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Using Stock Photography for Your Website

Business, Design

In today’s digital age, your website serves as the virtual face of your brand. It’s the first point of contact for potential customers, making it essential to create a visually appealing and cohesive online presence. While brand photoshoots are ideal for capturing the essence of your brand, they may not always be feasible due to various constraints. Fortunately, stock photography offers a versatile solution for maintaining brand consistency and enhancing the visual appeal of your website.

Here are some examples of why using stock content can be very useful:

Brand Cohesiveness

Brand cohesiveness is vital for establishing trust and recognition among your audience. Consistent branding helps convey your brand’s values, personality, and message effectively. Every aspect of your website, from colors and typography to imagery, contributes to shaping your brand identity. In this regard, stock photography plays a crucial role in maintaining brand consistency, even when bespoke photoshoots aren’t immediately possible.

A Variety To Choose From

One of the key advantages of stock photography is the vast array of options available. Whether you need images depicting specific scenarios, themes, or emotions, stock photo libraries offer a diverse selection to choose from. This extensive variety enables you to find images that resonate with your brand’s aesthetic and message, ensuring alignment with your overall branding strategy.

Consistency In Your Brand Identity

When selecting stock photos for your website, it’s essential to consider your brand’s visual identity. Pay attention to elements, such as color schemes, tone, and style to ensure that the chosen images complement your brand aesthetic. Consistency in visual elements helps reinforce your brand’s identity and fosters a cohesive user experience across your website.

Tropical brand identity eith ocean images and logo
Example of a brand identity I designed using stock photos.

Using Video and Gifs

Also, integrating short video clips alongside stock photography can further enrich your website’s visual appeal. Video content has become increasingly popular, offering an immersive way to engage with your audience. While producing original video content may pose challenges, incorporating carefully selected stock video clips can enhance your website’s storytelling and captivate visitors. The key here is to limit the amount of video usage across your website to avoid overwhelming both your visitors as well as your site speed. Short clips or gifs spread sparingly throughout your website adds movement and relatability. Just make sure they complement the imagery you’re using and that a cohesive brand experience is achieved.

woman sitting in a chair with a straw bag

Integrates Seamlessly

Furthermore, customization is key to ensuring that stock images seamlessly integrate into your website’s design. Adjusting colors, adding overlays, or applying filters can help tailor stock photos to align with your brand’s visual identity. By personalizing stock images, you can create a cohesive and unique visual experience that reflects your brand’s distinctiveness.

Maintains Authenticity

It’s crucial to use stock photography and video clips judiciously to maintain authenticity. Avoid clichéd or overly staged images that may undermine your brand’s credibility. Instead, opt for high-quality, authentic visuals that resonate with your target audience and align with your brand’s values. See more about this further below with my paid stock photography sites suggestions to use.

Readily Available and Cost-Effective

In addition to enhancing brand cohesiveness, leveraging stock photography offers practical benefits for website owners. Stock images are readily available and cost-effective compared to organizing photoshoots, making them an accessible option for businesses of all sizes. Moreover, stock photo libraries often provide licenses that allow for commercial use, granting you the necessary rights to use the images on your website without legal concerns.

Saves Time and is Affordable

Another advantage of using stock photography is the time saved in sourcing and curating images. With a simple search query, you can find relevant images that align with your brand’s messaging and aesthetics. This efficiency is particularly beneficial for businesses operating on tight schedules or with limited resources, allowing them to maintain a visually compelling website without extensive time or effort.

Needless to say, stock photography serves as a valuable resource for enhancing brand cohesiveness and enriching the visual experience of your website. By carefully selecting and customizing stock images and video clips, you can create a cohesive and visually captivating online presence that effectively communicates your brand’s identity and resonates with your audience. While brand photoshoots remain an ideal option for capturing the essence of your brand, stock photography offers a flexible and practical solution for maintaining brand consistency and elevating your website’s visual appeal.

Here are my two favourite paid stock photo sites:

Haute stock

Haute Stock is a premium stock photography platform renowned for its sophisticated and stylish imagery tailored specifically for female entrepreneurs, bloggers, and creative professionals. With a focus on feminine aesthetics, Haute Stock offers a curated collection of high-quality photos and videos designed to elevate brands and enhance visual storytelling. From chic flat lays to elegant lifestyle shots, their diverse library caters to various niches and industries, ensuring that subscribers find the perfect images to complement their brand identity. Moreover, Haute Stock provides users with access to exclusive content, member perks, and customizable templates, empowering them to create visually stunning websites, social media posts, and marketing materials effortlessly. With its commitment to quality, aesthetics, and user satisfaction, Haute Stock has established itself as a go-to resource for premium stock photography tailored for the modern entrepreneur. Get 15% off your subscription by using code juliercreative.

collage of stock images

Elevae Visuals

Elevae, formerly known as Social Squares, is a leading stock photo platform catering to female entrepreneurs, bloggers, and small business owners. Renowned for its vibrant and versatile imagery, Elevae offers a vast collection of high-quality photos designed to elevate brands and captivate audiences. With a focus on authenticity and diversity, their curated library features a wide range of lifestyle, business, and travel-themed images suitable for various industries and niches. Elevae’s subscription-based model provides users with unlimited access to a growing collection of professionally curated photos, as well as exclusive member benefits and resources to enhance their visual content strategy. Whether crafting social media posts, blog graphics, or marketing materials, Elevae empowers users to tell their brand story authentically and creatively. With its commitment to quality, inclusivity, and user experience, Elevae has become a trusted resource for female entrepreneurs seeking premium stock photography tailored to their unique needs and aesthetic preferences.

Free stock photography sites and disclaimer

Of course there are many free stock photo sites out there that you can easily use, but keep in mind that they may be used more often. Sites like Unsplash and Pexels are two popular ones, however I’ve heard of some photographers finding their own creative work uploaded without their consent, which is really awful and can potentially lead to a copyright infringement if you are unknowingly using images that weren’t meant to be there to start with. I’ve seen a few creators land themselves in hot water because of this (due to no fault of their own) and it’s something to be mindful of. As much as we want to trust that the images found on the free stock sites were uploaded with good intent by the creator themself, there are still some crappy people out there who have no problem stealing others work and claiming it as their own. Just something to be mindful of.

With paid stock photography sites, you know they work directly with creators who have been vetted and are paid to create authentic content for that platform, so you know you’re safe using the content from those paid subscription sites that won’t be found anywhere else.

As a photographer myself, I’ll always suggest getting a personal brand photo shoot done to establish as much authenticity and relativity as you can.  But I do understand that this isn’t always doable and where stock photography comes into play. I’ve used paid stock photography and videos myself and I’m not ashamed to admit it (and still do!). Just keep in mind your brand identity and curate images that will compliment your brand voice, message and overall aesthetic.

That’s all for now, friends!

P.S. If you’re looking to get professional photos and content done for your business, see how I can help you here!

Keep it real!

Julie xo

Hi, I'm Julie.

Web Designer, Content Creator, Photographer, World Traveler & Animal Lover! From working in the travel industry to becoming an entrepreneur, I help those wanting to become the leader and go-to person in their industry with killer websites and content for their growing brand.

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