graphicpush

Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

Cheap Bastard Designers Rejoice!

Many professional photographers and their agents claim that the rise of stock photography has led to the diminishing number of original photography commissions. If this is true, I am completely guilty of fueling the downward spiral, since both myself and the company I work for are what I like to call “stock whores.”

Many professional photographers and their agents claim that the rise of stock photography has led to the diminishing number of original photography commissions. If this is true, I am completely guilty of fueling the downward spiral, since both myself and the company I work for are what I like to call “stock whores.” We hoard collections from Stockbyte, Getty and others, and even utilize a website that elicits from professional photographers a reaction not unlike a vampire being tossed into sunlight.

Ablestock sells stock photos through a subscription-based site. This allows the Cheap Bastard Designer® like myself to have easy access to thousands upon thousands of mediocre images for only $799 a year, a drop in the bucket to what I used to spend for separate image purchases. Of course they sell the images individually (if you don’t want to spring for the full subscription), but they are generally just crappy enough that pretty much any alternative on Alamy or Photodisc is light years better.

Anyway, Ablestock recently unveiled a brand new site design that introduces improved search functionality, a host of new images (including over 10,000 illustrations in both vector and raster), as well as different subscription options. Current subscribers get instant access to the illustrations; others will have to pay additional.

And if that’s too much for your wallet, I was recently introduced to another site for the Really Really Cheap Bastard Designer®. The stock.xchng is a site that features nothing but free images from a wealth of talent. I have already picked up a few images for different projects, since a lot are genuinely as good as the spendier stock houses (but not as high resolution). Take a look through; I think most people will be surprised at the quality.

commentary + criticism

Mick

wrote the following on Monday May 22, 2006

www.istock.com is far cheaper and the quality is there.

M.