My favorite mostly-free stock photography sources

Photo by Her Creative Studio

(Updated January 24, 2023)

I always try to use my own photos on my blog, but I’m not great at taking awesome pictures, so sometimes I refer to my favorite sources of stock photography when I need a gorgeous image for a blog post.

I’m pretty happy about these sites so I wanted to share it. Check out my favorite sources of mostly-free photos.

Her Creative Studio

I discovered Her Creative Studio through Creative Market. One of their styled stock photography bundle was free for the week and I decided to check it out. The featured image of this post is from that bundle. If you’re not ready to be a paid member, you can sign up for their newsletter and get a free photo every month.

Styled Stock Society

Styled Stock Society is also a paid membership, but has free resources for email subscribers. They’re really good images and I’ve used some of them for my Instagram posts.

Death To Stock

I can’t remember when I first found out about Death to Stock, but it was from a newsletter by one of the writers/artists I subscribe to. Can’t remember now who it was. I immediately visited their website and have been a subscriber of their free monthly photos ever since. I love that their free monthly packs have a theme and the photos are always top notch. If you want access to more photos aside from the free monthly, you can sign up for their premium membership.


I discovered Unsplash through an old writing gig. I rarely visit the site now but I’m still subscribed to their newsletter. I just like to keep myself updated with their new stuff, in case something catches my eye.

And that’s it. Haha.

If you want to check out more resources of free stock photography and what not, check out this rad list of design, code and photo sources.

Do you have a go-to source of stock photos? 

My favorite free WordPress themes

WSP Make Theme

I am obsessed with my blog. And by that I mean I’m obsessed with its design and layout and I change and tweak my themes all the time. Even when I was still blogging on Blogger, I loved to tweak my blog template. So much that I started a blog about modifying Blogger templates. I haven’t updated that blog in a long time, but I’m still messing around with blog themes.

I only use free themes though because, one, I can’t afford the premium ones, and, two, my preferences change so often that it’s impractical for me to spend on just one theme. I bought a premium theme only once in my entire life – after a whole lot of deliberation, mind you – and I regretted it because I just couldn’t get it to look right. Since then, I’ve stuck to free themes that I modify just a bit.

Out of all the WordPress themes I’ve tried, I found a very select few that I really liked and used for longer than most. I thought I should share them with you!

My top 3 favorite WordPress themes

Make by The Theme Foundry. I’ve tried using this theme a year or so ago, but couldn’t get it to look the way I wanted at that time. Then a few weeks ago, I felt the itch to redesign my blog again and, this time, Make seemed to fit my current taste. I like this theme because it’s so easy to customize and comes with pretty good documentation. The Simple Start Handbook is detailed enough to help you customize your website. I especially love that Google Fonts is already integrated in the Customizer so you don’t have to edit anything in your theme files if you want to use Google Fonts. Anyway, I like this theme a lot now.

Twenty Seventeen by WordPress. I really love this theme. It’s what I was using before I switched to Make and I used it for almost the entire year. It’s easy to customize and has a cool homepage feature that makes your website look clean and professional. It really is one of my favorites and I would use this again if my taste and feelings about my blog go back to this sort of look and feel.

Twenty Seventeen theme

Hemingway by Anders Noren. This is another one of my faves. I think I used this one longer than I used Twenty Seventeen. It’s clean, easy on the eyes and customizable, too. Modifying it to look exactly the way you want may take a little bit of basic css knowledge, but it already looks pretty good by itself. Its creator, Anders Noren, is one of my favorite designers because his themes are so clean and uses gorgeous typography. I’ve used some of his other themes before (Garfunkel and Lingonberry) and I liked them all.

Hemingway theme

So, those are my top 3 favorites based on how long I’ve used them and how easy they are to customize. I thought I should also share the runner-ups in case you’re thinking about changing your current theme. I’m really into minimalist designs (you know, a lot of white space and beautiful typography), so you’ll see a lot of that here:

(left-right, clockwise) Azalea by Just Good Themes, Hamilton by Anders Noren, Garfunkel by Anders Noren, Maker by Theme Patio

If you like minimalist designs, check out my top favorite minimalist design blogs for inspiration!

What’s your favorite WordPress theme right now? I would love some recommendations! :)

My latest minimalist design blog crushes

minimalist blogs

I love blogs and websites that have clean and simple themes. LOVE them and I often visit some of my favorites not just to check out their latest posts but also admire their pretty pretty blogs. I also try to emulate them by playing around with my blog design hundreds of times a month. Seriously, I am never satisfied with how my blog looks.

Anyway, I posted a list of my ‘favorite minimalist blog design’ several few years ago and I think it’s time for another one! So, here you go! Yayyy.

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15 Days of Writing True

15 days of writing true

This month I’m in a writing workshop called 15 Days of Writing True, created by one of my favorite writers and surfer girl crushes, Camille Pilar, and the amazing Sofia Cope, who I only discovered because of this workshop. If you’ve heard of Camille and Sofia, then you’ll know how utterly breathtaking their individual works are and you’ll understand when I say that, together, they created a workshop that is all kinds of beautiful. I mean, seriously. Camille’s exquisite words and Sofia’s gorgeous art together? It’s truly sublime.

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Hello, November! (plus my favorite writers’ resources)

Aaaand just like that it’s November. And we know what that means – it’s NaNoWriMo once again. Yep.

NaNoWrimo or National Novel Writing Month is when people attempt to write and finish a novel for the entire month of November. Well, the goal is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words. Some folks say it’s crazy, some folks say it works for them. For me, I see it as a personal challenge to START something.

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The productivity apps I use right now

Some of you may know that I don’t have a regular job and freelance some of the time. It’s not so bad but it can be a challenge to be productive. Thank the tech gods that there are cool productivity apps I can use to do my work. Today I’m listing them down just because. Hah. :)

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I want a pretty planner for 2016 though I don’t really use one.

Are you a planner type person? I really am not. I have had planners before and I always ended up not using them much or at all. I’ve realized before that it’s the organized and structured format that bothers me. Well, you know, each page or spread is for a specific week and there are spaces and lines for each day. It bothers me when I don’t have anything written down for each day or if I have too much stuff on a particular day and spill out on to the space meant for the next day. I just can’t ignore the dates and labels. I know, I’m weird. What has been working for me so far is a plain, unlined notebook. I can write anything – from random ideas and thoughts, to-do lists, plans, etc. – and I don’t feel pressured to write something for each day hah. It’s great.

However, these gorgeous planners are making me re-think my planner game or lack thereof. Take a look and see what I mean.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your NaNoWriMo Novel [Infographic]


Where my WriMos at? How are you doing with your projects? I hope you’re all doing okay. Moi, on the other hand – I’m kind of failing this challenge. Hah. Coming into November, I had a whole bunch of ideas I didn’t really know what to do with and I changed my initial story a couple of days ago and I wrote about 200 words as an intro. Tada! Seriously though, I’m not broken up about it. My goal for NaNo is to just come out with a good outline that I can work on beyond this month’s madness. :)

Anyway, thought I’d share this nice little infographic by Grammarly. During last year’s NaNoWriMo, Grammarly worked with about 500 writers from 54 countries to crowdsource a novel. They then analyzed the resulting 40,000 or so words and uncovered some common writing mistakes. Find a summary of the top five in the infographic below! Plus, read more about Grammarly’s Novel Ideas Competition!

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