Stock photos are becoming more and more popular among bloggers and business owners, especially since everyone wants to share their posts on Pinterest. While using your own photos will make your brand recognizable, there’s nothing wrong with using stock photos if you are not a good photographer and can’t afford to hire one.
With a few simple tricks, you can customize stock photos to fit your brand and turn them into even more beautiful images that will be noticed by your readers and shared on social media.
Choose great photos
When choosing stock photos for your blog, it’s important to use images that fit the style of your blog and your post’s message. This means that you shouldn’t use images that look out of place on your blog. You can even create an image style guide and use the same type of image on every post.
Make sure you can use and alter the images
Never use images that you find on Google or Pinterest. Only use images from stock photo sites or from photographers and read the license before you use them. Every website has a different set of rules and they can also change those rules. Before you use an image on your blog, see if you can edit it and if you need to credit the source.
Add a color overlay
One of my favorite ways to make free stock photos fit my brand is to add a color overlay. This way, there will be no distracting colors on my website and the text I add will be more visible and easier to read. A trick I use when I add colors to images is to lower the opacity of the stock photo. This will make it less visible and will make the colors stand out.
Make them black and white
Another way to make photos fit your design is to lower the saturation or turn them into black and white images. It’s often hard to find a set of photos that go well together so turning them into black and white images will make them look more cohesive. Too many colors can also distract your readers and make your design seem crowded, but grayscale or low saturation images don’t have that effect.
Add a filter or texture
A subtle texture or filter can make your images look unique. Using the same filter on every photo will make your design more cohesive.
Zoom and crop
Most stock photos are very large, but instead of making them smaller, you can zoom in on an element and crop it. Using only a part of the image, instead of the whole image, will make it less recognizable. You can even make multiple images from a large landscape photo.
You can always turn vertical images into horizontal images or the other way around. Vertical images are great for Pinterest, so turn your landscape photo into a vertical one and add a pin it button to encourage shares.
Make a collage
A lot of stock photo sites offer image sets. If you like more than one image, you can turn it into a collage or even gather more images that have similar colors and turn them into a moodboard.
Flip horizontally or rotate photo
If you flip or rotate the photo, you will see it in a totally different light. Even such a little change, like a different perspective, can make your images stand out.
Add a border or background
Sometimes the smallest details can make a big difference. Add a colorful border under your image or a white background over it and write your post’s title or your blog’s name. You can even use this technique if you find a photo that you love, but it’s smaller than your post area.
Use negative space
A lot of photos have a lot of details and if you add text over them, it will be hard to read. Find images that have space between the subjects of your image to make the text stand out.
Small details matter
If you find images that have computers or phones in them, you can add an image of your blog to make them more personal. You can do this in Photoshop, but make sure your images look real.
By keeping these tips in mind when you use a stock photo, you will be able to make stock photos fit your brand and enhance your posts.
Do you use stock photos on your blog? How do you customize them?