How to Create a Stock Photo Library for Social Media [VIDEO]

Have you noticed how many gorgeous images are being shared on social networks? How do small businesses get such fabulous photos without having a graphic designer or photographer on staff? You’re about to find out!

To learn how to take great photos with the equipment you’ve already got, click here to review our step-by-step post.

To learn how to edit, add text, and repurpose those photos, watch this brief tutorial video. BONUS: toward the end of the video I reveal how we store and share our stock photo library with our team for free (or ridiculously low-cost).

Timestamps & transcript are below the video:

00:15:  The How to Build Your Own Stock Photo Library Blog Post Has Photography Tips

01:00:  The Visual Social Media Webinar Has Advice on Using Your Smartphone

01:25:  Use a Photo in Canva

02:02:  Canva’s Stock Photos

02:17:  How to Get Started in Canva

02:30:  Select How the Photo Will Be Used

02:55:  Canva Sizes the Canvas Based on Your Selection

03:05:  How to Add a Canva Image to the Canvas

03:15:  Use Uploaded Images

03:30:  Resize Image to Fit the Canvas

03:40:  Add a Colored Rectangle to the Canvas

04:00:  Adjust the Rectangle’s Size & Color

04:27:  Add Main Text

04:45:  Edit Text

04:59:  Create Sophisticated Text

05:45:  Add Your Brand Name Using Body Text

06:42:  Save & Download the Completed Image

07:00: Repurpose an Image Using Canva

07:15: Apply a Filter

07:50: Edit Design Elements to Match

08:17: Change Text Content & Color

09:20: Save & Download a New Image Created from the Same Photo

09:40: Delete Design Elements & Resize the Photo

10:02: Apply a New Filter

10:18: Add Quality Design Elements, No Drawing Skills Necessary

10:45: Edit Design Elements to Complement the Photo

11:15: Edit Default Text Content

11:35: Edit Font & Color

11:56: Add Desired Text Content

12:20: The Move & Delete Options Will Affect the Entire Design Element

12:35: Remove Default Text & Use the Text Tool for Customized Placement

13:00: Adjust Placement & Font Size

13:25: Save & Download the Image for Free

13:40: Use the Same Image Over & Over Again for Different Results

14:00: Canva Saves the Last Image You Worked On

14:20: Use Dropbox to Make Images Available to Your Team

14:40: Dropbox Creates a Folder on Your Computer

14:49: Simply Drop Files in the Folder & Share It

15:00: Dropbox Shared Folder Demo

15:28: Your Stock Photo Library Becomes Available to Your Entire Team

15:40 Rename an Image in the Dropbox Folder



This is Maria Peagler with In this video, I am going to show you how you can create a do it yourself stock photo library for social media. We actually did a blog post for this that was hugely popular. It made Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop most popular social media articles, and it has been shared extensively across the web and our intern Amanda wrote this article. She does a great job with photography, now she’s not a professional photographer, but she talks about how to take a photo here, use the rule of thirds, and different editing tools you can use.

In this video, I’m not going to cover how to take the photo, you can refer to the blog for this, but I’m going to show you how to edit edit these in a tool called Canva. If you refer our visual social media webinar, you can see all kinds of really easy ways that you can take photos with your smart phone and do photo and video.

I am going to show you how you can use a free new tool called Canva. What I’m going to do is show you a photo that I took and used in Canva. Now, this is a photo that I took years ago at Amicalola State park. It is the southern base of the Appalachian Trail and it was Fall at the top of the waterfall and it was just a gorgeous day. I took this photo and I used it in Canva just to do a photo post that said Happy Fall Y’all and is branded with our brand name, and I’m going to show you how I did this and I’m also going to show you how you reuse the same photo over and over to get different kinds of effects.

Canva has a lot of photos that you can use. If you use their photos, you have to pay $1, which I think is totally worth it. It just so happen that I had one that I could use. The way that you start, in Canva, is you actually go here and from their homepage tell it what size, type of image you are going to do. Like, where are you going to use this. Is it going to be a social media post, they have things specifically, a Facebook Cover, a Facebook post, they have things for Twitter, they also have things for Pinterest and Google+. So you tell it the things that you want to do.

I’m just going to say, this is going to be a Facebook post. It will automatically come up with a correctly sized canvas for you to use. You don’t ever have to worry. Now, I could use one of their images, just by pulling it over, and bringing it here and I can edit it. I’m actually going to delete this, and upload my own. I’m going to use one of the images that i’ve already uploaded, but you can see here that I have several images that i’ve pulled into Canva and I’m going to use this beautiful Fall photo.

Now you can see that it doesn’t really take up the whole area, so I can resize it here and just drag it. Then I want to add some text down here at the bottom that says Happy Fall Y’all. So, I can go to the background and pull in a rectangle shape. You can see it right down there at the bottom. Now if I want it to be bigger, I can change the dimensions of this photo so that you know I can pull it up and see more of the rectangle down here. I can also change the color of the rectangle, I want it more of a fall color. So I can go here and kind of. That’s a nice kind of mustard brown yellow color. So i’ve got to a nice area there where I can put some text.
I’m going to go over here to the text area and I want to add some text. Normally we would put it in the middle, you can drag that down here. I’m going to say Happy Fall Y’all and I think I made this an Oswald font because that’s the font that I use on my website.

A really cool thing you can do is to make the text look very sophisticated, you can make it a similar color, but make it lighter or darker. I’m going to make it darker, and I’m also going to do some text spacing. I’m going to change this to all caps. I’m going to make the text box a little bigger and then move to the center here. And then I can add some more text over here by clicking the body text now thats going to be smaller, and this is where I’m going to put in my brand.

You always want to brand the images that you do. Again, I’m going to do a nice dark color and I’m going to do something a little different, I’m going to go across the color wheel here and do something in a nice blue color. Also, change this to the Oswald font, and there we go. It’s a nice image. All I’ve got to do is say I want to download it and save the design and it downloads it for you. You can also link to it if you’d like.

Now, I’m going to show you how to use the same photo over and over again, its a really cool thing. I’m going to stay here and I’m going to go to, I’m going to click on the photo, and it gives you options for editing it, I’m going to go to filter, and this is very much like Instagram filters, you can change the look of your photo. Drama makes it very dark and this photo was already dark so I don’t really need that. You can make it a nice gray scale which would be great for creating something with a more sophisticated pallette.

I’m going to change this to a softer blue a nice teal color. I’m going to change the text to say something inspirational. Again, I’m going to change this to be similar to the background, I’m going to pick that same color, but I’m going to go in here to the plus and make it darker. It gives you a really sophisticated look. I’m going to do the same thing with my text here. And there we go. The same one done differently. Again I can download that, and make it an image.

And then I can do something completely different. I can delete this text, delete this square, make the image fill up the entire space by making it better, use a different filter, and I’m going to change that filter. Oh thats kind of cool, that retro. It gives it almost a polaroid look and then I can use, the cool thing about Canva is that you don’t have to know how to draw. You can take one of their objects over there and pull it over and you can see some are free and some are premium. This is a nice image that I’m going to put here and I’m going to change the color and i’ve got some very muted colors here.

So again I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to start with this, but then I’m going to change it, it needs to go in the middle here. Yes I did write a book on color so I understand how to do a lot of this and actually I can probably do a bonus webinar on how to use color in your brand and images. So I’m going to change the text here to something inspirational. ‘Your Life Your Business Your Dream’, pick Josefin Sans font. I don’t want to delete the whole circle. I just want to take out the text with the delete button and then I’m going to add the text through the text button instead. So I’m going to paste that in there go to josefin sans, go to that color that I had, and then move it up. You’ll probably need to change the font size a little bit and center it. So I’m going to stop here and download this. Again because its my image, it doesn’t cost anything. You can also use Canva’s images which I do recommend if you don’t have one you want to use yourself.

You can see how easy this is and from the same image, you can use it over and over again to get different types of images for your business. Canva saves the last one you did, but you have it downloaded so you can use them at any time. This is one way you can use Canva to make your own stock photo library and I’m also going to give you a great tip here at the end on making these images available to your team.

If you work with a virtual assistant, if you have staff who need to use the same images, you can use Dropbox to make it really really simple. Dropbox is cloud storage, but the great thing about it is it creates a folder on your computer, so all you have to do to make the images available to your staff is to drop it in that Dropbox folder and share it with them. We use this with our social media services clients, we do this alot. So here is this dDropbox folder and in one of our folders is our stock photos. So here what I can do is pull one of these photos into the stock photo folder and its going to put those photos there so that now they’re accessible to my entire staff. We’ve got our own stock photo library that we can reuse over and over again. Here is my Happy Fall Image, I can put your biz, your life, your dream, so we know its an inspirational type of photo. So this is a brief tutorial on how to create your own do it yourself stock photo library. This is Maria Peagler with


Maria Peagler is the founder of Maria Peagler Digital, a serial entrepreneur, and award-winning author/publisher of nine books. She is an award-winning artist in both watercolor and quilting. She is married to her husband of 30 years, mom to two adult sons, and enjoys hiking in the north Georgia mountains.

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