Stop Paying for Stock Photos and Take Your Own!

By Oct 12, 20178 Comments

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I love pretty pictures and creating great graphics to go along with my blog posts. Sometimes I have the perfect image in mind for the background of an graphic, and I can go straight to the search field on Canva and find it. Other times I know I’ll need stock photos, because I have no way of having my own picture for something (like the time I wrote about my dream of moving to Australia!) Either way, we all know it is your images that typically get people interested in clicking on your blog.

Often when I am getting ready to pay for stock photos I am thinking, “I could have taken a picture like that!” It got me wondering why don’t I take my own stock images? Then mine will be as unique as my blog, and I won’t have to spend money or time tracking down the perfect image! Now I am working on a file of great images for memes, quotes, and basic blog graphics. And you can do the same thing! I can’t tell you how to organize these in your own space, but I can offer some suggestions for what kind of pictures to start taking.

Are you spending lots of money on stock photos every week for your blog? Check out these ideas for photos you can take yourself, and build your own library of blog photos. | Photography Tips

Stop Paying For Stock Photos You Can Take Yourself

First, you’ll need to think about what kind of images you typically use and what niche your blog fits into. If you are a recipe blogger, you’ll have more kitchen shots. If you blog about crafts, think about your supplies and work area. Also, take a minute to look back at the stock images you have used in the past. Do you see a theme? Are those pictures you could take on your own? I’ve found that following an Instagram challenge with photo prompts helps me to look for pictures I might not normally take.

Next, think about how you’ll compose your photo. If you plan to place text over the photo, you don’t want it to be too busy or super detailed. You can even look for blank space in the middle or off to the side. Imagine using the photograph to frame the words you might use. Using negative space will help the text on your graphic to pop and stand out.

Lastly, get out there and start taking pictures!

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Seasonal Pictures

  • Snow
  • Leaves changing
  • Piles of leaves
  • Brown grass/green grass
  • Flowers/trees budding
  • The pool/beach

Sky Pictures

  • Sunrise/sunset
  • Moon
  • Stars
  • Clouds
  • Blue Sky
  • Dark Sky


  • Hearts or flowers at Valentine’s Day
  • Easter Baskets
  • 4th of July flags
  • Pumpkins/Jack O’Lanterns
  • Thanksgiving turkey
  • Stockings/Christmas Tree
  • Menorah

Sports/Activity Pictures

  • Soccer goals
  • T-Ball tee
  • Basketball net
  • Football field
  • Jerseys
  • Balls/gloves/bats/other equipment


  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Laptop screen
  • Phone
  • Tablet


  • Toys (legos, blocks)
  • Messes
  • Toy organizers
  • Shoes
  • Stuffed animals

Man-Made Patterns

  • Architectural arches
  • A series of steps
  • Stacks of things (books, boxes, dishes, etc.)
  • Wood grain on a door or hardwood floor
  • Floor tiles

Nature Pictures

  • A long road stretching out in front of you
  • A field of flowers
  • The sky through the trees
  • Mountains, hills, or rocks
  • Waterfall, creek, lake
  • The beach


  • Rainbows
  • Areas of solid color
    • green grass
    • blue sky
    • red flowers
    • white snow
  • Color patterns
  • circles/squares/lines

Whew! That gives you a lot of places to start. What other kinds of pictures would you suggest?

Now that you are inspired to create your own images, check out all of our photography tips so you can take the best photos possible. And don’t feel intimidated if you don’t have a fancy camera, we have cell phone photography tips, too.

The best photography tips from The SITS Girls to help you learn how to use your camera and take amazing photos.

About Rabia Lieber

Rabia is the co-executive director and Chief Van Operator in the Lieber household. She works full time as an office administrator at a local university. In her "spare" time she keeps up with The Lieber Family blog, volunteers with a local non-profit and shuttles her three kids to their various activities. Married to her husband Ken since 2001, they work together to teach their children to pretend they have manners in public, appreciate all things Geek, and gracefully avoid public meltdowns (from the kids and themselves). You can follow her on social media here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+, and Pinterest.