Everything You Need To Know About best Free Stock Photos, Graphic Design, Art Collages and Free Photo Downloads
The biggest challenge for anyone in graphic design is finding the right images to match the copy you are assigned. This challenge is not limited to graphic designers only but also to writers and people handling presentations who have to accompany images to their text. The need for images is as a result of the special roles they play in conveying a message. Regardless of the platform whether it is social media a slide presentation, a newsletter or an article, images encourage interaction with and retention of the message. Photos when used properly can also influence the purchasing decisions of the targeted market.
The challenge is where to find the photos and finding the most fitting ones. Many people and organizations are now resorting to free stock photos. This is due to copyright issues and the expense and at times the inconvenience of physically going to physically obtain your own photos from the field. While high resolution free photos solve the problem and challenge of sourcing photos the only difficulty is selecting the right photo from a sea of options and in an environment where almost everyone is using the same sources. Here are ten tips that will help you in matching your work with a fitting stock photo.
1. Overall Vision
The first thing you need to do before starting your search is identifying your goals for the sourced phot. What do you intent to achieve with the photograph? Is it there just to capture the attention of the reader or does it convey a message on its own? What kind of photo does the content demand and how much do you want the two to be complimentary and matching? Such questions will help you develop an overall vision of the kind of photo you want and the final result you want achieve.
The photo you use should match and communicate your brand ideals. The photos you pick should be consistent with the voice, ideals and public perception of your company. They are the best at communicating what the company feels should be the corporate image. As such, they should match the industry, the marketing messages and the mood of the company. This will help not just for the copy on which the photo is attached to, but also deflect the goodwill to the company and create positive association. The opposite happens when the wrong photo is selected.
3. Remember the Audience
When it comes to picking the right photo, a major factor is the audience being targeted. What you are looking for is a photo that creates a connection with the audience. On one part is should easily communicate the general feel of the message and resonate with the audience at a group level and hem at individual level. While the general impression maybe a corporate look, at individual level they will connect with their own personal perceptions and hopes.
Whenever choosing a stock photo, choose one that communicates a feeling. People are responsive to photos they can easily associate with. Photos with images of beauty and landscape of other natural, material and inanimate objects are less impactful when compared to photos which communicate feelings or states of mind. Things like ’joy’ surprise, confidence, trust and others are easy for the audience to identify with. Such photos are able to connect with the audience at an emotional level making them more powerful and memorable.
5. Conceptual Photos
One of the challenges with using free stock photos is the challenge to artistically convey a message may be easily lost with the convenience one gets. It is easy to wait for personal photos and scenic sights or using collages of previously used photos. It is also hard to get a classic photo since such a photo has to meet several set standards. This is where conceptual photos come in. They offer a different take on how to express things. When well executed they are timeless and retain their appeal both for the style and the meaning communicated. It is also a great way to stand out of the crowd by delivering a unique message or several in just one photo. It is great especially when looking for lean visuals.
6. Natural and Authentic Photos
The one negative aspect stock photos have always been associated with is the overuse of cheesy photos. Such use has created the typical stock photo look which devalues the impact a photo can have. This is because the photo or one that looks almost like it has been used severally on various platforms its impact is watered down. This is why it is better to opt for authentic photos and the ones taken in the most natural settings. It should not look like a posed photo and where possible the people should be looking away from the camera. Look for images with real people and not models as the latter can be easily identified. The setting should be that of a real world the kind that can be common anywhere. The photos should also reveal a little bit of character form the people or objects in it.
The photos you select should complement the content they are attached to. They should not feel like a random addition only there to fill up space. In this case they will serve as a distraction. You are not limited to photos that scream their meaning and role as it is better if the photos can convey their meaning in a subtle way. This encourages interaction. The photos should also be relevant to your brand and audience while also not being outdated in the current times.
8. Text Friendly
If you plan to use text on your images, then select photos which are text friendly. This basically means choosing photos that conveniently offer space for adding text. This ideally should be on the left or right of the image. This way no detail of the photo will be covered by text.
9. Fresh Free Images
Finally, remember to freshen up the photos you use. Check online using various tools to see the number of time a particular stock photo has been used and how. You could edit it to make it different and suit your purpose. However, where the use is widespread you are better off opting for another.