How to Choose Stock Photos

Look, we know that stock photos don’t have the best reputation. They’re described as cheesy, awkward, and nonsensical, and they’re called out for their unconvincing models and poor composition. And yes, we’ll admit, there are a lot of horrendous stock photos on the market, but if you know where to look and what to look for, you can find stock photography that is beautiful, well-crafted, and fits your company’s style and goals. So today, we’re going to teach you how to choose stock photos that you’ll be proud to purchase and publish. Scroll down to learn more.

How to Choose Stock Photos

How to Choose Stock Photos

1. Find a reputable, well-stocked website. If you’re wondering how to choose stock photos that are beautiful and effective, your first step should be looking for a website with a fantastic library of images. Once you find a website that you can trust, all you have to do is type in a keyword and scroll through the site’s collection of carefully curated photos. Be sure to choose a site that is easy to use, affordable, and well-designed. It should also clearly state its licensing agreement(s).

2. Look for crisp, well-shot, unique photos. You know the difference between a professional, magazine-quality shot and an amateur photo. Keep that difference in mind as you browse stock photos. The photo you choose should be large and crisp, and it should be clear that the person behind the lens considered the photo’s composition, colors, lighting, contrast, etc. You also want the image to be unique. If you’re browsing through photos, consider skipping past the first couple of pages to avoid the most common photos, which may be overused.

3. Be sure the subject matter makes sense with your website. Sometimes it won’t be easy to find a photo that matches your project. In that case, you’ll need to get creative and brainstorm as many fitting keywords as possible. Pull out your thesaurus and don’t stop searching until you find an appropriate photo. If you’re out of ideas, look for a photo that’s less specific but captures the mood of the project or conveys a metaphor. Use your imagination!

4. Look for models with great acting skills. If you asked a group of people to talk about bad stock photos, I bet that many of them would mention photos featuring corny, smiling employees. Not only are these models unconvincing, but they’re clearly posing for a stock photo. If you pulled out your camera in your own office, after all, I highly doubt you would get pictures of your coworkers broadly grinning as they typed, used the copy machine, and made phone calls. So as you browse stock photos, assess the models’ acting skills before you purchase a photo. If you’re struggling, search for photos that hide the models’ faces (i.e., a silhouette, hands typing at a keyboard, the back of someone’s head/torso as they make a phone call, etc).

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If you’re still wondering how to choose stock photos, check out Lightstock. We have an enormous assortment of faith-focused photos and videos. Our stock photos aren’t cheesy or awkward, and we can say that with confidence because no photo makes it onto the website without a pair of eyes reviewing it. Learning how to choose stock photos is easy when you use a photography service that you can trust to have quality photos and videos. Click here to start exploring Lightstock.