How To Choose Photography for Your Blog

Having a good image in your blog post can be the difference between someone reading your content or clicking away to another blog. So how do you populate your blog with professional photography when you are not a photographer? Use a great resource. Microstock photography is the perfect way for you to gain access to a wide variety of professional images for use on your blog for little cost to you.

Obtaining Professional Photography

What exactly is microstock photography and how does it work?
Agencies collect images from professional photographers to add to their library for sale. Image buyers browse through the library and purchase images for a variety of uses, including blogging. The agency allows the same image to be purchased by multiple people, giving the photographer a percentage of the profit each time the image sells. By selling the same images over and over again this business model has allowed for prices to remain low enough for anyone to afford.

How can I purchase Microstock Images?
There are two basic ways to purchase microstock images for your blog. If you plan on purchasing a large number of images frequently, many agencies have a subscription where you can download up to a certain number of images per month depending on what plan you choose. If you will only need a few images every so often, you can look for an agency that allows for single image purchases. For blog-specific use, you can purchase small web-quality images (which will be in the cheapest price category).

There are so many images! How do I choose?
The best blog images are simple, clean and professional. You may want to choose an image on white for a “floating” look, or an image with a vibrant background color that may match or contrast your blog. When making your choice looks for images that are sharp, and focus on a single subject without any unnecessary clutter in the background. The image should speak to the topic of your blog post, and serve as an invitation to read the post you worked so hard to write.

Other Popular Photo Agencies {affilliate links}
Deposit Photos


Brooke Becker Brooke Becker is the photographer behind Brooke Photo Studio who blogs about the stories behind her photography at {cupcakes & cucumbers}. Brooke finds inspiration in simple every day life moments which translates into her simple, clean, modern style of imagery.

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About Ashley Abele

Ashley is a mom of 3 young children, social media consultant and blogger. She focuses on strategizing for bloggers and small businesses to help them reach their online potential and subsequent sales potential as cofounder of Other Half Media. When she’s not busy creating blogger outreach programs, email or social media campaigns, she blogs her life, parenting, and frequent moves at My Front Porch Swing. Connect on @AshleyNAbele on Twitter and on Facebook.


  1. I wanted to add more color and vibrance to my website, and this is a great way to do so. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I like this idea about the description on Barcelona apartment..Thanks for sharing..

  3. A great, informative blog. Imagery is SO important and definitely bad images would make me click off a blog instantly. I need to be grabbed and inspired!
    Nikki Wright recently posted..Wedding Bells

  4. I wanted to post my disappointment with deposit photos. I did their trial period and a few hours after it expired I cancelled. They charged me $59 for 1 month and when I asked for a refund they refused to give me the money back and offered me 59 credits to download instead. 59 credits is not even close to what you get for $59 per month which is 10 credits per day. What a rip-0ff! I will not recommend this photo source for your blog and will stick with
    Webly recently posted..Knowing Whose I Am

  5. This information is so helpful. I’ve never used professional photos, so I’m excited to go check out the suggested sites. I’m also looking to find ways to improve my photos..

  6. Since I discovered, I design sets of fashion or fantasy or interior design to add to my blog. I just posted a set design one based on a swimsuit recently I bought–just for purposes of showing my reader something I like in an interesting photographic way. Also did one called “April Showers” for my first April blog. And best of all—it’s FREE to do! And FUN!
    Madamdreamweaver recently posted..Live Long and Prosper

  7. Thanks for the post! I”ve never used microstock before, but I will give it a try. I’ve used Fotolia in the past and found their selection and prices really good. Worth checking out :)
    Ashley recently posted..Heighten Your Senses with Dinner in the Dark

  8. I have been trying to include at least one image in every post these days- this will hopefully help me continue that trend! thanks!
    New York Cliche recently posted..A Date with My Elementary School Nemesis: Running Uphill

  9. Somehow SITS always knows what I need to know….
    Laura recently posted..Love the snake

  10. Sounds like a great photo site! Probably more quality pics than flickr.
    Krystle recently posted..Magic Plant Crystal Soil Mud Water Beads #Giveaway

  11. This is perfect, I’ve been struggling with great images a bit lately.
    I’ll have to look into stock photos
    Brittany Stewart recently posted..I Was Going To..

  12. Thanks for sharing this. I post almost every day, so actually find that the occasional post without a pic is nice – it breaks up the space. But on ‘pic’ days, I struggle, so I appreciate the sources!
    Emily recently posted..When kids learn a new skill, they can forget others

  13. Great stuff! Thanks.
    Positively Alene recently posted..the voice.

  14. Thank you for the info. I had not heard of Deposit Photos before. I will definitely check them out!

  15. I am a firm believer in photos and the more the better! Two other AMAZING photo stock sites that I have been using for years are and I found Fotalia about six months ago and I like it even more than Dreamstime, but I have been using Dreamstime for so many years that I know my way around there very well and it helps to speed up the process of procuring pictures, making payments when the credits run out etc. I also want to encourage all of you to start taking photos. As time goes on, you will get better, just like with blogging. Snap away and have a wonderful day!
    Rachel {Raw-kul} recently posted..The Clarisonic Opal

  16. Thanks for the great article! I tend to prefer using my own photos, but this is a good resource to know about if I find myself needing stock photos for something!
    Kristin @ Meanbean recently posted..Stroll with me

  17. Great Article, thank you – there is another great source here:
    Monja recently posted..iPhoto Course (6): Finding People using Faces / Adding Names to Faces in iPhoto ’11

  18. I’d also like to know if there are any free stock photo sites. I recently downloaded the Photodropper plug-in that was recommended in a SITS post about which plug-ins are must-haves, but I haven’t had much luck using it. Has anyone else experienced this problem before?
    Charlotte recently posted..Coming out of hibernation

  19. Anyone looking for free stock images you can use on personal or commercial purposes can visit, Flickr’s creative commons images,,,, or

    With free stock image sites, there’s going to be more bad images than good ones so it might take you longer to find the ideal image so if time is money then absolutely buy the images from premium stock photography sites. I, however, use free images. My go-to sites are the first two I listed. ;)

    (BTW-I think compfight has a WP plugin to find images on their site without leaving your blog post and they pull from Flickr’s API so it might be the easiest way to get free images on your blog.)
    JennAtFFP recently posted..Cinnamon Dusted Vanilla Crepes with Honey Drizzle Recipe

  20. I definitely needed this info. Photography is not my strength. Thank you.
    Laura @ Pruning Princesses recently posted..An Ember of Faith for the Empty

  21. Great information. Thanks for sharing

  22. great info! I am going to check these out.

  23. Great source of information. Thanks.
    Leigh Powell Hines (@Hinessightblog) recently posted..The Book of Why?: Questions Parents May Have

  24. Are there any good stock photo sites that are free?
    Amanda recently posted..Anniversary….

  25. I would recommend fotolia for your stock photos. They have a great selection and their prices are very reasonable. Thanks for the post!
    Ashley recently posted..Thank You Happy Wives Club!

  26. I’ve been wonderin gabout this for a while now- thank you for the explanation!
    Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday recently posted..Photo Therapy—By Seana

  27. @Karen – In order to use an image on your blog you need to purchase the rights or have permission from the creator of the image (If you are using an image from another blog – ask first!). Searching Google is not the best or legal way to get images into your blog posts, and if you use images illegally you can run into trouble with the law.

    @Angie – I also use and love Fotolia ;)
    brooke recently posted..10 DIY Natural Ways to Make Your Home Smell Fresh

  28. The internet can be confusing with copyrighted material and whatnot, which is why I highly recommend that bloggers take their own photos if they don’t want to buy them from the above services. I learned SO MUCH at BBC Boston last year and it has helped improve not only my photography skills, but also how and when I use photos on my blog posts. Great info SITSGirls!
    Eve recently posted..Low-Fat Lemon Yogurt Birthday Cake

  29. Thanks for the resources. With all the “drama” around Pinterest lately, this is coming up more and more.
    Mimi recently posted..Neon Nights

  30. I’ve often wondered how this is done ethically. :-D
    Susan in the Boonies recently posted..Blogging Conferences: Inspiration at Blissdom

  31. I’d love to see a post about the legalities of using images we find online from other sources. I have used some in the past that I found through search engines and have since become aware that I was probably violating some copyrights. I know that many bloggers use images freely and think that a lot of us could benefit from the real scoop as to what we should or should not be doing and the implications. Thanks:)
    Karen@WaistingTime recently posted..I Never Met a Cookie I Didn’t Like

  32. Thanks for including a couple of sites to check out. I’m currently using fotolia, but you never know when you can get a better deal. ;)
    Angie recently posted..Easy Search Traffic In Even the Most Saturated Niche

  33. Awesome post – thanks – always so confused on whether to include or not but this helps!
    Masala Chica recently posted..Namaste

  34. Thanks for the useful post, I keep forgetting to include images in my blog posts! I’ll definitely be on the hunt for some great images to enhance my posts ;)
    Rosemary Jayne recently posted..Definition: Gravatar

  35. Thank you for these great tips!
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Theme Party Ideas: Star Wars

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