We’ve all been there looking for that ideal stock photo that will perfectly convey the story we are trying to tell, and bring a drab subject to life.
We search high and low across the plethora of stock photography services, only to be confronted with that overly perky customer service agent with the throwback headset on, or the prototypical up and to the right arrow chart.
Here’s my suggestions about getting real (emotionally authentic photos, in real places with people who have real expressions). Use Unsplash for royalty free images https://unsplash.com/. Articulate RISE one of our preferred authoring tools uses Unsplash for it content library.
Here’s how we approach our photo searches:
- Don’t be too literal. It’s easy to fall into the trap of literal translation of a message you are trying to convey. How many times have you seen handshake images used to represent partnership, sales etc.?
- Beware of over used metaphors. Metaphors are a great way of telling your story without being too literal but be careful not to fall into the been there done that metaphor trap. Every company wants to be a hero for their customers but corporate dudes with superman shirts underneath are over played.
- Be provocative.
- Play to your audience. Make sure you are keeping your audience’s interests, age and persona in mind when selecting photos. If we are training millennials do you really want to pick that sterile conference room photo of senior partners in suits?
Keep it real
People should be shown in authentic out of work situations (at home or on transport), rather than clichéd “construction sites”. They should have a trustworthy and down to earth appearance, rather than using stock images of “models in business suits”, use photos of people that look like our users. They can be photographed as individuals or in a group. They can be carrying out an activity, task or be in dialogue. Their attire should be appropriate and authentic to the situation.