Photography is a key component to branding, marketing, and selling your product. All businesses use high-quality photos to catch the viewer's eye and market their products. Instead of spending countless hours (and money) styling and prepping the photos you need, you can use stock photos to add a professional polish to your products and brand.
I use stock photos regularly for everything from blog post images to product photos to Instagram posts. If I need a specific image and don't have the time to set it up myself, I'll spend a few quick minutes online, find multiple photos to use, and digitally add my products into professionally styled and photographed images. Many businesses just add text on top of the stock photos and while this does add a nice touch to their website, I find that adding my own products really adds to the overall image.
There are numerous websites that offer stock photos. You'll often find that certain websites cater to a specific style of photography or subject (Foodiesfeed, for example, offers great photos of all things food related) so you may have to spend some time online to find websites with images that match your taste and subject matter. Professional images can be costly but there are a lot of online resources that offer free, beautiful stock photos.
Here are my favorite websites that offer free (or inexpensive), professional stock photos.
1. DEATH TO STOCK
Death to Stock is a subscription service for artists that produces premium photo, video, graphic and media downloads. The media is exclusive to members and is updated every month. Sign up for free content sent directly to your inbox, or go premium and access their entire archive. Images from Death to Stock can be great for products photos. I add my products into their photos using Photoshop and create professional images that showcase my products. In the above image, I incorporated our Sunshine on a Cloudy Day Watercolor. (PS, I'll show you how I used Photoshop to create the image above in a future blog post.)
2. SC STOCKSHOP
The SC Stockshop has an impressive collection of perfectly styled stock photography to showcase your products. While most of their photos are for purchase, you can sign up to be an "Insider" and get free styled images sent to your email every month. These images are created specifically for small, creative business owners that need professional images to brand their company and sell their products. I added a few of our holiday cards to the image above and use it on our Facebook and Instagram pages to boost sales around the holidays.
Yep, good 'ol Etsy has some great styled stock photos. I've purchased multiple images and use them to add more interest to my product photos. While these photos aren't actually free, they are usually cheaper than other websites. I bought the image above for $10 from the SUBLIMEstyledstock shop. I added our Merry and Bright stationery to the image and use it on our website as a product photo.
Unsplash has thousands of beautiful, free images that are generously gifted by a community of photographers. You don't have to create an account to download the photos but you can join for free and follow your favorite photographers. I added our Oh Happy Day watercolor to the image above.
And there you have it! My favorite stock photo resources. Next time, I'll show you how I use Photoshop to add my own products to these images and showcase my work. Stay tuned!