Trouble trying to find the right stock images for your website?
You’ve come to the right place—Our tips will help save time and effort when trying to choose the best images for your website!
Using the right stock images on your business’ website is essential to its success. People read into the images on a web page as much as they actually read the web copy that has been written. Implementing attractive images on your website will keep web visitors intrigued. These images can also be used to break up large blocks of text, making your web copy more digestible. Images can also help depict the mood, or narrative tone of your web copy, showing readers how they should be feeling as they digest the web content on your website.
While you may think you’re using the right kind of stock photos for your business, you could accidentally be choosing the wrong kind of images for successfully marketing, or presenting your business online. Use these tips to help ensure you’re choosing the right stock photos for your website that will best market it online.
Before we delve into our tips, here are two essential rules to always keep in mind while looking for stock photos, for any scenario:
- Choose professionally lit pictures: Use pictures that have been shot with professional quality lighting. Then stick with a consistent lighting theme so that the pictures adhere to a consistent look.
- Choose high-quality photos: Make sure all the photos you use have high resolution so that your brand looks its best.
Top 5 tips for choosing stock photos for your websites
These tips are strategies to help you find stock photos that will aid your online marketing and website design:
1. Choose Stock Photos That Reflect Your Branding
Every photo you use should be communicating the same message as the rest of your branding. Each photo should be a visualization of your brand message, or be compatible with it. Visitors will view the credibility of your brand with the type of images you use. If your stock photos look fake or phony, your brand is going to be treated the same way. Use the stock images you choose to reinforce your brand’s voice, style, and mood.
Images can be used to communicate a feeling. This can help your visitors to feel empowered, relaxed, or excited. However, the wrong images can cause them to feel disoriented, confused or disinterested, which they will then associate with your business’ brand. That is why you should choose images that ensite the kind of feeling you want to be associated with your brand, and match your style.
The stock photos you choose should be based on how you want your ideal customer/client to feel when interacting with your brand. They should also work to emanate the style of your branding. Try to find images of people or circumstances that reflect who, or what your ideal customer/client would look like, or be surrounded by. Look to portray the demographics of your desired customers/clients in the photos you use.
2. Choose Stock Photos Using Your Brand Colours
The psychology of colours is a very real, very important tool to utilize. Not only in your branding, but in the images you use to represent your business. Colours create an emotional reaction within the person seeing them. That is why your brand colours should have been selected so that they instil the type of emotions you want to be associated with your business.
All of the content you use to present your business should be in line with your branding, and the images you use are no exception. The design of your website should implement a theme that uses, or has been customized to use the colours you have chosen for your branding. The stock photos you use can help reinforce this and should be aligned with the colours of your brand for consistency.
If your colours are bright and flamboyant, then you don’t want to choose dark and shadowy photos for your website. Instead, look for photos that match the mood of your colour scheme. If your colours are cooler and neutral in tone, then match your imagery to that, instead of choosing pictures that use bright and neon colours in them. This strategy will ensure that your website appears more professional and consistent in the tone and mood of its messaging.
3. Choose Stock Photos With The Right Content
Choose relevant images—The stock photos you select should relate to the subject matter you are pairing them with. Do not just pick a pretty picture. Pick a picture that relates to the content matter you are discussing. The subject matter of your photos should be catered to appeal to your ideal customer/client. Who and what is in the stock photos you choose is equally as important to matching their style and colours to your business’ branding.
Don’t be afraid to use pictures with people in them. People will always connect more readily with pictures of other people in them. Pictures with people can cause visitors to think, “If I buy what they’re selling, my life will look like that person’s in the picture!” This can be achieved through the association that occurs when the right picture is paired with persuasive web copy.
All that being said, make sure these photos are candid, or have an authentic and organic feel to them. Nothing is worse than a posed, staged photo of some random person, or people. These images read as phony and insincere. For example, instead of choosing a photo of someone’s hand on a keyboard, choose one with an entire person interacting naturally with a laptop in a setting that suits the demographic of your ideal customer/client.
When you are using photos without people in them, look for lots of negative space. Choose a photo that creates a mood, or seems to communicate an emotion, idea or metaphor that is the perfect companion for the web content it will be accompanied by.
4. Choose Stock Photos In A Consistent Style
As previously stated, it is key to remain consistent with your branding on your website, which means choosing stock photos that have the same style and are compatible with your business’ brand. There are many styles of photography—Soft, muted, minimal, bright, bold, edgy—find the right one for your brand and stick with it.
One way to achieve this is to find stock photos by the same photographer. Once you’ve run out of options by them, find other photographers that share this similar style. Again, make sure the style of photography you settle on matches the branding of your business.
5. Choose Reputable Sources For Your Stock Photos
Using stock photography is a great way to save money. That said, if you’re going this route it is critical to ensure that you’re using them legally. Before doing anything, make sure you have researched licensing agreements. It’s respectful, important and required to give credit where credit is due—plus, you don’t want to end up getting sued.
Some licenses allow you complete freedom to use an image however you want to, while others only allow the use of a photo under certain conditions. If you’re uncertain about the rights of use for a particular picture, you can always contact the owner of the photo—or, simply not use it. Reputable sources for stock photos will tell you what the photos on them be used for on their website.
There are many sources out there for stock photography. However, these websites are not all created equal.
Here are some websites where you can find free stock photos:
Photos are one of the many important aspects for quality web design, and perhaps one of the most essential. Take the time to think about the message each of the photos on your website would be sending.
- Is the message in line with your branding?
- Would it appeal to your ideal customer/client?
- What emotions do you associate with it?
Ask yourself these questions as you look for high-quality photos from reputable sources. Hopefully these tips will help you choose the right stock photos for your website. If you don’t trust your eye for photography, or are struggling to find the time to select and import these photos to your business’ website—Contact us today!
We’re here to help!
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Interested and want to learn more?
Brittany Hardy ⎜ Owner
Brittany Hardy is the Owner of Empty Desk Solutions, a boutique marketing company located in Port Moody B.C.
Brittany is passionate about helping small businesses achieve their growth goals with marketing solutions that are both effective and affordable.
After many years of working in retail management, Brittany went on to become the Marketing Manager for Dominion Lending, Canada’s largest mortgage company. Brittany then decided it was time to pursue a life-long goal of creating her own business. Inherently, Brittany likes to help people and decided there was no better way to do this than to use her creative talent to lift up others who want to do the same thing.
The mother of three young children, Brittany believes in balancing work and home life and continues to find new ways to support and employ other mothers who want to start their own businesses or stay at home with their children.
Social media marketing continues to evolve, and Brittany and her team are passionate about helping small businesses navigate how they can benefit from these networks.
Brittany has been a finalist for the Women of Worth awards, the Tri-Cities Business Excellence awards, and has most recently been featured in Small Business BC and the Huffington Post.