Stock photos get a bad rap. From seeing the same boring photos all over the internet to finding some of the cheesy or just plain awkward ones, it’s easy to see why so many people avoid styled stock.
However, there are plenty of gorgeous stock photos available if you know where to look. Plus, they can be used and reused in multiple areas of your business, which make them a great investment. At Bluchic, styled stock helps our customers add personality and professionalism to their sites!
Below, we’ll be sharing some tips on how to incorporate styled stock into your brand in this post!
When and why you should use styled stock photos
You might think stock photos are a cop-out, or they may not work for your brand because you didn’t personally take and edit them. But that’s not the case! When you choose the right stock photos, and you have access to a large library, they can absolutely help you promote your biz and establish a unique brand.
If you’re a creative entrepreneur starting out with a smaller budget, or you don’t have the time or resources to create your own photos, a stock photography membership like Social Squares is an awesome option.
As a biz owner, you should already know that you don’t mess around with lawsuits. Unfortunately, some stock photos may seem like they’re free to download and use for anything, but many are royalty-free (meaning you need to purchase them once to use them multiple times) or rights-managed (meaning you buy them once to use them once).
With a membership like Social Squares, you don’t have to figure out what’s public domain or what requires buying a license. All Social Squares images are royalty-free.
Now that we know the benefits of using stock photos, let’s talk about incorporating them into your brand.
1. Pick stock photos that match your brand style
Know what kind of styled stock you’re looking for before you start browsing through thousands of images. Here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out the look and feel of your brand:
- What’s my brand personality? Warm and friendly, serious and professional, feminine and fun?
- What are my brand colors? Do I use bold, vibrant colors? Neutrals? Earth tones?
- What kind of images am I looking for? Do I prefer flatlays, lifestyle photos of people, or abstract photos? Do I prefer minimalist shots or crowded, energetic shots?
- What’s my brand message? What do I want to tell my audience with the images I use?
Put all your answers into a paragraph so you know at a glance what your brand style is. You might realize that you’re looking for soft, minimal lifestyle photos in earth tones that give off a warm and friendly vibe to the viewer.
2. Play with different kinds of photos
All your photos don’t have to follow your brand style exactly; in fact, you can play with a variety of photos to keep things interesting with your brand.
For example, once you pick a bunch of stock photos that match your brand colors, mix it up with flatlays, straight-on shots, or lifestyle photos. See if you have any photos of your own that you can incorporate into the mix, too.
Playing with composition is especially important when creating an interesting, balanced feed on social media. Alternate the types of stock photos you use in your posts. If one photo is a tight closeup of a laptop and a mug of coffee on a desk, maybe choose a wide flatlay with plenty of white space for your next shot.
What’s cool about styled stock photos is that you can zoom and crop them to your heart’s content, so you have even more options for creating interesting compositions.
3. Incorporate them into your biz
Styled stock photos aren’t just for building a pretty Instagram feed. Because you’ve chosen photos that represent your brand, you can use them for, well, anything that involves your brand!
Try using stock photos in the following ways:
- Choose a good variety of stock photos to make your website look cohesive and on-brand
- Create custom graphics on Pinterest
- Spice up your email newsletters by adding a stock photo or two into the body of your messages
- Use them when sharing Instagram Stories
- Add visual interest to your blog posts
You can do a lot of awesome things for your brand with stock photos. Plus, if you source all your stock photos from one place like Social Squares, you can plan content and content images ahead of time. That’s a win for us busy entrepreneurs, right?
If you’re ready to start infusing stock photos into your brand, get started by nailing down your brand style in Step One! From there, you can choose an eye-catching mix of stock photos and incorporate them into different pieces of content for your business.