Beautiful boxes filled with stunning images cascade down your screen like a virtual waterfall as you scroll through your favourite brand’s Instagram feed.

You probably already know the bigger guys have an entire creative team dedicated to social media and likely invest hundreds of dollars per week in photo shoots, but how, you wonder, can you replicate a polished and professional look on your page for a quarter of the price?

While we do recommend investing in social media photo shoots on a semi-regular basis for authenticity, we understand that weekly or even monthly shoots are just not economical for small businesses. In fact 3 or 4 shoots a year might be all you can afford. So what do you do to prolong those images?

After eight years as the head designer for a bridal and women’s magazine, Fox+Fleur designer Teresa is privy to some insider-only secrets – one of which is: brands don’t always post their own photos on Instagram. It’s true.

But wait! Before you dash off to share that cute image you found on Pinterest, please know that you can’t just use any old picture you find online.

Read on for Teresa’s tips for sourcing images to complement your feed.

Can I share this image I’ve found online?

This is one of the most common questions I get asked by clients and the short answer is: maybe. Vague, we know. But the truth is that copyright laws protect images, irrespective of how – and where – they’re sourced. In fact, photographers can take legal action against anyone that uses their work without permission.

Now, you’re probably thinking: but who will know? It’s not like you have a million followers (yet, anyway).

But trust me when I say that you can’t get away with stealing an image. People do get caught and fined.

So, how can I make my social media pages pretty…legally.

You have three options:

  • Use an image you’ve taken yourself.
  • Purchase an image online.
  • Use an image you have permission to use.

Let’s walk through the last two options in more detail now.

Paid image websites

If you’re unable to take your own images, you can always buy images from paid image websites. There are usually a wide variety of images available that are high-quality and not too expensive either (on average around $10 an image). Make sure you double check the image rights as sometimes you might need to pay more if you’re using the image in a specific way (for example if you profit from the image itself).

Some of my favourite paid image sites are:




Free image websites

Next up, there are websites out there with images available on Creative Commons licenses, which means the author has given people the right to share and use an image they have taken.

Some of my favourites are:


Kaboom Pics



Realistic shots

Also check out — it has a listing of over 50 image websites (as well as videos, sound effects, fonts, mockups and more).

Or you can repost and tag

If you find an image on Instagram you would like to use, the good news is that most people are thrilled to have their image shared (and in turn reach more people!) To repost an image, make sure you tag where the original image came from and check in with the poster – a DM to ask if you can regram with a credit often works a treat.

Social media photography can feel like a never-ending expense but there are tricks to pro-longing your images and sometimes all you need is a content calendar.

By Teresa Crifo

Fox+Fleur Designer

Have another question about social media images? Or want a brand new content calendar? Drop us a line at