The thought of having to look through thousands of photos just to find the right one can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. However, if you understand how to use stock photos and how to make them work for you, you will have an avenue to increase your reach, audience engagement and have the opportunity to focus more of your time on other important projects.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when selecting the right stock photo:
Is it text-friendly?
You never want your typography to look like it has just been abandoned on an image. Instead, try to pick stock photos that are text-friendly by looking for images that have plenty of built negative in space to one side to accommodate text or images that are suitable to use as a background image.
Is it the right shape and size?
Think of how many different projects you have previously needed a stock image for; a new blog entry, an eye-catching social media post or a new services page on your website – the list will be huge! But, not every stock image will be suitably sized for all of these projects so when looking for an image, make sure that it is the correct size for the medium you are using.
Is it relevant?
For an image to resonate with your audience, it needs to have some relevance to the content you are associating it with. If your post was about social media, you might want to opt for an image of someone on their phone scrolling through Facebook (a screen view of course).
When choosing a stock photo, find one that does not distract from the main subject of your content. Any of the following would be considered distracting; controversial, meme, loud or too specific.
Is it realistic?
Photos that depict unrealistic scenarios are the ones people despise the most, for example, someone wearing a headset, looking overly happy while sitting at their desk at work. Instead, opt for a photo that depicts a situation that would actually occur in real life.
Is it high-quality?
Make sure that you are selecting images that are high-quality for great viewing on the highest resolution screen. When adjusting the size of an image, always keep dimensions the same and crop if necessary. If you increase an image past its original size, you’re bound to decrease the quality.
Is it in keeping with your brand?
The images you choose should reinforce your brand’s voice, message, and style, and they should definitely reflect your target audience. Choosing images that use your brand colours is a great way to ensure that you’re staying on brand with your images. If you are unable to source images that employ your brand colours you can add a coloured overlay to the image.
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