The Ups and Downs of Using Cheap Stock Photos

What are cheap stock photos? Perhaps, the simplest way to explain stock photography is to compare it to purchasing clothes from a dressmaker or ready-to-wears. If you want an outfit that perfectly fits your body, you should get your measurements taken by the dressmaker. The same is true with stock photos. If you want the perfect images for your brand, you should take them yourself. However, they are both expensive.


On the other hand, ready-to-wears or RTW are cheaper than customized clothing. It is pretty much the same with stock photos. They are cheaper than conducting your own photoshoot. They are usually generalized so they may fit anyone else’s creative needs. But if you want something quick and cheap, stock photography is for you. Cheap stock photos may not precisely fit your brand, but they are amazing too.

There are ups and downs when it comes to using cheap stock photos. You just have to use them on your discretion.


  • Cheap stock photos are not original. When you visit stock sites, you will find thousands of shots that look similar, with varying quality.
  • They can be bought by anyone. Use cheap stock photos from this link and risk looking like other websites out there. You can also purchase exclusive rights with rights managed license, but they can be expensive.
  • They are often cliché. While stock photography has its strengths, originality is not one of them. Browse through library of stock sites, you will find the same images of a family laughing, an office environment, holding hands, etc.


  • Cheap stock photos are great for mock-ups and comps. You can make a presentation to your clients with little money and time – thanks to stock photography. Stock sites allow you to save low-resolution comps for free to be presented to the clients. If they like the presentation, you can proceed to purchasing the full version then.
  • They are cheaper and quicker than conducting your own photoshoot. It takes time and money to coordinate a photoshoot. With stock photography, everything is done. You just have to purchase and go.
  • They are available for download. You don’t have to wait to download cheap stock photos. Once you purchase them, you can get them instantly.


Cheap stock photos are taken without any brief from a client. The photographers take the photos and submit them to a stock photo site in order to be licensed. The cheap stock photos will then be purchased for a price based on usage or a flat fee. Anyone will be able to purchase them. Thus, you will see them in a number of websites – perhaps even your competitor’s site. These images can be used over and over again without paying for royalty fees each time.

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