Pictures can say a thousand words, but if the ones you’re using say “I’m never working with that company”, then you may need a little help. The Betties are huge fans of working with stock photography. They make websites come alive, they help brochures get picked up, and they’re an absolute necessity for blog posts.
There are many types of bad photography “repeat- offenders” when it comes to stock images. Today we’ll introduce you to them, and then we’ll show you their better half.
We’ve taken two basic concepts that pop up a lot in blogging and business- stress and health. For each concept, we’ve painfully painstakingly, gone through some of our favorite stock sites and chosen the best and the worst.
Stress: The Bad
The Exaggerator: These types of photos are like watching a bad infomercial at 2 a.m. in your jammies. In order to show you just how frustrated they are by how hard it is to cook pasta the good ol’ fashion way, they bumble around theatrically throwing pasta in the air and then look at the camera with a great big huff.
We get that you’re stressed lady. There’s no way we could miss it.
I Saw the Sign: Way to smack your reader in the face with your message. Sometimes the best images to use are abstract ideas that subtly support your content. Also, with its pointy hard edges and masculine color palette, this image is all stress and no relax.
The 3-D man: This faceless little guy screams Corporate 2.0. (And does anyone else find him just the little bit creepy?) Gone are the days of impersonal branding. People want to connect with you- NOT this guy.
Stress: The Good
Editorial Styling: Just like the Exaggerator, this woman looks stressed- but not comically so. She’s set in some kind of context instead of a plain white background. It’s as if she’s unaware of the camera, and the photographer just happened upon this real life moment.
Quirky Illustrations: Unlike the 3-D man, this guy’s got personality. Quality illustration can be an excellent option for your stock imagery. Don’t limit yourself to photos.
Everyday with a Twist: Sometimes taking an ordinary everyday situation and changing something unexpectedly can catch people’s attention (if done well). This little girl must be stressing out her employees- she looks fierce.
Health: The Bad
The Cliché: While there’s nothing particularly offensive about the image itself, this pose has been overused for any product or service remotely considered relaxing or healthy. All we need is a scarf blowing in the breeze and this cliché is cooked.
Trying too hard: I understand the concept that we’re going for here, but it’s completely missed the mark of abstract and landed on plain creepy. This image will be haunting my dreams.
The triple threat: Three strikes and this image is out. It’s a combination of the smack you in the face obviousness of “I Saw the Sign”, the cold, corporate look of the “3-D man” along with general poor execution. (We never said an image couldn’t have more than one thing going wrong…)
Health: The Good
The Clever: This image takes the medical concept of a heart-rate monitor and twists it ever so slightly to draw an actual heart into it. Just witty enough- it stops before it becomes “trying too hard”.
The Close Up: This very detailed shot appeals to your senses. You can almost feel the ground beneath your feet, smell the wet dirt as your running shoes pound the earth. This is a more powerful and positive way to get across the concept of exercise that will leave people actually wanting to get up off the couch!
The Mirror: The mirror reflects back to people the way they’d like to see themselves. Need some motivation to sign up for that yoga class that you’ve been putting off? If you make that phone call, you’ll find yourself a graceful picture of zen, just as this image suggests.
General Stock Photography Pet Peeves
The Freshmaker: Do you remember the Mentos’ commercials from the 90s?. It would start out with someone who had a minor problem, they’d come up with a ridiculous solution, and then give a thumbs up at the end while popping a mint. Yeah, that doesn’t happen in real life.
I do business on a handshake: Overdone. Overdone. Overdone. Also, if you do a little search, the majority of photos of people shaking hands are men. Where my ladies at?
Operators aren’t standing by: Gone are the days that people enjoyed working with large, faceless corporations. Don’t give people the impression that if they call your customer service line, they must first make it through the endless phone menu, only to be put on hold, only to talk to someone purely working off a script. That’s what a headset says to me.
Ol’ Money Bags: Are there no other ways to show the concept of wealth, money, or abundance? Seriously tacky.
For blog images, the Betties like to use DepositPhoto.com. Images can be priced as low as $1 each. For something that has a short life span like a blog post, we know you probably don’t want to pay TOO much.
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