Choosing stock photos for your business

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
How many pics do you post each week for your business?
There’s the Instagram feed….
A couple on Facebook
One for the blog post… It can add up.
Now, I’m a total realist. No small biz is going to have the budget to have a pro photographer shoot all their content for all the places. This its where stock photos come into the mix. But, and this is a HUGE but, you need to chose the right ones, and that is time consuming!
Today I am sharing with you an easy checklist I go through myself when I am deciding what pics to post. Now, written out like this is seems like it’d take DECADES to decide on each pic. But after a while it becomes a quick decision process.
Selecting an image is not about whether it is pretty. It is a marketing decision and needs to work for you. What I want is that you are aware of your decision process so you can slay it.
Oh, and I’ve made a nifty little download with some prompts to help, so that’ll make it easier too! Grab that at the end of the post…

Six prompts to keep your stock image selection on brand.

One: Does the image you are considering coordinate with your brand colours?
Now, I’m not suggesting that you always have the SAME colours in all your pics, but they do need to coordinate. This is where knowing your Brand Archetype helps. If you haven’t done the quiz yet, do it. Find your type and the colour palette that suits, and you are set.
Two: Does the image set or reflect the mood of your brand?
If your biz vibe is about happiness and fun and your image is dark and contrasty there is a contradiction. If your brand is about recycling and natural products, a photo of loads of plastic products won't work. It will dilute your brand message. This goes beyond a singe post. It is about the consistency of your message, your feed and how your audience remembers you.
Three: Does the image match the caption?
Why are you sharing this image? Is it to support a blog post, is it for Insta and you want to comment on a certain topic? Be clear. Consistency is king. Having a caption that says one thing, and an image that sends a contradictory message is confusing. Don’t throw any image (or post for that matter) online for the sake of it. Make it mean something.
Four: Does the image focus on people or things?
Viewers engage quicker with images of people. It’s why a feed full of just flat-lays is boring as bat shit (okay, my opinion). But a feed that has a mix of people and non-people images rocks. Keep the balance. For images with people, do the people reflect your audience, age, demographic, race? Will your viewer be able to recognise themselves in the image and relate? This is particularly important for service based businesses. The idea still applies to product babes, however your ratio of people to non-people images will be different.
Five: Does the image have the composition that you need?
Okay, this one comes with practice. But any Gram’er knows that you want a 4:5 ratio or 1:1 square ratio for their images. Does the image you want suit this? If your image is for a blog post or FB ad, does it have white space? Can you overlay text in a way that is clear and legible.

Six: What’s the editing style like?

Is the image edited (or can you edit it yourself) in a way that is consistent with your others. This one is my pet peeve. Okay, Instagram filters are my pet peeve, at least an inconsistent application of them is. Find a filter/ preset/ editing style that is consistent with your brand and STICK TO IT.

Want an example?

My good friend, client and content producing QUEEN Anna Dower, is a champ at this process. She is
regularly pumping out content for her audience. Her stock images (from Stocksy or Unsplash) are always on point.

If you note, Anna has pinks and reds in her brand and flowers are a design element. Her audience is women, and her intent is to inspire. I would encourage you to pop over there and take a look. Can you see how each image, though different is always 'on brand'?
Screen grab of Anna Dower website

Now to the download.

I’ve designed this so that you can print it once, fill in your brand details at the top and keep it somewhere close. Now, when you are scrolling through stock image sites you’ve got an easy reference to find the one that works for you.
I would love to know if this helps! Would love you to leave a comment and let me know how you go!

Pin It

Get in touch

Want to work together? Give me a call


We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia. Including the Jagera people, on whose land we live and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Follow me