Stock Photos: Striking the Balance Between Real-Feel and Fake-Fest

So, last week I dropped a Uhlsee Pro tip on the “magical” world of stock photos for your website (and all your marketing bits). Let’s be real, stock photos can be a lifesaver. We can’t all hire a pro photographer, and oftentimes we need those quick and easy images on the fly. So, let’s check out some ways to stay on the right side of that line (check out some examples at the end 😉).

  • Say no to “Smiling Businessman with Briefcase”: Make sure your images align with your brand’s personality. PLEASE stop using overused and cheesy stock images that scream “fake” louder than the poorly dubbed movie my hubby and I watched last night.
  • Connect with your audience: Use images that reflect your brand’s values, culture, and target audience. Your visuals should tell a story that resonates with your visitors and makes them feel a connection with your brand.
  • Be that special little flower: Yep, your brand is unique, and your visuals are a great way to reflect what sets you apart from the competition. It could be your quirky team, pet-friendly office, or behind-the-scenes magic. Let your images capture the essence of your brand’s personality.
  • Don’t be a copycat: I love finding inspiration from other websites. But we can’t simply replicate what’s already out there. Create a distinct visual identity that makes your website memorable and instantly recognizable. You could even be the trendsetter, not the follower.
  • The power of originality: Invest in professional photography or create your own high-quality visuals (some of you can work magic with the “portrait” mode on your phones). Bonus points if you can take them in your own environment. Custom images give your brand credibility and make an impression on visitors. If you take nothing else away from this article, please remember this: a pixelated image is like a bad hair day—best avoided.
  • Keep it natural: Opt for images that feel authentic and organic. Run away from overly staged and overly posed pictures that make visitors cringe. Let your visuals capture the genuine moments and emotions that represent your brand.
  • Have fun with it: Just about every business can have some level of fun and playfulness with your visuals. Whether through vibrant colors, quirky illustrations, unexpected elements, or more comfortable poses (have you seen the one on my page with my kitchen sink in the background?), let your brand’s personality shine and make your website a genuine experience.

Your website’s visuals are basically a window to your brand’s soul. So, choose wisely.

Need help with your website? Your brand? Or just need someone to offer some thoughts on what you’ve already chosen? I’m here for you!

[If viewing these images on a mobile device, gently swipe up on the text of each picture to read the full comment.] 👇🏼