When you think of stock photography, what comes to mind? You might think of the cheesy images you see on a lot of websites and blogs. Stock photos can sometimes get a bad rap for being unoriginal, but there are so many benefits when you use them the right way!
There are hundreds of sources out there for stock photography, and we even offer stock photos through Bloguettes! If you don’t have the equipment to take high quality photos, stock photos can be your best friend. Read along as we share the do’s and don’ts of stock photos using some of our images from Stock That Rocks!
Don’t: Use random photos
Stock photos are great when you’re in a time crunch, but they can be distracting if they don’t complement your content or go well with your brand! For example, if you pair a random flat lay photo with your blog post about closet essentials, you may leave your audience wondering how the photo relates. Similarly, it’s also important to choose stock photos that go well with your brand. If you want your brand to communicate a light and cheery message, don’t use stock photos with a dark and moody feel.
Do: Use images that go well with your content and brand
As a blogger, business owner, or creative, pairing images with your content can make a big impact. Oftentimes, the images you use will be what draws your audience in, so be sure to choose photos that communicate the right message! We live in a world that’s visually driven, so the photos you choose say a lot about who you are and what you have to offer. Stock photos are a great way to beef up your blog posts, brighten up your social media, and engage customers on your website! Here’s an example from Kelli Coviello:
Don’t: Settle for generic photos
Ever heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? This is definitely true when it comes to stock photography, so be picky! Don’t settle for photos that are generic and won’t benefit you! The last thing you want is to use a photo that also appears on other websites. Branding is all about emphasizing what makes you unique, so view photography as a tool to help you communicate this.
Do: Add your own touch
When it comes to using stock photos, get creative and think outside of the box! Stock photos don’t have to be boring. To spice it up and add your own touch, consider using stock photos to create blog post graphics, banner images, or even personalize them with your own screenshot to promote your website or Instagram. There are so many different ways to creatively style stock photos, all of which can help you to stand out!
At Bloguettes, we minimally edit our stock photos, so you can personally edit the look and feel of the photo to reflect your brand! Here’s an example of a great way to customize a stock photo to fit your brand, using a photo from Stock That Rocks!
Don’t: Go overboard with stock photos
Stock photos are great, but like anything else, there can be too much of a good thing! If your audience starts catching on that all you’re doing is using content that’s ultimately not your own, they might become a little bored. This can especially be the case if you’re only using stock photography on your social media.
Do: Mix in some original content
Even if your photos aren’t professional, try your hand at incorporating some original content into your feed (or on your site) to break up the stock photos you use. This will instantly make you more relatable, and having a good mix between the two can help you to show a bit of your personal and professional side.
For example, at Bloguettes, we keep a good mix between our stock photos as well as other kinds of photos on our Instagram grid!
Don’t: Use photos that your audience can’t relate to
Whether you’re looking to use stock photos for your personal blog or for business, it’s so important to choose photos that catch the interest of your readers or customers. No one knows your audience like you, so use your good judgment when choosing photos. If your photos aren’t relatable for your audience, they’re unlikely to give your content a read.
Do: Use photos that represent your target audience
As you go about choosing stock photos to use, keep your audience in mind. Is your audience primarily female or male? What age category do they fall into? What are their likes and interests? For example, if your audience is young females who love fashion, try to represent this demographic in your photos. This way, your audience will feel as though the content was made just for them!
Don’t: Assume all stock photos are bad!
We get it—you may have had a bad experience with stock photos in the past. But once you learn to use stock photography the right way, it can be a game changer! Stock photos are a great tool to use when telling your story, and it’s all about finding a way to make them work for you!
Do: View a stock photo membership as an investment
At this point, you may be wondering where to go for stock photos. Joining a stock photo membership can be a great investment for your business or brand! At Bloguettes, you can join our monthly membership, where we add 100+ new images to our Stock That Rocks library every month. This way, you’ll always have new royalty-free photos to choose from!
- $10/image (shop photos here)
- $29/month B-Team Membership– includes 15 stock photo downloads & all webinars (great for bloggers and small businesses)
- $75/month Stock Photo Membership– 45 stock photo downloads (best for agencies)
To get you started, we have 4 FREE stock photos for you! Click here to have them sent right to your inbox. We hope these tips gave you some great insight on how to use stock photos!