Why iStock vs. Free Stock | Top Reasons to Go for iStock and not Rely on Free Stock

by Swathi Kirthyvasan   |  Oct 11, 2017    




Looking for a better way to grab your audience’s attention? Get the impact you need though visuals- images, videos, illustrations, even simple vectors can make webpages, documents, and presentations exciting and more interesting.


If you’re not a professional photographer or illustrator, don’t worry, it can be free or easy, or top quality and easy, the choice is up to you, but I would recommend purchasing stock content rather than downloading that free image you did a quick search for and here’s why…


1.Options. Free might sound good, but the quality and exclusivity of an image probably won’t be included. For example, iStock offers a range of top-quality stock that can be used not only online, but in print versions too. It’s a better option than a free stock download because you can have access to various sizes that help you complete a wider array of projects. From general images to very specific content (eg. a search for  ‘Camping’ produces 96,573 photos, ‘Camping on Isle of Skye’ produces 85 photos). You will be able to find an image that helps you connect to a very specific audience, event, or location and one that has not been overused.


2. Avoiding the Obvious. Nobody enjoys looking at Clip Art or bad, blue hue ‘office setting’ pictures that are meant to represent the masses. In fact, those types of images may even help drive your audience away! Paying for your stock images opens up a world of unique, quality content that will help encourage your readers to linger a while. For example, the illustration below about managing profits is targeted, beautiful, and impactful.


3) Cost. OK, so buying stock photos is obviously not free, however, prices are flexible and affordable, and cater to your needs. With a few credits to start out with, each download cost can be broken down into a certain amount of credits based on the size of file you need. iStock offers both Essential Collections (lowest price) and Signature Collections (highest quality), offering a wide scale of quality images for various budget sizes.


Credit pack options include 1,3,6,12,18, 24, etc up to 300 images (there’s even a discount on large credit pack purchases). Or if you think you will need more than a couple of downloads per month, a Subscription pack option may be the best option for you. You can buy annual or monthly subscriptions for 10, 25,50,100 or 250 images downloaded per month. Plus, if you’ve got an annual subscription or a subscription with auto-renew enabled, you can rollover up to 250 unused downloads month to month.


4) Licensing. With free stock, there’s always a risk involved- do you really know if you’re allowed to use that image the way you want to? Paying for stock gives you peace of mind about licensing, you know the photo is yours to use how you wish without any copyright issues coming back to haunt you.


5) Legal Guarantee. This is something that will NOT come with your free downloads. iStock images come with a $10,000 legal guarantee, so when you use content within the terms of the license agreement, there won’t be copyright infringements, trademark, intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights violations. That’s worth paying for!


6) Branding. Once you buy an image from iStock, it’s yours to use on almost any project. Need some ideas? How about advertising, marketing, speaking events, billboards, apps, websites, social media, TV, film, homeschooling, presentations, newspapers, magazines, books, product packaging, cake decorating, etc. 


Who is iStock?

iStock is a leading provider of the highest quality photography, illustrations, video clips and vector files online. Selling stock content since 2000, the library is bursting at the seams, the quality is leading-edge, and the easy to use Search and Filter options are fantastic. Being a leader in the business, iStock comes with additional member benefits and partnerships, legal rights and guarantees too- what’s not to love? iStock is one stop solution for all stock video, photos and graphics. Nowadays users are looking for one stop solution tools like Serped, G suite, Snappa, Logojoy Each of these are single point solutions for respective needs.



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About Author

Swathi Kirthyvasan

Swathi is a Designer and lllustrator with a love for typography, patterns, illustration, and photography. Apart from working on client projects, and personal creative pursuits, she also writes design articles every now and then. 

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