How to Use Stock Imagery

There are numerous stock photography companies online offering thousands upon thousands of images that can be accessed by anyone to add interest to websites. Some are free to use, whilst others require a subscription or a payment per image. It’s a great resource, but it needs to be used with great care.

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According to Forbes, stock photographs are a dying trend, reducing consumer trust and giving visitors a negative impression of your site, but is that the whole story? Stock images cover so many subjects that it would be foolish to assume that the use of any stock images would be bad for business.

If you plan on using stock images, here are a few points to consider.

Avoid Clichés

Generic photographs of corporate types smiling at the camera won’t fool your visitors. It looks cheesy, and it doesn’t create a good impression, so try to avoid this type of imagery. If you can’t use photographs of your own employees, then select images that show someone hard at work or in a more convincing pose.

Use Images That Reflect Your Brand

We’ve all seen the pictures of oranges and lemon that represent ‘a fresh approach’, or people running through fields of wheat to represent health and happiness. Unless your products or services actually feature citrus fruit or wheat, choose less generic photographs that link in with your business in a direct way.

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Use the Appropriate Resolution Option

Low-resolution images are cheaper than high-resolution ones, but that shouldn’t influence your decision when it comes to purchasing photographs for your site. Enlarging a lo-res image won’t create a good impression, so make sure you buy the size that fits your online space. This can be tricky if you’re not a professional web designer, but you can source excellent web designers in Newport, Newquay or Newcastle, with companies such as offering a comprehensive service, including sourcing appropriate imagery for your website.

Avoid the Matrix

Far too many websites emphasise the digital nature of their business by using stock images that feature people trapped behind a transparent screen of numbers, in a scene reminiscent of The Matrix series of films. This is such a hackneyed image that it really has no place on any self-respecting website. Choose other images to represent digital technology, such as people actually using computers, for example.