We’re huge Costco fans. We head over every weekend to do our weekly shopping, and buy most of our grocery items there any more. Plus we can buy the occasional television, computer, appliance, and even holiday gift there. We’ve never found anything of poor quality, and really can’t imagine not heading to Costco anymore.

So when I get my monthly The Costco Connection, the magazine put out by Costco, I love flipping through it and reading the articles. Costco caters to small businesses, and they always have a variety of articles based around this concept.

So I read with interest this month about their newest offering – Art and Image Gallery.

Simply head over to the Art and Image Gallery, and browse through over 20,000 digital images of fine art, photography and illustrations that can be chosen and used to create a photo through their 1 hour photo lab.

Costco has teamed with Corbis Images to provide this unique function, and to allow the general consumer the chance to make any type of artwork for their walls for the low price of the cost of the print at Costco. You can produce anywhere from a standard photo 8×10, to a poster print up to a 20×30, to a high quality giclee canvas print up to a 16×48. Prices are at the low price of $1.49 for the 8×10, to the high side of $99.99 for the giclee print.

Within the 20,000 images, you’ll find:

  • fine art artists ranging from Monet, van Gogh, Rembrandt and da Vinci;
  • nature, travel, animals, sports, flowers, black and white photography from some of the worlds leading photographers;
  • decorative illustrations, abstract images, floral, anime, urban art and vintage designs from the worlds top artists, designers and illustrators.

As a restaurant owner, for example, you know longer have to hire a photographer to create images for you. You can visit the Art and Image Gallery, choose artwork, and print it up. Perfect for anyone on a budget wanting to add sophistication to their small business, yet not wanting to spend a lot on artwork.

Yet for the photographer, is it a great deal? Now people don’t even have to pay the microstock price for a royalty free image. They simply hit print and pay the price of the paper its printed on.

What’s your take on this new move? How do you think this will impact photographers in the future?