Best place to purchase stock images for Web Design, or not

I just received an email from Adobe because I am on a developer list. It was an offer to purchase images from them of “Unbelievable Quality” and “Unbelievable Price.” The email went on to say “Adobe Stock gives you access to 40 million curated, high-quality, royalty-free photos and graphics to help you create your best work. And for a limited time, purchase individual Adobe Stock images with no other commitment for only US$4.99* — a 50% savings.” Which implies to me that normally I would pay them about $10 for an image.

So, I was thinking to myself, man, these must be some incredible images at that price. So I went and did a quick search using the keyword “web design” just to see what popped up. Immediately I saw on the first page an image I recognized, having purchased it some time in the past from Istock Photos. And at the time I think I payed under a dollar for it.

So that got me to thinking. Now I am wondering if not all of the image providers simply have, for the most part, the same images as everyone else. They “curate” them and add on their upsell price and an image selling business is born.

I haven’t really put much thought into it up to this point. Mostly, we purchase images when we happen to need some for a site development project. I used to use Istock Photos but they’ve recently raised their prices and have gotten expensive. Not quite as expensive as this Adobe offering but expensive all the same. So now I am using fotolia, where, btw I can get the same image I saw on Adobe for $4.99 for under a dollar.

That leads me to ask what others might use for their stock images. Any comments or thoughts?

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