8 Creative Ways to Use Stock Photography + Freebies

January 20, 2016


Hello, lovely readers of Rachel’s blog! I met Rachel years ago and started following along with her posts but recently, this past Fall, I emailed her asking if I could be a co-host for her awesome link up! Thankfully she said yes and I have been able to keep up with her ever since. Once I launched my new site designed for passionate professionals, called June & Mae, she asked if I would guest post about a topic relevant to bloggers! A popular topic that I have come across in my four years of fashion blogging is stock photography. I love using stock photography for so many reasons and there are so many different ways you can grow your blog with beautiful images.

I have put together a list of 8 creative ways to use stock photography for your blog + small biz. Building an audience or making sure your audience is continually growing is a lot easier when you add a dash of beauty to the lovely brand you have created.

1 | Pins for Pinterest

Pinterest is my love language. If Pinterest is your love language then you should go visit my page and follow along so we can pin each other’s stuff and love Pinterest together. Creating a pin that goes viral is every bloggers dream and is heavily based on the images that are used to create the pin. Having quality stock photography in your blog posts gives your readers aesthetically beautiful images from your posts to pin on their boards.


2 | Social media cover photos + headers

You get one chance at a first impression from someone who stumbles upon your social media. Make it a good one with beautiful stock photography as your cover photos / headers / profile pictures. Below are my Facebook and Twitter sites that I am still perfecting, to be honest. But having beautiful stock photography as my cover photos make a much better impression than having a picture of some random flower that does not pertain to my brand (I have done this before, so I’m making fun of my past self). If you’re a florist, that’s perfect! But I’m not. So having stock photography that applies to what I’m providing for others is pretty key in having that wow factor for your social media pages.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 9.40.59 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 9.42.39 PM

3 | Blog post images

A picture is worth a thousand words and as much as you need incredible content in a post, your post is not as share worthy or pin worthy without photography to back up the incredible content. Whenever I finish a client’s website or blog, I typically screenshot the home page of their site and put it in an imac stock picture so I can showcase the site to my readers. There are hundreds of ways you can incorporate stock photography in your posts and I’m sure you have seen other bloggers use these types of images in their posts!


4 | Create image buttons to social media or other pages

I have seen so many bloggers and business owners pull off this tactic quite well. These buttons were made in Photoshop by me just to demonstrate this way of using stock photography, I do not personally use them! You can put buttons similar to these on your blog sidebar, in the footer area of your site, near the end of your blog posts, and other ways as well.


5 | Announcing a sale or brand launch

I just launched my new studio + blog, June & Mae! To announce the big launch I used this stock photography image (which is the pinnable image I showed in #1 in this post) and added type to it in Photoshop.

free stock photography images

6 | Creating a header for your blog or website

Tons of websites have headers similar to this one on them. I have a header using stock photography on my FAQ page shown below! It’s simple, and even though it is unnecessary I just really think this picture is pretty so I couldn’t help myself. You can use headers to emphasize branding throughout your website + all sorts of fun stuff.

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7 | Use in a slider for your blog or website

I have a slider on the home page of my website where I use stock photography. This is one of the first impressions people have of your site, so make sure you get some solid stock images to show off in that spot! Maybe even add some text so that you can tell them what the image link leads to (if you decide to insert links for those images, that is).

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.52.49 PM

8 | Use stock photography in your blog or small businesses media kit

Do you have a media kit? If you’re making money from your blog or small business than you probably do. Basically, a media kit is a bunch of boring words on a page but definitely needed so your audience and potential clients know the details about your design process/site stats/demographics etc. Adding some stock photography in between those boring words makes your media kit a lot more readable which is fantastic because you definitely want the people you are sending your media kit to to read the majority of it!

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Of course, there are more than 8 ways to use stock photography but I wanted to give you guys a solid list that may inspire some great ideas for your future blog posts! If you would like to have 26 free stock photography images sent straight to your inbox then click this link so I can send them your way!

I love getting to know other bloggers and business owners, so come stop by June & Mae and say hi! If you are looking for a blog designer, web designer, or branding strategist/design then email me at design@juneandmae.com so we can chat about what you are wanting! The future of June & Mae will involve tons of freebies, a digital shop where you can buy themes, and e-courses that will teach you how to build your own website from scratch. If you are at all interested in keeping up with what’s going on at my site then please subscribe to my email list or follow me on any of my social media platforms below!


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  • Jennie January 20, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! I am definitely thinking of ways I can incorporate these ideas into my blog, especially as I am going through a redesign process.

  • Elements of Ellis January 20, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Great post! I need to start using stock photography more!


  • Callie January 20, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Great ideas, and thanks for the free stock images!

  • Jenny January 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    These are great ideas!
    I always use it for Pinterest 🙂

    xoxo, Jenny

  • Kathleen January 24, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing! This is super useful!

  • Renee February 9, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Ok, these are great tips….I’m feeling a little overwhelmed 🙂 I am slowly figuring all this out…I will be visiting this post again in the future as I work through these ideas. Thanks for the post.

  • Kendall Patton February 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    There are some ideas here I hadn’t thought of. I’m recently looking into using more stock images/photos, so this was definitely a useful list 🙂

  • Maria February 11, 2016 at 6:19 am

    These are lovely ideas. I love stock photography and always find a way to use them on my blog and other social media outlets. It’s the perfect way to grab the audience’s attention and keep it long enough for them to read my pieces. Lovely work, Rachel. Thanks for introducing us to June and Mae. Glad I found you on Tuesday Talk this week!

  • Ashley February 13, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Awesome post! I’ve only used them for blog posts before and now my mind is open to so much more! Thanks for sharing ?