I have and found one! Before we can dive into different services, we need to make sure to define our needs. Our needs are simple:
- Do not incur heavy monthly costs nor per download costs
- “Good enough” quality images to download and use it for our blog posts
- Flexible enough plan that allows us to be lazy too and not use the service for a long time, and still does not negatively impact our bottom line too much
My search began with the usual suspects. Here is the break down:
- GettyImages.com : The mother of all stock photo service. Yes, they have the most beautiful and exclusive photos. But, forget it. It asks for $995 for a photo of two women posing funny, to be used only for a year, on a web-only article.
- iStockPhoto.com : Now a Getty Images company, offering stock photos at “budget” price. Still offers some exclusive photos with wide selection. This service is usually good for companies that require heavy stock photo use. But cheapest photo costs about 3 credits which equals to $45 ($15 per credit). Their subscription can bring down the per image cost to $4 but requires $166 per month commitment.
- ShutterStock.com : Cheaper than iStockPhoto.com, where cheapest photo download can cost $10 per image, with $200 per month plan that allows you to download 25 images per day, making it the best cheapest plan for individuals. But be warned. There is a catch with such subscription service, that it usually limits you to yourself, and your project. So this does not pass the “lazy” criteria.
- ThinkStockPhotos.com : To combat ShutterStock.com, Getty Images introduced very similar service that allows super cheap daily downloads. Surprisingly (or not), the price is same as ShutterStock.com, that each image is at $10, with $208 per month with 25 image downloads per day.
- DreamsTime.com : We are now breaking the $10 per image mark. DreamsTime.com brings each image download price to $4, but that is, if you are downloading small images, making it sometimes even more expensive than more known services.
- Fotolia.com : They offer similar service as ShutterStock.com and ThinkStockPhotos.com, or even little higher at $249 per month.
Okay! Are you ready to hear the ultimate service I found recently? DollarPhotoClub.com This is it! This service is created by Fotolia.com to really become competitive and offers true budget stock photo service. They have a monthly $10 plan that lets you download 10 high resolution images at $1 each. Can’t beat that. Though, there is an application process that you have to go through and get yourself approved before you can take advantage of this service. Better yet, it also has a yearly subscription service at $99 that lets you download 10 images per month at $1 each that require no application process. The greatest thing ever is that this is the only plan that allows us to be “lazy”. If you don’t use up the downloads for each month, then it will roll over to next month, allowing you to download up to 99 images per year. But what if you don’t use all of it that year? No worries! The plan allows you to roll over any unused image credit to next year!! A-mazing!