How to Use Stock Photos to Create Better Business Branding


Your logo and colors are just one small piece of your business’s brand. Branding also includes the style, feel and attitude your business presents, as well as more tangible things like the language you use and the information you communicate.

In order to present the right overall message and value, your branding needs to be consistent from website to emails to in-person meetings to collateral materials. And one piece of that is choosing the right visuals to represent you and your business.

Stock photos are no exception. When choosing stock photos for your business, it’s important to take your branding into account. Some things to consider include:

Overall Aesthetic

If your brand is bright, white and shiny, chances are a landscape scene or a photo of a vintage dress aren’t on your wish list of stock photos. But also be on the lookout for overall aesthetics when choosing photos that match your branding. This includes overall composition, cropping and even the demeanor and dress of any people in the photos. The overall look should be cohesive across your website and the rest of your branding.

Your Brand Colors

Pay close attention to the colors in the photos you choose. Your designer should have provided you the Pantone colors of your brand. To find the colors in an image you’re considering, use this free tool. Simply upload the image and scroll over it to determine if it has the right colors for your brand.

Pay Attention to Fonts

If you add text to your stock photos, be sure to use your brand fonts. Too many fonts on your company materials is confusing to your audience and leads to a disconnect. When you use consistent fonts and colors across all your collateral materials, it’s easy to identify who the information comes from.

Warm vs. Cool

Depending on the photo, it may have a warm or cool tone due to filters or the photograph itself. Be sure the tone matches your website, and use your own editing filters if needed. If your brand is composed of primarily cool colors, a warm-toned photo will stand out and look awkward and misplaced next to your branding.

Add Your Logo

Your logo is a sign of ownership. It shows the world that the image belongs to you. If you’ve made any changes to the photo, like adding filters or text, add your logo and brand it to your business.

Brand-consistent stock photos are a huge asset to your business. When you find those that complement your aesthetic, you’ve hit gold. So use them across all your collateral materials for a consistent look no matter where your audience is following you.