The Relative Affordability of Stock Photos and Videos

The Relative Affordability of Stock Photos and Videos
November 22, 2016 Madeleine Helme

Choosing the right photos to use on your website, blog, or other marketing materials can be difficult. The images you choose must convey the right message about your brand and products, and also reflect the quality and other positive traits you would like your customers and prospects to associate with your brand.

How to get images

When sourcing images, you have three main options:

  • Hire a professional photographer
  • Download stock images online
  • Take your own photographs

Each of these three options have their own advantages and disadvantages. When you opt to hire a photographer or take your own photographs, you can really create something that is specific to your needs and unique to your brand. However, professional photographers may be out of the question for small businesses without much of a budget. This is especially true if images are needed on a continuous basis. If a company publishes a new blog post once a week and needs a unique image to go with each one, the costs would be huge.

Even when taking your own photos, the price of cameras and other photography equipment required to produce high quality shots can be steep. A cheaper alternative is to take your own photographs using your smartphone. Cameras on smartphones have improved dramatically in recent years, but the quality of the photos still wouldn’t be as high.

Using stock photos

Sourcing images from stock photo and video websites is a much more affordable alternative to hiring a photographer or buying your own equipment. The images on these websites are generally contributed by professional photographers, so the quality is still excellent. Some websites even offer free stock images available for download, but these sites usually have a smaller selection of images to choose from.

The paid stock images sites offer reasonable prices, and you can usually save even more through their membership options. Here are a few popular websites for stock photos and videos, along with the prices you could pay depending on the package you choose:

ShutterStock – $169 per month for 350 images – $0.57 per image

iStock – $166.58 per month for 750 images – $0.22 per image

Adobe Stock – $169.99 per month for 350 images – $0.48 per image

Pixabay – Free!

These subscriptions are great deals if you require a high volume of images each month. For those of you only looking for occasional images, other packages are available on each site to suit your demands. Some websites also offer pay as you go options.

Although stock images may not be as individually tailored to your needs as ones you or a photographer would take specifically for you, the time and costs saved certainly makes up for this. You could also put your own spin on stock images by editing the photos after downloading them, using Photoshop or other photo editing tools.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.