Why iStockPhoto Changed Their Pricing - and Where to Go Now

Posted by Peter Rastello

Sep 29, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Blog-picture-rooOne indicator that Inbound and Content Marketing have taken off is the number of new stock photo websites that have sprung up in recent years, or perhaps months. We know this because content needs to be published with attractive imagery, most of which is purchased or accessed from repositories of Creative Commons (CC) artwork collections such as the one on Flickr, so clearly the increase in the number of websites that support this reflect growth here. (BTW, Roo, on the left is our office dog, not CC).

The business of online image selling has become larger and larger in the preceding years, one result apparently being the move by iStockPhoto to effectively increase its rates for smaller images. iStockPhoto.com, one of the original stock photo players recently re-visited their pricing model, the effect of which means that companies using the service for small blog images previously costing a couple of dollars now costs closer to $15. This meand it's time to start looking for a replacement supplier for those who use small images for blog posts and see no point to paying this much.

No point in lamenting this situation, annoying as it may be, but instead, it's time to take the pragmatic approach of looking for a more reasonably priced service.

We don't know why iStockPhoto changed their pricing, but what we have done in this post is to put together a round up of some alternative solution providers that some of our colleagues have told us they are using, to help those of you who are struggling to figure out which way to turn.

Here are the results:


+6 votes: http://dollarphotoclub.com/ 
+4 votes: http://thinkstock.com 
+3 votes: http://123rf.com/ 
+3 votes: http://bigstockphoto.com/ 
+2 votes: http://shutterstock.com

The following got 1 vote each:

http://dreamstime.com 
http://photodune.net/ 
http://depositphotos.com 
http://bootstrapbay.com/blog/free-stock-photos/http://startupphotos.com 
http://unsplash.com 
http://creativemarket.com 
http://graphicriver.net/ 
http://sxc.hu (www.freeimages.com
http://bootstrapbay.com/blog/free-stock-photos

While we have not had direct experience with any of the vendors on this list, most of them certainly appear less expensive, and most seem to have the same quality images as iStock. When considering any of these alternatives, be sure to review their terms and conditions closely to make sure you understand what you are getting into. Some of them offer a level of insurance if you run into an ownership issue while others expect you to indemnify them in this case, which is a little counterintuitive if you are buying the rights to use the images from them in the first place.

If you have a favorite supplier that isn't in our list, just post them in a comment below and we'll eventually update our post with them included.

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