how to choose the right stock photos

How to Choose the Right Stock Photo for Your Brand

How to Choose the Right Stock Photo for Your Brand

Choosing photos that fit your brand can feel like an overwhelming task. We know that choosing the right visuals plays a huge part in how people will feel, and more importantly what action steps they’ll take, when looking at your content.

Today we’re discussing best practices when it comes to choosing stock photos. Whether you’re doing a complete brand refresh or working on a big project, these guidelines will take the stress out of choosing stock photos and help ensure your brand looks its best.

1. Choose photos that support your message

When choosing photos, remember that this will be a visual representation of who you are to your customers. You want the photos to give them a taste of what you’re all about. Before you do anything, make sure you have a clear understanding of what message you want to convey to viewers. What’s the main emotion or idea you’re trying to represent? Know your brand and know your customers. This will help you narrow in on a general theme or idea for a collection of photos.

2. Choose text friendly photos

There may be times you want add text to a photo. This can be an easy way to communicate with viewers, ensuring they get the message without even reading the caption. When choosing photos, it’s a good idea to have a handful that have a simple backdrop, allowing for text to be added if need be.

3. Pay attention to the color, shape and orientation of the photos

Different colors stimulate different subconscious responses.  You can make colors pop by understanding contrast and saturation techniques. Be aware of the colors in your photos and think about what emotions you want to evoke or what part of the photo you want to draw attention to. In addition, it can be helpful to know what size and orientation work best for different social platforms. You can follow this guide for help.

  •      Facebook & Instagram: square photos
  •      Google & Pinterest: vertical photos
  •      Twitter: horizontal photos

4. Be consistent

Just like any aspect of branding, it’s important to stay consistent when choosing stock photos. Once you decide on your message, colors and sizes for your images stick with that theme. Your photos should look like a holistic representation of the brand that help tell your story, not a random collection of pictures. 

5. Avoid images that can become outdated or are too specific

Typically, stock photos are generic enough to stand out without distracting too much from the message, but there are some things to avoid that could throw viewers off. If you’re choosing a photo with people, do your best to stay away from photos with trendy clothing items as that can quickly outdate your brand. Also, avoid pictures that look cheesy, recognizable or controversial. Everyone has seen the classic, cheesy office stock photo where the people look unnatural or over the top. These are cliché’s that we want to avoid. Choose photos where the people look comfortable, natural and there are no giveaways on when and where the photo was taken.

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Is there room for improvement in your visual library? Do you have more questions about how to establish consistency within your brand? At VSG we believe in helping you bring your ideas to life by molding them with our strategic solutions. Email applied@vsg360.com today to get started.

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