Intro to Stock Photos Part 2 – Using Stock Photos
To Do or Not to Do: Using Stock Photos
The question only you can answer – should I use stock photos in my content and branding? Will it hurt my continuity? Is it going to help me?
Sure! (Stock can save you from creating the content yourself – i.e. “I need a photo of Hawaii for my travel blog but I can’t get there in the next hour to photograph it myself.”)
Not if you do it right! (Always remember to search through your client’s eyes and thought process.)
Definitely! (When you purchase quality stock photos and integrate them into your brand consistently.)
Stock has risen and fallen and risen again in popularity. Its current rise is continuing to gain momentum and the popularity is largely due to bloggers and social media marketing. There is a constant increase in the need for entrepreneurs to more and more online content. More often than not, many of the blogs and social media accounts you follow are using stock. The brands you love are using stock photos. Everyone is loving stock, and we’ve jumped on the bandwagon.
Come join us – Here are three quick tips to use the stock photos you have for your online business, blog, or social media accounts.
Using Stock Photos Tip #1: Match the photos to your brand.
As we mentioned in our Intro to Stock Photos Part 1 – any content you post – whether you created it or you purchased it – will only benefit you if it matches your brand. You want to keep your ideal client walking through your door – visiting your site – following you on Instagram – and you want them ENGAGED. The more they talk WITH you, the more they’ll talk ABOUT you. Attract new ideal clients and keep your current ones happy with the consistent content that speaks the truth of your brand and your message. If you’re a high-end personal shopper + stylist, then you’ll want photos that speak to fashion, shopping, and styling a closet. Look for stock photos that are dynamic and full of energy to keep your audience wanting more on a daily basis.
Using Stock Photos Tip #2: Diversify the types of photos.
Stock photos come in a variety of themes, styles, and compositions. MIX IT UP! Use vertical and horizontal photos. Pick photos with and without people. Find photographs with details that are close up shots and photos from farther away that bring the viewer in. Flat lays (photos shot from above a ‘table’ with things laid out creatively) are always a popular choice that makes for a clear and enticing message. You want to keep your audience engaged with a variety of imagery that supports your message. As you post – your own content or stock photos – you will begin to get a feel for which types of photos resonate the most with your audience and give you the most engagement.
Using Stock Photos Tip #3: Don’t be Afraid to Edit.
EDIT is a four letter word, but in this case, think of it as your license to creative freedom instead of a naughty faux pax. Royalty free stock photographers (royalty free stock is stock you pay for once and receive a license to use the photo either personally or commercially, in most cases forever) know they’re creating content for others to use as they see fit.
Meaning that you can edit the photo to fit your brand.
Hold up for a quick second – this DOES NOT mean you should go nuts with the filters… unless it seamlessly fits your content and message. A few A-Listers we follow and love who do this fabulously are Lauren Conrad, Simply Shelby by Nicole, Bon Pouf, and Lissa Catalina. They each edited their photos with a consistent style and mood and integrated into their content to their brands.