When it comes to creating an awesome blog with a professional look, you need to do more than just writing engaging content. A great blog post needs some nice visuals as well! Most bloggers use stock photos to give their blog this finishing touch. Stock photos are images made by professional photographers that match your blog’s look and feel.

Don’t have a blog, yet? Please follow my step-by-step guide to create a blog. Don’t forget to Pin or bookmark this page to come back when you can call yourself a blog owner. :)) 

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra. So it’s a win for everyone! Please note that I won’t link any products I don’t believe in or don’t resonate with my blog site. Thank you!

Why bloggers use stock photos

You’re probably thinking right now, “Why not just make a quick search on Google Images to find nice images, right?” 

Well, yeah, you could do that, but… it’s kind of very much illegal 😉 All images are copyrighted, which means that every image you find there is owned by someone. And that also means you can’t just use a picture for your own blogging business. Stock photo websites are the solution to this problem. You can download other people’s photographs there and use them for your blogging business or social media. Each stock photo comes with a license stating precisely what you are and are not allowed to do with this image

You’re busy enough already! Let the experts take do the photography part for you!

Stock photography is the perfect solution for us bloggers! As a blogger, you already have a thousand and one tasks on your to-do list to keep up with your blog. If you’re going to take on the role of photographer on you too, you will run short on time for creating new content, which is why you have a blog in the first place. Besides, creating the perfect image by yourself is not so easy as it looks. Taking quality, professional pictures is an art in itself. And most likely, you will just waste a lot of time on taking photos that can’t compete with the images taken by the pros. 

Stock photos are also really useful to promote your blog posts on Pinterest. Since the June 2020 algorithm changes, Pinterest wants you to regularly publish fresh Pins (at least 5x a week, but rather 5 times a day!!). So, next to content creation, you also need to create a whole bunch of new Pins every week, and unless you have a ton of free time, you will not have time to shoot so many photographs on top of that.

To sum things up: stock photos are a tremendous help for most bloggers, and even if you don’t have a (big) budget, you can find plenty of websites where you can download beautifully styled free stock photos. 

Free stock photo’s: The Cons

I want to point out a few cons regarding the usage of free stock photos, though. I’m sorry… 🙁 I also like free stuff and didn’t want to spoil the fun. But, when you want to use free stock photos, it’s important to understand that they can hurt your website. Remember that these photos are downloaded and used a lot. Just like you and me, there are thousands of others out there who like free stuff too. And that makes these free stock photos far from being original. And Pinterest, for example, rewards its users for pinning unique images to the platform. Therefore, if your goal is to rank your Pins high in the search results, it’s always better to opt for paid stock photos.

Many websites offer monthly/yearly subscriptions, and some sites sell stock photos by the piece. You can find great stock photos for nearly every budget!

Hey, by the way, are you already a frequent Pinner on Pinterest? And do you already have a Pinterest Business account? If not, don’t miss out on my blog posts where I explain how to set up and optimize your own Pinterest business account and how to optimize your Pinterest Boards for SEO

Below you can see a list of all my favorite stock photo sites. I know there are plenty of other stock photo sites on the internet, but I find these to be the ones that are currently offering the best, high-quality images. And I know most bloggers will agree with me because these websites are many other big bloggers’ favorites as well. 

The best stock photo sites

Ivory Mix (Free & Paid)

What type of website is it?

This is a membership website. When you become a free member, you’ll already get access to 550+ free stock photos, and 4 new free photos every month.

Price?

VIP Membership

  • $ 137 per year
  • Access to + 4,500 styled stock photos
  • 100 new stock photos are added monthly. 

Elite Membership

  • $ 52 quarterly
  • A bit more expensive compared to the annual price, but you’re not stuck to it for a full year
  • The same advantages as the VIP Membership 
Ivory Mix Free Stock Photo

Pixi Stock (Free & Paid)

What type of website is it? 

Also a membership website. When you subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll be sent some free stock photos directly to your inbox! 25 to be precise. :)) 

Price?

Membership:

  • Annually $ 197
  • Quarterly $ 87
  • Monthly $ 37

Creative Market (Paid)

What type of website is it?

Creative Market is a website where you can find all kinds of digital products, such as stock photos, stock photo bundles, social media bundles, WordPress themes, fond, templates, and a lot more! 

Price?

You pay individually for each product you buy. You can find stock photos from $ 2 a piece and up. And they’re actually beautiful too! 

Feminine desktop with stationery and perfume. Copy space

Girl Boss Stock (Free & Paid)

What type of website is it? 

This is a membership site for styled stock photos. When you subscribe for their newsletter you receive 24 free stock photos! 

Price?

$ 29 monthly or $ 239 annually – access to more than 1,000 stock photos. 

Canva (Free & Paid)

What type of website is it?

Canva is a website that offers great design tools for bloggers. It’s a lot easier to use than Illustrator/Photoshop, and also way cheaper. I love it! I design my Pinterest Pins in Canva, my logo, buttons, and… Canva comes with thousands of free stock photos as well! 

Price?

Canva Free comes with a lot of free stock photos and design options. If you need more design options and stock photos, you can opt for Canva Pro. This membership costs $ 11,99 per month or $ 107,88 per year. 

Styledstock (Free)

What type of website is it? 

When you subscribe to the newsletter you receive exclusive free styled stock photos in your inbox. You can also find photo bundles here at great prices. 

Price?

Differs per package. 

Styledstock stock photo

This was my list of my favorite stock photo sites! Don’t forget to always check each photo’s license, so you can be assured of what you are allowed/not allowed to do with it. That way you can avoid problems in the future. Each website has a FAQ or License page where you can find these terms and conditions. 

Good luck!

Please let me know what your favorite stock photo sites are, and why! 

XOXO Angie