In the life of a webmaster, there are many times where stock pictures come in handy. For those who don’t know, a stock photo is a photo that you can purchase (or get for free from specific sites), and use on your site, without fear of violating copyright laws. There are still rules that go along with the publishing of stock photos, but it’s better to have to follow a few simple rules than to pay hefty copyright fines when you get caught using unlicensed photos. If you’ve been looking for some stock photos, check out the resources below.
At sxc.hu you can browse through more than 350,000 stock photos, all of which are available for free. Not only are there more than 350K photos in the library, but more are added every day by more than 30,000 photographers. This gives you quite a bit of variety and choice when it comes to choosing a picture for your blog, website, advertisement, or whatever else you’re using it for. There is no monthly fee or anything, so the photos are truly free.
iStockphoto is one of the world’s largest collections of stock photography, but it’s far from fee. There is no membership fee, but each photo you buy costs at least $1. The prices on each picture vary, but they are based on size, ranging from $1 for a small photo to $27 for an XXXL photo. If you think you are going to be buying stock images often, it may be worth it to get a subscription. A subscription will cost you at least $600, but it will give you a healthy discount, allowing you to purchase things at as low as $0.26 per file. iStockphoto is not only for pictures though – there are also large galleries of videos, illustrations, and even audio files.
Flickr.com is a gigantic website filled with millions of user-submitted stock images. Ranging from pictures of dogs and cats to high-resolution pictures from outer space, you can find pretty much any photo on Flickr. And, with their liberal copyright rules, you can use most photos on Flickr for free, as long as you keep a link to the author’s Flickr profile along with the picture wherever you post it.
Gettyimages.com is another paid resource for stock photos. There are more than 50,000 photos available in their library, from thousands of authors. Images start at just $5, and prices for video and music files are reasonable as well.
Fotolia.com is another site very similar to iStockphoto. There is a single-purchase option, which allows you to buy single photos starting at $1, or you can buy a subscription and get files for as low as $0.14 each. There are more than 7 million photos at Fotolia, along with nearly 500,000 vectors. For those who don’t know, vectors are images that can be re-sized and altered without losing any picture quality. They are extremely useful for web design, and worth more than Fotolia sells them for.