Stock Images


A great site needs great images. Finding good ones can take up a lot of time and resources. This is a list of some of the better stock image sites out there, that have images and photos for free or at a low cost.

Best Image Resolution

When choosing the resolution that you will buy, remember that high resolution is not always better, but it does mean higher download times.

Pick the lowest resolution image that fits your needs. If you are not planning on heavily cropping or blowing up the picture often the lowest resolution will work fine. If you plan on using the image for the print medium or allowing people to print the image from your website, than a higher resolution image may be necessary.

Image Royalties

An issue to be careful for when choosing a stock image site are the royalties. Some sites have a deal with the owner of the image or photo that they will get pay with each use, in some cases each time a website it viewed it can be considered a “use” that needs to be paid for. Be sure to look at the terms that the stock photo site specifies to be sure you are using a “Royalty Free Stock Photo Site”. Also, save your receipt and the original photo or image (preserving the original file download name). This protect you from having to pay royalties later.

Not Just Photos

Most stock image sites carry a variety of different format and image types. Often this includes videos, vector images, and custom artwork. By spending a little time in a good image editor like photo shop, you can combine parts of these images to create completely custom headers and site images.

You can also find a wide variety of content types in most stock image sites. You can search by the type of site (vacation, beach, games, etc) you are working on to get samples of the images offered. Other types of searches might include emotions like mad, happy, friendly. The owner of the photo or art work adds tags to their submission to help you find right image, using tags they think the image might be well suited for.

Sexy Pictures

If you are looking to spice up your site a little you can search for images with words like sexy, nude, topless, or other similar words. While most sites will not include actual porn, they often have a lot of images you might consider as “R rated”.

A word of caution on this type of image, while it is true that "Sex Sells", the use of this type of imagery may alienate people from your site. Remember that many website visitors may be surfing from their office or in the home with their family nearby, the use of this style of imagery will often cause these visitors to quickly click off your page.

The Top Picks

Top Picks
iStock Photo

Well, that is really a matter of opinion. A lot has to do with the people supplying the image and what type of image you like. We put our favorites in the Top Picks box. Yes, these are likely to be affiliate links if they have a program. They are also the ones that we get all our stock imagery from due to selection, price and ease of use.

affordable stock photos

Top 10 Stock Photo Sites