Some people just get it. They find perfect pictures for every page or post on their website with ease. They tend to match up high-level concepts of content with some abstract vintage photograph. These people are highly creative, probably avoid wheat products, and do their best work at a coffee shop while sipping a $5 latte.
Then there's the rest of us. We really suck at this and our graphic designer (if we're lucky enough to have one) has no problem telling us repeatedly. But they're so busy with other tasks that asking for a simple image to accompany our latest post isn't worth the effort. If you suck and aspire to greater photographic selection then this post is for you.
One answer to better pictures lies in your pocket. No, I'm not referring to your wallet.
Your mobile phone holds the capability to a brighter future of engaging and beautiful content. Of course, that's not the only thing. Here is an overview of that and some other methods you can use to create or find great pictures.
You have it with you everywhere. If at this point you're phone doesn't have a decent camera on it, then I'm surprised you've heard of the Interwebs and have made it to this site. Time to upgrade, my friend.
We all love cute and cuddly pictures of your children, grand-babies, or nieces and nephews but they usually don't fit well with your post about the tensile strength of a cable tie.
Use your camera to take pictures of anything - interesting scenes, objects, people, places, etc. We see interesting things every single day, although we may not be trained to notice them.
The pictures you see at the right are obviously not professional photographs. They are just random pictures I took along the way. Of course, you may ask, "how can I use images like these in my blog posts if I write about industrial strength detergents?"
I'll tell you....
The Scrabble board was taken during a random game with my family. Not related to detergents, you say? I say you are wrong. Here's a potential post title: "How to Get a Triple-Word Score when Choosing the Right Detergent" or "32 Uses for Detergents that Don't Require a Dictionary."
Rocky is a horse (errr, staff member) at one of our not-for-profit customers, Children's Theraplay. This one is easier - "Get a chance to meet the real Rocky when you buy 10 gallons!" or "Don't horse around with bad detergents."
And the mug? Well, my grandma made that 30 years ago and I proudly still have it. Of course, this one contained an adult holiday beverage my wife made. Titles - "Enjoy your mug of hot cocoa while our detergent does the hard work" or "When we say our detergent cleans mugs, we don't mean your face."
The sky is the limit, especially if you're allowed some freedom and fun within your blog posts. The only reason I started writing this post is because I took that picture of the barn above and it sparked the idea for the post.
Ever seen this girl? She is one of the most overused models in stock photography history. We used her as the main banner image of our website years ago until we saw her in some magazine ads, newspaper ads, and on a couple billboards.
Then, after we removed the image I saw her countless times in different variations. This is the challenge you get when using stock photography.
In and of itself it is not a bad thing and you do have the option with most providers to buy the sole rights to some images. Images that convey success and team work seem to be the most overused. But these sites have enormous collections. Just be aware that your choice may already be popular.
When choosing stock photography, pay attention to the following:
Here are some vendor recommendations:
|iStockPhoto||Royalty-free + rights managed||$||on-demand, subscription
(start at $12/image and up)
(start at $19/image)
|Getty Images||Royalty-free + rights managed||$||on-demand, subscription|
Want the most unique photography you can get? Then hire your very own photographer for a day, a week, etc. Hire them to take pictures of your place of business, warehouse, or plant. Give them some direction but also let them run free to fulfill their need for artistic expression. You'll probably be surprised by some of the images they capture - images you can use not only in your next product catalog but in your blog posts and as supporting imagery for pages throughout your website.
A decent photographer could easily cost you $120 per hour at the least. This is not a cheap option but if you want a large number of unique, high quality, royalty-free images that related perfectly to your organization, this may be a viable option.
Be sure to get a referral or recommendation for any photographer and make sure they are capable of taking the type of pictures you need.
Yeah, this is not the most recommended method. However, it is used extensively throughout the world. Images are so readily available through Google and Bing that most people just go there, type in a few keywords, and voila! 5.2 gazillion images at your fingertips (don't forget to turn on safe search or you might get distracted for a while).
This is basically stealing. Seriously. If I said I've never done it, though, I would be [REDACTED]. But the truth is that there are millions of high quality images with just a few clicks of the mouse. If you use this method be sure to:
Instead of stealing, why not get ideas from the limitless images available? Spark your creative muscles and use it as inspiration instead. Then find some good stock photography, take your own pictures, or take notes to give to your photographer. Now you're onto something good.