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 Do not settle for a sloppy picture that looks outdated, unless that’s what you are trying to achieve.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.