Top Three Ways Never to Use Cheap Stock Images

02J63628Professional marketers rely on cheap stock photos to complete lots of advertising objectives, and use cheap stock images in a huge number of ways.  And while most professional advertisers will have a decent grasp on how to best use stock imagery, there are a few big mistakes that anyone can make that will make a business look terrible.  Whether you are a professional marketer with lots of accounts or a small business owner building your own advertising materials with cheap stock images, here are three ways to never use stock photography.

As Inappropriate Backgrounds or Wallpapers

03A25409High definition stock photos can be great backgrounds for websites or other advertising materials, giving a nice graphic background on which to lay text or other images.  But make sure not to use cheap stock imagery inappropriately, or you are better off not having background imagery at all.  Don’t use stock photos with prevalent models or objects that will only be partially displayed when an image is set as a background.  Instead, consider blurring or defocusing stock images with photoshop before setting them as backgrounds, and making sure that imagery is positioned appropriately so no disjointed parts of objects stick out.

By Including Corny Modeled Shots

Relaxing on lake

Lots of cheap stock images can convey emotion and help marketers create create marketing materials, but you should be very careful that the models in your pictures look like they are authentically expressing themselves.  Nothing makes stock photos stick out more than corny, over stage shots where models don’t look like they are actually feeling or thinking anything.  Be discerning about which models you use and which images you include, making sure to avoid images where models don’t look realistic.  Corny shots bring down all of your advertising efforts.

By Overly Editing Images

overlay images

The proliferation of photoshop has made it easier for everyone to work with images, but unless you are a graphic designer or artist by trade, be very careful about editing cheap stock imagery before including them in your marketing materials.  Overly edited imagery will make your materials look cheap and ineffectual, and will be less useful than unedited imagery in most cases.  If you do edit your images before using them, make sure you don’t apply too many corny effects and make sure that all of your cropping still keeps images composed well.  Remember, stock photographers are professional artists, so if you want to edit their imagery, it’s best if you know what you are doing and don’t over edit things.