How to Choose the Best Stock Images for Your Brand

how to choose stock images

When it comes to photography for your website, custom professional photography is always best to set your brand apart. However, stock images can be great when you don’t necessarily have the time and budget for that. But you have to be careful when selecting your stock images, though. You have to be intentional to make sure you choose stock images that are a fit for your brand. You don’t want to choose just any photos because that could throw off your whole brand design. When it comes to branding and making a good impression online, having high quality images are so important. People typically look at the images first before they even look at any of the words. So when your only option is to use stock images, here are some tips on how to choose the perfect stock images for you.

Tip #1: Go in knowing exactly what your intended brand design will be.

When you know what your intended brand design is, you’re able to dive into the image selection process with a clear vision in mind, instead of going into it with uncertainty. When you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll end up with a bunch of random images that don’t really work well together and it could even eat up your time because you won’t really know what you’re looking for. You could find yourself scrolling for hours through hundreds of images. To prevent this, be sure to create a mood board in advance so you have an idea of the look and feel you’re going for with your brand and photography. If you’ve never done one before, check out the related post below.

Related Post: How to Create a Mood Board

Tip #2: Have keywords in mind for the types of images you’re searching for.

Once you have your mood board, you’ll know exactly what type of look you’re going for. Take a look at the images for commonalities. Did you select images with a lot of natural greenery, like plants? Did you select bright and airy photos? Did you select desktop, cute office types of images? As you start to identify these commonalities, think about the message you want to convey on the website and with your brand and be sure the images you chose really resonate with that message. Then identify the keywords that would describe your images. Use those keywords to search for the specific images that support your message and your brand design.

And as a side note: If you’re looking for images with people in them, be sure to select images that show them looking away from the camera like a candid photos of them in action. Stay away from the stock photos of people staring directly at the camera. Those types of photos come off as fake and cheesy right away.

Tip #3: Choose high quality stock images because not all stock images are created equally.

Check out good stock image websites like Shutterstock and Creative Market to select images that are crisp and clear. Also, be sure to select images that are large enough for the space where you want to place them. If you select images that are too small, your images will look pixelated, like they’re blurry because they’re being stretched out to fit the space they’re too small for. When you’re about to download one, I’d advise you to go with the larger image sizes to be safe because you can always shrink it down to make it smaller. You cannot make small images larger.

That’s it! These tips should help make your stock image selection process much easier and seamless—while conveying the brand message you want. What are some of the ways you’ve chosen good stock images? Share in the comments below.