How do you find great photos for your blog that match your brand perfectly? I’m going to show you 9 ways to use stock photos – and how to customize them for YOUR style. Plus, I’ll share my favorite site to find refreshingly gorgeous stock photos.
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Half the battle of making graphics for your blog is knowing where to find styled stock photos that are high quality, made to match your style, and legal to use. Oh, and budget friendly! There is one site I use that matches all of the above:
I found Haute Stock a few years ago, and I loved that I had an entire library of stylish photos – with more added each week. Back when I was shopping around for stock photos, my budget was tight and I was a bit discouraged at the thought of purchasing a just a few individual photos for what (to me) felt like a big investment. So when I found an entire library of themed collections all for one price, it was a pretty easy decision.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a #fangirl. New stuff every week? It makes Monday fun.
So to show you just how much you can do when you use the right styled stock photos, I gave myself a bit of a challenge.
I’ll take 3 photos, and with each one, I’ll make a collection of 3 different graphics. Each collection will be in a different color palette & style. I want to show you how easy it is to use stock photos and adapt them for your blog or business.
9 Ways to Use Stock Photos
Collection #1: Subtle & Sophisticated
My first photo is from the Muted Blush & Black Collection. Because the colors in the collection are so subtle, I can bring in whatever color palette I want. This particular photo is a flatlay (taken from directly above the workspace), with a good bit of copy space (blank space for text). It’s designed with space for me to add my title, which I love.
1 – Lead Magnet Mockup
It’s always helpful to show off your digital downloads in a real-life environment. Here, I’ve done a mockup of a lead magnet.
2 – Pinterest Image
Rotate the image 90 degrees and you can have a beautiful tall photo perfect for Pinterest.
3 – Facebook graphic
I can pull the text from my pin and tweak it a bit to have a graphic to share on Facebook. Since the blue square is semi-transparent, it’s a great way to make my text legible, and let some of the photo show through.
Collection #2: Color Pop
This photo is from the Winter Black & White Collection. It’s another photo with muted tones, but we’re going to take it in a whole new direction. With Haute Stock photos, you can incorporate your own brand colors, fonts and other elements to make the photo match your style. Originally, this stock photo is a tall image, but you’ll see that I cropped it in a couple of ways to suit my needs.
4 – Pinterest image
Use a full overlay on an image to bring out your brand colors. You can still see the image behind, but it’s your title that does the talking.
TIP: Writing a list post? Make the number HUGE to add a playful note to your design.
5 – Sales graphic
Advertise a sale on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or in your blog sidebar with a quick graphic uses an overlay and bold text.
6 – Quote graphic
Instagram is such a great place to show some personality behind the brand, and an easy way to do that is with quote graphics. Use a simple colored bar to pull in your color palette.
Although in my case, hot tea comes before coffee anytime.
Collection #3: Bright & Friendly
One more photo, one more style. I love the diversity of themes in the Haute Stock library. This photo is from the Mompreneur Collection. It’s a wide image, but like before, we’ll crop it to what we need.
7 – Header image
If we crop the top and bottom, this becomes a hero image: an extra wide graphic that commands attention. Use it as a header on your blog, as a cover image for your Facebook page or Twitter account, or on a sales page.
8 – Engagement graphic
Want to engage your audience? Ask for their input! Pick your favorite social media platform and make graphic with a simple question. The vertical white overlay in this graphic makes the text stand out without taking away from the photo.
9 – Pinterest image
You can never have enough pins! After you’ve heard from your audience, share your findings in a blog post so other readers can benefit. Because this is a wide image that can’t be rotated, add your stock photo over a solid background to take up the rest of the vertical space.
Are your creative juices flowing? There are countless ways to use stock photos – especially when they’re high quality. Check out Haute Stock and get designing!
How do you use stock photos? #imaginedesignrepeat