I know it can be hard to know which are the best stock photo sites for bloggers to use. In fact, have you ever wondered how successful bloggers always have such beautiful images on their blog?
I’ll tell you one thing for sure is that they’re not always taking their own pictures LOL. They actually source stock photography to specifically match their brand or content.
But with all the different sites out there, you may have considered just using the free images from the web. However, there are actually so many benefits of using paid stock photos in your blog posts and throughout your social media.
So here, I’m going to break down exactly why stock photo sites are important for bloggers, which ones are the best and why you should avoid using free stock images.
Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own
What are stock photos?
But first, what are stock photos anyways? Stock photos are licensed images that were taken specifically for content creators to use for their business.
They’re often used in blog posts and articles, but they can also be used in other ways like eBooks, online courses, pin graphics and more.
And yes, stock images are created for all niches, and are typically sorted by category on their sites, making it easy for bloggers to find the perfect images.
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Where do bloggers get their photos?
Now that you know what they are, let’s talk about where you can find them.
There are actually many different places that offer stock images and can be found all over the web. However, I’m going to make it easy for you and share the best stock photo sites for bloggers to use below.
In fact, I personally either currently use or have used all of the ones below for my various niche sites ranging from Motherhood, Blogging, Travel and Weddings.
But don’t worry if your niche is one of these as there will be one for your niche covered below.
Why should bloggers use stock photos?
Let me start by sharing a quick story.
I’ve always been into photography, so when I first started blogging, I told myself I would only use my own pictures for my blog. HA! Boy, I was so wrong. I learned real quick that this would be a whole other job on it’s own so something had to give.
Because of that, there are many reasons why bloggers use stock photos.
The best part about stock photo subscriptions is that you don’t have to spend time taking pictures and editing them to make them look like quality blog photos.
The time savings you get when using stock photos is amazing. And especially when you’re first starting out, it takes so much longer to do a simple task or write a single blog post and format it.
So to add quality photo taking to the mix is just too much for one person to handle. With stock photos for bloggers, that’s no longer an issue because all the hard work has already been done for you.
As bloggers, our main priority is creating helpful content for our readers in the form of blog posts, email marketing and digital products.
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Photography from professionals
The great thing about using these best stock photo sites for bloggers is that you’re getting quality photography from professionals.
And having quality images throughout your brand is super important. They help build trust amongst your readers as it makes your site look more professional overall.
If your blog posts look good and have eye-catching images, readers are more likely to stick around than if they were to see poor quality photos. Even launching a new product or sending emails with poor images can result in lower conversions.
So what better way to get photos for your blog than from professionals themselves who do focus on photo taking and editing? This brings me to the next point.
Little to no editing required
Since these are professionals taking the pictures, they have already done all the leg work for you. Whenever you use the images from these best stock photo sites for bloggers, you hardly have to do any editing.
If anything, the only thing you’ll need to do is crop or add them to your graphic designs. To do this, you can use a graphic design platform like Canva which is super easy to learn and master.
So all you really need to do is grab and upload them to your posts or into Canva and call it a day within minutes.
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Gallery of images available at all times
Another great benefit is having thousands of images readily available to use at any time.
You can search for them by niche or exact keywords of what you’re looking for in the image, download and post wherever needed. It’s as easy as that.
As bloggers, our time is extremely valuable and every minute counts. Being able to easily search for images is amazing as it’s something that you’ll need to do quite often since all your blog posts need to have related photos in them.
Benefits to using paid stock photo subscriptions
Alright, so now you know why bloggers typically turn to stock photos for their blogs. But why am I recommending against using free stock photo sites for bloggers?
There are four main reasons why you should use paid stock photos for your blog and why all successful bloggers do too.
Below are the benefits to using paid stock photos and why you should avoid the free ones.
Access to premium stock images uploaded regularly
When you sign up to a stock photo membership site, you’re getting access to their premium images, which they upload new ones regularly.
And because only paid members get exclusive access to these, that means there are less bloggers using them. This is important because it helps you stand out from everyone else.
Plus, it’s better for SEO and Pinterest whenever less of the same image is being used. You may have heard that Pinterest favors fresh pins. If multiple bloggers are using the same stock image on their pin, it confuses Pinterest which could impact your stats.
Provide more than just stock photos
Another great benefit you receive when signing up to a stock photo membership is getting access to more than just stock photos. This is actually my absolute favorite perk!
In fact, all of the best stock photo sites for bloggers mentioned below come with a ton more members-only benefits. Some include product and lead magnet templates, videos, courses and more at no additional cost.
So the value you end up getting is well over the amount you pay. But we’ll cover the exact membership details for each site in just a bit.
Comes with proper licensing
Paid stock photos also come with proper licensing so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement.
Ensuring you actually have the rights to use an image in certain ways is extremely important as it helps keep you away from legal trouble. And when you use a paid stock photo subscription site, the image licensing has been verified.
Most licensing allows you to use the image for commercial purposes like on your blog post, your website, your digital products, social media graphics, etc.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when it comes to using free images as anybody can upload photos for free. This means that you risk using a stolen image from a free site that doesn’t actually have licensing terms.
Protects you legally
As mentioned, when using free sites to get images, there’s always that chance that you might accidentally be using stolen, copyrighted photos which is illegal.
This means you could get into some serious trouble which nobody wants. So it’s important you legally protect your blog and yourself by simply avoiding free images all together.
The money you would spend trying to defend yourself from a lawsuit is far more than what it would cost you to use paid images.
And don’t worry, paid stock photos aren’t even as expensive as they sound. There are many affordable stock photo membership sites with multiple pricing options.
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Best Stock Photo Sites for Bloggers
So now that you understand the benefits of using stock photos and why you should avoid free sites, let’s go into my recommendations of the best stock photo sites for bloggers.
Now I’m starting with PixiStock because I personally have a lifetime subscription here. Yup, I went ahead and committed to lifetime because the value Alicia, the founder and owner, provides in this membership is crazy insane.
Not only are you getting access to beautiful stock photos, but she structures it in a way that can really help you thrive as a content creator.
Depending on the stock photo membership level you chose, here’s everything that could come included in your PixiStock membership.
Styled Stock Photos
Styled stock photos for female entrepreneurs in various niches including: Beauty, Business, Fashion, Health, Home, Parenting, Travel, Weddings and more.
Templates and Graphics
Thousands of template graphics for social media and product creation include Pinterest pins, Instagram posts, Instagram stories, Facebook covers, eBooks, slide decks, mockups and so many more.
Social Media Training
The PixiStock signature courses called Content-to-Profit and the Reels Roadmap Course are also included which alone could cost several hundreds of dollars due to the detail and value provided. In addition, she’s constantly uploading new trainings and tutorials to help you succeed on any social media platform.
Besides these three member benefits, you also get access to her Adobe Lightroom Presets and the Social Media Content Calendar with caption prompts, hashtags, quotes and more.
She Bold Stock
I only recently came across She Bold Stock and OMG, I can’t believe I hadn’t found Jasmine sooner. Her style is TOTALLY my style with all the bright and cheerful photos full of diverse women.
This is now the second lifetime stock photo membership I have and I’m super excited to be able to start adding more bright colored stock into my brands.
This is another membership where you’ll get way more than just stock images too. Depending on the membership plan you choose will determine what added features you can scoop up too.
Below are some of the added benefits to joining the She Bold Stock membership.
Styled Stock Photos + Videos
Upon becoming a member, you’ll get instant access to 5000+ bright and bold stock images with over 200 images added each quarter. These images also cater a large variety of niches and can be used to help your clients too.
Something cool this membership has (and is adding more of) that others don’t include is stock video clips. Everyone loves video nowadays so these will definitely make your content stand out from the rest.
Templates and Graphics
You’ll also get instant access to over 1000+ social media quotes and templates along with a Monthly Content Calendar to help level up your social media strategy.
Brand Kits + FB Live Trainings
Now if you’re just starting out or looking to rebrand, you’ll love the brand kits that come in the annual membership plan. These kits include easy drag-and-drop stock images, buttons, icons and pattern ideas to give you brand inspiration.
And if you’re not a graphic designer, you’ll really benefit from her Facebook Group Live Trainings teaching you how to use your new goodies to your benefit.
Now Ivory Mix is the very first stock photo membership I enrolled into (and yes, I still currently have it). Kayla also caters to female entrepreneurs and has incredible benefits for her members.
She truly listens to her audience and is always increasing the value of her program, but not so much the price LOL.
Once again, depending on the Ivory Mix membership level you choose, here’s what could be included:
Styled Stock Photos
Access to thousands of stock photos for female bloggers in various niches including: Business, Wellness, Home, Parenting, Fitness, Health, Food and more.
Templates and Graphics
Hundreds of templates for Pinterest, Instagram, social quotes, mockups and more.
The Ivory Mix Workshops are aimed at helping you grow your traffic, attract clients and increase your profits. So upon joining, you get instant access to pre-recorded lessons so that you can begin learning right away. Or you can wait for the ones Kayla hosts live for members only as well.
In addition, she also has an Annual Social Media Content Calendar, caption prompts and special bonuses.
Katie Harp Creative
Now Katie Harp Creative is one of the newer stock photo membership sites I recently came across and is more affordable than the ones above. But hey, the quality of the photos is still great and I made sure to upload quite a few into my Canva folders already LOL.
Here is what you’ll receive when you sign up to this membership here:
Styled Stock Photos
Over a thousand styled stock photos for female entrepreneurs primarily in the Business niche. The types of photos vary from office supplies, podcast tools, seasonal, back to school and more.
Templates and Graphics
Instant access to hundreds of templates for Pinterest, Instagram posts, Instagram stories, eBooks, slide decks, mockups and more.
In addition, you may receive bonuses like hashtags and a blog planner.
Alright, now Canva Pro is actually a graphic design platform. However, they also include sooo many premium stock images. This is why it’s known to be not only one of the best stock photo sites for bloggers, but one of the best tools to have overall.
Their search bar makes it super easy for you to find the exact image you’re envisioning for your blog project.
Here’s only a snippet of what you can get when you join Canva Pro here:
Premium Stock Photos
Instant access to thousands of premium stock photos for literally every niche, and not just for female bloggers LOL. And the beauty of this one is that their images are already in the tool which means it eliminates the uploading task from you.
Templates and Graphics
Since they’re a graphic design tool, of course they have thousands of templates ready for you to use as well. Not all of them are relevant to bloggers but the ones that are include Pinterest, ebooks, social media and so so much more.
This tool is literally amazing and is one of the few tools that every blogger needs. It’s super easy to use and learn. Plus, it’s super affordable and the designs you create with it will have the potential to make you money.
DepositPhotos has become one of the best stock photo sites for bloggers of any niche. Similar to Canva, they have thousands of premium images that you can easily search for.
Now I’ll be honest and say that I only use DepositPhotos for their images and videos. However, they also have templates and music available for download as well.
This is my go-to site when I’m not looking for feminine images and want more lifestyle ones, especially for my mom blog.
When Free Images Is Okay to Use
As I mentioned earlier in the post, you’ll want to stay away from free images as much as possible. However, there is an instance when free images are okay to use.
Come directly from the creator
Most of the membership plans mentioned above will give you a set of free stock photos to test out them out. These are totally okay to use as they’re coming from the creator themselves.
They typically also let you know how you’re allowed to use their images and provide you with a link to their terms for reference.
So if you’re looking for free stock photos to use, be sure to grab the free images each one of the above offers.
And always be sure to check for proper licensing when using any image.
Stock Photos for Your Blog
Stock photos are a great way for bloggers to add personality to your posts. By using the best stock photo sites for bloggers, you’re also able to focus on creating content which is where the money is at.
At the same time, stock photo sites offer a wide variety of images that can help make your content more original and engaging, which leads to higher engagement rates and conversion.
Just don’t go too crazy once you sign up to one browsing through all the goodies LOL. I speak from experience haha. They’ll be there when you need them.
Are you already a current member to any of these stock photo subscription sites? Which ones are you finding yourself most interested in? Please share your thoughts below as I would love to hear from you!
And remember, there is always something to be happy for… Cheers to blogging! What are you cheering to today?Lucy