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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone been over there recently?  They went from charging $8-15 a photo to $60-100.  For a stock image!  

I know about dreamstime.  Does anyone else have other suggestions for buying stock art for covers?

EDIT TO SAY:  It's not all of their photos.  Just a number of them.  It's a noticeable increase in price.
 

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Alain Gomez said:
Has anyone been over there recently? They went from charging $8-15 a photo to $60-100. For a stock image!

I know about dreamstime. Does anyone else have other suggestions for buying stock art for covers?
canstockphoto.com

You can buy one image at a time, and the same image you can get there for $5 is usually about 3x that or more at dreamstime.
 

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It depends on the image. Sometimes I'll find photos on iStockphoto that are perfect, but they're super expensive ($60+), but most are still in the fairly reasonable range of $8-25, depending on the size you need.

But they're still on the expensive side compared to some sites (although they have some images I can't find anywhere else). I love Bigstockphoto and Canstockphoto for inexpensive non-exclusive images. I usually find images there for half or less the cost as on Dreamstime or Shutterstock or iStockphoto.

Sadly, it seems lately whenever I find the perfect stock photo, it's only available on one of the high-end rights managed sites like Masterfile or Getty. I found the PERFECT image for a new cover, and it's available for a bargain $1500! What a deal!  ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Amanda Brice said:
It depends on the image. Sometimes I'll find photos on iStockphoto that are perfect, but they're super expensive ($60+), but most are still in the fairly reasonable range of $8-25, depending on the size you need.

But they're still on the expensive side compared to some sites (although they have some images I can't find anywhere else). I love Bigstockphoto and Canstockphoto for inexpensive non-exclusive images. I usually find images there for half or less the cost as on Dreamstime or Shutterstock or iStockphoto.

Sadly, it seems lately whenever I find the perfect stock photo, it's only available on one of the high-end rights managed sites like Masterfile or Getty. I found the PERFECT image for a new cover, and it's available for a bargain $1500! What a deal! ;)
So dumb. I get that some of the photographers want to create art and such. But a stock photo, by definition, should be generic photos for low cost. $100 is not low cost.
 

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Alain Gomez said:
So dumb. I get that some of the photographers want to create art and such. But a stock photo, by definition, should be generic photos for low cost. $100 is not low cost.
If that $100 photo is perfect for someone's ad campaign, and they can then avoid a costly photo shoot, by comparison, it is low cost. All depends on what the person wants the pic for.

Also, a higher cost for the pic means you're less likely to see it on 20 different covers.
 

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ShayneHellerman said:
If that $100 photo is perfect for someone's ad campaign, and they can then avoid a costly photo shoot, by comparison, it is low cost. All depends on what the person wants the pic for.

Also, a higher cost for the pic means you're less likely to see it on 20 different covers.
Agreed. I too bulk at some of the prices but then I realize that many of the photographers are trying to earn from their art just like me. They're photo shoots are not free. Even if they don't pay the models or for props, it takes time to do a shoot. By all means, bargain hop but don't discredit something as overpriced. If I want an ebook bad enough I'll shell out that $7.99... Just saying.
 

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I'm not opposed to paying more if something is perfect. If it's perfect, it's perfect. (Although I certainly didn't go with the $1500 photo, since that was just way too much for me. I kept looking around and am actually having a cover artist do some manipulation to get something that's actually even more perfect for a fraction of the cost.)

And photographers are completely within their rights to charge whatever they see fit. It's their business. That being said, if I can find an identical image on a different site for less, I'm going to bargain shop. After all, it's my business too, and if it's available elsewhere for less, it means they've already agreed to accept less, so why should I pay more?

And Shayne is right. A $100 image means you're much less likely to see that same pic on multiple covers. It's the $2 images that pop up everywhere (but you should never be using those as-is -- always do some manipulation so you can achieve a modicum of originality).
 
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Alain Gomez said:
So dumb. I get that some of the photographers want to create art and such. But a stock photo, by definition, should be generic photos for low cost. $100 is not low cost.
The stock photo market wasn't built around indies on tight budgets. It was built around corporate media consumption. Major corporations use stock images all the time in ads, for graphics on products, commercials, etc. News media also use stock images to compliment their newspaper articles or digital media. $100 is VERY low cost for a newspaper as oppose to having to pay a model and a photographer to get an image.

I work in consumer packaging. When a client wants us to design a display for them, nobody does a photo shoot of a lady holding a bottle of mouthwash. They provide us with the stock image they want and then our designers add in whatever other graphic elements (like the mouthwash) is needed. And if they pay $200 for an image, that is a steal compared to what they would have paid if they had to hire the model and have a photo shoot done.
 

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iStock pisses me off, b/c like the OP said their prices are insanely high for the quality of the stuff you're getting, but there is so much crap on there lately (underexposed, poor composition, flat lighting). Not every single one of them is like that, but it annoys the heck out of me. I had to process the crap out of a $60 image from them the other day to make it acceptable. It had a ton of noise. I've run out of sites selling kissing couples. I need to redo some of my covers and cant find much. I didnt want to do a shoot. Sigh...
 

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holly w. said:
I've run out of sites selling kissing couples. I need to redo some of my covers and cant find much. I didnt want to do a shoot. Sigh...
Have you tried Hot Damn Stock and uh, I think it's called Razzle Dazzle? They're geared toward romance covers, so you might have some luck there.
 

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Razzle Dazzle Stock (www.razzdazzstock.com) -- their cover design business is Razzle Dazzle Designs

There's also Jimmy Thomas' site -- www.romancenovelcovers.com -- but personally I think he's really overexposed. But hey, women love him and those books sell.
 

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holly w. said:
iStock pisses me off, b/c like the OP said their prices are insanely high for the quality of the stuff you're getting, but there is so much crap on there lately (underexposed, poor composition, flat lighting). Not every single one of them is like that, but it annoys the heck out of me. I had to process the crap out of a $60 image from them the other day to make it acceptable. It had a ton of noise. I've run out of sites selling kissing couples. I need to redo some of my covers and cant find much. I didnt want to do a shoot. Sigh...
^This.
I don't mind paying for high quality. But there's so much on there that isn't.
Also, if time is money, then time spent foraging through all those sub-quality images is damned expensive.
 

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I have no control over the prices my photos are sold for on stock sites. Except for the one-price sites, the site sets the price based on exposure, searches, and photographer popularity.

Dreamstime is very very picky about shots. I've had quite a few rejected and I've been doing this for 14 years. You have to shoot it perfect in camera for them. They don't like any manipulation, no high ISO, no upsizing, and definitely no grain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
The stock photo market wasn't built around indies on tight budgets. It was built around corporate media consumption. Major corporations use stock images all the time in ads, for graphics on products, commercials, etc. News media also use stock images to compliment their newspaper articles or digital media. $100 is VERY low cost for a newspaper as oppose to having to pay a model and a photographer to get an image.

I work in consumer packaging. When a client wants us to design a display for them, nobody does a photo shoot of a lady holding a bottle of mouthwash. They provide us with the stock image they want and then our designers add in whatever other graphic elements (like the mouthwash) is needed. And if they pay $200 for an image, that is a steal compared to what they would have paid if they had to hire the model and have a photo shoot done.
Oh I get that there are other target audiences. Plus the supply/demand element.

It was just that in terms of quality istock and dreamstime frequently have the same type of pictures and/or same quality of pictures. So it just seemed absurd to me that if they are deciding to charge so much more than their competition.
 

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One way you can set iStockPhoto to "high quality only" is to check their Vetta range. But, yes, they're expensive.
 
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