Paid versus Free Stock Images

Paid versus Free Stock Images

What differentiates a good photo from a great one? If are into designing a poster or some web based project, you might require an image. But are the free images available on the internet sufficient enough for making an effective web design?

If you aren’t a photographer yourself, how can you get high-quality images? In this article, we are going to have a look at the pros and cons of finding Paid versus Free Stock Images. Let’s take a look!

What is Stock images/photography?

Paid versus Free Stock Images
Stock photography provides photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. The stock photo industry took command in the 1920s. Since then it has established models including traditional macrostock photography, mid stock photography, and microstock photography.

The price also varies between conventional stock images to microstock. While traditional stock agencies charge from several hundred to several thousand American dollars per image, while microstock photography may sell for around USD 25 cents.

Professional stock photographers traditionally place their images with one or more stock agencies on a contract basis. The themes for stock photos are diverse and eclectic.

Paid vs. Free Stock Photography

Paid versus Free Stock Images
Many big companies and even established designers use stock images or photography. What can be the reason behind paying for images? See how the pros shoot up for Paid versus Free Stock Images.
• The biggest reason to use paid stock photography is quality. It is really hard to compare the quality of a Stock image against its free competitors.

• Another reason to opt for stock/paid images is that on the internet there are several images from various source, some of them aren’t even trusted one. So, in that case, designers opt of trusted and genuine sources.

We also have an amazing article on Royalty Free Images.

• In addition to the above, another crucial point can be that images are available in a large number of sizes on the internet and are usable for any project type (even print projects). Most free stock image sites only provide web-sized options.

• The database is of stock images is large and contains some specific imagery and hence considering paid photography and images adds up to you efficiency in design.

• Paid images do not suffer pixelation. They are of great quality and are scalable easily and effectively.

Now, let go through some pros and cons of Paid versus Free Stock Images.

PROS: Paid Stock images

Paid versus Free Stock Images

Open licensing
You know the photo is yours to use and how it can be used without worrying about copyright issues. This is a very significant point while making a project. Just because you searched free photo does not mean you can actually use it. You might encounter some major copyright issues while dealing free images.

• Flexibility and Scalability
This is a major advantage of using paid or stock photos are that as you download large files, there’s plenty of scopes to crop and adjust the images to meet your needs.
Once you have bought one, it is yours to use in pretty much any project, including advertising, marketing, apps, websites, social media, TV and film, presentations, newspapers, magazines and books, and product packaging, among hundreds of other uses for personal or business purposes. This can be reviewed under the licensing terms and conditions of the website from where you have downloaded the images.

Legal guarantee of the Stock Images
Stock images render legal guarantee, that when you use content within the terms of the license agreement on their website, it won’t violate any copyright, moral right, trademark or other intellectual property right or violate any right of privacy or publicity.

• They Come with the ‘Ease of Use’
They come with a subscription plan. You can download at any time and also view previous purchases. Stock photography can be a quick and affordable alternative if you need good imagery and don’t have a lot of time or resources.

While paid photos are a boon, sometimes they may fall in the ‘cliché’ zone. The typical stock imagery is quite boring and might lead to an oh-not-so-interesting type. Avoid falling into the cliché trap and look up for something new.

Paid versus Free Stock Images

Source : DesignShack

Avoid these clichés:
• Business handshake with no bodies attached
• Group of business people in suits
• Fake financial graph or chart
• Person on no background pointing at something
• Bizarre facial expressions
• People doing things unnaturally
• Words on road signs that don’t belong
• Clipart


The conclusion is that when we buy stock images we get a variety of advantages. From getting super great quality photos that are flexible and scalable to licensed images that do not have suffer copyright issues.

Paid images are high-quality that do not get pixilated, and have pros like the ease of usage having a legal guarantee.

Apart from this, these images look good and can make any project look more effective especially any web design project.

Hope you found this article about Paid versus Free Stock Images of use! Plus you can also go through our article on ‘Where to find royalty free images’, for people who want to have high-quality images for free. Happy designing!

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