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Using Stock Photography as an Art

It’s been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But, is that really true when you are using a stock photo that looks fake, out of character, generic, or plain odd? Probably not. Whether you are using photos taken for you by a professional, or selecting a stock photo for your website, ad or packaging, it’s important to select the right photo for your target audience and message. In fact, the perfect combination of visuals with words are known to communicate the best.

Let’s examine some artistic tricks of the trade when using stock photos.

•   Use images that truly complement your marketing effort. Don’t use images just because you think you need an image. Make sure the image truly tells your story.

•   Customize your image to fit your purpose. Add text to it. Crop the photo in an inventive way. Use Photoshop when needed. Photo retouching can ensure that from photo to photo, all of your images look like they were shot the same way, and have an immediate connection to one another.

•   Use photos that appeal and communicate to your target audience. Give your advertising some personality, or sense of humor when appropriate.

•   Use a collage of photos for added excitement.

•   Experiment with tools like Instagram and real photos. You don’t need to use stock photos for every shot.

•   Pay attention to the background in your ad or website. A screened back photo can add visual interest.

•   Tie into your branding. Your images should match the overall aesthetic of your packaging and marketing materials, as well as your company’s image. The photo should be tailor fit to suit your brand.

•   Overall, steer clear of cliché shots of happy co-workers high-fiving, a rattled business person holding a briefcase, picture-perfect happy models meeting in a sterile white office, or an attractive, young customer service person with a headset. The list could go on and on. However, a cliché might just be the perfect image. If so, make sure to keep the above tricks in mind so it looks purposeful and appropriate. There wouldn't be so many images of customer service reps with a headset if it didn't fill a need.

Whether marketing products or services, the image you choose creates viewer interest, and hopefully, a desire to purchase the product. So be selective when selecting a stock photo, and choose a source with professional images.

Contact jamgd
This is where jamgd comes in. Selectively using stock photography takes design expertise, creativity, and a keen sense of what sells. jamgd has extensive experience in utilizing stock photos for a wide variety of customers, for use on website, social media, packaging, ads and more. For your next design project, contact us. We’ll make sure your images don’t look stock.