Guide to Using Stock Photos

If you have a business or work for a company then you are most likely familiar with stock photos. They can be an essential part of social media and other marketing materials.  If you aren’t familiar with stock photos, they are images licensed for the public for specific use. They are normally high quality images that photographers allow to be used under certain copyright. You can find most stock photos super cheap to free.

Avoid abstract 3D pictures and figures

It is 2018 – Time to ditch the 3D figures that are pointing at a 3D graph. They can be oddly distracting from your initial message and seem outdated. You can most likely find another stock image that portrays a similar message in a more sophisticated way.

Choose photos that reinforce your brand

Choose stock photos that still tell your brand story and match the rest of your voice. Know your audience and use photos that appeal to them and that they can relate to. Pulling your stock photos from one website or source can help your brand look more cohesive.

Keep it authentic

Even though you are utilizing the world of stock photos, you can still be authentic. Don’t chose a picture of someone in an office at a computer if you are a lawn service provider. Try to add your own touch to the stock photo. Whether it is adding your logo or the filter you always use, don’t be afraid to personalize them.

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Don’t be cliché

This goes back to keeping it authentic. Look for real people and scenes that aren’t too staged and apply to an everyday situation. Avoid pictures of people smiling and looking directly into the camera; nothing could possibly be more staged. Even more so, try not to go overboard on the stock photos. Stock photos are great for a quick, high-resolution photo needed for your company but try to add in some original content as well.

Give credit where credit is due

Even though a photographer is giving you the rights to use their photo, it doesn’t hurt to give them credit. A lot of the websites you download stock photos from will tell you who took the photos and probably encourage you to give them credit as well.

Try taking your own stock photos

The best advice to using stock photos? Take your own! Gather your fellow co-workers and get creative in the space you work in.  Don’t have a fancy camera? Grab your smartphone; most of them can take pictures just as well. Take photos of your team in meetings, at luncheons or just doing everyday work that embodies your company’s brand. You will always have a folder of pictures to use that are original and authentic to utilize.

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