How to Use Stock Photos Professionally

Published on December 18, 2014

The phrase "stock photos" leaves a bad taste in your mouth after saying it. We get it. However, not everyone can afford custom photography on a day-to-day basis. When you find yourself in a situation needing to supplement your blog or website with some stock photos, how do you to it tactfully? Here is a great advice from Chris "Kubby" Kubbernus on SlideShare which will optimize your stock photos to their fullest extent.

1. Go For Ugly

Strange advice, right? Maybe we should rephrase this title as "Go For Real."

What we mean by this is, who would you trust more as your medical professional? The tall, dark, and handsome doctor with his lab coat thrown over his shoulder in true Calvin Klein model fashion or the doctor that looks like, well, an average doctor?

If you said the average doctor, you're right. People respond to real, because they're looking for a real professional - not a posing professional.

2. Don't Look At The Camera

Look at me! I'm answering a phone call, taking notes, shaking a hand with a client, and looking at the camera with a beaming smile! This is reality!

...except not. At all.

Photos which display a work environment in an unrealistic way read just that way to your prospects - unrealistic. Aim for photos that look more realistic for a cooler, more appreciated effect.

3. Use Less People

Three people huddled around a laptop will look less appealing than one person working dilligently at one. Less is more in a visual sense, and... yes. It does look more real. (Are you sensing a theme here?)

Plus, you'll have more room on the photo frame for adding text. Double bonus!

4. When in Doubt, Use Filters

If you're already the owner of a cheesy high-five photo and don't know what to do with it, class it up with a nice photo filter. Adding a wash of color to compliment your company colors will optimize the photo for your website and branding purposes, while potentially make a nice backdrop upon which to add text.

How do you use your stock photos? Do you develop your own graphics? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.