One question I get a lot from my community is "How do I make my stock photos look unique?"
I totally get it, in an ideal world you'd have your own library of custom images that are exclusively yours - but in reality having custom images created can be expensive and even then, you'll run out of new images pretty quickly.
That's why resources like the Styled Stock Library exist - so that you can get easy access to high-quality images that don't break the bank.
But how do you make sure that you're not just posting the same exact image as everyone else?
Well, there are a lot of ways, including:
1. Adding your own brand elements - such as your unique fonts, graphics, and logo (as I've done in the title image above).
2. Adding a color overlay from your brand color palette (which I talk about in more detail in this post).
3. Cropping photos in a unique way to focus on specific elements and convey your message in a visual way.
Today I'm going to show you How to Crop One Photo 5 Ways, so that you can see how easy it is to take a standard stock image and add your own unique perspective and twist to it. This allows you not only to stand out, but also to get the most possible versatility from your images.
The original photo is below, and while you could definitely use it in it's entirely, say for a Website header, Facebook or Twitter post, or newsletter graphic, you could also crop it to make it more interesting!
One example of how it can be cropped for Pinterest is in the title image for this blog post (above), and there are more examples below of how to crop for social media.
Here's the breakdown of the crops:
1 | In the first crop we've zoomed in on the details of the glasses and the washi tape. We also get a nice close-up of the pretty rhinestones decal on the hat.
2 | In the second photo we've cropped an entirely different portion of the image to show off the candles. You can see how different this perspective is from the one above it.
3| In the third photo we've zoomed out a bit from our perspective in photo one, this gives us an opportunity to show off the notebook and say something about journaling, productivity or planning in our post caption, that probably wouldn't have been relevant in photo 1.
4| Even though we've got some of the same elements as the third photo, the lit candles set a totally different, cozier vibe than the photo above.
5| The hero of this photo is the notebook, so here's where you'd probably want to overlay your own text to highlight an important message or share a quote with your community.
As you can see, in just taking one photo we've created 5 different visual stories.
With that in mind, how can you crop (or even use an entire photo) to help you tell your story or share your message in a unique way?