We live in a world where visual content is mandatory. And, you not only need great visual content, but you need a lot of it. Your website, socials, and marketing collateral all need photos. That’s a lot of freaking photos for a small business (especially if you’re a solopreneur like me) to cough up. This is where stock photography comes in.
First, a quick caveat about brand photography. Having brand photos is necessary and one of the best investments you can make as a new small business. Planning a photoshoot with a professional photographer who can capture you, your brand, what you do, and your approach is business gold that you will use for years! However, brand photography sessions have a relatively high cost because you’re paying for the expert services and time of a fellow small business creative professional. So setting up a brand photo shoot once or twice a year is a phenomenal investment, but it’s still not going to cover all of your visual content needs. Again, this is where stock photography comes in.
Stock photography will give you a larger photo library to tell your brand’s story and create more visual content. And, it’s going to do so at a much more effective price point! I’m going to do a deep dive on how stock photography can grow your brand, how to choose the right photos, and where you should use them.
Running your own business isn’t easy, but I’ve got ways to make it easier! And, I’m always about finding those ways that keep costs low. We’ve got fun and important things to spend our money on!
At the end of the post, I’ll share my favorite free and paid stock photography sources (like Haute Stock) with you!
This is a quick definition of stock photography for any y’all who are new to entrepreneurship! Stock photos are images that have already been created which you can license to use for your business purposes. The cost of licensing stock images can range from free to $$$.
You can find stock photography across the interwebs. There are large companies which offer stock images, like Adobe Stock and iStock, to small creative business owners like yourself. There are also free stock photography sites, allowing you to use their library of images as long as you follow the rules.
I’ll share my favorite stock photography sites and creators at the bottom of this post.
Using stock photos to compliment your brand photos is clutch. Here’s why I love utilizing stock photography in my graphic design business.
Okay, so you’re caught up on stock photography. You know it will make your business life easier. Now, here’s how I recommend you weed through the stock photography to find your best options.
Here are some tips for using stock photography in your small creative business:
I hope my deep dive on stock photography has convinced you that it’s a worthwhile investment for your small creative business. It can help you expand your brand’s story and create a professional and visually appealing website, social media presence, and marketing materials.
Really, the part where it makes social media batch posting easier is the greatest of game changers.
If you’re looking for ways to enhance the look and feel of your small creative business, check out these stock photography options:
Haute Stock : This is my go to. I have paid for ongoing access to their library and I LOVE it. The photos are gorgeous, and because it’s a paid service you’re not going to see everyone using them which makes my business feel original. AND, they’ve made it so easy to search. You can search by color, by subject, or by collection. I would 100% recommend checking them out.
Creative Market : I am a big Creative Market fan (and a seller there as well). You can search for stock photos individually or by collection. I love recommending collections to clients who have hired me for their website design. We can usually find one collection that I can use to accentuate their brand photo shoot and give their design more depth.
Unsplash : A great free option with some paid licensing options as well. The draw back is that because it’s free, you’re going to notice that a lot of brands are using these images which makes it hard for you to stand out.
Kaboompics : Another free option. I’m using them more and more when I’m in a tight spot and want something different.
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Having been a visual artist for over 10 years, I know that every part of a brand (even the parts that are often unseen) deserve to be expressed with honesty and beauty. I am happiest standing behind the scenes, creating every design and detail for focused and intentional business owners. I created EP Design to stand beside visionaries and thought leaders who are fueled by joy.