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5 Ways to Use Styled Stock Photos to Support Your Brand

by | Sep 20, 2017 | Guest Blogs | 0 comments

If you have never used styled stock photos in the creation of your business graphics, you are missing out in the biggest way! Not only does using styled stock photos save you time in the graphics creation process, but it can also provide you a more professional looking result, sending a strong message to your potential customers.

Whether you want to achieve a feminine look, support your business’ minimalist vibe, or you’re looking for edgy, elegant, playful, or modern images, there is sure to be a style stock photography gallery out there for you.

What happens, though, when you fall in love with a series of photos but they just don’t quite fit right with your branding? Of course, you know that maintaining consistency with your branding is incredibly important; regardless of where your images are posted, you want viewers to recognize your brand/business immediately upon seeing one of your graphics. And, using styled stock photos, or any other graphic for that matter, willy nilly and without regard to your branding is a rookie mistake.

Rather than creating graphics that are missing something, or which don’t look like they completely belong with your other marketing and brand graphics, you can transform nearly any styled stock photo to fit with your branding in a variety of simple ways!

1. Add your branded fonts and/or colors to the stock image

Along with colors, fonts are perhaps one of the most straightforward and recognizable components of one’s brand, making them an obvious addition to styled stock photos. By adding your set brand fonts and/or colors to an image, you are instantly connecting that image with your brand, making it anything but just another stock photo!


2. Use filters to achieve a look consistent with your branding

Utilized correctly, image filters can change the look and feel of a stock photo dramatically! Whether you decide to make the image black and white, or you ramp up the intensity of certain color tones, there are a plethora of ways to transform that stock image into something cohesive with your brand. Below are just two simple examples of using filters to transform an image – black & white versus increased pink tones.

3. Use neutral stock images as your base

If you fall in love with a style stock image with a generally neutral tone, it’s as simple as adding a fun pop of color and branding elements with your colors and fonts. With this in mind, don’t immediately shake your head “no” when you see styled stock photos in simple white, pale tones, or grayscale!

4. Overlaying Shapes

Overlaying shapes on top of stock images is, perhaps, one of my favorite techniques! I use Canva, which makes this as simple as selecting “Elements” then “Shapes” and choosing the overlay shape that I want (a circle is shown below). After changing the color of the shape to fit with your branding, you can also alter the transparency of the shape, allowing some of the underlying image to peek through.

5. Zoom, Crop, or Flip the image

Finally, you may be surprised at just how different an image can look after you experiment with zoom, cropping, and flipping it! So give it a try and share with your audience (or even myself!) the images in many different ways. 

And, as always, never forget to add your logo or watermark to the stunning and unique graphics that you created using those styled stock photos!

About Kate and her company Simply Stylish – 

Kate Stotish is a branding strategist who specializes in helping direct sales and small business owners find their voice, so that they can effectively tell their stories, communicate, and engage with their audience. In addition to providing her clients with a branding vision, she creates impactful visuals that help her clients build connections and relationships for their brand. 

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

Email me at:

© Crystal Hollman, Crystal Clear Photography, 2017


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