Stock Photo Memberships That Will Rock Your Brand Style
January 23, 2020
Sometimes in business, you don’t have the budget you need to pull together a brand photo shoot. And you know what? That’s ok. You can use stock photo memberships instead.
Stock photos were the bread and butter of my web design business. I had a lot of client work going on, and I didn’t have time to drop everything for regular photo shoots. #overworked
It was the various stock photo memberships I invested in that saved my business, and I’m so grateful they exist.
Full disclosure: I still use stock photos to round out my image collection. In fact, I exclusively use stock photos for the featured images of all my blog posts. Just scroll up a bit to see an example.
Here’s what I love about stock photo memberships:
- I get on-going access to new photos weekly or monthly.
- I can go back through the archives and use any photo that matches my brand.
- I can edit the photos however I need to.
- It’s really not expensive.
- It saves me a ton of time.
You can’t beat the price of stock photo memberships
When I say it’s not expensive, people usually scoff at me. They disagree, loudly.
But let me put this in perspective for you…
The membership options I’ve laid out below range from $227 per year, to $596 per year.
In comparison, custom photoshoots with my incredible photographer go for $375 per hour.
Yes, per hour.
In that hour, I get around 100 photos that turn out well (where I’m not blinking or scowling). And I tend to only use about 75% of those 100 photos because I’m self-critical of my double chin. Just sayin’.
I’m not telling you this so you avoid custom brand photoshoots — you absolutely need them in your business at some point. I’m just pointing out that the prices on these membership sites that so many people go wide-eyed over are actually incredibly reasonable for what you’re getting access to.
So with that in mind, let me walk you through some of the (in my opinion) better stock photo sites you could go with.
Cass-Approved Stock Photo Memberships
<3 = I have a membership with this site
Kate Max Stock <3
Price: $596/year (paid quarterly) or $29/month
Kate Max Stock is the first stock photo membership I ever joined, and I’m still a member. Her photos get better and better. There’s a wide range of options within this collection, spanning business, lifestyle, beauty, and wellness. And her style is neutral and clean, making it easy to add your own style to each photo.
Haute Stock <3
Price: $299/year or $99/quarter
I have a bit of a soft spot for Haute Stock, as I’ve been a member of their site for awhile now. What I love about it is that whatever I’m looking for — whether it’s a photo for my own styled feed or matching images to create new branded website templates for my Brand Bootcamp program, I can find it here. What’s even better is that their images easily co-mingle with Kate Max Stock, so I never have to worry that they’ll clash.
Her Creative Studio
Price: $227/year or $127/6 months
I really think this membership from Her Creative Studio has everything you could ask for from a stock photo site — including my unabashed fascination with wellness-related photos. The HC Stock Library isn’t just wellness collections, though. They have all the business and lifestyle collections you’d need to round out your photo style.
I’m 100% obsessed with CreateHER Stock, because it’s the only stock photo membership site I’ve found that creates content exclusively for women of color. And believe you me, that’s a shamefully under-represented category in the stock photo world. The day I discovered CreateHER felt like Christmas. If you’re a WOC or you market to that demographic, this is 100% a membership I recommend for your brand.
The Stock Gallery
Price: $29/month ($348/year)
I’m really digging the lifestyle photo gallery from The Stock Gallery. They style their photos for women entrepreneurs specifically, and they do their job well. If you want the pink and airy look, you’ll get it from this stock membership site.
Price: $25/month ($300/year)
I love the eclectic stock collection from Atelier21 Co. My favorite part is that they aren’t all pink and airy. Instead, you’ll see a wide range of real-life inspired photos that can have any editing style applied to them without looking like it’s a stock photo. And they include a video preview of their stock library here.
Styled Stock Society
Price: $250/year, $75/quarter, or $495 lifetime access
The Styled Stock Society membership offers a great range of photos, from nature and lifestyle to business and home-office inspired images. The style is pretty, feminine, and clean. You can definitely create a stunning social feed with this membership option.
Tide & Tree
Price: $150/year or $45/quarter
Tide & Tree is a newer stock photo site that I’m currently obsessed with. They have beautiful, rustic, woodsy, ‘hygge’ photos that I’ve not seen in other sites, and I find that absolutely delightful. If you have more of the rustic style going on, I definitely recommend investing in this brand’s membership at their introductory prices, because they’re growing their collection fast.
There’s only one thing you need to consider…
What are you looking to use the photos for?
Before you make a decision and purchase a plan that fits your brand style, ask yourself what you’ll use the photos for. If it’s for your website, make sure you look at FAQs and figure out if the images are large enough for a website (should typically be at least 1800px wide for a website header image).
If you’re just looking to populate your social media feed, make sure there’s enough variety of content in the stock library to give you at least a few months of content ahead of time.
Other than that, you should be good to go on finding your new stock photo membership. But if you’re still doubting your willingness to commit to a membership plan, check out the post I created on purchasing stock photo bundles, instead.