How to Make Your Stock Photos Look Custom


Wondering how you can use a stock photo without it looking like you are using a stock photo? It can be done and we will show you how. Making your stock photos stand out from the boring stock crowd will help inspire your content with fresh imagery and give it a polished and professional look.

Choose the Right Image

First things first, it all starts with the image. You might be tempted to use the same stock images as everyone else, but wait. Fire up that creativity and think it through, do you really need to use smiling customer service lady on the phone? Maybe there is another way to get the same idea across in a less conventional manner? You can also use resources that offer stock photos that don’t look like typical stock photos will also be your friend here, try Morgue File and Death to Stock for more unique images.

Edit That Stock

Before you add that stock photo to your latest blog post as is, stop and think a moment. Everyone else on the web is doing the exact same thing! You don’t want to blend in with the crowd, do you? No, that’s not you and it’s not your brand. Pull out your favorite image editor (Canva, PicMonkey, Photoshop, whatever your preference is) and get editing. Edit your photo to fit with the theme of your project and your overall branding to help build your signature look. Your editing can be as subtle or as extreme as you want, use your creativity!

Add Text and Graphics

Not every image needs text and/or graphics. However, when it comes to sharable social media graphics and featured images for blog posts you they are a necessity. Once you have edited your stock image add your graphical elements and text. Again keep in mind your overall goal and branding and choose elements that are in keeping with them. Your font, graphic and color choices should all support your overall theme as well as be legible and easy to understand for your viewers.


Taking your boring stock image to the next level will help you and your content stand out from the crowd. You don’t have to settle for the same generic stock images that everyone else is using! Stock images are a great resource, but remember, they are a starting point, not a finish line. Do you have any other tips for making your stock images look custom? Share them with us in the comments!