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How to Choose the Best Stock Image

1. Hold the cheese

Avoid using “canned” images that look so staged they don’t have any personality – these will make your brand appear unprofessional and cheap.

2. Stay relevant

Engage the viewer with imagery that invokes intimacy and emotion – using people can help a viewer feel more connected to the content.

3. Consistency counts

Choosing images with the same tone will have a more professional look. Whether consistency is with your brand or just within the series of images used, images should share a related “feeling” as if each photo or illustration came from the same source.

4. Make it personal

If your image displays outdated clothing and technology, people will think the product or service is also old and dated.

5. Stay focused

Look for clear, simple imagery that highlights your message. Over complicated visuals – from unnecessary people and structures – or odd expressions can take away from the focal point of the photo.

6. Be Sensitive

Consider if your image is culturally appropriate for your target audience – sometimes certain imagery choices can lead to be a turn-off or even worse, communicate the wrong idea altogether.

7. Try before you buy

Stock image providers allow you to download a free watermarked version so you can see how an image will look in a layout before you invest.

Sue Serra
Sue Serra