Affiliate links // I’ve been using stock images more or less since I started blogging. I remember writing a post wayyy back in the day discussing whether I was a rubbish blogger for using stock images. Spoiler alert: No. I always got the sense that you shouldn’t really use them and always try and take your own.

But as time went on, the narrative around bloggers using stock images changed. Now you’ll find them on most blogs and there are countess stock image memberships sites available to get copyright free and high-quality stock images that you won’t find anywhere else for a monthly (or yearly fee).

As someone that HATES taking blog photos, I love using stock images. I’m very critical of my own photography and whilst I end up liking the photos in the end, I’ve always found the whole process of photo taking very stressful and draining.

So using someone else’s imagery, which is usually better and looks much more professional is okay with me!

I recently signed up to Styled Stock Society, which is an incredible stock image membership site providing you with thousands of feminine and beautiful stock images as well as templates for Instagram, eBooks, Pinterest and more.

I love to use Styled Stock Society images on most of my blog posts which don’t require photos taken by me. Of course if I’m working with brands or travelling then I’ll take my own photos. But for posts like this one and a lot of my self care and personal growth content, I’m happy to use stock images from Styled Stock Society.

I was hesitant to sign up for a stock library for some time but I really don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. There are so many benefits of signing up to a membership library. It means you’ll have stock images that not every blogger is using – they’re much more exclusive. And they’re much more beneficial for using in your pins.

They’re also generally better and look much nicer. The photos on Styled Stock Society are absolutely stunning and you can find something that will fit with most content ideas. The additional templates are incredibly helpful too. I used a template for my latest eBook, A Beginners Guide To Pitching To Brands!

Stock images are a great tool to have to amplify your content. And there are SO MANY places that you can use them as well! There are of course plenty of free stock image sites you can use as well which provide pretty good stock images options too.

6 places to use stock images:

Your blog

Your blog is the most obvious place where you’ll think about using stock images. For feature images and throughout your content – like I’ve done in this post and do in most of my content where stock images are featured.

Pinterest pins 

Pins are an important place to use stock images – particularly stock images from paid libraries (like Styled Stock Society). The way that Pinterest indexes images is that it matches an image with keywords, which is why it’s often suggested that you shouldn’t use free stock images for Pinterest.

For example some of the images on your pins about personal growth may not link to personal growth keywords because they’re not personal growth images. This is where Pinterest gets confused and doesn’t know where to index your pin!

eBooks, freebies and printables 

If you’re creating products or freebies, you’ll want them to be high-quality and aesthetically pleasing. Stock images can do this and help you create some really lovely products!

You can use stock images for your cover and throughout your eBooks as well as in your freebies.

Instagram stories

If you’re big on Instagram and don’t have the time to constantly take photos just for your Instagram stories, you might want to use stock images to make your stories stand out. You can also get Instagram story templates where you can promote blog content or products with space for stock images.

Marketing graphics 

As well as in your eBooks and freebies, you can also use stock images in the marketing graphics you create to promote them. It can also be a good idea to use the same or similar images, to keep your branding and message consistent.

Twitter and Facebook promotion

Similar to marketing graphics but you can also use stock images for your Twitter and Facebook promotion of your content. This can help make your posts – and tweets in particular – stand out. Which is important because the shelf life of a tweet is only 18 minutes.

Where else do you use stock images? Do you sign up for any stock libraries? Let me know!

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46 Comments

  1. Oh man, I’ve been debating whether I need to start hunting for stock images outside of Canva! I’m going to bookmark this post for later because your stock images and blog is so beautiful! Lovely post as always, Jenny! x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

  2. Oops.. I meant to say stock images are a lifesaver. I don’t have the creativity to take original pictures for my blog. But you’re right… using the free ones just gives you what everyone else has. I like the ones on the premium Canva

  3. We’ve been trying to stick to taking our own pictures, and it’s been fine up until work has started coming in…we’re trying to keep a good 90%-10% balance with the two now, but I am assuming this might change… yes to stock images, yes to doing blogging your own way!

  4. I hope to in the future be able to purchase a photo stick membership for my blog. I don’t really enjoy taking pictures myself and currently use websites like unsplash for my blog. These are great tips.

  5. I love this! I take my own blog photography but it takes so much time and – like you said – a bunch of the time I end up feeling frustrated with how they turn out. I’ll have to look into stock photography!xx

  6. I have heard a great many good things about stock photo memberships, and love reading a blog where the colors and vibe of the photos all belong to the same family. It is tough to find similar images when using free sites, but I still stick with Unsplash and Pexels, among others, when searching for images to use in pins and alongside my poetry.

    Love the idea of using stock images as Instagram content! 😍
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. I use stock photos for all post graphics and social media graphics related to my blog. I wrote a post on the 5 best free stock image sites that I use as they are so useful. The site you mention in this post sounds aesthetically very pleasing — I will have to check them out!

  8. I absolutely hate taking photos, but I don’t have much choice for the majority of my content but I’m slightly jealous of how polished other blogs (like yours) look when there’s a large percentage of stock photos used. The membership sounds like a great idea, I always find it a struggle when I need to use stock photos for something as they seem to be very generic a lot of time. More choice and exclusivity sounds amazing x

  9. Buying a membership to stock images was actually one of the first things I did as a blogger and I love it! You’ve outlined some great ideas of how to really make your membership worth it with this list of places to use them! 🙂

  10. I’ve never really thought about using stock images for anything other than pins and blog posts. I like the Instagram idea as I really want to start growing that social media channel. I completely forgot about story templates too! Em x

  11. When I first started blogging, I was adamant I wouldn’t use stock photos just to fill my posts. I have an entire library of my own photos but stock photos are a time saver and a life saver sometimes. I love unsplash but I’ll be looking into these new ones for some fresh content!

    Rosie

  12. While my blogging partner is a great photographer, I am not, so I really depend on stock images. Before blogging, I never really noticed that people were using stock images so I wonder if bloggers are just more aware of it. It’s so nice to hear from a more experienced blogger that stock images are okay to use too 🙂

  13. I must admit, I’m a big user of stock images too. I’m not a great photographer and often struggle for time to take photos. I do try to take some, but they aren’t great. It’s definitely a skill I need to work on!

    Generally I use the images on Canva, as I have the paid version. More often than not they have what I need, but I’ve seen some of the images I’ve used on other people’s blogs and graphics too. The image library you’ve suggested sounds like a great one for me! The aesthetic fits in with my blog theme, so I’ll have to check them out and it might be worth the investment for me x

  14. You’ve definitely got me considering purchasing access to one of these libraries! I have used unsplash for over 6 months but you’re right, so many people have the same images. I also find it difficult to get a photo that suits my vibe (e.g. often the office photos are super corporate-y and money images SUCK!). Thank you for sharing this one, I’ll check it out!

    Emma
    soulfultwenties.com

  15. I completely agree, I love Stock images, like you I don’t always have the time to take pictures and there are so many out there that looks beautiful!

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