3 Tips for Choosing the Best Stock Photos for Pinterest

We all want to be social media ninjas and create content that gets shared, liked and pinned. Seeing our work take on a life of its own through different platforms is enough to make anyone giddy.


But what's the formula for making compelling content?

3 Tips for Choosing the Best Stock Photos for Pinterest / Pinned Pixel

Visual interest is what grabs your readers and that's where your images need to start. Blog post images are kind of like your first impression to your audience and they play a key role in engagement.

Since Pinterest has become a leading traffic driving tool among bloggers, the need to design fantastic pins has never been more important.


Not only does your content need to be interesting and helpful, it also needs to stand out in the crowd to get you noticed.


Making sure your Pinterest strategy stays on point and drives traffic to your site starts with the images you use. How do you know you have the right photos?

Let's go over 3 tips that will help you choose the best stock photos for creating pinnable images.



1 - Look for Negative Space

Photos should have an even balance between being visually interesting and not being too cluttered. Titles should be clear and easy to read, so having a background that is too busy could distract the viewer.

Photos with built in negative space, the empty area around the subject, work perfectly for title placement. If the image is chaotic and offers no negative space for your text, your title runs the risk of getting lost and losing its message.

Make sure your title has plenty of breathing room so the image is easy to the eyes of your viewers.


If viewers can easily understand what you're offering from the title, they can easily make the snap decision to click through to read the rest of your content.

Images Should:

  • Be clutter free and non-distracting

  • Have space for a clear & easy to read title



2 - Consider Aspect Ratio

Let's start at the beginning here. Images with an aspect ratio of 2:3 or 3:4 tend to perform better on Pinterest. They stand out in the crowd, fit in well with Pinterest's feed resizing formula, and encourage more engagement.

What the heck is aspect ratio though? It's defined as the relationship of the width of the image to the height of the image. The ratios mentioned above mean that the images are taller (the second number) than they are wide (the first number.)

An aspect ratio of 2:3 means that for every two inches of width, there will be 3 inches of height.


Look for images that are taller than they are wide. What if you find the perfect image but it's wider than it is tall?

Here's where the next tip comes in ...



3 - Utilize Cropping

Cropping is simply cutting off part of an image with an editing tool. A lot of paid stock photo websites offer the photos in different aspect ratios and sizes. They do this to cater to customers who can't, or don't want to spend the time cropping images.

The thing is, cropping is super easy and can be done with the most basic of programs. While there are several free in-browser editing programs available online, you can also crop an image with something as simple as Microsoft Paint. Easy peasy.

What happens if you find the perfect image, except it's too wide? Consider these questions:


  • Can you crop it to suit your vertical needs?
  • Is there a part of the image that can be sacrificed while leaving an interesting subject?

It's important to remember that the images you find can be changed to suit your needs - You aren't locked into one look!


An added benefit from cropping stock photos is that you're creating something that isn't cookie cutter. Even if your image has been used before, you're making a version that's different from what has already been done.

Setting yourself apart from the crowd on Pinterest is invaluable, so don't look at using popular stock photos as a setback. Dig deep, find your creativity and let it shine!
Keeping a consistent size for your blog images intended for Pinterest will help create familiarity and recognition with your audience. Once you choose a size, stick with it and keep it in mind when searching for new images. If you find an image that might work for your content, consider how it might be cropped to fit your standard Pinterest size.


BONUS TIP: Be On Brand

Using images with the same, or similar colors as your website's brand will help bring your look together. Consistency is your friend and you better believe that applies to your social media as well.

Creating images that have a similar look and vibe will help your audience recognize you and your work. This helps you create a stronger brand for your biz overall.

If you can find stock photos that feature some of your brand colors, that's just extra gravy baby. There is nothing better than built in branding! It looks professional, clean and put together.

I hope these tips have given you a strong foundation for creating phenomenal images for Pinterest. Creativity isn't limited to colors and fonts but extends all the way to the type of stock photo you choose and how you manipulate it. Remember to have fun while you create awesome stuff!