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You know you need to use images on your blog, but the high costs of stock photos can be a deal breaker. You don’t have to break the bank paying for beautiful imagery though.
There are plenty of options for cheap stock photos out there that won’t hurt your wallet while making an impact on your reader’s experience.
Cheap stock photos are an easy way to give your website some visual pizzazz. Most businesses, big or small, spend a good amount of time and money on their website’s photographs.
A lot of these sites do have stock photo subscriptions where you sign up and pay every month to use their library of images. While others are completely free.
Keep in mind that the free ones generally means you will see those photos ALL over the internet.
When I first started blogging on the internet, Canva was free to use, including most of their images and illustrations.
Then they started charging for those things and I was grumpy about it. It took me almost 4 years of being grumpy, but I finally bought Canva Pro last year. I can’t believe I’ve been wasting so much time using other stock photo sites this whole time.
I’d have to leave Canva, go to another site, download the image, resize it, and then use a compression tool to make sure it wasn’t 3 MB and slowed down my whole site….and on and on.
Now I just create my images, search their stock photo database, and I’m done.
All in one tool for DIY design - created for non-designers. You can create logos, social media ads, build beautiful presentations, and more.
Plus, you get free access to millions of stock photos, lots of great templates, and illustrations to make your design that much more amazing.
While it does cost to use Canva Pro, it’s $12.99 per month, or just $9.99 per month if you pay for the year up front.
Even just creating one design with Canva saves me at least 20 minutes, and I’d say 20 minutes of my time is definitely worth $10.
Plus you get a free 30-Day Trial when you use this link.
JumpStory is a really cool platform. While it’s not free, it’s pretty darn cheap! With JumpStory you get a similar kind of content as you do with Canva, but it is an additional fee.
Like Canva, they do have a feature that allows you to remove the background from photos as well.
Their photos are a completely separate style though so you won’t find any duplicates there. Since they aren’t as well known as some of the other platforms, you’re not likely to find these photos everywhere like you might with some stock photos sites.
Pexels is a great place you can get cheap stock photos – for free! They call their photographers “heros”.
The great thing about their catalog is that it’s constantly growing as more and more creators upload their images to the site for free.
Unsplash is a completely free place to get images you can use for your blog or website.
This is the place I would do my whole crazy routine that I mentioned above about leaving Canva or Photoshop to go find images, then having to resize them.
Unsplash is great because you get super high resolution photos, but that means they also end up being HUGE files. So you need to resize them and make them a bit smaller if you’re going to be using them on your blog or website.
BigStock has millions of royalty free stock photography you can use in a blog post or wherever you need a photo.
They also have video you can use, and the way their content is organized is nice. Searching photos can be kind of difficult, but their platform isn’t as hard to use as some others.
Big Stock does give you a free 7-day trial of their stock photos so you can see if you like the service enough to buy a subscription.
So this one is going to be a bit controversial on the “cheap” aspect of things. But, you can get them cheap.
Deposit Photos has a plan that gives you 150 images per month for $99. So you could search through their platform, save the images you’re going to want to use to your account (it’s free to save or favorite images), and then buy a month and use those all up at once.
It’s a little more work, but DepositPhotos has one of the better sites for finding great stock images. These are all royalty free stock photos too.
7. Adobe Stock
Adobe stock comes from the same people who created Photoshop and Illustrator so these images, or “assets” as they call them, will be available in all of those platforms natively.
You get to try out Adobe Stock free for a whole month letting you see what kind of images, videos, vector images, and illustrations you can choose from.
123RF has been around for a while, since 2005. They are one of the better cheap stock photo agencies you can go with.
They sell royalty free images and vectors that you can use for your business. While they do offer stock photo subscriptions, you can also sign up for a certain number of credits to use to get royalty free images.
While they don’t offer a trial for their subscription package you can usually find a promo code floating around there somewhere. “10off” is the current one.
Pixabay is one of the only free stock photo companies that has a ton of free photos you can use anywhere.
While it’s great that these photos are free, they have ads to photos from other places like iStock littering the website so you have to watch out for that. But if you can navigate the system, then it’s really a great place to get photos.
Images and video are the first thing that most people see when they check out a website; it can have a huge impact on how they react to your brand. So it’s important to stand out and complement the content you’re presenting as well.
Of course, not everyone has thousands of dollars lying around for high-end shots – which is where cheap stock photos come in handy. Any of the options above are great for finding unique, eye-catching imagery that doesn’t cost you a ton of money.
What are you favorite stock photo sites?