If your small business is still grabbing images from basic Google searches for your website, you may be forced to pay. It’s no secret that Getty Images and other copyright holders have been sending payment demands to those illegally using photos. The news has many small business owners scrambling to find sites where they can download legal photos.
However, some professional sites can strain a company’s budget, especially if that company is posting photos regularly. Sites like iStockPhoto and DreamsTime are great for finding a picture for any possible scenario you can come up with, but their prices can strain a small business’s budget. Luckily, there are a few lower-cost alternatives. The following sites can provide legal photos at a fraction of the cost of professional stock photo sites.
- BigStockPhoto — While the images aren’t cheap, BigStockPhoto lets you know the price for your download up front. Other sites force you to buy credits that disguise the fact that you’re paying $10 per download. A medium-sized image from BigStockPhoto is only $4.99.
- 123RF — Each credit costs about $1, but the good news is most photos cost only one credit for the smallest version. Other sites charge about $1 per credit with small photos costing up to 10 credits, meaning your photos are actually costing 10 bucks.
- DepositPhotos — This relatively new site offers prices similar to 123RF, with downloads costing around $1 per small picture (through the credit system).
- Stock.xchng — Check out Stock.xchang’s Most Downloaded section for professional photos ideal for business websites. These photos are free for download and use on your website and print materials, with credit. Like many free image sites, the choices are limited, but the Most Downloaded link helps you immediately go to professional grade, usable stock.
- MorgueFile — Like Stock.xchang, this site is free, but selection is limited. You’ll probably quickly go through all the decent-quality business-related photos on the site.
As with any media, using content copyrighted by someone else can lead to big legal problems down the line. By using inexpensive, legal photography sites, you can protect your business while still creating engaging content for customers.