Once you’ve decided to start a blog for your business, best practices will encourage you to use images and other media within your content. But, with only so many stock photo resources out there, it can be difficult to find unique images that haven’t been used a million times by other brands.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you in choosing the best stock photo—those that aren’t so “stock.”
What Are Stock Photos?
When choosing the best stock photo, do not, we repeat, DO NOT get your images from a regular Google search. Images published on the Internet are already copyrighted. This means you could get sued for using images that don’t belong to you.
If you’re setting out to choose images for your business blog, you want to use creative commons photos, or ones that were created for reuse and redistribution. Free images, (or in other words, stock photos) give content creators universal access to use the photos as they please.
You can get free images from tons of different sites. But, with so many people using the same ones, how can you guarantee you’re using photos that help your brand stand out?
How to Choose Stock Photos That Aren’t Stock
Scrolling through social media or browsing various blogs, you may start seeing the same old, everyday stock photos. The same ones seem to get used over and over by different brands—you know, the corny photos that just look like they’ve been overly posed. They’re not authentic, and they’re full of clichés.
The images that may come to mind include the business people in stiff suits shaking hands or looking like they’re typing—but on a blank screen. Or, the cheesy smiling teens in front of that dreaded white background.
Where are these people supposed to be? Outer space? Or the Void?
Instead of getting the everyday stock photo for your blog, try stock photography sources. Sites like 500px and Negative Space offer free stock images from photographers. These photos are high-quality, unique, and fresh. Users upload photos to these platforms every day, so you’re less likely to use a photo that’s been repeated all over the Internet.
Best practices for choosing (un)stock photos
First, make it a goal to find images that are relatable. You want real people doing real things. Look for photos that reveal character and show that the people in the image are not perfect models, but regular human beings.
Here’s an example of what you don’t want for your stock photos:
This lovely lady here is looking at the computer with her hand on the mousepad, which could be genuine. However, normal Internet users do not cheese super hard while they’re flipping through their email or social media feed. Also, she’s floating in space for goodness sake! This image is heavily posed; it’s fake.
Here’s another stock photo that’s a little more authentic:
Again, we have a young female scrolling through her computer. What’s different—and better—about this photo, however, is that she’s in a realistic position in a realistic environment. Many of us scroll through our computers in the comfort of our own homes, and after a few hours of scrolling, we may end up in a slouched, relaxed position.
Genuine, authentic, high-quality. That’s what we’re looking for when choosing the best stock photo.
Some more tips for your free images journey:
- Find images of people in natural poses. Business people aren’t usually smiling while they’re working. They’re just focused on working.
- Find photos relevant to your content. The topic of your blog should match the imagery in the photo.
- Try to find lesser-used photos. Platforms like the ones listed above update images daily. Don’t go for the popular ones. Instead, try to choose from the latest posted images, so they’re fresh and unused.
- Think of consistent branding. Choose images that are similar in style, edit, and subject. If your audience is Millennials, you may want to choose stock photos of Millennials, so they better identify with the imagery you choose.
Improve Your Content Marketing and Overall Web Presence
At Post Launch, we use only the best resources to make sure that your content marketing—and the images that go along with it—are high-quality and unique. Contact us to learn more about our blog writing services.