most countries and in 20 languages, read more about them here.
  • An Adobe Stock license allows you to use the stock files anywhere in the world. You can use them in print, websites, social media sites, and presentations, but you may not distribute them in a way that people may use it without licensing them.
  • An Adobe Stock license never expires. Standard license allows you to create 500,000 copies of the image or broadcast it to up to 500,000 viewers. You can also produce items for resale where the main value is the image itself, such as posters and t-shirts. On the other hand, an Extended license grants you the rights of the Standard license and removes the 500,000 copy restriction.

The launch of Adobe Stock has made the creative process easier for many creative professionals. It has helped Creative Cloud users save time and money by allowing them to design comp images before they make an actual purchase. Most of all, it has provided non-users with premium quality images to create their own masterpieces.

What to Avoid when Using Cheap Stock Photos

In the Internet, you will millions and millions of photos you can use for your blog, website and other projects. Some of them are free. Others are expensive. But, there are also cheap ones. Cheap stock photos is the middle ground that many creative professionals find helpful. While we also recommend using cheap stock photos from these sites to jump-start your creative project, there are some things you need to avoid to make sure you are not breaking your design.


  • Avoid overexposed photos. Because of the large number of stock photos in the market, there is no guarantee that every single one of them works. You still need to choose which ones are relevant to your cause and suitable for your budget. To keep it classy, choose images that are not too cliché – or most commonly known as overexposed images.

Cliché images are images that are commonly used. You can find them everywhere. So before you purchase an image, look at your competitors’ site and take note of the images they are using. You do not want to represent your product or service the way they do. We recommend browsing deeper on the page results to find an image that has not been used many times.

  • Avoid pictures that do not relate to your content. This one’s pretty obvious. We have seen many blogs that use images that do not relate to their content. This often happens when a client provides a bunch of photos to the designer and just ask them to make them work. This does not only confuse your target audience, it also decreases the credibility of your website. We recommend using cheap stock photos that reinforce your message and not just decorate your page.
  • Avoid buying low-resolution images because they’re cheaper.  We are not saying that you should never use low-resolution images. What we want to say is that you should use the resolution that fits your design. Yes, they are cheaper but do they look good in your project? Let’s say you want to use the image in a large area of your webpage. Consider the size of the photos to prevent your page from looking cheap. If you can’t afford the photo that meets your requirement, find another.
  • Avoid images that look unprofessional. If you want to assure your clients that you are delivering quality work, start with using cheap stock photos that look professional. Many stock sites offer great stock images. Do not settle for a sloppy picture that looks outdated, unless that’s what you are trying to achieve. We recommend attributing certain styles and design features to a certain period and making sure the image looks like being photographed by a modern, high-res camera.

When using cheap stock photos, you should do it with extreme care. Take your time in finding the right piece to create an amazing work of art.


iStock Vetta: Introducing a New Perspective

Vetta refers to the very best collection of imagery from iStock. It is hand-picked by a team of editors for intelligently executed concepts and accomplished art direction. Right now, the stock photo website has over 35,000 Vetta files in its library. That is 1% of the entire image collection. They start at 20 credits per asset for small sizes and up to 70 credits for XXX-large assets. While they have high prices, they don’t scare customers. They still have high demands.

The Vetta collection was introduced for two main reasons:

  • To give solutions to a specific client need
  • To encourage contributors to create rare and unique stock images

What is the difference between Vetta and standard collection?

istock logoThe difference between iStock Vetta and the standard image collection is that the former is hand-selected by high performance editors. Each asset in the Vetta collection has something that caught the eye of the stock photo website’s editor and fits the strict acceptance criteria of the collection. On the other hand, the standard collection are images that meet the requirements of the stock site only. They do not involve a high level or artistic risk.

The standard collection has the best royalty-free stock images available anywhere. It contains millions of useful and beautiful files. It has a new iStock pricing model that we believe will work well with the stock photo site’s customers. But, iStock Vetta offers something different. The initial collection represents soul and artistic innovation. Most of them have been downloaded a few times. From this small pool of images, iStock aims to grow the collection by adding images that fit the Vetta spirit.

History of Vetta

iStock was the first microstock agency to offer its contributors to work under the terms of exclusivity. It offers higher royalty percentage in exchange of displaying exclusive images in its file search, enhanced legal protection, and extra promotional actions. After some time, the stock site considered customer trends and developed its exclusive area further. This is where Vetta started – as part of a development. It was then announced in 2009.

Now, the iStock Vetta collection contains over 35,000 images and illustrations. Its paradigm is simple and effective. All images are handpicked by a team of high performance editors for exquisite art direction, rarity, and intelligently executed concepts. That is the reason why you will never find the same image in any stock photo website’s library. In some way, Vetta files are the elite of royalty-free images. They are exclusive to the stock site.

How much do they cost? To be honest, they are fairly expensive compared to the standard royalty-free images. Their prices are extremely fixed, depending on the size of the image you want to purchase. Not every buyer can afford them, but they will surely mark you out against your competitors. They will bring your product status an extremely high quality.