How to stand out + create a cohesive brand with stock photos
There may be affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a commission if you purchase something through a link. However, please be assured that I only recommend products I have personally used and love, and you’ll never pay more by using my affiliate link (in fact, you might even save $$ or get extra bonuses!)
Let’s talk about Stock Photo Memberships!
- Why you need them (and should consider investing in paid stock photo libraries)
- My fave stock photo sites – what makes them different and worth the investment (…this list will grow as I scour the web for high-quality, diverse, feminine stock photos and test drive the memberships… so you don’t have to!)
- Easy ways you can repurpose your photos (helloooo time-saving tricks)
- Tips on integrating stock photos seamlessly and authentically into your brand
- Bonus: discounts on stock photo memberships!
Psst. Already sold on why you need good quality stock photos?
Cool, you can zip down to check out my fave feminine stock sites here.
And check out the bonus membership discounts when you use my affiliate link here.
Ditch the struggle when it comes to visual content Creation
As a web designer and content strategist for female entrepreneurs, I see first-hand how overwhelming it can be to juggle #allthethings, and my clients often ask me how they can make it easier to find the right photos for their new website or so they don’t have to use yet another selfie for their Instagram posts.
When we work on developing their brand, or planning their content strategy to attract their dream clients, I help clients find stock photos that feel aligned to their vibe.
Yes, you can find some amazing photos right inside my favourite graphic design tool Canva, but when you’re ready to uplevel your image and save time with curated collections that reflect your brand feel, you’ll want to check out some of these resources. (Hint: they offer more than just stock photos!)
I think stock photo memberships and resource libraries are a no-brainer investment for a reasonably low fee (like $25/month, or maybe $97 per quarter – I’m sure you can afford that even once to batch download dozens of swoon-worthy images).
It saves you endless time trying to match random unrelated photos.
And it’s also a way to spread the love and support other female business owners. (Win-win!)
What do you think of when I say “stock photos”?
Stock photos sometimes have a bad rap, which is a shame because finding the right collection of images can be an incredible time-saver and a way to elevate your brand, without breaking the bank by investing in expensive brand photo shoots or paying high fees per image at traditional photo agencies.
Or maybe you have actually found nice free stock photos … but you end up seeing the same images all over the web (and that just won’t help you to stand out!)
Chances are you might…
- think of contrived and cheesy images, or low quality graphics? (Anyone else remember the white blobby “Pillsbury Doughboy” graphics that plagued blogs 8-10 years ago?)
- feel like using stock photos are inauthentic?
- get overwhelmed by endless number of images (how do you even narrow it down, much less stay on-brand???)
With all the visual content you need to create for your online business – photos and graphics for your website, email header, social media graphics, sales pages, ebooks for opt-in freebies, to name just a few) – it can easily get overwhelming to stay on top of.
Throw in needing photos of yourself (book a photoshoot, plan your outfit so you’re not wearing your holey yoga pants, and eek being on camera!) and the idea of being more visible and consistent on social media goes right out the window.
What’s the solution to the constant hamster wheel of image needs?
Simplify your visual marketing with (paid) stock photo memberships
Wait, what? Am I really saying that you should consider buying images for your business, when there are so many free stock photos around?
Think of it as an investment in your marketing assets.
Your brand, your imagery, your website, your social media posts, course workbooks and opt-in freebies, are all assets for your business.
And if you want to attract clients, you have to get word out about your services, and that’s called marketing …whether it’s connecting with your peeps in the DMs on Instagram, running Facebook ads, sending weekly newsletters or hosting free webinars there is a huge visual aspect to marketing.
Added perks inside paid stock photo memberships
Investing in high-quality, unique, feminine stock photo memberships can be a real time-saver, especially since some of my favourite stock sites have become one-stop resources to grow your business.
They might include extra perks like:
- filterable photo libraries and curated collections to make finding the right brand photos easier and less likely to go down that time-consuming rabbit hole
- exclusive, matching Canva templates
- guest expert masterclasses
- Facebook group for peer support, collaboration, and feedback
- tutorial videos and PDF guides on the latest social media trends
- added exposure by being included in online service directories or featured as a “spotlight member” or even sharing your expertise in a masterclass
Featured stock photo memberships
Here are a few of my favourite stock image libraries and some of the unique features that makes them deserving of a spot on my top picks round-up.
Listed in no particular order.
Psst. Besides discovering your brand style, you’ll also get free stock photos personalized to your brand!
Fave stock membership #1 - Tide & Tree
Nature-inspired, soulful imagery with access to over 1000 unique images.
The growing stock photography library is brimming with authentic, woodsy, “hygge” stock photos to fill your websites, social media and emails with stunning visuals and save you valuable time on your content scheduling.
Bonus: use coupon code BRIGHT SPARK to save 20% off your membership!
Photos are perfect for:
- brands with a minimalist, outdoorsy, nature-inspired or rustic vibe
- if you want less feminine/girly images (if your brand is pastels or pink and gold, this probably isn’t your place)
- holistic, wellness, natural brands
- cozy, comfy, homey brands
- neutral images
- if you want images without people in them
My fave features:
- When you take the brand quiz, it helps you discover your brand vibe, then gives you 20 free stock photos based on your quiz answers so they are more personalized to your business
- Filter photos by colour, orientation, season, collection theme, and more
- Canva templates with matching feel to the photo collections
- Ready-made “instant” quote graphics
- Request form inside the membership for photo themes or topics you’d like to see
Fave Stock Photo Site #2 - She BOld Stock
“BE BOLD, BRAND CONFIDENT, BUILD A BIZ YOU ARE PROUD OF!”
If you’re looking for a stock photo membership site with an all-round variety of images that are ethnically diverse, with collections appealing to different brand-vibes and colour palettes, and include everything from mock-ups and flatlay desktop scenes, to home and office decor, to women doing the ladyboss thing, check out She Bold Stock.
My fave features:
Not only will you find over 3000 photos (more added each month), but you’ll get access to Canva templates, brand boards, tutorial guides and an active, supportive Facebook community!
Check out all the details, member perks, and various pricing plans (staring at only $29/mo) here.
Below are examples of a few ways I’ve repurposed my She Bold Stock photos, social media templates, and mock-up templates for one of my digital courses and Canva template bundles flash offers. (The sale price is no longer applicable, but you can check out my online shop here).
Oh and the featured image at the top of this blog post also uses one of the She Bold Stock images in the background.
Those images above were all created in Canva, where you can use the templates from most stock photo memberships, or search for more templates and stock photos right inside Canva.
The free plan is good to start, but with the Pro plan you get millions of photos (and now videos too!), and you can save your Brand Kit, remove background from an image with one-click, use magic resize (what I did to effortlessly reuse my graphics as Facebook cover photos, Instagram Stories, social media posts, and workbook PDF), and much more.
Join here to get 30 days free on the Pro plan.
Tips on branding, attracting clients, + using stock photos in your business
How To DIY Your Brand Using Premade Brand Kits
How to Create Lead Magnets That Convert Like Crazy
5 Ways to Use Stock Photos on Instagram
Bonuses: Save when you sign up for these stock memberships!
If your brand vibe is minimalist, muted, rustic or nature-infused, check out the 1000s of beautifully curated collections and matching Canva templates at Tide & Tree.
Save 20% when you use my affiliate link and enter the coupon code Bright Spark at checkout.
Check out Tide & Tree membership here (monthly, quarterly, and annual options!)
Oh, and you can take the brand quiz to help you discover your brand vibe AND get instant access to a gorgeous collection of stock photos that matches your brand quiz results!
Yes! As a Pinterest manager, stock photos make creating pins SO much easier and they are a much more cost effective option than getting photos via a professional photoshoot. Thank you for sharing your favourite stock photo resources, I’m always on the lookout for good ones!
You’re welcome, glad you like the photo resources. And yes, even paid stock photo memberships are much cheaper than hiring a photographer!