6 Easy Canva Tricks To Make Stock Photos Pop

Canva tricks to make stock photos pop

Making stock photos look branded and personal to you should not be time-consuming, difficult or expensive! To help, I’m sharing 6 easy Canva tricks you can learn to take your already high-end photos and make them pop!

Whether you’ve been using stock photos for a while or just started seeing the results of using high-end imagery for your brand, there often comes a time when you’d like them to feel a bit more personal to your branding.

Looking unique using stock photos sounds hard to achieve, but it really isn’t, especially when you use an already dedicated image library that suits your vibe. This is because often there are fewer members than the bigger libraries, so you’re not sharing the images with as many people. But there are a few things you can do to the images to further ensure they’re unique to your brand, and stand out even more to your audience.

(Remembering that you don’t need to do anything to the image at all if you don’t want! All Tide & Tree images can be used exactly as they are with no further editing required)

The best thing is these tricks are super easy, with no design degree needed – and all you need is your stock photos of choice and a FREE Canva account. By adding some simple edits to your stock photos, you can create stunning, personalised imagery for your brand in seconds that stands out on your feeds and websites, without worrying about looking like everyone else.

So, here’s 6 quick tricks to learn in Canva so you can take your stock photos to the next level with ease!

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Add a filter

Add your image to the grid and then click on ‘Edit Image’ in the top bar.  Scroll to the filter section and pick one that works. There’s basic filters and photogenic filters to choose from. 

TIP 1: Check the filter you like works on both dark toned images and lighter images, as some filters can wash out already bright photos.

TIP 2: Use the same filter on every image – don’t keep picking different ones, it will look messy.

5 tips for curating cohesive images for your brand!

How to add a photo filter in Canva
Stock photo filters


Flip the image

A super easy way to instantly make the image look different is to flip it! Just click on the image and head to Flip, then choose between Horizontal or Vertical depending on the subject matter in the image.

TIP 1: Make sure the image works the other way round – clocks or text that’s in focus will look odd when flipped.

TIP 2: Make the use of Tide & Tree’s interchangeable images to rotate and flip to create super unique looking images!

How to flip an image in Canva
Flip images in Canva


Crop/zoom in

Another simple tip to isolate some detail in a busy photo, or create more impact with a simple photo, is to zoom in and crop the image. Just double click on the image and drag the corners out – then move the image to where you want it to be.

TIP 1: Use in conjunction with the above trick to create a flipped, zoomed in image that will look instantly different to the original.

TIP 2: Don’t zoom in too much or use the zoomed in image on a large print project – the quality will suffer. 

Get multiple images from one stock photo!

How to crop an image in Canva
Crop stock photos


Apply basic edits

Click on the image and then click ‘Edit Image’, from there you can scroll to ‘Adjust’ and click on ‘See All’. From there, adjust each slider for the effects you want to change until happy. 

TIP 1: Play with the X-Process slider, the Fade slider and the Contrast slider to create a striking, stylish effect.

TIP 2: At the bottom you’ll see a ‘code’. Save this somewhere and you can essentially create your own preset. On your next image, just head to the same place and paste your code to apply all your edits.

How to edit an image in Canva
Edit stock photos


Add a blur effect

Head to ‘Edit Image > Adjust > See All’ and move the blur slider to create a soft effect one way or a sharper effect the other way.

TIP 1: Don’t go too extreme either way, subtle wins every time on this slider.

TIP 2: This trick is ideal for creating backgrounds for quotes or adding text over the image as it’s super easy to read and get creative with your fonts, and the image in the background adds interest without distracting the reader.

How to add a blur effect in Canva
Add a blur effect to stock photos


Re-apply the image

Create another image grid and insert the same image into it. Then position this grid so it’s slightly smaller than the original image.

TIP 1: Blur the background image for a bigger impact.

TIP 2: You can add a shadow to the overlay image by going to ‘Edit Image’ and scrolling until you see shadow types.


Combine tricks

Finally, don’t forget you can mix ‘n’ match all the tricks above to create stunning visuals for your social media, websites, marketing, emails and so much more.

TIP 1: Keep a workflow – make a note of the effects that work for your images so you can repeat it every time.

TIP 2: Don’t over do it. Find a style that works for you without overthinking it – write it down, and make it part of your regular content creation workflow.

Customise stock images


I’ve taken a sample of images from the Tide & Tree library and applied a different set of ‘effects’ – all using the tricks listed above, to create 5 completely different styles to show what’s possible with stock photos!



Find these images in the following collections:
Office Sweet Office, Fern Inspired, Botanical Home, Coffee & Pancakes
Nourished Part i



– Flipped a couple of images and zoomed in on some
– Applied the same photogenic filter to each image



– Flipped a couple of images and zoomed in on some
– Edited one of the photos via adjustment sliders and then pasted the filter code to apply it to the others. 



– Flipped a couple of images and zoomed in on some
– Applied the same photogenic filter to each image



– Flipped a couple of images and zoomed in on some
– Applied the same photogenic filter to each image
– Duplicated some and re-applied over a blurred background



– Flipped a couple of images and zoomed in on some
– Applied the same photogenic filter to each image
– Blurred background with text overlay

And there you have it! 6 easy tricks in Canva to make your photos pop!

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take the quiz & get a free set of images based on your result!

Various Autumnal themed images from the members library

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