As a blogger, there are a few tools that are mandatory. A site name (preferably a personalized domain), hosting, a will to write – and photos. In today’s visual time – photos are a must. Good photos. And sometimes that means using stock photos.
And as my friend, Darcy, said many years ago – the best camera to use is the one in your hand.
While I dream of purchasing a few fancier lenses, I know that my camera or even my phone are all I need. (and what I use)
So whether you have a point and shoot or a Canon EOS 5D Mark III* (swoon!), start where you are and use what you have.
Just use good, clear photos. Ones that tell the story you are writing. Format your photo for each social media platform. And use your imagination. It’s not required to use the same photo across the board on all platforms. I would actually recommend to use a few variations.
Looking to improve your photography skills in 2016? You can receive $20 off your order of $99+ with BorrowLenses here >> http://iamjenn.net/1MNWsWg
And if you don’t have that oh-so-perfect photo in your stock for your post? There are plenty of sites that offer images just for you. Some are free. Some cost a minimal fee. And others require a package membership. Some require attribution, others do not. (your responsibility as a blogger –> always read the fine print and under each term of service and follow the guidelines for each site)
Choose the option for photos that works best for you and your blog.
10 sources for stock photos for bloggers
- Shutterstock – Probably one of the most well-known sites, Shutterstock offers high-quality photos, but are on the pricier end for a start-up blogger. You can pay as you go or subscribe for a monthly fee ($199 and up/month). They currently also offer free image each week for subscribers.
- iStock Photo – Free stock photo downloads are offered each week, or you have the option of buying credits for photos. The larger the photo, the more credits are required. A monthly subscription plan is also offered.
- BigStockPhoto – This is another site that offers a free image of the week to subscribers. I consider the plans with BigStockPhoto more affordable – at $79/month. At that rate, you can download 5 images a day which equates to almost $0.50 per image. Next to free, that is a really good deal for a blogger’s budget. If you have a good editorial calendar laid out, you could spend a month and stock up on photos for a while.
- Blog Chicka Blog – Hello, beautiful! Whether you ever use any of these photos from Jill or not, subscribe to her site. She is generous with sharing her photography tips. And is uber-talented.
- Dollar Photo Club – I haven’t personally used this site yet. It’s been all the rave with many friends. The photos I have perused look great, and there seems to be quite the collection from which to choose. The name says it all. They are $1 each.
- Canva – This is a great tool for bloggers of all sizes – to purchase and/or edit photos. Templates for multiple social media platforms are offered, and you have the option of using your own photos. #WIN
- UnSplash – Next to using my own photos, this is my new fave. Completely free, high resolution, gorgeous photos! The subject matter varies, so you may have to search. But you can search and save your favorites to come back to when needed.
- PicJumbo – Totally free, high quality photos you may use for commercial or personal work.
- Pixabay – Browse by category or using their search feature, (which heads up – will also display sponsored ads on the first row). Over half-a-million free photos, vectors, and art illustrations are offered on this site, and most allow for commercial use.
- Dreamstime – This is a paid stock photo site, but they also offer free stock images. Registration and attribution are required.
These are just a sample of 100s of popular sites offering stock photos for bloggers.
Do you use any of these sites listed above? If you ever use stock photo, tell me your go-to site in the comments.