Visuals are an important part of any business. They tell a story that reels in our audience to create curiosity. There are plenty of good marketing tactics out there, but we firmly believe in the power of visual images for building a brand, growing online, and attracting the ideal client.
But brand photography is expensive and stock photos can be… well, a little cheesy. If you've tried to find good stock photos to help you represent your brand and share your ideas, you know what we mean.
Fortunately, that’s not what all stock photos are like — and it’s not how we want the term “stock photo” to go down in history. So today, we’re talking about what stock photos are and how to use them for your brand.
What are stock photos?
In technical terms, stock photos are images that are licensed for creative use when purchased. Because not everyone can afford custom images at the drop of a dime.
Custom brand photography is great for getting images of yourself, but it can rack up quite the price tag if you’re using it for everything in your biz. And because not everyone has the time (or let’s be honest the energy/desire) to take their own photos, stock photos become a great way to fill in the gaps.
There are a few different types of stock photos
This means the photo can be used several times after it’s purchased and has no time limit as to how long you can use it. But it doesn't mean restriction-free. Some images can’t be used for commercial purposes or resale. Many stock photo sites will give you the option to extend or enhance your license to have more flexibility with how you use them.
The user of the photo will pay according to the usage required, with each being calculated individually by factors such as use, placement, image display size, duration of display, or geographic location. If you want to use it in a way that differs from the original agreement, you’ll have to purchase a new license.
These photos are free for anyone to use for any purpose, any number of times, without needing a license.
Why it matters
This is why it's so important to read the fine print before you use any stock photos, paid or not. Just because you purchase an image, doesn't mean you can automatically use it how you see fit (unless the terms allow you to do so). Just because the image is free doesn’t mean you have totally free use of it either.
Always read the fine print!
The difference between stock photos and brand photography
Brand photos are more customized to fit the needs of your business. They will feature you, your team, and your products. They help establish a brand voice through imagery and help you stay consistent with your marketing efforts if you want to show your face often and showcase your products.
If you want to add a personal touch, brand photography is a great option, especially if you’re a physical product-based business.
However, they’re pretty expensive (for good reason too, you’re getting a customized experience!), so most people only purchase brand photography every once in a while, like when starting a business or launching a rebrand.
Plus, brand photos only show you, your team, or your products. They don’t often represent the people you’re serving — and your audience loves to “see themselves” in your content.
How to know if stock photos are right for you
Stock photos have a bad rep for being corny and inauthentic. It can be a struggle for small business owners and entrepreneurs to find stock photos that feel right for their brands.
Understandably, some business owners are reluctant to purchase access to stock photography because they worry they’ll be boring or make them look like everyone else. But business has changed, and so has the way we’ve done stock photos. We know that boring, traditional stock photography doesn’t have a place in your business. The good news?
The search for good stock photos ends here.
Why Styled Stock Society?
If you’re running a business, chances are you’re going to need stock photos at some point and you’re going to need some that are an extension of your brand. At Styled Stocked Society, our stock images aren’t the same “stock photos” you’re thinking of from a free Google Images search. They’re so much more.
We’re not here to give you cheesy poses and smiling faces that all look and feel the same. We’ve upped the ante quite a bit with stock photography that stands out and is as unique as your business.
But why Styled Stock Society?
Styled Stock Society is run by women, for women
We’re always focused on creating for women. Our founder and CEO, Elle Drouin, says it best —
“Because for us, it’s not about equal opportunity. It’s about every opportunity.”
Specifically, we support women entrepreneurs. We want to make marketing easier for them, so they can confidently represent themselves and their audience online. Our membership is for dynamic women entrepreneurs who are ready to take action for their brands because they know how important it is to have one that is anything but ordinary.
We empower our members to feel empowered, capable, and confident having access to the tools and resources that let them help them take action in their business.
Styled Stock Society has curated collections you won’t find anywhere else
Most stock photo sites have a massive library of photos with no way to organize them. We know how un-cool it is to sift through thousands of images, taking up valuable time and creative energy in your biz, so we’ve created a curated stock library that’s as easy to navigate as it is beautiful.
In it, you’ll find high-quality, inclusive, and vibrant, one-of-a-kind photo collections to find the perfect image to match your brand identity. We’ve also included navigation features that help you search images by keywords, colors, and image size.
What our members have to say about the membership we offer is important to us. It’s not just about the photos to us. We want to know if we are truly helping the women that use our service find high-level value in it. We know that creating and sharing your brand’s visuals is a major piece of the puzzle, and we don’t take that lightly.
We survey our members regularly and ask for their input about what they want to see more of. We encourage conversation because we care about our members and want to make the experience as best as possible — we want to create our photos with our members in mind.
You’re not just getting photos — you’re getting resources, too
We know marketing is a common pain point for the women we serve. We want to help you get the most out of our membership, so we’ve also included stock videography and customizable, on-brand graphic templates to support your content.
But it doesn't stop there. You’ll also get marketing tools, guides, and caption prompts for every day of the month to help you showcase your business online without the extra hassle.
Ready to join us?
You don’t have to dish out thousands of dollars for constant brand photography. With a stock photo subscription from Styled Stock Society, you’re pretty much paying less than $40 per month for THOUSANDS (& counting) stock photos, stock videos, social media templates, and marketing resources.
That’s a pretty good deal if you ask us.
If you’re ready to become a member, registration is easy and takes minutes to complete. You’ll get instant access to your perks, which include:
- Our stock photo library of more than 8,000 images and videos
- Unlimited downloads (and the photos are yours to keep forever!)
- 2,000+ customizable Canva templates
- Monthly social media caption guides
- Marketing toolkits
- Customizable brand kits
- And more bonus resources that are added throughout the year!
So, are you ready to join us? Become a member of Styled Stock Society now!