Where to find affordable stock images

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Book designer and digital artist who helps authors and small publishers make their books look exceptional.

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When you’re a hobbyist or beginner artist, finding stock photos that won’t bankrupt you can be a challenge. Subscriptions to popular stock image services do give you access to bases of millions of pictures, but they can be a heavy strain on one’s budget. However, there are alternatives – sites and accounts created by passionate people who are often digital artists themselves.

The list below showcases stock providers who share their resources at affordable prices with a variety of licenses.

1. Photobash.org

PRICE: $0-$20/image pack

Photobash is a versitale site offering stock packs of various sizes, each comprised of dozens or hundreds of photos. Most of their packs contain landscapes, objects, and architectural elements. They offer also PNGs of different objects (such as birds, trees, plants, buildings) and FX effects such as fire or rain.


2. Bewitching Book Stock

PRICE: $6-$12

Bewitching Book Stock started as a service offering stock model photography, but currently they focus on high-quality CG models. Their photos are also still available, though, and cover a range from contemporary/urban fantasy to classical fantasy and sci-fi.

Affordable stock images - screenshot of Bewitching Book Stock website.


3. Grafit Studio

PRICE: $6-$20/pack

Grafit Studio can be found on Artstation Marketplace and Gumroad, and offers packs of hundreds of images of both female and male models, nude and clothed, for a very reasonable price.

Affordable stock images - screenshot of Grafit Studio website.


4. Period Images

PRICE: $8.95-$75, depending on the licence

Period stock focuses on romance stock model photos, but also offers images of individual models of various ethnicities in different genres.

Affordable stock images - screenshot of Period Images website.


5. Neo-stock.com

PRICE: $9/image with basic license, more extensive licensing available

Neo Stock is a site with high-quality stock model images in a very wide variety of genres – you can find fantasy warriors, post-apo survivors, delicate ladies in gauzy dresses as well as cops and criminals from dark streets. Recently, they also started provoding CG models, creatures, props and backgrounds.

Affordable stock images - screenshot of Neo Stock website.


6. Stocklarium

PRICE: $8.75-$12.50/photo with a basic license

Stocklarium offers stock model photos of characters in post-apo, fantasy and contemporary settings.


7. The Killion Group Images

PRICE: $12/photo

Formerly known as Hot Damn Stock, Killion Group provides a wide gallery filled with models of various ethnicities. Their photos are mostly geared towards romance books/illustrations, but can be also helpful to those looking for individual models for historical, contemporary or fantasy artworks.


8. Artstation Marketplace

PRICE: varies

A versatile marketplace filled with brushes, tutorials and reference photo packs from a variety of providers. Since the vendors are usually artists themselves, the photo packs usually have high resolution and are made by artists for artists.


9. Taylor Alexander

PRICE: $25/photo with a basic license

Taylor Alexander is a photographer who offers stock images of models in fantasy and contemporary clothing.

Affordable stock images - screenshot of Taylor Alexander website.


10. Mattepaint.com

PRICE: $6-$15/month

A website offering access to various photos of landscapes, nature, buildings and objects, through a subscription model or photo packs.

Remember to carefully read licenses of resources you buy and follow them to the letter!

I’ll be updating this list with new resources on a regular basis.


Affordable stock images - screenshot of mattepaint.com website.

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