Do you know one of the #1 things that holds fellow female entrepreneurs back from getting their brands out into the marketplace?
I'll give you a few seconds to think about.
Yep, one thing is definitely fear of being judged. That inner critic will get us every time.
But what I'm talking about is lack of professional images!
And who has time to Google best stock image sites, which I invite you to run off into the rabbit hole of internet oblivion and do now. Go ahead. I dare you.
Oh no, if you would rather just get right to the point, I'll let you in on my most-frequently-used stock image sites that give me the biggest return on my investment (of time). This is a highly-curated list ladies.
One of my absolute favorites, which I can count on most often, is called Pixabay,
It's my first go-to when I need an image. Which is ALL THE TIME in the online world. Be it for my blog, my website, my Facebook/Instagram ads, you name it, I need images! And lots of them! And high quality!
So if you are unfamiliar with Pixabay, head on over and check them out stat. Then bookmark them. Preferably in a bookmarks folder called Imagery, or something similar. Because I know how organized you like to be. You are a lady who gets things done, and doesn't have time to waste.
Next up, after you have added that oh-so-valuable bookmark, is Unsplash. That's right. Not re-splash, or splashmore, it's Unsplash.
You might notice that it shares some shots with Pixabay. When there is a fantastic free photo, it seems many sites want to scoop it up and call it their own. You can see now how photographers can still make a living. Once everyone starts using the same photos, suddenly we realize the value of hiring a professional to take branded shots.
But please don't worry about this yet. If you are just starting out, start with the free stock images. Once you have gone through them multiple times and pulled out the images that work with your brand, (I have a whole module on which types of photography go with which of the four major brand styles in my Pretty & Powerful online branding course), then you might start to get an idea of what you would like that is missing. And at that point you can start putting out feelers for a professional. But right now, spend some quality time seeing what is available that fits your brand.
Don't get lost for too long in Unsplash! Maybe set a timer. The photos are pretty addicting.
My last highly-coveted stock image site is one I just discovered recently. I was chatting with the support tech at Interact, taking her up on her offer of a free half hour consultation to go over my new "What Style is Your Brand" quiz to make sure it was as polished and must-have as possible. She noticed that one of the many images I was using in my quiz was, quote, "overused," and I should pick something else. She suggested this third free stock image site that I have been obsessed with ever since.
This one is not quite as well known, so you might have better luck finding photos for your brand that are not as "overused" as the rest.
Are you ready for it?
Are you sure?
Got your Imagery Bookmarks folder ready and waiting?
Here it is! It's called Pexels.
Yep, Pexels. Not Pixels. Pexels. Obviously.
You are now in possession of my three absolute use-on-a-daily-basis stock image sites. And are you wondering at this point how to find images that will work for your brand at warp speed?
Because each of these sites have A LOT of imagery. And it helps to know exactly what type of photo you are looking for. One that will not only enhance your brand, but look like it fits right in.
The easiest way to do this is to identify which particular "season" you are using to style your brand, and then choose photos that match that season's style. For example, if you are a high-class female coach who inspires your tribe to reach for their aspirational goals, you most likely want to use Spring photography. This style uses lots of light and feels uplifting.
If you are in the fashion industry and need to look modern and cutting edge, you will want to look for Winter-styled photographs, These use very dramatic lighting and often contain images with sharp angles and geometric shapes.
If you run yoga retreats you might want to use Summer-styled images. These can be hazy and have a dream-like quality to them.
If you have a small family farm, Autumn-styled photography is best. Well saturated and clear with lots of detail. (I'll be honest, most brands that sell things you can touch do best using Autumn-styled photography. We are drawn to images where we can see every little detail of something we are considering purchasing, be it in a store or in a photograph.)
Would you like some examples? I have put together a free download showing the different styles of photography based on season. For even more examples, there is a whole module on photographic styles in my Pretty & Powerful brand styling course, not to miss!
Request access to download the cheat sheet:
Good luck with your photo hunting!
Oh, and PS. I included one more bonus site that goes above and beyond just stock photography. But I only sent it to those on my email list! If you want to join this elite group, here's a sign up form to let me know you want in! See you in your inbox!
Brand stylist, colorist, graphic designer, web developer, marketer & mom, dedicated to making the world a more harmonious place