How to Use Stock Photos for Your CRE Business by Sarah Malcolm


The name “stock photos” conjures some pretty stiff and stale images. The idea of using any of those cheese ball images in your marketing strategy is just crazy. Yes and no. There are very generic stock photos out there that would not work well for anybody’s business. However, when sued correctly, stock photos can really bring your ads, blogs posts, and content to life.

There are some excellent reasons to use stock photos. First of all, stock photos are cost-effective if not free. If you know where to search, you can find some pretty darn high-quality images! Also, regarding reach and engagement, it has been proven that stock photos outperform custom design images every time.

The only question left is, should you be using stock images in your marketing? Read on to find out.

The Power of Images

Images are how posts get more attention and engagement. However, using the wrong pictures can be a total turn-off that actually harms your business. People are tired of the same stock images, but that does not mean you should skip the stock photo all together. There are plenty of changes to come by a powerful image that suits your content, and ways to make it a creative image of your own.


How to Remix Stock Images to Make Them Your Own

You might have found the perfect image, but it is not yet ideal for your content. It is super simple to edit stock photos, and there are even some free tools to help you do it.

Add Text: Images usually have a specific purpose. The text is a simple way to provide context.

Use Color Overlay: Color is one of the most dimensional aspects of any social media design. It helps to set a tone, create an atmosphere, and convey emotions. Use the colors to align the stock photo with your business.


Crop the Image: Clear away any unnecessary portion of the image. Cropping allows you to change the emphasis of the image.


Add Contrast: This is the fastest way to draw attention to your image. It makes your image stand out!


Try Blurring the Background: Make the background a bit fuzzy, so the sharp text stands out!


There are many free graphic design tools out there to help you edit stock photos. Do some digging and playing to find the right one for your business.

Check Copyright and Model Release

Once you settle on the photo you want to use, even if you are going to edit it thoroughly, check the copyright and license of the photo and if the people in the photo have signed an agreement to the public use of the image. This is called the model release.


The best part is, you do not have to pay a dollar to experiment and have fun with these images! With the right approach, you can include a photo in your content that is so chic and unique it can barely even qualify as a stock image.

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