Let’s face it, not everyone is a photographer at heart. When I started my first blog, I was TERRIBLE at photography but since then my photo editing skills have improved significantly.
For a while, I used stock photos myself for many blog posts and I came across some great resources that I would like to share with you.
Before I begin, lets go over a few details about stock photos.
So what are some of the main reasons for using stock photos?
- Time constraints – Stock photos can be used instantly and can save you A LOT of time. Photographing and editing photos can take a good amount of time when you aren’t as familiar with photography.
- Branding – Great for mock ups and figuring out a layout prior to implementation.
- When photography isn’t your greatest strength. When it comes down to business, you need to focus on your BUSINESS and not the things that aren’t your core competency.
There is a downside to using stock photos:
- You might end up using the same stock photo as someone else ( possible over saturation). In a way, it’s almost like showing up to an event like the Oscars and wearing the same dress as someone else and the next week you’re published in a ” People Weekly” Who Wore It Best article.
- Another issue is if your target audience may have seen already associated that image with a brand, company, etc. Then you have to deal with some psychological stuff like “Picture Superiority Effect” (pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words) or “Dual-Coding Theory” ( words and images to remember things). It’s hard to verify who else may be using the same photo. Although, you may be able to do a reverse image search with Google.
- Possible copyright infringement issues – even though it’s a stock photo, do your due diligence and read the terms and conditions ( if any ) as stock photos are protected under copyright law. Some stock photos have different licenses such Creative Commons ( and even sub types of Creative Commons licenses). Read more about stock photography licenses in my post: Why You Should Understand Stock Photo Licenses And Read The Fine Print…Even If It’s Boring AF
Stock Photo Etiquette:
- Always try to credit the photographer ( on some occasions, link back to the original source ) and confirm with the original photographer if you can.
- Always read the terms and conditions in addition to the license agreement.
Choosing photos that relate to you and your brand
Stay away from SUPER STOCK PHOTOS. The best way that I can describe one of these photos is that typical photo you see on a customer service / support page that has a smiling person wearing a headphone with a microphone on it. Makes me want to vomit. These photos scream out ” I AM A STOCK PHOTO”.
Business Betch Top Stock Photography Resources:
There are various sources for stock photos, some are free and some are paid stock websites. Usually with the paid stock websites, you have the legal backing and protection of that website if you are abiding by the terms and conditions.
Free Stock Websites:
Please note: Images might not come in various sizes. A majority of these images are Creative Commons licensed photos. However, each CC licensed photo may have restriction. Free isn’t always free.
- Death To Stock Photo – Subscribe and get a pack of photos monthly, a subscription is otherwise $12 / month.
On occasion, a photo may have been uploaded without a photographers permission to a CC licensed / stock photo website. Sometimes you can right click on the photo and do a Google Search to find the original source.
Paid Stock Websites:
Please note: Paid stock websites usually license their photos as Rights Managed or Royalty Free Images. Images also come in various sizes.
Some paid stock photo agencies will have a provision within their licensing agreement which mentions indemnification. Indemnification in a nutshell is a form of legal protection. Most stock photo agencies will bear the liability and assume any costs if legal claims arise with the use of photos purchased from their website (given that you follow the terms and conditions and don’t violate the license agreement). In a sense, you are receiving more legal protection when you pay for a stock photo. Again….be sure to read the licensing agreement and any other terms and conditions on the website.
Some of the below links may include affiliate links but they are trusted resources used by Business Betch. You can choose to click on the links provided but please note that Business Betch may receive compensation which is used to run this blog…because this blog cant run on magic and unicorns alone.
Even though I have revealed some of my resources that I’ve used in the past, I recommend taking your own photos in the future so that you have original content.