Finding quality stock photos is one of the hardest things when you’re growing your new blog. This is especially true if you’re not a designer and don’t yet have an aesthetic to follow. But a blog that only has text and no images can be so dry.

You’re not a photographer so it just seems impossible to take your own photos.

I use to take my own photos for my blog, but I hated the process of having to set up fake backlays and buying all that equipment. Writing is my strength, photography is not. But if you’re starting a blog and content is the most important thing, you should spend more time on writing or shooting videos than you should on taking photos. Unless you’re in a niche like beauty and fashion where own photography plays a huge role in making affiliate sales.

Through trial and error, I actually realized that I don’t enjoy taking photos as much as I enjoy getting inspired by mesmerizing traveling photos.

Do you need stock photos?

Well, this is going to depend on your niche. If you’re in the visual space like fashion and beauty, it seems like everyone takes their own. You are selling your own style after all.

But what if you’re a blogger in a niche that’s not photo-heavy?

Like social media.

Or traveling.

Or finance?

Or what if you rely on visual social platforms like Instagram or Pinterest for traffic? You bet you want some good quality, HD photos that wasn’t taken with your iPhone camera.

When your pin is put in a pool of other pins, what makes people click on yours over someone else’s? Pinterest is a visual marketing platform so people will naturally gravitate towards clicking something that’s attention-grabbing and inspirational.

You can always select from free stock photos or pay a small fee for a membership and get access to some premium photos.

#1 Canva

Most people know Canva as an easy-to-use design software. But what makes Canva different from other photo-editing software is its collection of both free and paid stock photos available for use within its software.

Finding stock photos for your blog or brand can be an entire job on its own especially if you’re not a designer. I love pretty stuff, but design isn’t something I want to focus on. But since I rely on Pinterest for most of my traffic, I need to be selective and intentional about the photos I use in my pins.

Enters Canva. Their free photos are great, but it’s also easy to run into someone using the same photo as you. Ack! I occasionally use their paid photos if it’s one I absolutely love.

It’s “pay as you go” and it’s $1 per photo. The great thing is there’s no membership commitment if you haven’t already found the aesthetic for your blog. Because Canva is a design software, it also lets you create your actual pin or graphic before you pay for the photo. It’s only when you are ready to download your graphic and design do they ask for your credit card payment.

This is brilliant because you want to know how the stock photo performs on your design before you pay for it!

#2 Death to Stock Photo

The first time I heard about “Death to Stock Photo” I knew I resonated with it’s colors, tone, photos, etc. It’s extremely minimalistic and if you sign up for their email list, they’ll send you a free pack of themed photos each month.

Don’t like signing up for email lists? I think “Death to Stock Photo” will change that experience for you.

The only downside of “Death” is that their monthly free pack is quite random. This means if you have a niche blog or only use selective photos, you might not find every pack useful. Still, if you’re into photography, it’s nice to just browse through them.

On the other hand, you can pay $15/month to get access to their membership program and get access to thousands of members-only stock photos!

#3 Unsplash

I don’t know how Unsplash sustains itself but they have the most mesmerizing and inspirational photos when it comes to traveling and landscapes. Holler to those peeps who are in the traveling niches. You might as well take your own photos while you’re there, but in case you don’t have a DSLR or haven’t perfected your angles yet, Unsplash has your name splashed all over it!

As far as I know, Unsplash only has free photos — and that makes me wonder how it sustains itself.

#4 Pexels

I only recently tapped into using Pexels, but they have a good selection for my niche and that fits the aesthetic I want. They also have a wide variety. They’re affiliated with Shutterstock (in some way) and Pexels seems to be the free version of Shutterstock.

#5 Picjumbo

Picjumbo use to be my go-to website for stock photos, but lately I feel like their photos are being overused. Like I said, the downside of using free stock photos is when you catch so many others on Pinterest using the same photos as yourself.

The other reason I’ve been using Picjumbo less is that I find it’s aesthetic “too professional” and at times a bit corporate looking — and that comes off as too dry for me.

Picjumbo has a good selection of free photos, but they also have paid memberships. You can also pay a small one-time fee if you want to download bulks at a time.

#6 Shopify

Shopify isn’t a stock photo website, but an e-commerce solution. They do have a large selection of free stock photos for their customers though.

It has a similar aesthetic to Pexels and Picjumbo.

#7 Creative Convex

Up until now, most of the stock photo resources I shared with you were from small or mid-size companies. Creative Convex is an independent stock photo website. Unlike the others, it’s for female bloggers who want a feminine aesthetic for their blog. Think pink and purple flowers with laptop mockups and workspace photos.

It has a very small and bundled curation of stock photos. It’s not the aesthetic I go for with my graphics, but of all the workspace themed stock photos for female bloggers, I do like how simple these are.

You can download a free set of stock photos to play around with when you sign up for her email list.

#8 Bloguettes

Bloguettes is the other feminine-theme stock photo membership site that I love. It really gives you a warm and cozy, girl-next-door type of feel. Sounds like you?

If you’re a female writing about blogging, social media, or websites, these stock photos are made for you!

Its membership site is $75/month for 45 photos.

#9 Shutterstock

Shutterstock is like the left wing to Pexels. But it has a much inventory. Unlike Pexels, Shutterstock is a paid membership site.

You can buy photos “on demand” or you pay for a monthly subscription. They have flexible plans that range from 2 photos for $29 to 10 photos for $29/month. It’s just a matter of what your needs are.

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Hope you found this curation list helpful. Finding quality stock photos that go with the aesthetic you want may take some time, but if you’re vying for traffic on a visual platform or you want to brand your blog, stock photos will give it unique visual touch.

Until next time,

Judy

Author: Ju

Ju is a copywriting ninja for creative entrepreneurs. She also helps bloggers with their content strategy to grow their audience, customers, and online presence.