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How to Use Stock Photos

I know that I am the face of my brand, so it’s important for me to make sure not to overuse stock photos and forget about myself! When I am posting on my Facebook or Instagram pages, I try to use myself, my kids, and my real life as much as possible but, I am not a professional photographer. So when I want my post to really stand out or I don’t have a picture on hand that fits what I am talking about, stock photos are the way to go!

I also am a big proponent for using stock photos to make gifts for my readers more professional. If I am making a printable, download or opt-in offer, I will use stock photos to make them pop. And whenever I create an e-book or Facebook ad, I want to make sure it attracts people and doesn’t repel them because it doesn’t seem professional.

Choose Pictures that Fit Your Brand

Not all stock photos always fit my brand so it’s important that I look around for ones that do. I kept coming across some that just used all rose gold and had that ‘girl boss’ look. And while that fits some brands, it’s definitely not mine. I would say my brand is more ‘the coffee stain on the paper’ type of look!

You can always modify pictures using Canva or Picmonkey so don’t be scared if they don’t immediately call out to your brand. I always save them on my computer in a folder labeled ‘stock photos’ so I can go in and check out what I need!

TOP 5 Places to Get FREE Photos

1. Ivory Mix

Ivory Mix is MOST definitely the #1 place to go for amazing photos for your business. Not only does she send out free pictures all the time but has an entire LIBRARY of free images that you can access. All you have to do is log in and it’s yours to use! Her stuff fits all types of brands and she has a ton of contributors so the styles are super diverse. You can also buy photos if you see something you like that isn’t in the free library.

2. Haute Chocolate

Haute Chocolate is one of my favorite places to go and get professional images. They offer a few free ones that, if you sign up for their email list, they will send to you each month. They also have a library that you can get a membership for if you like a certain collection. Their pictures are perfect for female bloggers, entrepreneurs, and creatives!

3. Unsplash

Unsplash is such a great gift to us bloggers! Photographers submit their awe-inspiring photos for us to use. Make sure you read the descriptions of each of the pictures before you download though, some have specific rules about the amount of altering or editing you can do!

4. Pexels

Pexels is another great site for general pictures. While some of the ones I’ve already mentioned have more of a girly or artistic theme, pixels is much more general. You simply go to the search bar to find pictures that might match one of the keywords you search for. Some of them are a bit of the wall, but you can certainly find what you are looking for! They also will link you to some pictures you can buy if you scroll all the way down! Check out these pictures that came up when I searched ‘coffee’, all for free!

5. Stock Snap

Stock Snap is similar to pixels in that they are much more general in what they offer. And just like pixels, you can scroll to the bottom to see more options you can pay for. You might also come across similar pictures on both sites but when you are doing, for example, a recipe book, this might be the best place for you!

Check out what came up when I searched ‘healthy eating’

Hope these pictures are a great start for you as you venture into creating projects for your tribe and adding professionalism to what you do!

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