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Blog Photo 3Too cheap stock photography might be detrimental to what you’re trying to achieve with your blog, website or other content. As use of images becomes increasingly important to the message we want to convey, it also becomes imperative that we take care with the photography we use to convey it.

There are pitfalls that you should avoid at all cost so that your website or content doesn’t become boring or cliché. You don’t want to turn off a visitor to your site because of a bland or uninteresting photo.

Website designers are sometimes sent a collection of photos and are told to use them in the design the best way possible. It’s a bad way to use the budget designated for the designer and doesn’t give him or her creative ability to fashion an incredible – rather than a mediocre – website.

Whether you’re designing the content yourself or handing it over to an experienced web designer to create, you’ll want to avoid certain pitfalls when using stock photography. Among the pitfalls are:

 

 

Using photos that don’t match the content

It’s confusing to the reader when you use a photo that has nothing whatsoever to do with the content of the site.

One of the best examples of this pitfall is a photo of a handshake. If you have a website that’s geared to children’s toys, it doesn’t make sense. Try and

use photos that are unique and that reinforce the message you’re trying to send.

 

Using cheap, low ­resolution photos

You won’t be doing your site a favor if you use cheap photos to save money. The impact of a photo on your site is monumental, and using photos that doesn’t meet the standards you want to set for your site is a bad decision. A good web designer will tell you bluntly that you’re making a mistake in using a photo that doesn’t fit the size for your design and ends up a highly­pixeled photo that looks unfit for the site.

 

Using photos that are over­used

Smiling children, the ‘handshake’ photo and others are vastly overused online. To really make your content and your site standout, you need to choose unique photos that help tell the story of your website.

One way to know if the photos you’re using are clichéd or overused is to look at other sites – particularly those of your competitors.

 

Choose memorable images

Rather than a quick search through photos to find something that suits your content, also look for a photo that has the ability to stun.

We all remember the Afghan girl’s eyes in the photo that National Geographic used for its cover a few years ago. Those eyes symbolized the struggle of the Afghan people and we’re not likely to forget it.

You may not be able to achieve that type of stunning image, but keep it in mind when looking for something memorable and attention­getting.

 

Using badly cropped or clipped photos

You’ve surely seen photos on a site that look like a bad “cut and paste” job. It’s obvious that the person was hurrying or too lazy to place them properly.

Randomly dropping various clipped or cropped photos into a website doesn’t make it desirable to look at. Even if the subject matter relates to the content – it doesn’t make a good impression if it’s placed in a sloppy way.

 

Using outdated photos

If you have a website that caters to women’s hair products and use an image that depicts an old hairstyle, it’s a bad image for your reputation.

Outdated clothing, cars and other telling signs that the photo is clearly from the past adds nothing to your website’s content and likely won’t convey the message you’re trying to send.

 

Photo­shopping your own product into a photo

Unless you’re really good at using the tools of Photoshop, you probably shouldn’t try to sneak in your own product on a popular image.

Tell­tale signs of this can be obvious to the reader and destroy the image – and the message you’re trying to convey.

When using stock photography, just be sure you use it correctly and wisely, no matter what you paid for it. It’s better to pay a designer to choose the correct pieces of art and imagery than to do a poor job of choosing and distributing it yourself.

 

Avoid Being a Generic Website

One of the major reasons not to use cheap stock photography for the content on your blog, website or other use is that you face the danger of becoming generic. Most of the highly usable, cheap stock photos have been used many times before

and are becoming boring to the new wave of audiences who desire fresh and different.

Besides increasing your budget (which may not be an option) so that you can afford better quality of images, there are some other steps you can take to ensure the quality of the stock photos you use.

Good quality and style can be found in inexpensive stock photos, but you’ve got to make the necessary commitment to finding them. The best person to do that is you.

You alone know the reputation you want to build, the message you want your audience to take away and how to identify with your customers. The future for of your business is determined in part by the image and content of your site(s), so take particular care in setting your site apart from all others.

You’ll have visitors to your site or blog not knowing a thing about you or your product and what you present will set the premise for what they think about you. The content and images should reflect the uniqueness of you and your product or service.

 

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Level1, 530 Little Collins
Melbourne, Australia
+61 1 800 011 265

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