Do’s and Don’ts of Taking Stock Photos

Last week I gave you some tips on how to take better stock photos for your business. And while you may have a good handle on what you want to create for your own personal stock photo library, there’s a lot to learn if you want to maintain consistency.

Today, I want to dive into some of the common mistakes I see and give you a few more quick tips to ensure that your photos are on-brand and grab your audience’s attention.

What Not to Do What to Do Instead
Don’t clutter up your stock photos with too many props or a patterned background. Know what you plan to do with each shot you take so you can keep it clean and polished.
Don’t add certain colors to your stock photos just because everyone else is. Such as the popular gold foil or mermaid green. Stick to your brand colors or colors that compliment your brand.
Don’t stick to a flat, plain background. Identify textures that work for your brand and spice up your backgrounds with texture that draws the eye (without being overpowering).
Don’t use the same images and props over and over again. The clean, white desktop with the gold stapler, for example. Keep it interesting and use different angles and props so your audience doesn’t assume that your photos include the exact same content as last time.
Don’t shoot randomly. Make sure your photos are balanced by using photography rules and elements.
Don’t use flash or take photos that are too dark. Shoot at a time of day when you can get well-lit shots (without direct sunlight). In an emergency, daylight light bulbs are a suitable substitute.

At the end of the day, you need to keep in mind that your stock photos should present a professional image for your business that helps to tell a story about who you are and how you conduct business. It should include elements of your business without overpowering the frame with clutter and distractions. And they should be easy for your audience to identify, so when they’re scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, your stock photos pop out and your audience instantly thinks of you.

If you need help getting started with flatlays and stock photos, I’m hosting a workshop in Phoenix on Saturday, August 26. It’s perfect for beginners who want to save some money by creating their own flatlays. Grab your ticket today!


Questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Email me at:

© Crystal Hollman, Crystal Clear Photography, 2017

  • 7
error: Content is protected !!