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Thursday, October 21st
Most of the popular stock image sites prominently display the number of images they have in their catalog. With BigStock, we were left guessing just how large the archive might be. This is important because when searching for images it's useful to know the general likelihood that you'll find what you're looking for. If the number of images available is small, it's less likely to produce enough variety and quantity to satisfy the searcher's needs.
Subscription Plan Pricing
Subscription plans include 5, 10, and 50 images or videos per month from $79 to $99 per month. Other plans vary in number from 10 credits to 500 credits at between $35 and $495. Buying increasingly more images in 1, 3, and 12 month durations will lower the cost per image from $0.53 for 5 images per day to $0.16 for 50 images per day. Other single month duration billing cycles are also available for both images and video.
Limited Filter Functionality
Our test search of "black and white puppy dog" yielded about 580 pages of results. In attempting to narrow them down a bit, we noticed that there was a limited set of filters to work with compared with other stock photo search engines. Curiously, even though vector images and illustrations were not mentioned on any pages we looked at prior to our search, there were image type filters for those two types of images.
Satisfies But Doesn't Delight
There are collections or categories on the site that contain images depicting numerous subjects and concepts. However, the variety and quality of the images was average with respect to other sites we saw. There are mostly staged photos and videos without a lot of surprises. If you're looking for images that delight you in their uniqueness, BigStock is probably not the best stock photography site.
In A Pinch
As for our recommendation, in a pinch BigStock will do the trick, but it's not a site we'd recommend for regular and sustained image searches. You may want to start with a higher-ranked stock photo site, and check out BigStock only if you can't find what you're looking for elsewhere.
Stock photo services provide images for use in editorial (news), website, commercial, entertainment, and artistic projects to illustrate and visualize various concepts and ideas. Such images enhance storytelling value by instantly communicating what the piece is about.
Stock photos can be purchased individually or in "packs" or groups, either with a monthly or yearly subscription or as a one-time, on demand arrangement. Generally, the longer your subscription term and the more images you purchase, the lower the cost per image.
Some stock photo sites contain higher quality images than others - depending on the photographers' skill, experience, reputation, and the ways they choose subjects, compose and light their photos. So, it's important to consider this when the price on one site seems very high compared to others.
Image types are typically photos but also include anything of visual value. That covers video, vector art, illustrations, editorial photos for news stories, and formatted templates for social media, blogs, marketing materials, and ads.
Photo resolutions are measured in pixels (dots) and range from low pixel density (a horizontal resolution of around 400 pixels) to high pixel density for 4K images (a horizontal resolution of 4,096 pixels) and, increasingly, 8K images (7,680 pixels). The higher-resolution images are for high-definition TV output, computer screens, and print. The lower resolution images are typically used on websites with pixel dimension restrictions or that need to balance quality with image load speed on slow connections.
Some stock photo websites offer unlimited numbers of downloads per image. Others provide just a single download, after which you'll need to repurchase the image at full price if you need to download it again.
Licensing restrictions are oriented around the type of use you have for the image, video, or photo as well as use frequency (royalty-free vs. more per-use limited "rights managed" images). For example, TV broadcast and print licensing will often be more restrictive than website image licensing. And, you can license images on some stock photo sites for your exclusive use, meaning that the image will be removed from their catalog once you purchase it. Be sure to read the licensing terms carefully for each asset you purchase and download. If you're found using it against the licensing agreement, you may be charged a steep fine for each out-of-license use.
It's also important to be aware that not every stock photo site will be available on internet connections having strong filtering. Stock photo sites can contain images and videos that are not family friendly or "safe for work". So, if you have trouble viewing a stock photo site due to a content warning in your browser, check with your network administrator about getting an exception made for that stock photo site's domain name.
As you decide which provider to use for your stock photos, it may be helpful to keep the following factors in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online sources of stock photos today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect images for your website, newsletter, or other projects!
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