If you’re only doing Xfactor style microniche sites (which I strongly urge you to stay away from!), you can get most probably the top images from Amazon. However if you are by any means working on larger, authority type site, you know that images, cartoons, cliparts, photos of real people are some of the most sought for features on a page, to interrupt the blandness of the content.
Until now, I was regularly buying my images from Istockphoto.com. Don’t get me wrong, this site is great, it has a lot of wonderful, high quality images, and it’s not as expensive as some others. I’ve been using it for over 2 years now. It has some great pay as you go options, for example you pay $36 for 26 photos to be downloaded throughout an entire year, which is just a bit over a dollar per high quality extra small size image.
As it turns out however, there is an even cheaper option that I’ve stumbled upon recently, one that has just as many photos and what’s best, it’s cheaper, called Iclipart.
When I first went to the site, I saw all those cliparts and I almost hit the Back button thinking that cliparts are not really what I want (well, depending on the niche, really). However then I saw the option of Photos and I clicked on it. Wow! It’s a wealth of high quality photography there, I got seriously hooked! While buying the single photos are more expensive than buying them ‘as you go’ at Istockphoto, where this site really shines is when it comes to subscriptions.
Here are the main differences that I found:
Per photo purchased
Istockphoto - you purchase Pay as you go with approximately 1 credit $1 (extra small images of around 400-500 width and height pixels are one credit, or two credits each. Large photos, of course cost more credits, and before you know it, you’re out of credits fast!). The minimum you pay is $18.50 for 12 credits (that is about 12 or 10 XS size images), and the next option (which I’ve been using it until now) is $39.50 for 26 images.
Iclipart - this option costs more per image, it’s around $4, so if you only want to buy 1 photo now and then, Istockphoto with its pay as you go option is the way to go.
Istockphoto - gulp, check the screen below. You pay a large amount of money per year, and you have a daily credit limit for it. It’s great if you have a lot of money to spend.
Iclipart - this is where the place really shines. You only pay $49 per year, and you can download up to 100 images per day. Yes, for this subscription option you only download small sizes, but they are around 800 pixels each, which really almost fills up your screen with the photo. It’s huge! And 99.99% of people will still resize them to smaller sizes, since they use them to make headers, banners, images to their sites and blogs, or to be added as graphics in ebooks (yes this is allowed with Iclipart).
Just by paying an extra $10 a year for a subscription here, you have almost an unlimited amount of photos you can download (100 photos a day certainly seems unlimited to me!) throughout an entire year. That beats 26 photos per year to a punch!
So while Istockphoto is the best known option around, it doesn’t have to be the one that everyone is using. There are cheaper options out there, for those of us who are not yet millionaires, and guess where I will be shopping for my photos in the future.