If you’ve ever tried to find the perfect stock photo for your website or Instagram post, you know there are a lot of bad stock images out there. And the ones that are at least half-decent seem to cost an arm and a leg.
Stock photo memberships like Haute Stock are an attempt to fill this gap with a library of modern stock photos for creative entrepreneurs and business owners.
But you might be wondering if paying a monthly or annual fee for a Haute Stock photo membership is actually worth it.
That’s fair. I hate racking up recurring business expenses without knowing if I’m actually going to benefit from them.
So as a Haute Stock member and someone who searches for stock imagery frequently when creating pins for my clients, I’m breaking it all down and telling you whether or not a Haute Stock membership is worth it or not.
Are Haute Stock photos actually worth the business expense?
An annual Haute stock photo membership was my first “big” business expense. It’s now been three years and counting, so yeah, I’d say it’s worth it!
I’m self-admittedly a bit cheap when it comes to business investments, particularly anything that’s going to lock me into recurring payments.
Quick and dirty sales psychology insight: you’re more likely to keep paying for something once you’ve already “bought in”. That’s why client retention is often cheaper and more of a priority for companies than client acquisition.
My 15 credit hours in the advertising department taught me at least that much, and I know my little neurodivergent brain would detest the process of canceling a membership, so any subscription-based business expense requires double the justification in my mind.
But Haute Stock made their annual membership such an easy yes and they’ve kept making that investment worth the price!
I was first introduced to Haute Stock by one of my clients who had given me access to her library to use for her Pinterest pins and I fell in love instantly.
The imagery was gorgeous, felt real, and matched Sara’s brand effortlessly. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest the Haute Stock photos had something to do with how quickly she grew on Pinterest.
Being inside the Haute Stock photo library every day and not being able to use it for my own business was as tempting as the smell of the Target candle aisle and just as rewarding.
Since joining Haute Stock’s photo membership, I’ve used the resources there for my social media, website, email marketing, masterclasses, and more.
But if that isn’t enough to convince you, here are 6 reasons why Haute Stock photos are worth your money.
1. If you’re creating content online, you need to have good imagery.
It’s been true for a while and just keeps getting more important — good, high-quality images and videos are an absolute necessity for online business owners. I don’t care what you do or who you are, you need imagery that is both stylish and strategic.
And I don’t know about you, but booking multiple 4-figure+ brand shoots to get all the content you need to keep up with the demands of marketing your business online is out of most beginner business owners’ budgets.
Haute Stock works with talented photographers to create a library full of modern styled stock photos and videos that elevate your brand and capture your audience’s attention.
2. Good stock photos are hard to find, and the free ones are overused.
How many hours have you spent scrolling past overly literal stock photos, way-too-saturated flat lays, and corporate business images that don’t fit your creative business vibe?
And how many times have you found a good stock photo only to see it used on every other pin in your home feed?
The problem with stock photos is that a lot of them aren’t that great, and everyone knows it. That leads to business owners like you flocking to free stock photo sites like Unsplash and Pexels to grab whatever good stock photos they can find and use the sh*t out of them.
It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me. I used this very distinct image as the hero image on my very first website and now I can’t help but cringe every time I see it in the wild.
Obviously, as with any stock photo membership, you aren’t paying for exclusive use of Haute Stock’s images. But there aren’t quite as many people using them, so you’re less likely to blend in with the sea of laptop + coffee + succulent snaps.
Beyond that, the stock photos and videos within the Haute Stock photo membership are so much better than those cliche images. Honestly, they don’t even look like stock photos, which is the best part about it.
Stock photos that you actually like and that aren’t overused? Double win.
3. Haute Stock’s membership includes more than just stock photos.
That’s right, the Haute Stock photo membership isn’t just an image library. They also have curated stock videos that pair beautifully with their stock photo collections. These videos are perfect to use as b-roll in Reels, video pins, or even on your website! As someone whose desk is often cluttered and bit dusty, with Haute Stock, I can have gorgeous aesthetic videos without having to be an interior designer.
Read the following sentence in your best infomercial voice: But wait, there’s more!
Stock photos and videos aside, Haute Stock also has a whole library of marketing resources and content templates included for FREE with your stock photo membership. I’m absolutely obsessed with these holiday Instagram post templates.
Oh, and did I mention they have email marketing templates and presentation templates? One of those alone from other template shops would run you the price of a Haute Stock annual membership, and you wouldn’t get access to everything else Haute Stock has to offer.
That’s girl math, if you ask me.
4. New content is added to the library every week.
Can I get a hallelujah?! The fact that Haute Stock adds new content and photos on a weekly basis makes paying the stock photo subscription fee that much more worth it in my opinion. I get so excited to see the latest drop in my inbox every week and instantly want to update all my images.
Haute Stock also does a great job listening to their members, creating more of what we love and adding different resources and styles when asked! It truly feels like they’re reading my mind and giving me exactly the kind of chic stock imagery I need to keep up with the trends, seasons, and more!
5. It’s easy to search for and create on-brand content.
As a self-proclaimed pro-Googler, I love a good search engine experience, and Haute Stock’s is one of the best! They have tons of different filters to help you find exactly the types of stock photos you’re looking for. For example, here are a few things you can filter by:
- People vs. no people
- Tech vs. no tech
- Content orientation (vertical, horizontal, square, etc.)
- Just videos or just images
- Color (even your own custom brand colors!)
If you prefer to browse, Haute Stock makes it easy to do that too. New content drops are organized into self-explanatory collections, and you can also browse by general categories like lifestyle, workplace, food & drink, etc.
One of the things I worried about when I was considering whether or not a Haute Stock photo membership was worth it was if there would be enough photos that fit my particular brand to make it worth the cost. Let me tell you, I did not need to worry at ALL.
You won’t be stuck with just one collection or a handful of photos to use. So many of the Haute Stock photos fit seamlessly with each other, making it easy to have varied imagery that’s still on brand.
You aren’t limited to just editorial stock photos or just neutral stock photos though. Haute Stock truly covers a whole spectrum of scenes, industries, and color palettes. You can find dark and moody, light and airy, bright and colorful, and everything in between!
Sometimes it makes it hard when there are so many gorgeous images, but that’s a good problem to have.
6. Commercial licensing is available to use the assets for your client work.
This is more of a bonus reason as to why Haute Stock is worth it, but I think it’s a pretty important one! Most stock photo subscriptions only allow you to use the photos for your personal use. But this year, Haute Stock introduced commercial license options so you can purchase access to the Haute Stock photo library for your client work as well!
This would be a particularly good option for social media managers who need good content for their clients or web designers to help round out their clients’ sites!
I haven’t personally opted for the commercial Haute Stock membership, but it is something I’ve considered!
So, is a Haute Stock photo membership worth it?
Yes, it’s 100% worth every penny! If you’re looking for the best stock photos for your business, the Haute Stock photo membership is the way to go.
I am genuinely just such the biggest fan of everything Haute Stock does, from their products to their own marketing (I read every email!), and will happily share it with anyone I meet.
Haute Stock Discount Code
If you know you wanna join the Haute Stock photo membership and be a “Hautie” like me, I’ve got a special treat for you!
Investing in your business can be a little scary, but discount codes make it wayyy better, and the Haute Stock discount code is wicked good! Unlike other referral programs, if you sign up for Haute Stock using my code ‘SARAHB’, you’ll get 15% off your membership FOREVER. Not just the first month or the first year. FOREVER.
If you pay annually, that brings the price of the subscription down from $499 to $424. But you can also apply the discount code to any of the membership plans. (I’d recommend quarterly or annually so you can get unlimited downloads!)
Also, as a little secret from me to you, Haute Stock always has an amazing Black Friday sale, so if you’ve been eyeing it for a while, strike while that sales iron is hot!
Alright bestie, I think this might be the longest blog post ever written about a single stock photo membership, but when I tell you I love Haute Stock, I mean it.
Having a solid bank of high-quality, unique images makes creating content, and especially creating Pinterest content, so much easier. And remember, just ask yourself WWDRS? (What would David Rose say?) It’s a write-off, of course!
(Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional. Also, some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something, I may earn a small commission. I never share anything I don’t genuinely use and believe in!)
Stock photos have come a long way from bright and cluttered flat lays and “woman eating salad”. Don’t leave your business stuck in the stock imagery dark ages!