Free stock photos are awesome!
Until you see the ones you’re using for your branding all. over. the. internet. Wah wah!
Recently I shared 50+ sites where you can find free styled stock photography and while I don’t want to discourage you from using free stock photos (heck, I use them!), it can get a little frustrating to see those same stock photos all over Pinterest.
So today I’m going to show you how to make the stock photos you download a little more unique so that they not only fit your brand, but they also stand out from the rest.
[This post is sponsored by BeFunky, the online photo editing and design tool, which means I was compensated to test out some new features and share them. I only accept sponsored posts from tools and products that I have used myself and can recommend to you in good conscience. Read my full disclosure here.]
Where to Use These Unique Graphics from Stock Photos
This tutorial is great for any image really, but here are some suggestions for the graphics you can create:
- Blog post title images
- Facebook and Twitter cover images
- Blog headers
- Blog home page hero images
- Social media post graphics (use this guide for the right sizes)
Remember back when I showed you how to create a dazzling blog post graphic template using the free online photo editing app, BeFunky?
Today I want to show you some of the cool things you can do with BeFunky, specifically their Photo to Art effects, so that you can create some truly unique graphics to use on your blog!
But first, why BeFunky?
What I really like about BeFunky, aside from the fact that you can save and reuse templates in your free account, is that it has many of the same tools and effects that you’d find in both Photoshop* and Instagram. This allows you to really create some awesome graphics that are unique to your brand.
How to Use BeFunky to Edit Styled Stock Photos
The first thing you want to do is go to www.BeFunky.com and create an account so you can save your creations.
Once you’ve done that, click on Photo Editor at the top.
Inside the editor, click on Upload to upload a stock image you’ve already downloaded onto your computer.
BeFunky Editing Features
Now, the first set of tools you’ll see to your left are the Edit tools. These are basic photo editing essentials like crop, resize and rotate as well as color and exposure tools.
If you click on the star in the tools menu, you’ll access the Effects options. These are really cool for say, Instagram photos:
You can also upload your own graphics so you can add a logo or watermark if you wish. Just click on the heart icon for the Graphics tools:
Then upload a graphic or use one of the many BeFunky provides:
Add Text (the ‘A’ icon) allows you to add a blog post title, a Facebook group or page name, a quote or whatever you want the graphic to say:
The Photo to Art Effects
But what I really want to point out here today is one of the coolest things about BeFunky’s photo editor: the Artsy effects menu! Here you can really create some awesome graphics by adding some artistic stylizing to your photos.
Access these effects by clicking on the star flower icon below the 5-pointed star:
One of my favorites (surprise, surprise!) is the Watercolor effect, particularly Watercolor 1. See what happens to my photo when I use this effect:
When you choose an effect, it’ll show you a preview and also the option to further customize the effect using the effect’s settings. Just click on the Settings icon (the white one to the left of the red ‘X’).
Now see what happens to this pretty photo from Carmen Creative using the Watercolor 1 effect:
Turns it into a beautiful watercolor painting that’s perfect for a blog header graphic!
Photo to Cartoon
The Cartoonizer is another Artsy effect that has been around since the beginning of BeFunky’s time and continues to be one of their most popular effects. The Cartoonizer usually works best when you use it on images with higher contrast.
I will admit, at first I wasn’t sure about the Cartoonizer, but after playing around with it, it’s actually super cool! Look at what happens when I use the Cartoonizer on this pineapple photo:
Here again, you have a bunch of settings you can play with to really make your photos 100% unique:
The following images are more examples of what you can do using the Cartoonizer effect:
The Cartoonizer usually works best when you use it on images with higher contrast.
Digital Art Effects
Digital Art refers to computer generated art and is a style that’s been around since the 70’s, believe it or not. There are several different styles that make up Digital Art and BeFunky, being the innovators that they are, have just introduced a few amazing digital art effects to their Photo to Art arsenal!
Check out what you can do to this beautifully delicious stock photo from Turquoise & Palm.*
The popular Cartoonizer effect was just remastered to to give a bold, vibrant look to your photographs with heavier contrast:
Even the Watercolor effect gets a fresh version:
And I just love this new Pop Art effect you can now try out:
The Photo to Art effects range from Impressionist and Gouache to Oil Painting and Pointillism, and more in between. You just have to give them a try on your fave stock photos and see what fits your style best.
Get the Photo to Art Effects
The Artsy tools are only available under the BeFunky Plus plan but when you compare it to Photoshop,* it really is just a drop in the bucket. You can try it out for $4.95 a month or for as little as just $34.95 you can use BeFunky Plus for an entire year! That comes down to a mere $2.91 a month!
Aren’t these Photo to Art effects awesome? There’s no limit to how creative you can get with them while creating unique graphics from stock photos in a short amount of time.
Have you used BeFunky’s Photo to Art effects yet? I’d love to hear what ideas you have for using them!
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Love these tips! I also love placing a transparent block over the image, making it darker (if it fits with your branding of course) 🙂
Yes I like that look too Abbie. Some bloggers use different color blocks from their brand over images and it looks really good!
Glad to read your wonderful informative post. Visualization has great impact to develop a healthy relationship with audience as well as customers because it has high potential to provide clear messages with single image.
Stock images are really looks very beneficial for our business. With the help of picture you have tried to make us understand about subject it is really genius. I have found really a informative tutorial regarding graphics. Eventually, thanks for sharing your worthy thought with us.
With best wishes,
It’s very useful and amazingThanks Marianne . I want to do it for my photos .
I read your blog carefully and wanna tell you that your blog is perfect and give wide and accurate information about graphic and tools.
Thank you for sharing information.
Thanks so much Lori, how sweet of you!
In just one word I just love all the unique graphics stock photos for blog social media. I want to apply this for my banner ad design site. Is it possible, Marianne?
It sure is possible.
Really great article. Thanks for taking the time to explain things in such great detail in a way that is easy to understand.