Factors to Consider when Purchasing Cheap Stock Photos from Stock Photo Agencies

cheap stock photosAre you ready to begin your journey in purchasing cheap stock photos? If you are, then you will know that there are tons of options in the market. Multiple cheap stock photo sites are all around the internet – each with unique features to offer the creative community. Do not take this a bad thing for you will have loads of choices. Instead, use the following factors when comparing cheap stock photos to find the right agency for you.


Prices vary from one cheap stock photo site to another, but they are not drastically distant. They are commonly determined by image quality, resolution and licensing.

Image Quality

Image quality refers to the clarity and cleanliness of cheap stock photography. It also refers to its artistic characteristics such as the use of color, lighting, composition, framing and focus.

Image Resolution

Image resolution refers to the size of the image. The standard resolution for web use is 72 dpi (dots per inch). For print, it is 150 dpi to 300 dpi. In choosing a stock photo site, make sure that it offers the resolution you require.

Usage Licenses

What type of license do you require for your image purchases? Once you determine this, you need to make sure if the stock photo agency you choose offer the same type of license. Most stock companies offer Standard licensing which includes royalty-free and rights-managed images. If you need cheap stock images for special uses, you need to acquire an Extended license for an extra cost.


Saturation refers to the overuse of cheap photos. As you already know, stock sites have proliferated and have lowered their prices, which led to the widespread of certain top rated images. To avoid purchasing over-used images, compare companies and look for popularity info and image ratings. Make sure the company tracks and displays the number of times a stock photo cheap has been purchased, downloaded and used.

Comping Images

cheap stock images

Comping images refer to the low resolution stock photos that you can use to lay out the image in your design before purchasing. This will allow you to see if the photo fits your theme or niche.

Model Release

A model release is necessary if you are purchasing images with human faces or other identifiable body parts. It is necessary to prevent possible legal and financial damages in the future. So, make sure that your stock photo site has model releases on file.

Search Tools

Make sure you choose a cheap stock photo site with easy to use search tools to help you find what you are looking for quickly. You should be able to search by category or keyword, easily browse catalogues and view previews of the images. The keywords should also be accurate to save you numerous hours.