How to Use Stock Photos Effectively

By: | Updated: March 18, 2021

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Using great imagery on your blog can really make your posts stand out, but it’s sometimes hard to put time aside to take your own photos.

In these instances stock images can be invaluable; they can provide a huge range of images on a long list of subjects which will work to instantly grab your readers’ attention.

Easy, right? Well, it is – follow these handy tips and you’ll soon be using stock photos like a pro.

Check the rights

Image rights, licenses and releases can often seem confusing and a little scary, but they needn’t be. Just make sure you read up around the type of images you are using, as the rules can be different depending on whether you use the images for editorial (a blog post) or commercial use (if you have a blog shop for example).

The stock photo agency or website you choose to use should be able to provide you with all the necessary information and for further information on releases, stock image provider Alamy has also put together a handy guide.

Remember to credit (if needed)

In some instances it may be necessary to credit the source of the stock image.

Again, this should be made clear by the provider of the image, so make sure you read the fine print. Giving credit where it’s due is not just about being polite, it can be a legal requirement.

Make sure it fits your brand

It’s easy to get a little overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending amount of stock photos out there.

Keep your blog and brand in mind when choosing your images; this should mean that any photos you use don’t look out of place and fit with your style.

Pick stock photos that don’t look like ‘stock photos’

You know the ones I mean, those images that look over-posed and unnatural that give stock images a bad name. Make sure to avoid these.

A great way to make stock images look unique is to edit them (rights allowing), it’s amazing how different an image can look with a certain crop and a well-chosen filter.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to successfully use stock imagery to illustrate and enhance your posts.

Remember to keep an eye on your analytics to see whether there are any changes in engagements or views, it’s a great way to see what type of images work with your blog!

by Brett Helling
Brett has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.