Finding the perfect stock photo can be daunting. It might be easier to learn how to edit stock photos.
Locating what you almost-need is good. Then go and make it better using Canva.
I learned how to edit stock photos while creating a Shopify store. I have a certain aesthetic and products to promote to the right people. Finding the perfect stock photo is hard. Let’s go through the motions of taking a pretty good image and editing the stock photo to be more on-brand in Canva.
I’m thinking of my niche site, which is for modern plant moms that like an earthy home.
It’s a woman. She’s working from home on a laptop. There are flowers. I’m into it. Her back hurts.
Cause she needs a desktop! A hill I will die on. —>> Sit with your feet on the floor, 90-degree elbow bend to the desk, people. Get your ergonomics right!
Sidebar: Every once in a while, quarterly or so, I reorganize my Canva projects. My method: rename the designs to the size that they are, and reuse the same project.
Whether it’s from Adobe, istockphotos, Unsplash, pexels, or another site, upload it into Canva.
Canva is for design noobs, but it will take you pretty far. Play nice, and only try to make one edit per session. Download and re-upload after each edited version of your stock photo.
Magic Eraser tool in Canva will remove something and attempt to match the background
Are there any unnecessary items? Try removing them!
Magic Editor will exchange something for something else. It’s okay. Keep it simple.
I’m going to erase the bag handles to the right and the chair it’s on. Fewer distractions in the image.
I’m using Magic Eraser for this part.
A lot of it is just “try, try again” vibes.
When you click on the image within your new project, you’ll see the menu change to “edit image”. In the side bar to the left, there are three options at the top:
First, try removing the background using the one-click background remover. That works well when the background is well-defined. When robots aren’t sure what’s the back or the front, it’s not as good. There’s a workaround.
Use the round brush to remove everything from the background except the vessel of plant. It will make it a weird blotchy color.
Be careful around the edges the second time. Use a smaller brush size to get around the edges of the flowers. If you’re detail-oriented, save and re-upload a third time. Or use a real graphic design program, whichever.
Save as an SVG with a transparent background, only the page you’re working on.
Next, Add a Frame to the visual you changed originally. We changed the cup of pens to books in our example above.
It will have a cheesy landscape photo where the poster was. I sell plant posters in my store, so this is a good change for me.
Since there’s a vessel of flowers in front of the poster, I don’t want to cover that up, it won’t look natural.
Place the SVG file you uploaded a few minutes ago — it will have a black background in canva, on top of the modified photo you uploaded with a frame on top. The frame is located in the elements icon of Canva, at the bottom, under grids.
Be loose with your desires here, people. Robots are not that intuitive. I changed my original idea from replacing the cup of pencils with coffee to a stack of books.
MY patients for asking the robot to do art for me is low. I used books because they are one of my threads. Coffee isn’t really a thread aesthetically for me. Just in my day-to-day. I’m more interesting than my coffee. (I special order from a particular roaster & have it delivered 1000 miles to my house, btw.)
Books provide knowledge and we like that. Not TOO MUCH knowledge though, people. We need to apply ourselves and do the actual thing. You can only study stories for so long before start crafting some yourself.
This is not my expertise, okay humans? I’m holding the words. Someone else holds the music, the art, the photography, the filmmaking. I’m a words girl. **adjusts glasses I wear at the computer**
My e-commerce store is all products on a white background … because they say that converts best. But that doesn’t really fit this photo.
We can edit the photo background or the image in the frame. Let’s edit the photo in the frame. I used the presets in Canva. omg, I know right? It’s how you can tell I’m not the photo-editing girl.
There you have it. A subtle advertisement for my Shopify Shop, Earth to Daisy— that I can use on my marketing blog.
That’s so on-brand for me.
Do you have brand fonts? I do. Thanks to Blunt Crayon, and Jen Wagner. Before I knew what fonts to use, I was all over the place. I’ll get too caught up trying to understand things that are out of my realm. I love words, but when I say that, I do not mean how pretty a word is as far as the technical aspects of a font go.
Okay, now let’s compare to what we started with:
Now Take That to Pinterest!
My aesthetic is plants. I love the dried summer flowers in a mason jar, but the pink, brown, and blue winter clothes are not going to attract my people. We’re here for the plants. And the books. And we’re probably on our Mac.
But sometimes we gotta get up cause our back hurts. Are you into massages? Gonna go stretch now.
Next up … what to call this blog!
Some blogs I start FROM keyword research, but others I don’t. Today’s blog started with a procedure. I’ve done this—>> edit-stock-photos that almost work for my brand <<— more than a few times.
If you’re struggling to put all the pieces together of HOW this blogging thing works, I know this post about how to edit stock photos can help you. Because it felt like such an aha moment to me! When I was finally able to harness the power of an okay photo and turn it into a pretty good one!
When I casually bring stock photos up in regular conversation, and someone doesn’t know what it is, I adore telling them about the concept of stock photos for small business owners. It’s one of the pillars of blogging, I think!
I’m going for a tiny longtail keyword. Here’s the final. It’s the featured image of this blog.
I went through a bunch of text scenarios til I found one I could read well in the tiny tiny download thumbnail. The last edit I made was to turn the transparency down.
That’s how to edit stock photos in Canva. Customizing stock photos is a great way to make an image no one else has from a photo it is possible they’ve seen before.
Need more info? Snag my free guide — What is a stock photo? by emailing me at email@example.com
PS … What’s your favorite way to use canva?