How to avoid choosing clichéd stock imagery

25 April 2018

A picture speaks a thousand words, and the imagery that you choose for your website can have a far bigger impact on first impressions than any of your copy. So why do so many businesses fall victim to using clichéd stock imagery?

Even if you hire a professional photography service (like Wida Group’s), it’s likely that some part of your website will require stock imagery. Here’s how to make sure that the imagery you choose looks original and relevant to your business.

Choose the right website

The most trusted websites to find stock imagery include Shutterstock , Big Stock Photo and iStock , where you’ll be able to browse through thousands of images to find the right one. These websites also provide packages and plans for regular users, which is handy when purchasing more than one photo at once. Alternatively, free websites such as Unsplash , Burst and Gratisography also provide a great selection for those on a budget.

Make sure you have permission

Check the licensing permissions are fit for purpose before purchasing an image and never assume that “royalty free” means “completely free”. You can find out more about licenses in this handy article from 99 Designs.

Use the right search terms

Your search will run much quicker if you know the right terms to use. For example, typing in “business” will garner some pretty generic-looking results, whereas “business startup”, “business network” and “new business” have more original outcomes. Think laterally to get more interesting results.

Check the Context

These questions may sound obvious but are often forgotten in the midst of a search. Do the people in your images look like your target audience? Does their location resemble yours? What clothes are they wearing? What kind of products are they holding? You won’t engage the over 50’s of suburbia with a picture of a 35 year old living in the city.

Be Original

Avoid overused imagery like these and crop, colour treat and add text to your stock imagery to make them more unique to your business.

Be consistent

Check that the quality, size and colour of your images are consistent, so that they work in harmony to send out a clear and on-brand message about your business. Often, stock images will come in a “series”, making it easier to pick out images of the same style.

Need help creating the right design for your website? Looking for a professional photography service? Give us a call today on 0115 921 4797 , or fill in the form below - we’ll be ready to listen to your ideas.