We all know how important images are to the success of your blog and social media posts and there's nothing worse than seeing great content with crappy images or images that don't fit the brand style.
While creating this website, I found it difficult to find images that conveyed the right message or they just didn't feel right. There are plenty of free beautiful images, but they all had the same feel that just didn't speak to me so I decided to create my own "stock" images.
Call me cheap, but I'm not into paying for things I can easily create myself plus I actually enjoy the process of figuring things out. Please note, there are lots of inexpensive options for finding higher quality stock images found in the Resources page, but I wanted to show it can be done for FREE!
Below are three tips anyone can use to create "stock" images for your brand.
- FREE and easy to use tool to create designs and documents. Makes photo editing really simple for beginner's and has tools for more advanced users as well
- Free, easy to use photo editing app available for iPhone and Android
Camera or high quality smartphone camera
- I use an inexpensive Nikon Coolpix L330, but a high mega pixel smartphone camera works as well
I'm a Mac girl, but a PC works great too
Step One: Repurpose old Photos
Browse through your Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest feeds and see what images can be repurposed as stock images. Use Canva to edit photos, insert text or create a photo grid.
I used four existing activewear layout photos to create the image for my About Page. Simply upload your photos to Canva and use the grids option from the Search tab to create your own grid. You can crop the images, change the background color and even add text to the photo.
Canva Photo grid image
Step Two: Use Your Environment/Public Spaces
Looking for an image for my Resources page was especially difficult because I had a specific image in mind that was not the normal "person sitting in a coffee shop on their iPad with hipster glasses and a perfectly placed coffee mug" photo wasn't working for me so again I decided to create my own image.
I headed over to the local Barnes & Nobles and scoped out magazines and books that fit the part. Starting with a white background is my preferred style and the green carpet in store wasn't going to work so I had to get creative. I used the white pillow shams from the Airbnb that I was staying at as the background and layed out the magazines and books in the only corner with a bit natural light...Six shots later and I was done!
This can also be done at a public library if the in-store retail shoot is not your forte or at major retailers by simply asking the store manager for permission.
Photos can be edited using the VSCO app with its simple and easy to use options such as filters, exposure and saturation. It's a simple tool that can turn an ordinary photo into a high quality image.
before and after VSCO images
Step Three: Edit Free Stock Images
The final step incorporates using both CANVA and VSCO to adapt an existing free stock image.
A few non-traditional stock image sources are:
deathtothestockphoto.com - hip, modern images
rekitanicoledesigns.com - vibrant, colorful images
itspinkpot.com - new photographer with promising first stock photo release
Simply sign up for email lists and stock images will be delivered to your inbox. You can then use photo editing tools to customize the images.
I used Canva to insert text into photo below on my Behind the Brand page As a rule of thumb, always credit the photographer when information is available.
Behind the Brand main image
These are super simple FREE tips that can easily be adapted to fit your needs.
Be sure to check out the Resources page to find more tips to grow your biz.
Have you tried to create your own image "stock" images? Let me know in the comments below.
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