Looking to buy cheap stock photos? Luckily for you, I made a list of websites where you can find the cheapest stock images for your blog or projects.
Unfortunately, many website owners avoid buying stock photos because they think that all the stock images are expensive. Many times, they end up using low-quality photos or no photos at all.
Let’s see why the images are so important in 2019.
A picture is worth a thousand words.– old saying
The reality is that we live in a visual era. Everybody is a photographer and images are everywhere around us.
Most of us use social networks like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook on a daily basis. We like to take pictures of our lives and share them with our friends and we like to watch other people’s photos.
We read blogs, e-books, guides, recipes, etc. All with many fancy photos and graphics that reinforce an idea.
Before we order a product online, we like to see actual photos of that product. This helps us to make an idea about the product and assists us in making a buying decision.
Now, imagine how would these websites look without any images? How would be your experience?
Would you make a purchase from an online store that has no photos of the product you want to buy?
Would you spend the same time on the social networks if people would only share text stories?
Some theories say that sight is our strongest human sense and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
According to MIT Sloan Management Review, the posts that contain images or videos receive 94% more page visits and engagements than those without any kind of visuals.
Visuals help us to learn quicker, grab our attention faster, and help us memorize information for a longer time.
Let’s face it, a world without images would be a sad world.
Where to get photos for my website?
This is one of the most common question a website owner asks.
Let’s say you have a blog about “Antarctic glaciers”.
Where would you take photos of Antarctic glaciers if you leave on the other side of the globe?
Should you just pack your bags and go to Antarctica?
Unless you have thousands of dollars to spend on a journey to Antarctica, your best bet is to use stock photos.
Let’s see what we can find on Depositphotos.
I found 6.602 of photos of Antarctic glaciers that you can use on your blog.
You get access to all these photos with just a few clicks so no trip to Antarctica for you today.
Therefore, forget the idea of traveling to the other side of the globe and freeze to death in an attempt to take the perfect photo of an Antarctic glacier.
Many photographers have already been there and took great photos that you can use within your blog’s content.
And that’s for just a fraction of the price you’d have to pay to travel to the other side of the world and back.
In addition to that, you don’t probably have professional photography tools and the quality of your photos would be much lower.
Do you still think the stock photos are too expensive?
Is true that there are stock photo agencies that charge hundreds of dollars for a single HD image. Still, there are also websites that sell stock photos for a dollar per image or less.
Please note that my list only includes safe and legit websites that sell stock photos (and indemnify their users) and not websites where you can download royalty-free photos for free and use them at your own risk.
Buy Cheap Stock Photos
I did a little research and found 11 websites where you can buy cheap stock photos.
I have only included the websites where you can purchase stock images for less than $5 per image.
In some cases, you can pay for individual images. Other times, the images will be only available if you buy a monthly or yearly subscription.
Usually, the more images you buy, the cheaper the price per image will become.
Before you decide to buy a single image, think about your future plans and determine if you’ll need more photos soon.
A subscription will always help you to buy the photos at a lower price.
DepositPhotos is one of my favorite websites where I buy stock photos every time I need.
The company has been founded in 2009 and has quickly become the fastest-growing microstock agency in the world.
Depositphotos have a truly impressive number of stock photos, vectors, editorial photos and videos that you can use for your projects.
If you can’t find a specific image on other websites, you can almost certainly find it on Depositphotos.
While DepositPhotos is not the cheapest agency when you only need a handful of images, if you buy more, you can get the photos at a very cheap price.
Depositphoto doesn’t have an option where you can pay for every photo and there are currently 3 plans for individuals:
- On Demand
- Flexible Plan
The smallest amount of pictures you can buy is 10 for $49 with their “On Demand” plan. That’s $4.9 per every photo.
The next “On Demand” plan costs $99 and you can download 25 photos, which makes it $3.96 per image. The more photos you buy, the less you pay per piece.
What I like at this plan is the fact that they do not force you to download all the photos at once. You can download the photos included in your chosen plan within one year.
If you own a news website, a blog, or you just need stock photos for your projects on a monthly basis, the “Subscription” plan of Depositphoto give you some of the lowest prices in the industry.
This pricing plan enables you to download a certain number of images every month. Choosing the yearly payment option will also give you additional discounts.
With the yearly subscription of 750 images / month, you can download images for as low as $0.23 cents per image.
Dreamstime is another large company that sells royalty-free stock photos.
This community-based agency has been around since 2000 and has currently almost 100 millions stock photos and adding over 3 millions new images every month.
Dreamstime has two different pricing plans.
One plan uses credits as currency to pay for the downloads, while the other payment plan works on a subscription model.
Every image costs a number of credits based on the image resolution and format.
The bigger the image is in size, the more credits costs.
If you have a valid subscription, it doesn’t matter the size of the photo you download.
Currently, Dreamstime also has a one-week free trial plan that allows you to download 5 images.
123RF is one of the world’s largest digital stock agencies.
This company has been founded in 2005 and currently has over $114 millions of royalty-free stock photos, music, video footage, and stock audio that you can purchase and use for your projects.
Similar to Dreamstime, 123RF has a pricing model based on credits and one based on a montly/yearly subscription.
The number of credits you’ll have to pay for a photo varies based on the resolution of the image. The larger the image is, the more credits will cost.
Also, the more credits you buy, the less you pay for each credit.
If you need stock images on a monthly basis, it’s cheaper to pay for a monthly or a yearly subscription.
With a yearly subscription, you can buy photos for as low as $0.22/image.
Another advantage of the subscription plans is that it doesn’t matter the size of the images you download. The price per photo stays the same no matter of the image resolution.
Envato Elements is a relatively new project from Envato, the company behind Themeforest, Codecanyon, Tuts+, and several more.
This is not the typical company that sells stock photos.
Envato Elements is described as a subscription-based design platform powered by a community of independent designers.
Elements marketplace includes not only stock photos, but also graphics, patterns, audio files, fonts, web templates, WordPress themes, stock footage, 3D designs, and more.
Basically, you’ll get UNLIMITED access to download all these for a small monthly or yearly subscription.
You can choose between paying $33/month or you can save 50% if you pay for a whole year – $198/year (that’s only $16.50/month). Note that VAT might be also added to the final price depending on where you live.
The Envato Elements marketplace is still new. At this time, it hosts over 619.000 photos and graphics, over 71.000 stock video footage, and many other items. Hundreds of new items are added every day so the marketplace is growing rapidly.
Honestly, for that price, I think this is a great deal.
This is another hot deal where you can download an unlimited number of items for a small monthly/yearly subscription.
You have also the option of paying a one-time fee if you only need several items.
Stock Unlimited hosts over one million premium assets, including images, audio, fonts, and templates.
Pxbee is a newer stock photo agency powered by the same community behind Fotor editor.
Even though it’s new, this company already hosts over 60 million stock photos.
I recommend you checking out Pxbee especially if you need photos with the Asian-specific. Pxbee has many images with Asian models, places, and the Asian culture.
Concerning the pricing models available, Pxbee allows you to either pay for every image you download, or by a monthly/yearly subscription.
The price of every individual photo varies depending on the size of the image you purchase. The price of the small images start
The annual subscription of Pxbee will obviously give the best price for each photo you purchase.
Stock Photo Secrets is a smaller agency that sells stock photos.
According to the information displayed on their website, they have over 5 millions of stock images, vectors, fonts, and stock video footage.
If you need a smaller number of photos, you can buy image packs.
The smaller pack allows you to download 5 items for $39 (that’s $7.8/photo).
The 10 image pack costs $55 ($5.5 per image).
The 25 photos pack costs $149 ($5.96 per image).
Not the cheapest stock photos, I know.
However, if you need more than 25 photos, I think the best deal and the most affordable is the $99/year plan which gives you access to 200 items without a monthly download limit.
That makes the price per image to go down to only $0.495.
That’s way cheaper than buying the image packs.
If you need more photos, there are two larger annually subscription plans.
Shutterstock is one of the largest and one of the most well-known stock photo agencies.
This company has a huge inventory of more than 255 millions of stock images, stock footage, and music tracks, with approximately 150.000 new items being added every day.
Many big companies are the customers of Shutterstock.
On their website, we find references to companies like National Geographic, BuzzFeed, Microsoft, Capital One, Google, and several other giants.
The biggest advantage of buying stock photos from this agency is the fact that you can almost certainly find the image you are looking for.
Even though this is not the cheapest agency for individuals, it’s also not the most expensive. I would say that the prices are not cheap, but are still affordable (especially if you need a higher number of photos).
Shutterstock is definitely not the cheapest when you only buy a few photos.
The minimum photo pack includes 2 photos and costs $29 ($14.50 / per image). The more photos you buy, the more the price per item will decrease.
The monthly plans enables you to buy the images at a cheaper price, but the yearly plans are still the best deals.
The same rule of buying stock photos apply here. If you buy more, the cheaper the price per image will be.
Iphotos features over 5 million downloadable files (illustrations, audio files, videos, and fonts).
There are a lot of photos with white background and thousands of illustrations that would look great for postcards, book covers, posters, and so on.
You can buy individual images starting at $4.95 per image. The price increases with the image size.
You can also opt for a monthly subscription (starting at $99.95 / month).
Even though $99.95 sounds quite expensive for a monthly subscription, it’s quite a good deal.
Because if you look at the bottom of the subscriptions comparison page, you’ll see the following:
Each subscription has a daily download limit of 35 files.
If I’m not mistaken, you can download approximately 1050 / files per month as long as you have a valid subscription.
$99.95 / month divided by 1050 files = $0.096 per file
Of course, I might be wrong, so make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions before you pay for a subscription.
Storyblocks is a marketplace that sells content directly from artists.
On Storyblocks, you can find 325,000+ video footage, 125,000+ audio files, and 411,000+ photos, illustrations and vectors.
This website has some of the best prices for the monthly and yearly subscriptions.
You can choose one of the monthly plans, or you can save up to 20% if you purchase a yearly subscription.
The Basic plan offers an affordable option for the individuals that only need a few images every month.
If you go for this plan, you can download up to 5 photos per month for $5 /month. The downloads will not pass from one month to another and will reset at the beginning of every month.
The second plan gives you access to unlimited member library downloads for only $9/month.
If you also need videos and audio files, you need to sign up for the $65/month plan.
The Annually membership plan will give you images at an even cheaper price.
11. Bigstockphoto (Bigstock)
Bigstockphoto has been around since 2004 and has been
If you need a higher volume of stock photos for a cheap price, Bigstock should definitely be one your top options.
This website sells over 75 million stock photos, videos, and vectors based on a simple monthly subscription model.
Currently, they offer a free week (this trial period might or might not be still available at the time you read this post).
If you don’t want to pay a monthly membership, there’s also the option to purchase credits (switch to “Credits” tab next to the image you want to buy to see this option ).
As you are probably used to by now, the larger the image size is, the more credits it will require.
Again, the monthly subscription is the best option to get the photos at a lower cost.
I hope you’ll find this list useful for discovering new sources where you can buy cheap stock images and you will never use ugly images again for your projects.
Please note that I cannot guarantee you the accuracy of the information presented in this article.
The prices presented in the screenshots are valid at the time I wrote this article and they might change at the time you read it.
Also, any discounts or trial periods presented within the content of this post might not be still valid at a later time.
Remember to always read the terms and the licensing information of every website you buy the stock photos from.
If you find any discrepancies between the information presented in my content and on the websites listed above, please leave a comment below or contact me.
I’ll do my best to keep this list up to date and I might add more websites to the list from time to time.
If you know more websites that sell stock photos at a low price and have a decent inventory, please leave me a comment below and I’ll check them out.