Looking for the perfect picture to represent your brand? If you don’t have the budget to hire your own photographers, models, etc., stock photography is the way to go. But what sort of stock image should you choose? Gloria shares her top 3 tips for sourcing images and finding the perfect photo for your ad.
3 Tips for Optimal Image Sourcing
1. Know the difference between Rights Managed and Royalty Free – and choose wisely.
2. Remain conscious of the crop.
3. Look for luscious lighting.
Rights Managed vs. Royalty Free
To keep it simple, most people think of Rights Managed images as pay-per-use, whereas Royalty Free are one-time-fee images. This oversimplification can make Royalty Free images seem like the go-to in all cases. What a deal! But depending on your use of the image, the presence of your competition in the marketplace, and your budget – Royalty Free may not always be your best choice. For example, if your market is saturated with competitors and you want to stand out, you might not want to take the chance that your competition could use the exact same image as you – don’t laugh. It happened to Dell. And if it happened to Dell, it could happen to you.
Rights Managed images may cost a lot more, but they come with the guarantee that you, and only you, will have the rights to use this particular image. So if competition is fierce and you have a fierce budget to match, this may be the way to go.
Here’s a great article where you can learn more on this topic.
Conscious of the Crop
When you’re looking at potential images, keep your cropping in mind. For example, if your ad is going to be a long, horizontal rectangle, then you probably want to steer clear of portrait images. Similarly, if you want to feature a person with some copy off to the side, you’ll want to source an image with a clean background. Sure, you could pull the image out and do some photoshop magic – but the less work you have to do on the back end to make your image perfect, the more real and impactful it will be for your audience.
This goes back to that photoshop comment we made above. Today’s audience is photoshop savvy – there are entire websites devoted to pointing out photoshop fails in advertising, and you don’t want to make that list. Look for lighting that supports the overall feeling of your message. Be particular on this point, bad lighting is difficult to fix. Keep the image light and bright if that’s the mood, or dark and brooding – whatever your goal, your lighting can make or break it.