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.

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.