How to source stock photos for your website
There’s no denying that photos can make or break a website! Great photos go a long way in helping to convey the personality and positioning of your brand.
Although hiring a photographer to take brand photos is the ultimate option for your website, it’s not always an option for a lot of creative business owners.
If hiring a photographer isn’t in the cards right now, then you’ve got two options: stock photos + DIY photos!
If you’re good with your camera (or iPhone!) then DIY photos are definitely an option! You could batch shoot a bunch of photos in your color palette that are relevant to your brand. Don’t forget to edit them all in a similar way. And of course, don’t forget to take a few of yourself too!
If photography is not your forte, then it’s time to explore stock photos!
HOW TO CHOOSE STOCK PHOTOS
There are so many options for stock photos these days...from different styles to different price points! Here are three of my top tips for narrowing down your search for stock photos.
Consider your budget
Of course, your budget will play a part in where you source your stock photos. If you’re just starting out, then look for a free source! Yes, it’s possible that you’ll see other businesses out there using your photos. But with a little digging, there are some great photos to be found!
Whether you’re using free photos or investing in a paid stock service, always check the license to ensure the photos are available for commercial use and for your intended use.
2. Consider your brand personality.
How do you want your brand to feel? Fun? Edgy? Modern? Friendly? Feminine? Your brand personality play a big part in determining the style of stock photos you’ll want to look for. You’ll also want to make sure that the color palette and subject matter works for your brand and that they suit the design of your website.
For example, here are a few of my favorite stock photo shops:
Haute Stock has a diverse range of beautiful, feminine photos.
SC Stockshop’s photos are super high quality, with a luxurious, high-end feel.
Kate Max Stock offers photos for several different industries, with a modern, girl-next-door feel.
The Jana Bishop Collection if full of warm, beautiful, classic photography.
3. Consider your photography needs.
The final thing to consider when sourcing photos for your site is what your actual needs are. Do you simply need a few photos to supplement the ones you already have on your website? Or do you need stock photos for every page of your website? Will you be needing stock images on an on-going basis for social media posts as well?
If you need just a few photos, consider a stock source that allows you to purchase individual photos. If you need several photos for your website, consider a source that sells photos in bundles (this keeps the look consistent). If you’ll be needing a lot photos on an on-going basis, then a membership or subscription might be your best bet!
Take some time to explore the stock sources I’ve mentioned (or any others that you come across) and get a feel for their style to see if it will suit your brand and all of your photography needs. I find it much easier to stick to one or two sources that work for your brand, in order to keep the look and feel consistent.
Many stock photography sources also offer either a free trial or some free photos when you subscribe to their newsletter. This is a great opportunity to download a few of their photos and try them out, get a feel for the quality and see if they work for your brand.
Ultimately, you want photos that feel right for you and your brand, fulfill your photography needs and fit your budget! Thankfully with all the choices available, there’s sure to be a source that’s right for you!