123RF Stock Photos – sponsored review

The stock photography market has changed a lot in the last couple years. This huge change can be directly attributed to the development of the digital camera, more importantly, the digital SLR camera. No longer did you have to be a professional photographer with millions of dollars of equipment to take quality photos. The DSLR allowed that amateur photographer that happened to take a great photo capitalize off of their luck. With stock photo agencies no longer needing to pay expensive pro-photographer fees, the savings could be passed to the designer/consumer.

123RF Stock Photos is one of the companies that allows this great, inexpensive exchange to happen. While the business model isn’t exactly revolutionary, they do provide more options than most. You can buy images individually by purchasing credits, with the cost varying by photo resolution. Or you can subscribe to one of their available Plans, allowing you to download 5 Ultra HiRes images per day (Basic Plan) or 20 Ultra HiRes images per day (Premium Plan). The subscription plans last either 30 or 90 Days. The option of buying credits or subscribing to the site is something that allows 123RF Stock Photos to cater to any level of stock-photo consumer.

The other way they cater to the consumer is by having a great selection of photos. At time of writing, they advertise having over 500,000 stock photos. The photos have a nice quality with a range of styles which can be attributed to having a variable collection of contributing photographers. The website is clean and simple to use, with the large-thumbnail-preview being unintrusive, unlike other stock photo sites. The “Similar Search” feature functions wonderfully and allows you to pinpoint that exact photo you want easily.

Another innovative feature of 123RF Stock Photos is their Rewards program. With every photo or subscription you buy, you get “RF Points”. It’s kind of like airline mileage. They then offer you a great list of products you can purchase with your points, such as: iPods, Wacom tablets, digital cameras, even a Sony PSP. This a great way for designers in large corporations to “reward” themselves while expensing the photos to the company. Very slick, maybe even a little sneaky. I like it.

Whether you’re on the photographer or designer side, 123RF Stock Photos is a great website to get whatever it is you need.

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