Let’s talk about blogging photos. There are plenty available from commercial sites, at a premium price, but with so many expenses to keep track of, you need to keep costs to a minimum.
There are loads of options, but our personal favourite is Unsplash – for the quality and variety of content. Unsplash also allows you to add a credit to the photographer. Just as as you value the copyright in your own written material try to credit all the images with a link back to the photographer. Copyright for the images you use always remains with the original creator and, without their generosity, your blog would remain a visually boring space rather than one that looks welcoming and gets your taste buds tingling.
Pixabay is another source of royalty-free images, photos, vector graphics and illustrations which are segmented by category, orientation and even principal colour – great when seeking an image on a white background. You can leave the photographer a message and even buy them a cup of coffee with a donation via a PayPal if you really value their work.
Whether using a free or paid resource, it’s vital to check the individual license for each image before you download to ensure it’s available for your intended purpose.
Just to be certain, only select photos you can use for ‘commercial purposes’ and which you’re allowed ‘to modify, adapt or build upon’.
What is the difference between a gorgeous stock photo and one that just does not hit the mark? We asked a photographer to answer that question for us
These days, I’m a photographer for wellness business owners and bloggers. I’m an award winning photographer and the creator of Wellness Stock Shop: “the world’s most soulful source for wellness imagery”. Last year I closed down the doors to my portrait studio in Portland, Oregon with the desire to better serve the world by bringing more purpose into my work.
I’m incredibly passionate about natural wellness and sustainable living and was always integrating those things into my life in my non-work time — inviting friends over for evenings with essential oils and volunteering my expertise for causes like the Story of Stuff Project’s “Ban the (micro) Bead” anti-plastic campaign.
At one point, I was ready to hit the “enroll” button for a popular health coach institute when I realised I could have a much stronger influence on the industry if I served the health coaches who already exist with my strength and skill as a photographer.
I saw a massive need for beautiful, relatable stock imagery in the world of natural wellness, and so I decided to carve out my own niche by creating, to my knowledge, the first-ever stock photography site to serve the natural wellness industry.
Using the right image is one of the most essential components to a successful blog post. Only ever use quality images which fit cohesively with your brand. If you can’t produce your own, tap into one of the many stock photography resources filled with imagery by professionals that exist to support small businesses and entrepreneurs for that very reason.
A year ago, my cousin flew me out to Nashville to help with her branding and website. This was a particularly special situation, because my cousin is such an inspiration to me. She’s insanely charismatic — it’s infectious — and has this magical ability to lift people up and make them feel fantastic. What’s even more amazing to me is the fact that she’s been challenged with diabetes, MS and cancer — and has managed them all naturally. I don’t know many people with the strength or courage to challenge what the doctors tell you to do — the months or years of chemo — and take it on with an “alternative” approach.
She made a commitment to learn how to manage the illnesses naturally and on her own.
She became a certified health coach through IIN. Completely turned her lifestyle upside down. Her experiences make her a powerhouse of information, support and encouragement to other people who are suffering from the same diseases.
Here was this woman, making herself open and available, offering her support to people who could greatly benefit from having a coach like her. She was offering so much value through her coaching sessions, but she wasn’t helping anyone, because no one was finding her. No one was connecting with her “message”.
What it really all came down to was the way her website looked.
She was trying to do everything herself and on the cheap, she was afraid to put herself out there as a professional. Her website was a pieced together DIY project that made her look like a complete amateur. There was no cohesiveness, the message was weak, and it looked like a sparse collage of clip art and stale/typical stock photos. It was terrible.
I believe in her so much, to the depths of my bones. I knew how much she had to offer our world, and she was being ignored because of the way her site looked.
Because I believe in her so much, I offered to help her, and thank goodness she trusted me enough to accept. When we finished with her website it was GORGEOUS.
She let me know how much the change boosted her confidence and helped her feel like she finally had a real business. She said that she was finally proud to share her website with people. It was such an incredible feeling: here was this woman with these AMAZING gifts to share – and she had been holding herself back and playing small just because of the aesthetics of her website, and I had been able to fix that!
I knew she loved the results we created for her, but what made it clear that I was on the right path was when she mailed me a hand-written card thanking me because she had just booked her dream client (who was also her highest-paying client ever).
She was finally getting the attention I knew she deserved!
Too often, I see wellness practitioners whose gifts go unseen because the presence they create for themselves online doesn’t look professional or beautiful. The right aesthetics are essential to break down the barriers and hesitations potential clients may have. It’s not always easy to know who to trust and no matter how valuable your services, if you come across as amateur, clients may dismiss you, even if what you offer could help them enormously. This is what I want to fix!
I want amazing people with incredible gifts and talents to spread their quality, professional message more clearly and easily.
This is why I started blogging — to help support and inspire wellness business owners to strengthen their presence through quality photography and irresistible branding.
Wellness Stock Shop is my big gift to the world of natural wellness.
It’s truly an amazing and accessible photo source that encompasses holistic wellness with a wide variety of themes that I’m adding to monthly. Anyone can tap into the photo store. I have some awesome resources on the site too, such as the free branding training video I mentioned earlier, a photo challenge for wellness entrepreneurs who want to build a cohesive foundation to their food or product photo shoots, a free monthly photo and lots of juicy info throughout my blog.
I also offer a few custom shoots each year for personal branding and often get flown cross-country or rendezvous for these during my worldwide travels. And, finally, my Facebook group (Wellness Brand Collective) is a pretty great place to get cozy and inspired. I jump in there to share tips on branding, photography, and growing your brand on Instagram.
When it comes to my own blog, my favourite post must be “3 Healthy Mindset Shifts for Instagram Business Success“. This is one of my top blog posts because it talks about the real reality of how we entrepreneurs — especially creatives — hold ourselves back, play small and stay in the shadows.
I talk about some of the essential mindset shifts I had to make in order to break through that ceiling. And the shifts extend far beyond Instagram into the depths of everything we do and everywhere we present ourselves in the world.
I highly recommend tapping into Wellness Stock Shop.
The photo store offers an extensive library of beautiful, soulful images that maintain the natural relatable qualities capable of grabbing the attention of viewers. The annual membership is an amazing deal attainable to small business owners and allows unlimited downloads for a full year with usage rights that make sense for small business owners. This completely eliminates the hassles of searching from site to site for cohesive imagery and that one perfect photo every time you go to post. I not only recommend this resource because I’m the creator, but because I walk the walk and personally use it every day and the effects have been astounding.
I’ve never marketed a business with such ease, nor gotten the incredible amount of engagement as I have since tapping into Wellness Stock Shop.
The imagery has earned me international attention and helped me to attract 10,000 Instagram followers in just six months. I never imagined the resource I created to support other wellness entrepreneurs would end up being my favourite business tool. You can tap into the photo source here.