The Best Stock Photo Resources for Bloggers

One of the best stock photo resources, best stock photo resources for bloggers, pretty stock photos, creative stock photos, free stock photos

Let’s talk about stock photos.

Both a blessing and curse for blog design.

Using stock photos is an amazing, time-saving way to add visuals to your blog content. But it can also be overwhelming & frustrating if you don’t know where to find them.

Stock photos are everywhere. But quality, beautiful images that can barely be identified as stock photos (the kind of stock photos you should be using) are a little harder to find.

I’ve rounded up some of the best stock photo resources out there for bloggers and I can’t wait to share!

Types of stock photos

 

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Static Images

Static images are what you would typically think of when you picture a stock photo. They are still images that someone else has taken and is allowing the general public to use as their own without crediting the original source. This is the most common form of stock photo.

Static image stock photos are perfect for blog posts, social media content, marketing materials and Pinterest graphics. I’ve even printed out these types of stock photos to use as props in photo shoots.

Mock-ups

Mock-ups are also images that have been taken by someone else. However, mock-ups usually give you the ability to customize some area of the photo. For example, the mock-up could be a styled flat lay with an iPhone somewhere in the image. The creator has made the iPhone screen customizable so that you can pop in your own content to be displayed on the iPhone screen within the image.

Mock-ups are perfect for promoting digitial products, websites, online courses or social media.

One of the best stock photo resources, best stock photo resources for bloggers, pretty stock photos, creative stock photos, free stock photos

My favorite stock photo resources

Unsplash

FREE

Unsplash is my #1 go-to place for stock photos. They have a beautiful, creative and extensive library of images. Unsplash sources their images from photographers all over the world. You can download and use any of the images on their site FREE OF CHARGE. All of the images used in this post (aside from the mock-up images) were found on Unsplash.

 

Death to the Stock Photo

MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION

Death to the Stock Photo was one of the first stock photo sites I stumbled upon and thought, wow. The Death to the Stock Photo library is full of creative & beautiful collections of stock photos and video. Access to their library does require a monthly subscription. But if you’re frequently in need of high-quality stock images and footage, $12.99/mo is a small price to pay for unlimited downloads and usage of their content.

 

Stocksy

PAID

When I can’t find what I’m looking for on Unsplash or Death to the Stock Photo, I turn to Stocksy. Stocksy is probably the most creative and unique stock photo collection I’ve ever seen. I’ve never not been able to find the perfect image for my needs. Stocksy sells their images individually, which can make it a more expensive option. But there is no other stock collection like it and it’s definitely worth the splurge.

One of the best stock photo resources, best stock photo resources for bloggers, pretty stock photos, creative stock photos, free stock photos

My favorite Mock-ups

Creative Market is my go-to place for finding mock-ups and scene creators. They have an enormous selection of mock-up kits for all different styles and design aesthetics.

Here are a few of my favorites…

One of the best stock photo resources, best stock photo resources for bloggers, pretty stock photos, creative stock photos, free stock photos

Louvre Mock-Up Kit

This is my all time favorite mock-up for all things print design. The backgrounds and props included in this mock-up are stunning. And did you see those shadow elements? I couldn’t create something better, even if I shot it myself.

>>> CHECK IT OUT HERE <<<

One of the best stock photo resources, best stock photo resources for bloggers, pretty stock photos, creative stock photos, free stock photos

Mock-Up Scene Creator

This is one of the first mock-up kits I ever purchased. And I use it ALL. THE. TIME. It’s perfect for showcasing website designs I’m launching. It’s also a great desk creator if you’re in need of a good desk shot but don’t have the space to shoot one yourself.

>> CHECK IT OUT HERE <<<

 

One of the best stock photo resources, best stock photo resources for bloggers, pretty stock photos, creative stock photos, free stock photos

Ladyprenuer Toolkit

This is my go-to mock-up for creating flatlays! When I don’t have time to style and shoot something myself, I can create something I still love using this mock-up kit.

>>> CHECK IT OUT HERE <<<

One of the best stock photo resources, best stock photo resources for bloggers, pretty stock photos, creative stock photos, free stock photos

Moodboard Wall Mock-Up

Lastly, I want to mention this Moodboard Wall Mock-Up. It’s such an easy-to-use tool for creating fun wall moodboards to post on your blog or social media.

>>> CHECK IT OUT HERE <<<

I’ll be posting a part two on this topic, discussing how to select and curate stock images that are right for you.

But in the meantime, be inspired by all beautiful images at your fingertips!

xx,
Ariel

 


A few of my faves…

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Vienna City Guide

Vienna City Guide, where to eat in Vienna, Vienna travel guide, what to do in Vienna, Vienna photography, #travel guide #vienna

May I be so bold as to say that Vienna has been my favorite European city so far?

Going in, I knew nothing about Vienna. But the breathtaking train ride from Munich to Vienna set the stage for the perfect visit to the most amazing city.

Vienna is full of so much culture, art & tradition. I love how beautiful and posh every experience feels. From the coffee to the cake to the ornate decor, visiting Vienna is a rich and unforgettable experience.

 

Where to eat & drink

Cafe Central

Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien, Austria

Go here for an amazing breakfast or afternoon coffee & cake break. You’ll feel like you’re on Gossip Girl the whole time you’re there.

Dachboden

Lerchenfelder Straße 1-3, 1070 Wien, Austria

Go here for a quirky rooftop bar with a view of the city. It’s a dream for all my champagne cocktail lovers.

Boa Bar

Zollergasse 2, 1070 Wien, Austria
Go here when you’re exploring the 7th district. Boa buns, sweet potato fries & siracha ketchup – need I say more?

Onyx Bar

Stephansplatz 12, 1010 Wien, Austria

Go here when you want a swanky drink and the best view in the city of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Creme de la Creme

76, Lange G., 1080 Wien, Austria

Go here for a beautiful & modern take on Vienna’s traditional cake culture.

Cafe Hawelka

Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Wien, Austria

Go here when you’re in the city center and need to rest your feet. It’s a traditional Viennese coffeehouse and you won’t be disappointed. Fair warning – there are no menus & they only take cash.

 

What to see & do

St. Stephen’s Cathedral – Climb the South Tower

Yes, this is a very touristy thing to do. But it’s also a must. This is the most beautiful cathedral I’ve ever seen and the view from the top is breathtaking.

Museum Quarter

An area of Vienna where many museums are housed. But don’t go here for the museums. Go here for the many outdoor festivals, music performances & food truck gatherings just outside the Quarter walls.

Naschmarkt

The largest outdoor market I’ve seen yet! So many colorful foods to see & try. You’ll find local artisans, produce, LOTS of baklava & a nice selection of restaurants.

Drink Coffee

Ok, I know this sounds lame. But it’s the perfect way to experience the heart of Vienna. Vienna has such a traditional coffee culture and it’s so fun to just park yourself at a cafe, have a cappuccino or two and enjoy some people watching and good conversation.

Happy exploring!

xx,
Ariel

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Free Fall WordPress template added to the shop!

Customizable Blog & Website Templates, modern blog template, modern website template, blog design, web design, modern graphic design, the blog stop, ariel garcia #blogdesign #blogging

I’m excited to announce the latest addition to the shop, Free Fall!

Free Fall is a ProPhoto 7 template for WordPress. It was designed for the ultimate creative looking to showcase their work & collaborate with others. Free Fall is also an ideal design for selling your hand-made digital products.

Use the template’s full-width, responsive design to showcase your next creative idea. The template includes full-width Instagram feed capabilities, customizable headers, animated sliders & a color palette that would make anyone swoon.

>> VIEW LIVE DEMO <<

*This is a ProPhoto 7 template and must be used with a ProPhoto 7 license.

Customizable Blog & Website Templates, modern blog template, modern website template, blog design, web design, modern graphic design, the blog stop, ariel garcia #blogdesign #blogging

Customizable Blog & Website Templates, modern blog template, modern website template, blog design, web design, modern graphic design, the blog stop, ariel garcia #blogdesign #blogging

Features:

– Fully Responsive Layout
– Mobile Friendly
– Search Engine Optimized
– Included Logo Design
– Social Share Buttons
– Social Media Icons
– Instagram Integration
– Instructions for Customizing
– Customizable Fonts
– Customizable Site Graphics
– Customizable Page Layouts
– Customizable Page Headers
– Unlimited Galleries

SHOP THE TEMPLATE >>

How to Customize the template:

You can customize the Free Fall template in one of two ways…

1 //
Purchase Free Fall from the shop for instant download and follow our detailed, easy-to-follow installation & customization instructions.

2 //
Don’t have time to make customizations yourself? Hire me to brand, customize and install your new template with the Bombshell Blogger package!

I can’t wait to see all the creative ways you’ll use the Free Fall template for your blog or website!

The possibilities are endless.

xx,
Ariel

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How to make a WordPress website without any coding

Make a WordPress blog without any coding, WordPress blog design, WordPress design, Website design, WordPress theme, customizable WordPress theme

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of WordPress. It’s by far the most sustainable & customizable website platform out there. However, WordPress’s one fault is that it can be very hard to customize the way it looks.

You see, the way a WordPress website looks is determined by its “theme”. There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available from numerous vendors across the web. Once you’ve downloaded your chosen “theme”, you simply have to upload the theme to your WordPress backend and voila! You now have a working WordPress website!

So what’s the issue?

Make a WordPress blog without any coding, WordPress blog design, WordPress design, Website design, WordPress theme, customizable WordPress theme

The issue lies in the framework of the themes themselves.

Most themes give you very few customization options. For example, you may be able to change the color of your navigation menu with a simple click of a button. But, if you want to change the placement of your navigation menu altogether, you’ll need to go deep into the theme’s code and program the new navigation menu placement.

In summary, without some coding knowledge, your website is going to look pretty close to the initial template you purchased. Which is totally acceptable. But if you want to stand out in a massive sea of blogs and websites, you’re gonna want a site that looks a little more branded and unique.

Enter ProPhoto.

ProPhoto is a WordPress theme. But unlike all the other WordPress themes out there, ProPhoto turns your website into an easy-to-customize design platform. Their front-end customization framework gives you complete drag and drop editing capabilities, similar to a Squarespace or Wix website. And because it’s a WordPress theme, you still have access to all WordPress’ amazing features like plugins (I won’t be getting into plugins in this post, but it is the #1 reason to switch to WordPress. You can read more about WordPress plugins in my post here).

There are hundreds of reason why using ProPhoto for WordPress is a GAME CHANGER for your website design. Here are my top 10 favorite things about ProPhoto.

And no, this post is NOT sponsored. I just love ProPhoto. AND ProPhoto is offering you guys $20 off your license purchase! Just click any link in this post to save access it.

>>> GET $20 OFF PROPHOTO <<<

 

10 Reasons to use ProPhoto

 

1. Easy to install

Installing ProPhoto to your WordPress website is super simple! After purchasing ProPhoto, you’ll be redirected to step-by-step instructions on how to install your new theme.

2. Front-end editor

ProPhoto’s software turns your website into a Front-End customizer. This means you can make changes to the look of each page by simply dragging and dropping photos, text, galleries and more onto your pages. You also have complete control over how much padding each element gets, how many columns your pages are divided into and SO MUCH MORE.

3. Responsive & mobile friendly

ProPhoto is 100% responsive and built to look beautiful, no matter the viewer’s screen size. All of their pre-made templates are formatted to look just as good on mobile devices as they do on desktop computers.

4. Built-in contact forms

Most WordPress themes require the purchase of a contact form plugin in order to have contact forms on your website. ProPhoto comes with highly customizable contact form capabilities that, again, can be dragged and dropped on your page.

5. Galleries & grids

ProPhoto gives you the option to have an unlimited amount of photo galleries on your site. Galleries can be displayed as slideshows, masonry grids, carousel slides and more! ProPhoto was originally geared for Photographers and has AMAZING photo-display capabilities.

6. Interactive Tiles

ProPhoto Tiles is one of my favorite features! You can create interactive graphics right within the ProPhoto customizer. These tiles are perfect for creating buttons that change color upon hover over.

7. Social Media Integration

Just like with contact forms, almost all WordPress themes require an additional plugin to display your Instagram feed or social media on your website. With ProPhoto, you can display your social media channels and Instagram feed anywhere on your site by simply dragging and dropping.

8. Automatic updates

ProPhoto is a premium WordPress theme. It will update automatically anytime the ProPhoto team adds new features. And on top of that, ProPhoto will walk you through how to use the new updates right from your WordPress backend. Does it get any easier??

9. No Photoshop needed

With ProPhoto, you can create a beautiful, responsive and interactive website without the use of any outside design programs. Everything can be customized and created within the ProPhoto customizer.

10. Unlimited, AMAZING support

Website building is hard and frustrating. Which is why good support is SO valuable. The ProPhoto support team is always available to answer your questions. They’ll even pop into the backend of your site and fix an issue for FREE. I don’t know of any other WordPress theme developers that offer this.

You can literally start with nothing and build a beautiful, responsive website with zero coding knowledge. But if you want a starting place, check out my collection of modern ProPhoto design templates here.

>>> GET $20 OFF PROPHOTO <<<

 

Make a WordPress blog without any coding, WordPress blog design, WordPress design, Website design, WordPress theme, customizable WordPress theme

Aaaaand, to help you get started in the customization process, I’ve put together a Complete Guide to Making a WordPress Blog with ProPhoto. This 20-page e-book will walk you step-by-step through how to make a beautiful WordPress blog with ProPhoto. Simply enter your email address below and I’ll send you a copy for FREE so you can start killing it with your blog design.

Make a WordPress blog without any coding, WordPress blog design, WordPress design, Website design, WordPress theme, customizable WordPress theme

Download the
Complete Guide to Making a WordPress Blog with ProPhoto 7

May all your blog design dreams finally come true.

xx,
Ariel

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5 Steps to Stress-Free Blog Post Creation

Stress-free blog post creation, creating blog posts without stress, content creation for your blog, how to easily create blog posts #blogging #blogdesign

Let’s talk about blog post creation.

The key to blogging is consistency. But for some reason, consistency can be the hardest thing to achieve.

The pressure to produce something that your readers will actually read can be really stressful. Not to mention, having to repeat that process on a semi-regular basis.

How do we remove the stress and pressure and make blog post creation fun again?

Blogging isn’t easy, but there are so many habits you can implement to make your blogging journey equipped for long-term success. Here is my 5-step blog post creation process that has, for the most part, taken away the pit in my stomach when I start planning and writing my content.

1. Write down 3-5 clear focused topics to write about.

The biggest hurdle to creating quality blog posts is coming up with a topic that will be easy to write about and connect with your readers. Brainstorming topics ahead of time will make post creation much simpler, as you’ll already know what you’ll be writing about before you sit down to write! For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you’re topics might be city guides, budgeting, where to stay and how to get around. Every time you sit down to write a post, it will fall into one of those four categories, simplifying your thought process.

2. Commit to posting a realistic number of posts each week.

One of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers make (especially new bloggers) is attempting to post 4-5 posts a week. To avoid blogging burnout, take an honest look at your schedule and decide how many posts a month you can commit to. Then be consistent! It’s ok to be posting bi-weekly, as long as you’re consistent and your readers can count on seeing new content regularly.

3. Make a content creation plan & schedule batch writing sessions.

Once you’ve decided on the topics you’ll be writing about and how many times a month you’ll be posting, plan out your post schedule a month in advance. If you use WordPress, you can do this right in your WordPress backend using the Editorial Calendar plugin. And if you don’t use WordPress, I highly recommend switching over. You can read all about how to set up your WordPress blog here.

Next, choose a day or week when you can commit to writing all your blog posts for that month. After they’re written, schedule them out over the next month in your post scheduler. And you’re done for the month! Trust me, batch writing is a key step in eliminating the stress of post creation and freeing up your energy for social media engagement and community building.

Stress-free blog post creation, creating blog posts without stress, content creation for your blog, how to easily create blog posts #blogging #blogdesign

4. Outline your posts before writing them.

This trick has been HUGE for me. When I’m staring at a blank page, it’s so hard for me to get the words out of my head and onto the page. Creating an outline of your post before writing it seems like an additional step, but can actually make the writing process so much easier.

Start by outlining the post’s objective, main points and call to action. Then go back in and add all the details. Outlining removes the pressure of cranking out 1000 words from nothing and adds a stress-free flow to your writing process.

5. Create a post image template.

It’s no secret that a good blog post has a beautiful, relevant image to engage the reader. But searching for and formatting that image can eat up so much time. To save time, create an image post template that can be used for every post. This can be done in Photoshop, Canva or whatever your preferred graphics creation tool is. If you need help getting started, check out my guide for Creating Branded Images for your Business here.

Finding quality images for your posts can also be a huge source of stress. If you’re not a content creator and need great photos at the snap of a finger, I’ve put together a list of The Best Stock Photo Resources for Bloggers here.

Ultimately, your blog is your business. If you can put systems into place to remove the stress and automate your processes, your blog will bloom and grow just by your commitment and consistency.

Happy blogging!

xx,
Ariel

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Paris City Guide

Paris City Guide, Traveling to Paris, Where to eat Paris, What to do in Paris, A Weekend in Paris, Paris travel guide, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

My darling Paris.

I’ll be honest, I really didn’t want to love Paris. Loving Paris seemed so cliche. Everyone wants to see Paris. And I really tried my hardest not to care all that much about the hyped city.

But I was oh so wrong. Paris is everything you want it to be. It’s as magical as the movies. And, to my surprise, it’s the first city that I wasn’t ready to leave.

 

Where to stay

After visiting Amsterdam, we learned our lesson on location. We knew our days would be full to the brim with sights so we wanted to stay somewhere central that we could return to mid-day for power naps.

After our Air BNB canceled two hours after our promised check-in time, we ended up having to find a hotel last minute. We had our hearts set on staying in the Le Marais district and decided to stay at the Hotel Paix Republique. It ended up being perfect and we loved our stay there. We walked everywhere (including an hour and a half walk to the Eifle Tower). And there were so many great bars and restaurants close by.

*For those interested, Air BNB completely refunded us after our host cancelled and offered us an additional 50%/per night of our original booking price.

Paris City Guide, Traveling to Paris, Where to eat Paris, What to do in Paris, A Weekend in Paris, Paris travel guide, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

Where to eat & drink

Republique of Coffee

2 Boulevard Saint-Martin, 75010 Paris, France

Go here for the best chai & avocado toast you’ve ever had.

 

Season

1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003 Paris, France

Go here for creative & healthy breakfast dishes. Try the green pancakes and anticipate a bit of a line to be seated, it’s a popular place.

 

Paris New York

1 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris, France

Go here for burgers and an AMAZING interior. The servers are friendly and it’s the perfect spot to chill after a long day.

Eric Kayser

Go here when you’re mid-sight-seeing and want a quick, affordable French lunch. They are scattered all around the city and their baguettes and pastries are everything you want a Paris meal on-the-go to be.

 

Grazis

91 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France

Go here for delicious pizza, a chill vibe, outdoor seating in the summer and a MASSIVE wine selection.

 

Le Refuge

72 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris, France

Go here when you’re walking around Montmartre. It’s just outside the tourist streets and the perfect Parisian cafe for a quiet glass of wine or cocktail.

Paris City Guide, Traveling to Paris, Where to eat Paris, What to do in Paris, A Weekend in Paris, Paris travel guide, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

What to see & do

Picnic by the Sienne

Grab some cheese and a bottle of wine and head to the Sienne for a sunset picnic! In the summer, there are bars that line the river, people dancing and an overall great vibe.

 

Notre Dame

This was my favorite “famous” sight we saw in Paris. Make sure to reserve a time online to climb up the tower to the top. The view is unreal.

 

Tuileries Gardens Carnival

What’s better than a Ferris wheel outside the Louvre with views of the Eifle Tower?

 

Rue Cremieux

This was the only thing we didn’t have time to do, but wish we had! It’s the most colorful street in Paris and looked absolutely beautiful to explore.

 

Centre de Pompidou

Paris’ modern art museum. So many interesting pieces by both modern day artists and classics like Matisse, Picasso and Dali.

You can definitely see Paris in 5 days. But it would be so nice to spend a little longer there and take things slower. I think a full week would be perfect.

Have you been? What were your Paris Faves?

xx,
Ariel

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