Holy Crap Is IstockPhoto Expensive!

47 replies
Wanted to make up a few banners and took a look...
Jeeze I need to start selling pictures a small pic is 20 credits and a credit is 1.50US gimme a break.....

That can't be right can it?
#crap #expensive #holy #istockphoto
  • Profile picture of the author Nicolaas Theron
    Some of their vector drawings and photos are expensive, but most are reasonable at about 3 credits for a usable size. I think it depends on the source of the image and also whether it's an exclusive image. They do offer the best quality images of any of the micro stock sites in my opinion though, but personally I seldom use 20 credit images as decent, cheaper substitutes are available most of the time.

    However, don't complain too fast about 20 credits. Head over to gettyimages.com as an example. $125 for a 500x700px image, often no better quality than the ones you can pick up at micro stock sites for just over a buck. There are many other stock sites as well where you can easily pay upward of $50 for a low resolution image.

    For low cost images, also try bigstockphoto.com, dreamstime.com, stockxpert.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I think you're viewing the screen with the hi-res selected as a defauly.

    A x-small web size image is usually about 1 credit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary K
    To re-enforce the other's comments, the x-small is 1 credit and usually good for web design. I've used the next size up a few times when the graphic was a bigger component of the design.

    FWIW - the default selection that comes up when you view an image (like when you're ready to buy it) is the 20 credit one - just click on the size you prefer and it will update the credit cost accordingly.

    I do agree the vector items are a bit stiff - have used a few and they were high quality though.

    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Yeah, I used to buy a lot of photos and vector files from them but their prices are way too expensive now. I use more vector files than I do photos, so if anyone knows where to get high quality vectors at cheaper prices than istock, let me know.
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  • Profile picture of the author trafficke
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by trafficke View Post

      The most expensive I've seen on istockphoto is 12 credits. 20?!
      Something is wrong. Maybe you are looking at a fake site. Look at the URL closely.
      No, actually, that's correct. Most of the stuff I want is 18 credits but some have been more.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nicolaas Theron
      Originally Posted by trafficke View Post

      The most expensive I've seen on istockphoto is 12 credits. 20?!
      Something is wrong. Maybe you are looking at a fake site. Look at the URL closely.
      There are plenty of images that start at 20 credits. Here's just one example:

      Baby Time | Royalty Free Stock Photo Image | iStockphoto.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Art Turner
    Actually, $20 to $30 dollars would be dirt cheap for a company designing a brochure, building a premium website or spicing up their corporate magazine.

    Let me add Stockxpert to the list, most photos for the web are only $1.

    Art
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian Fox
    There are plenty of stock photo sites that are completely free. No reason,
    IMO, to have to pay 1 cent for a stock photo. Karl Warren here gave me
    a list of sites that could choke a horse.
    Thanks Steve,

    Someone mentioned a Government site (all public domain) for pics as well I have used it but have since forgotten the URL. Thanks for the tips about using the small images if they are of good resolution they could be blown up and still be usable for banners, etc.

    I was just shocked at the price I about spit up my coffee....As usual there are ways to adapt and overcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuiteJ
    You can use the Advanced Search on iStockPhoto.com to only get results that are "affordable"

    It's a text link for Advanced Search in the header on the right

    When the Advanced Search window pops up, you'll see "Search by file sizes and prices" on the left.

    You have dropdown menus to select files that will include minimum result of size/price that you want to appear.

    Photographs
    For Photographs, "xsmall" and "small" are typically just 1 to 3 credits and they are usually a good size for blog posts (varying with individual providers, but approx 300x400px - 600x800px).

    You will want to choose much higher resolution (bigger sizes) for print or even for ebook covers, etc. if you are using high quality Photoshop actions that create the ebook covers in high resolution.

    You can also use the little icons next to the Photographs dropdown menu to exclude horizontal, vertical, or square photos as well (huge time saver!)

    Illustrations/Vector
    Under the photographs options is the Illustrations dropdown which will give you the option to search by how many credits the images cost.

    This is available with illustrations (vector), because there is only one size (vector files can be opened at whatever size you want without losing quality).

    Hope that helps
    Cheers
    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author richdirtygirl
    Originally Posted by Christian Fox View Post

    Wanted to make up a few banners and took a look...
    Jeeze I need to start selling pictures a small pic is 20 credits and a credit is 1.50US gimme a break.....

    That can't be right can it?
    Are you making the banners for a package to resell? that is the only case where it is that expensive for web resolution.

    you can use stock.xchng - the leading free stock photography site

    it only needs to be given credit in most cases.

    We use it for ebook covers of packages with plr or any resell right.

    the images are not that professional, but with some nice backgrounds they end up looking really good.

    Laura
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  • Profile picture of the author RebeccaL
    I've always used Dreamstime.com

    They just recently increased their prices a little, but I believe they are still quite a bit cheaper than most other stock sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by RebeccaL View Post

      I've always used Dreamstime.com

      They just recently increased their prices a little, but I believe they are still quite a bit cheaper than most other stock sites.
      I use dreamstime too.

      I typically pay £17 an image. This is usually mid res.


      Daniel
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      • Profile picture of the author troybh
        Thanks for the tip about the bigstock. much better than I stock. I stock got this lame policy where you can only look at 5 pages or so of images and then you gotta do a new search. Totally lame. If I wanna see 129 pages of images to pick out the best than I ought to be able to.
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  • Profile picture of the author djrico01
    Originally Posted by Christian Fox View Post

    Wanted to make up a few banners and took a look...
    Jeeze I need to start selling pictures a small pic is 20 credits and a credit is 1.50US gimme a break.....

    That can't be right can it?
    it depents on the photographer, but yes istockphoto is expensive, but if you look around there are enough free sites
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    Originally Posted by Christian Fox View Post

    Wanted to make up a few banners and took a look...
    Jeeze I need to start selling pictures a small pic is 20 credits and a credit is 1.50US gimme a break.....

    That can't be right can it?
    About a year ago - maybe a little bit more - I was browsing in my local bookshop and came across one of those turn-stands containing CD packages. Most were instructional stuff (of the "Learn Spanish At Home" variety) but something that caught my eye on the top shelf was a set of 4 CDs containing 500,000 royalty-free images of every conceivable subject. The package contains web graphics, photographs, clip art, and images of individual things (with transparent backgrounds). The price? €12.99!

    Right next to it was a 3 CD set containing 50,000 high-quality (some VERY high quality) royalty-free photographs divided in 20 categories, including people, holidays, food, vehicles, sports, wildlife, lifestyles, education, business, industry, argiculture, etc. The price? €9.99!

    Needless to say, I got both and I don't think I have needed to pay for or download a single image since.

    IStockPhoto might be charging $30 for a single image (20 credits X $1.50/credit) but my local bookshop only charged me €22.98 for 550,000 images... which is about 0.004178 cents per image!

    Regards,
    Tommy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aljiro
      Originally Posted by Thomas View Post

      About a year ago - maybe a little bit more - I was browsing in my local bookshop and came across one of those turn-stands containing CD packages. Most were instructional stuff (of the "Learn Spanish At Home" variety) but something that caught my eye on the top shelf was a set of 4 CDs containing 500,000 royalty-free images of every conceivable subject. The package contains web graphics, photographs, clip art, and images of individual things (with transparent backgrounds). The price? €12.99!

      Right next to it was a 3 CD set containing 50,000 high-quality (some VERY high quality) royalty-free photographs divided in 20 categories, including people, holidays, food, vehicles, sports, wildlife, lifestyles, education, business, industry, argiculture, etc. The price? €9.99!

      Needless to say, I got both and I don't think I have needed to pay for or download a single image since.

      IStockPhoto might be charging $30 for a single image (20 credits X $1.50/credit) but my local bookshop only charged me €22.98 for 550,000 images... which is about 0.004178 cents per image!

      Regards,
      Tommy.
      Wow that's cool

      Would you please tell us the name of the CD sets?

      Pretty Please.

      Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    Originally Posted by Christian Fox View Post

    Wanted to make up a few banners and took a look...
    Jeeze I need to start selling pictures a small pic is 20 credits and a credit is 1.50US gimme a break.....

    That can't be right can it?


    Actually, iStockPhoto is one of the cheapest places to get (decent) quality stock photos.

    Try GettyImages, or try to actually hire a stock photographer... it costs much much more, and rightfully so.


    Personally, I hate iStockPhoto because it brings the market value down for working stock photographers (which is why I'm no longer a pro). It bothers the hell out of me that people think that $1.50 is too much for an image that you're using for your BUSINESS that MAKES YOU MONEY. Especially when it probably took the photographer a decent amount of time to set up, capture and process that photo.

    Don't forget that us photographers have sometimes tens of thousands of dollars invested in equipment... so $1.50 (which the photographer only sees about $.30 of) for an image isn't even close to paying for expenses.


    If you think piracy for your precious little products are bad... try being a professional photographer.



    Don't even get me started on those of you that don't think high quality photos are worth the money...
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    • Profile picture of the author cma01
      It sounds like the picture you were looking at was in their Vetta collection. Those are more expensive. Most of their images start at 1 credit for the smallest size.
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    • Profile picture of the author ksburgess
      Good sized Istockphoto images are only 1 credit - they are sufficient for almost all web graphics. Occasionally you may need one size larger. I designed an entire Adwords campaign using a 1 credit image

      Certain photos, such as the Vetta collection, start at higher cost (20 credits). However, you can almost always find an excellent photo in the "regular" collections.

      Oftentimes if there is one photo in a series that made the Vetta collection, you can browse the other photos in that series and they're NOT in the collection - therefore you can get a very similar image for 1 credit.

      I do think the vectors on Istockphoto tend to be expensive, though.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingstatic
    I was under the impression that there was certain pics from flickr you could use but that whole common license stuff baffles me. Kind of like PLR and MRR so many people want to take it and call it PLR but when you ask it really isnt the PLR I thought it stood for.
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    With this 2 year old thread resurfacing... and scrolling the list of what USED to be free stock image collections... I'm noticing a trend that sniffs distinctly of DeBeers.

    It looks like the stock photo sites are buying up the freebie sites as soon as they get any traction at all... just to make sure there isn't really any free alternative to their overpriced product.

    Makes ya go Hmmmmm?
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    Yeah there are too pricy and I don't see the value in those prices when there are so many free sites and cheaper sites that one can go to. They can keep those prices, specially since their selection is not better than anywhere else.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeRemington
    Hey there Warriors; I was recently searching for some images myself, and I definitely did not want to rack up a huge bill. With some time spent in search of such a source, I came across a site called Photl.com ? Royalty Free Photo Stock: Buy And Download Photo Images

    Here is info from the site:

    The unique feature of all photo images is that they are not widely circulated and are contained only in photl.com base.

    Free Download 849 x 565 pix! The best tariff plans for commercial use (Extended Royalty Free):
    by subscription from 0,012$ a photo single photo - from 0,15$ to 1$

    * You can buy a picture now in any resolution, by clicking on the "buy now" or put it in a basket and take advantage of discounts, or pay the fare. Or download it for free in the resolution of S (849x565px) after a simple registration.

    Let me know what ya think;
    Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author robbiex
    I usually find something on morguefile.com I can use and Jazzup in photoshop!
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  • Profile picture of the author zaco
    I use dreamstime usually, they have a good selection but still expensive..I rather buy the pictures for that price, instead of getting sued and pay 100000x the price
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  • Profile picture of the author kvnkane
    im a photographer that sells on istock and for the massive 20 credits they charge per photo i get a massive 9 to 60 cents an image.
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    • Profile picture of the author agc
      Originally Posted by kvnkane View Post

      im a photographer that sells on istock and for the massive 20 credits they charge per photo i get a massive 9 to 60 cents an image.
      Well that explains both why they're so desperate to buy up and shut down any free alternatives, and also how they can afford to.

      DeBeers, indeed.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    bigstockphoto.com has a great selection and you can easily pay per image, $3 - $5 each.
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  • Profile picture of the author MBDirect
    Originally Posted by Christian Fox View Post

    Wanted to make up a few banners and took a look...
    Jeeze I need to start selling pictures a small pic is 20 credits and a credit is 1.50US gimme a break.....

    That can't be right can it?
    Exactly - iStock got greedy. Same quality, quantity, ease of navigation etc. at Pond5 dot com with every image priced at $1-up!

    MBDirect
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  • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
    Originally Posted by Christian Fox View Post

    Wanted to make up a few banners and took a look...
    Jeeze I need to start selling pictures a small pic is 20 credits and a credit is 1.50US gimme a break.....

    That can't be right can it?
    That's nothing...good price, and I use them all the time.

    If you think that's expensive, wait until you get a letter from Getty images or similar, and they want $10,000 for using their images without permission.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbarty2010
    I usually use DreamsTime which is cheap compared to other stock photo sites. For blog posts, one usually requires under 500x600 sized photos and these come at about 1 credit (about a dollar). Make sure that you use the filter of restricting to 1 credit when searching for photos.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    I use Royalty-Free Stock Photos, Illustrations & Vector Art | Depositphotos®

    You can get a small image that works for blog posts, banners, or ebook covers for about 50 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author cuple
    iStock used to be my no 1 stock photo agency income earner, but that's no longer the case. Their traffic is way down, their upload process is a pain in the *ss
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    Free pictures for your blogs, websites, video, eBooks, presentations, etc
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    • Profile picture of the author samjaynz
      I use Photodune and find it pretty reasonably priced (usually I only use the smallest photo size, which costs me a buck)
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    • Profile picture of the author DeMango25
      Originally Posted by cuple View Post

      iStock used to be my no 1 stock photo agency income earner, but that's no longer the case. Their traffic is way down, their upload process is a pain in the *ss
      Same here, tho iStock earnings have risen slightly the last month or so, luckily we still got Shutterstock

      OT: I also sell images online on various sites, we really don't get a lot for a sale but it's a pretty stable passive income if you got your portfolio on different sites... and I use that money to then buy images and other stuff (wso's, plugins, warrior services,...) for my own sites.

      Personally I always buy from fotolia... 1 credit = 1 euro
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  • Profile picture of the author Qamar
    Why pay? there are many many sites that will allow you to use their photos for free. Just read their terms of use and follow their rulings and you don't have to pay a single cent for stock photos anymore.



    Qamar
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Yeah, iStock is really expensive. However, I looked for some decent photos for my sites and their quality was better than anyone else I tried (especially for people shots).

    I think I would use iStock for a crucially important image (like a photo used in the header), but for general editorial photos I couldn't justify the expense.
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  • Profile picture of the author carolynhoney
    I like to use images from the Creative Commons section on Flickr - they're free, but have various requirements. For most you just need to give an attribution to the photographer.
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  • Profile picture of the author raheelmushtaq
    my office uses it and i thought it was cheap
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  • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
    I just dont like the idea of my paid credits expiring. I paid for it, why should they expire?
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    No more...
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