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It’s easier than ever to find stock images for your website. Simply type a few keywords into a stock image bank and pick the first result, right?
Not so fast. When you’re selecting photography, you want to maintain a look and feel that’s true to your brand. The first results in a stock image search might look okay, but you have to consider whether they will fit with the rest of your website.
If you’ve ever been tempted to insert cartoon clip art that would look out of place on your sleek, minimalist website, keep reading for basic photo tips and resources that will help you develop a strategy for choosing images that are both on point and on brand.
Stock imagery is a great way to add visual interest to a blog post, a page on your website, or your homepage, but a stock image can’t just look good on its own — it also needs to fit with your site’s overall look and feel.
Your hero image plays an important role in defining your brand’s aesthetic. This image is the most prominently featured image on your homepage, and it should guide you as you choose images for other parts of your site. Try to choose complementary images that make sense in the context of your hero image, your fonts, and your color choices. By thinking about the overall look of your site, you’ll be more likely to choose images that are consistent and on-brand.
If you’re a branding and design novice, or you need a few pointers before you’re ready to commit to a hero image, start by reading some branding tips for small business owners, then learn more about WordPress.com’s free web design tools.
If your stock photo options are less than inspiring, try your hand at editing your own photography to create one-of-a-kind website images that align with your brand.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a professional photographer or own expensive software to make simple but powerful edits to your images. A basic crop can help you zoom in on the most impactful part of an image. A filter can instantly change the mood of a photo; for instance, a black-and-white filter can create drama. Add words to images when you want to incorporate a company name or slogan, or important details, such as event information or a telephone number.
There are tools at your fingertips to help you insert images, galleries, or slideshows throughout your website to add visual flair. If you don’t have your own photography to use, you can take advantage of WordPress.com’s Free Photo Library, which features more than 40,000 high-quality photos that are available for free to anyone with a WordPress.com site.
If you decide to use stock images from another source, be sure to carefully review the fine print first — not all stock assets are created equally, and some can be used more liberally than others. Before you upload a photo to your site, check out this guide from Entrepreneur to learn licensing basics for stock assets.
With a wealth of free images available online, it can be tempting to fill your site with flashy graphics, but remember to always think about the big picture. By keeping these basic photo tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to selecting images that are both attractive and on brand.
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