in Photography

How to Boost Your Online Magazine’s Popularity With Less Than $100 Using Stock Photos

Today’s readers don’t have the time and the patience to go through endless sentences. What they want is visual interaction: big and very descriptive images that can replace three paragraphs with a two second glimpse.

These images are a great asset in every type of project, but they are vital when it comes to exposing your business to a large audience, especially if it is multi-lingual. Let me explain why.

Since the very moment you make your website available online, millions of users from all over the world can view it on a monthly basis. This huge number of potential visitors or customers raises an important issue: how can you make them understand the message that you’re trying to convey? The answer is obviously visual interaction. How do you achieve it? Well, by using high quality photos.

So, let’s say you have a website about food, where you publish news regarding the latest trends in gastronomy.  How do you keep your users engaged?  By making them drool while they look at your images. From where you do you get these? Most bloggers or magazine owners are struggling either shooting their own photos or hiring a photographer.  The former option means poor quality photos while the latter means high costs.

If you own a web magazine and you are planning to hire a professional photographer to make your photos, then I think it’s wise for you to know the actual costs.

Now, here are the average rates for a professional photographer:

– Taking photos: $75 – $150 per hour;
– Processing photos: $7 – $40 per image;
– Wear and tear of equipment: $50 per shoot;
– Travel costs: $1 – $2 per mile;
– Other costs (CD, processing, postage): main cost plus 35%.

Therefore, if you are planning to use 100 images each month, this will cost you about $3000. Thus, it appears that having a good online magazine is extremely expensive. However, this is unless you’ve heard about stock photography.

Stock photography is a great “invention” because it lets you buy the photos that you need at a fraction of the cost, without hiring a photograph. Of course, there are a couple of good places from which you can buy stock photos, but probably the best is


Unlike other stock photo companies, they bring fresh content each day and they one of the best costumer services that I have had the chance to get in touch with. And their database is really big. They have more than 2.2 million images from where to choose from and their prices are competitive. Furthermore, all the images are neatly packed in categories so that you can find the photo that you’re looking for in no time. Now, here’s a screenshot with some of their categories.


Nevertheless, let’s get back to our gastronomy magazine and let’s find some great photos for our delicious articles. First of all, we are eating healthy; therefore we need some vegetables and light dishes. You will see a watermark on them but don’t worry, when you will purchase the photo, it will go away.


This shopping basket is exactly what we need to welcome our readers. Now let’s find an image with a delicious grilled fish. Here’s one:


In the screenshot above you can actually see how an image looks like on In the left side you have the photo and in the right side you have the details regarding that particular image. These details contain the description, the author, the sizes and all the prices.


Here’s a close-up on the price list. Right from the start we can see that a 707x707pixel photo, which is the most used size in online magazines costs only $2. This is a huge saving if we remember that an image made by a professional photographer costs around $30. So…a stock photo’s price is $2 while a hired photographer’s photo is $30.

Let’s grab some other photos for our website.





I think these images are enough for writing a good article about healthy food. Let’s see how much it will cost us.


As you can see, 6 professional stock photos cost only $11.4 which is a great bargain compared with hiring a photographer. Another cool thing about is that all the files can be instantly downloaded without registering. Therefore, you won’t spend your time filling out sign-up forms.

In a nutshell, I strongly advise you to use stock photography if you want to buy images while saving a lot of money but still impress your readers. These images are high quality and have competitive prices.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.