Free Stock Photo Resources & How to Make Them Better

If you’re in the business of content creation, then you’ve probably gone through the painstaking process of trying to find photos or videos to pair with your writing. It can be hard to find the right images to use with your content and even harder to find the right copyright-free image. Luckily, there’s plenty of beautifully curated free stock photo websites that collect pictures you can use for a variety of different projects.

Free Stock Image resources online

If you’re looking for free images to use for your blog posts, then I would suggest you check out some of the fantastic resources below.

Free Stock Photo Resources

Free public domain image websites, collections, and databases are not only helpful but a significant cultural resource for everyone. However, when using these photos, you must be extra careful to pay attention to licensing and copyright laws about each image. While most these websites do their due diligence before posting, it’s essential to double check license parameters when it comes to using any photo you didn’t take yourself.

If you’re unfamiliar with public domain images or stock photography laws, you should take a look at these two incredibly helpful websites to learn more before you start:

Stock Photo Editing

Photo by Anoir Chafik on Unsplash

6 Easy Ways to Make Stock Photos Better

Using stock photography isn’t always the best practice if you’re looking to set yourself apart from the pack. If you have the time and resources, creating your graphics or shooting your photos is the best way to make your content a cohesive vision. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or resources to create their images, which is when stock photos come into the scene. Royalty-free or stock images are a quick and easy way to get content for your blog but don’t always represent you or your content correctly.

There are a few straightforward ways to help turn those drab stock images into something unique for your website. Quickly editing a stock image in Photoshop or another graphic design program can help transform that photo into something more. Check out a couple of examples of techniques below:

stock Image Duotone photoshop

Duo Toning an Image

Does your website have an established colour scheme? Turn images on your blog posts into a complementary feature for your sites overall aesthetic by duo toning your photos. While you may lose some details in the picture, duo toning or tri-toning images is an easy way to make stock photos unique.

royalty free images photoshop

Cutting Out Images

Found a photo you like but it’s too ordinary? Cut out the person, place, or thing that you want in the image and place it on a bright background or pattern. This process can quickly be done using Photoshop. While it may look a little crude but with a bit of fiddling around, you can find yourself an enticing image to go with your writing.

Stock image customization

Highlighting Objects

Is the image your trying to use a little too busy? Highlight the object you want in an image by dulling or blurring the background. Make your subject matter pop-out of the photo, so there’s no confusion about why the picture is connected to your content.

stock photo collage dog


Mashing up photos is a surefire way to create something unique for your website. Combine and overlay a few stock photos together or tile several images into one.

stock image borders unique

Adding Borders

Depending on your subject matter and the importance of your image, adding a border can be a great way to add a sense of unity between web pages or images. Borders can be anything from simple line work and colour blocking, or beautiful illustrations, patterns, and images.

stock photo editing techniques

Overlay Text

Sometimes you need to just hammer home a point in plain English. Add big bold text over a stock image to give it a clear message and make it one-of-a-kind. Try cropping your image down and showcasing an exciting subject or creating an appealing background to emphasize your overlayed text.

6 Easy Ways to Make Your Stock Photos Unique

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Try out a variety of these techniques to get started, and you’ll find something that meshes well with your website and content along the way. If you’re not a graphic designer or just unsure about how to do something, a quick Google search will give you a wealth of tutorials and instructions to learn from. Like anything in your life, it’s only natural for skill levels and styles to progress, evolve, change, and adapt over time so don’t be afraid to experiment with your images and have some fun along the way.

Harlen Malkowich
Dec 14, 2017
By Harlen Malkowich

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