Re: $400 per year
I wonder if it would not be cheaper to have a Wordpress site with a copy of the images.
Why bother with wordpress? If you're just wanting a bank of images that you can throw into forum posts, just upload them into a directory. Make sure the directory has a blank index.html file in there so it can't be indexed and you're good to go.
If you own a domain called domain.com, just make yourself a subdirectory called, say, grafix (don't use images...there's LOADS of things that have an /images/ directory) and just throw all your piccies in there with FTP. Then the path to a particular image would be:
ISP freebies are best avoided anyway. You're probably going to move at some point and using the freebies can make that a nightmare. Especially email. Skip past the ISP entirely for your web empire and that way you don't have loads of work to do to extract yourself and -probably more importantly- no interruptions to service if your old/new ISP fucks things up. You'll still be in the game, even if you become resident in the local coffee shop or have to be nice to your neighbours.