Let’s talk Stock!
No, not like the stock market…more like stock photography. Though after we’re done, you’ll feel like you’re investing in the right photos for your business. 😉
So, let’s dive into the world of stock photography. What is it in the first place? How does it make your life easier? What role does stock photography play in your business? And what are all of the ways you can use it?
What is stock photography?
For me, my business, and the purpose of this post – stock photography is any kind of photography that does not have you or the product that you sell in it. The idea of stock photography is less about what you sell and acts more like a supplemental type of photography to your brand. It helps explain or give your customer a peek/hint at what you do, who you are, your process, and some of the things you encounter throughout your work day without showing the same photos of you and your products over and over again.
Stock can also be really simple shots of walls, textures, landscapes, etc. that can easily have type over it. Obviously, when you are filling out content on your site or wanting to show a quote that fits your business, you don’t want to put type over photos of you (unless you shoot it in a way that allows for that).
Stock is perfect for those situations since they are images that are made with that in mind. Take these below for some examples!
As you can see, stock is ALL about the backgrounds and the props we choose for the photo and definitely adds variety to your feed.
HOW does this make your life easier??
Let me just tell you! Stock is a life savior when it comes to something quick and easy. Once you build up a bank of solid stock images, you will ALWAYS have something in your back pocket to post…even when you have no idea what to talk about or the rest of your photo bank is getting dry.
Imagine this. It’s 4:30 on a Friday. I STILL haven’t posted on Instagram. I don’t have time, nor do I want to take time to come up with a life-changing, soul-bearing post that no one will see…what do I do??
STOCK it, baby!!
Throw a quote on a background shot relating to the weekend, margaritas, Friday wins…AND THEN CALL IT A DAY! Booyah. 3 minutes to make the graphic, and now you’re cooking with gas.
What about when you’re updating your website, and you need a section for the contact page. You’re tired of your face being plastered all over the site. What now??
STOCK it to me!
Generic photos of your office space, props that relate to you, weird textures or design make for amazing website headers. They hold type well and can add that little something extra to your site without adding a million photos of you.
What about when you have this webinar/presentation that you’ve got and you just want some filler photos to dress up a page??
BOOM! Stock saves the day…again!
Not only are these photos easy to take (that’s right, you don’t have to buy them ANYMORE!). But they are also really easy to personalize to your brand, which can be great supplemental OR primary content to your photo bank.
Now that we’ve talked about how life-saving stock photography is, let’s talk about how it can be a supporting function to your brand photography!
For real, these photos don’t have to be the BEST photos you’ve ever taken in your life. In fact, most of the time, you are going to blur them out, put a filter on it, and then put type on top of that. Sometimes, you just need something for the background. For the other times, stock is great to give your followers a glimpse into what your day looks like or what your brand is all about.
But when I say supplemental or a supporting role, I mean that stock photography is never going to be the main dish. It’s not supposed to be. It’s simply an appetizer that gives your customers a little taste of what you do. It’s the cherry on top to create a more polished look for your brand. Sure, it can be an entire Instagram post, but it’s not going to be that show-stopping image that wins awards.
A stock photo for me would be photos of my camera gear, a notepad, my computer, a cup of coffee…you get the gist. I can do a photo of multiple props together or just do one and be done.
Now I want you to ask yourself. What are some props that would make sense for these kinds of photos?
Here are a few examples of what I have used in the past.
Now let’s talk about all of the ways you can use it.
We’ve mentioned what would be a good example of a stock photo for my business. But once I have them, how do I use them?
Here are just a few ways you can use it. But this list is honestly limitless!
1. Website header, contact page, blog post heading…ANYWHERE on your site
3. Course header photos
4. Social media
5. Flyers/print pieces
6. Podcast covers
7. Media Kits
8. Landing pages/sales pages
9. Advertising (FB ads, Google ads, LinkedIn ads)
11. Email headers
12. Facebook Groups
If you’re looking for recommendations on how to use stock for your own industry, take a look at someone that you truly respect in your industry…someone who is at the top. Look at their site and see how they use stock photos to get those wheels turning for how stock can work for you!
Hopefully, this long post on the beauty of stock photography has persuaded you to 1. Take your own 2. Keep them always in your back pocket 3. Add a more polished look to your presence!
The sooner we figure out that each type of photo has a purpose, the more this notion of branding photos for our business will all make sense.
As a side note, have you see my 9 Types of photos your NEED for your business? Building out your own library bank so you never run out of content to post can be so overwhelming. This guide on the exact photos you need is the first step to creating a brand that visually represents you through photos!
Till next time!