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You may want to use stock images if you can’t afford a professional photographer and/or don’t have enough photos for your website. Professional photos definitely help your website look…….more professional. Over the years, I’ve used photos from the following websites:
Free Stock Photos
Flickr’s Creative Commons Collection – Lots of photographers and artists on here don’t mind sharing their photos for free just as long as you credit them for their work. I’ve found lots of professional photos on here as well as background and textures for websites. Just be sure to look at the licensing part of the photo’s page. If it says “All Rights Reserved”, you may want to leave it alone. Here’s it says, “Some Rights Reserved”, then click on it and read the conditions. Here’s a sample of a license in which you can use a photo for free.
Stock.Xchng – This is the number free stock photo website. Many of the photos you can use for free without having to credit the photographer. They were recently bought by iStockPhoto. When searching for free photos, be aware that iStockPhoto puts the free photos in between the paid photos. You can view the licensing below each photo when you click on it. Some photos will require you to notify the photographer when using their work.
You DO NOT want to use Google Images for free photos. The free images aren’t as good as the paid images, but hey, they’re free.
Low Priced Stock Photos
iStockPhoto – Their photos look really great, and this is the first paid photo website that I search. I started using them back in 2003 when their photos used to be $1 a piece. They’re not that low any more, but you can still get around 5-10 photos for $20. Photos come in different sizes, and the larger the size, the more you pay. You can’t buy the photos individually as you’ll have to purchase credit to get photos from iStockPhoto.
Big Stock Photo – I’ve just recently started using Big Stock Photo. The quality of photos here is similar to iStockPhoto, but you can pay for one photo at a time if you desire. That’s the main reason I started using Big Stock Photo. Prices range $2.99 for a small photo to $12.99 for a large photo.