4 Myths about using Stock Photos that could be hurting your Brand | Delightfully Designing

You’re always trying to stand out from the sea of businesses that are out there today and it’s tough!

You work on your branding, your copy, your offers and try to make your website and everything about your business as professional and beautiful as it can be.

This should be the formula for a successful business right? However, for some businesses, something is still lacking.

Upon further inspection, you notice, it’s the imagery! Photos can really help tell your story so it’s important to have good imagery. This is true not only for your website but for your social media presence as well. Good photos can help strengthen your brand across many platforms. You want good photos associated with your brand wherever you are.

Stock photography can usually fix this problem but there are a lot of myths around about using stock photos. These can and usually do keep new businesses and brands from taking advantage of good imagery right away.

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When you’re starting out your business, you have more than enough to do without adding photography to the list, right? But, when you’re starting out, it’s also important to make a good impression. A brand that uses poor photos will suffer. That’s a fact. We may not all take good photos but we can recognize bad ones and that doesn’t leave a good impression.

So why are people adverse to using stock photos?

There are a couple of reasons why but most of them do not apply today. The internet has changed so many things and luckily, some of them are how stock photos are being shot, delivered and used. That’s good news for the creative entrepreneur that’s struggling to make a good impression.

So let’s take a look at 4 of the most popular myths about using stock photos and debunk them right away so you can get back to building a strong brand!

Related: What is your brand’s emotion?

Myth #1: Stock Photography is so generic

This may have once been true but it has changed quite a lot recently. The internet is becoming a smaller place and people are starting to offer the small business owner, a lot more options that are not only more affordable but also more personal.

Many different photographers with varied styles cater to small business owners.
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You don’t have to depend on the likes of Adobe Stock or Shutterstock anymore.

As a matter of fact, it’s probably better if you don’t use their imagery as it is a little more generic. They’re trying to appeal to a larger audience, while a lot more photo boutiques that have popped up recently cater to smaller audiences and have your particular business type in mind.

These smaller boutique photographers offer photo sets that are very specific to many niches. There’s food photography that’s catered to health businesses specifically. Product photography that’s made specifically for stationery businesses and lifestyle photography that’s made specially for women entrepreneurs.

There are color sets to choose from, props and styles to match your brand. Stock photography being generic is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Myth #2: I can ONLY use my own photography

This is a pretty big myth. As entrepreneurs, we wear way too many hats. We’ve got our plates piled high with things we’ve got to get done for our businesses and adding photography to the to-do list can be stressful.

If taking photos is something you enjoy and is a priority for you, then by all means, take your own photos. It’s another creative outlet and one that’s definitely beneficial for your business.

However, if it’s not something you enjoy, there are plenty of options out there. Many people who do enjoy photography and have the time and equipment have made it easier for entrepreneurs to still enjoy the benefits of beautiful photography to tell their stories.

Also, this isn’t an all or none thing. If you enjoy taking photos, set time aside to do it but also keep a stash of stock photos that match your brand. That way, you’ll always have a place to pull from when things get busy. And they always get busy!

If you’re just learning, a photo stash is beneficial as you learn. Your brand doesn’t have to suffer while you grow.

Psst! You can grab 3 FREE photos below to get your stash started.

Myth #3: I don’t want to use photos others are using

This isn’t so much a myth but a matter of doing your homework and making yourself a good library of photos.

There definitely are instances where photos are trending and you see them pop up in more than one place. In these cases, digging a little deeper and finding stock images that aren’t common is where you want to spend your time.

The main problem is, a lot of people want things for free. Free is great, but when you’re talking about outfitting your business with imagery, spending a little can go a long way.

Chances are, people that are more serious about their business will go the extra step and not just collect free imagery from all over the internet, they’ll buy some too. When you pay up, you get more and you’re not limited to just the free imagery that everyone else also has access to.

Myth #4: Stock Photography is expensive

Many people think that using stock photos is something that is completely out of their reach. This used to be true. A long time ago, stock photography was quite pricey. But the internet has changed a lot over the years and the way stock photos are offered today has also changed.

There are many affordable options nowadays. Monthly subscriptions that will give you access to photo libraries. Email Subscriptions that send you a certain number of photos a month. There are even sites where you can buy single images for $10 or less, which was NEVER the case before.

Stock photography has become much more affordable because of small boutiques and bloggers. They have made their photography available to small businesses and entrepreneurs at affordable prices and changed the way we’re using stock photos.

I even have a surprise for you!

The importance of branding, design and imagery is always at the forefront of my mind. I always want design to be beautiful. So I started obsessing about offering my own set of photos to give away to my readers. That ended up turning into 6 sets of minimalistic photos that are perfect for making that great first impression.

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I shot these photos with entrepreneurs like you in mind. I took photography for many years before I even started my stationery shop. Luckily, once I did open it, I was able to shoot my own products. I never really thought of taking my photography further until I started using stock photos myself.

When I designed this website, I had a whole set of stock photos in mind that I really loved but they didn’t convey the exact feeling that I wanted. So I shot my own. Since then, I’ve started shooting more for my own use and I want to offer them to creative entrepreneurs and bloggers.

Why? Because despite enjoying these shoots, they are EXTREMELY time consuming. If you’re as busy as I am, you’ll appreciate someone having done the work for you! Just take a look at this post by the_ivorymix:

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So while I do make my own tacos, there’s a lot of other things I don’t make myself. We all have to find a balance in what we do take on and what we don’t. The beauty of using stock photos nowadays is that there are many options around.

So now I’m offering up my own tacos, to make things easier for busy creatives like you. 🙂 They are minimalistic, feminine and playful. If that resonates with your brand, just visit the new Stock Photography page where you can easily shop for curated sets to use for your headers, banners, ads, social media…however you like!

If these don’t resonate with you, check out places like Creative Market* or Death to the Stock Photo for more options.

Of course, I am giving you 3 photos for FREE so you can start that stash that we talked about. So make sure to grab those.


Feel free to use them personally and professionally just don’t sell them, reproduce them or give them away as they’re for my readers only.

I plan to keep stocking (pun intended) this page with new photo sets. So bookmark the page to come back for more! If you’re on my list, I’ll let you know when new sets are ready.

If you’re like me and you need something a little more tailored to your vision, download this PDF with details about how I can do a custom shoot for you or get in touch and we can chat about that custom shoot.

By now, I’m hoping you see that these myths about using stock photos are just that, myths. There are lots of options now for creative entrepreneurs and there’s no reason why your brand should suffer.

So make sure you get out there and find those little photo gems that will make your brand stand out from the rest.

Happy Branding!

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I ONLY endorse products that I have used myself and am very happy with.

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