Sunday, 19 May 2013

Stock Photography in Web Design: DOs and DON’Ts

How many stock photography resources are there? Hundreds? Thousands? Got to be even more. But if we take most popular and trustworthy repositories we’ll see that all images they feature are practically the same and can be called raw. Images presented there are good for blending blog posts or as sources for some collages. But for creating website designs they do not really fit.
When you see website with an image like the one featured below? What’s the first thing that comes up your mind? Probably designer who created this website had enough imagination to add stock image without editing it somehow. Looks pretty boring, doesn’t it?

Let’s find some more boring examples. Happy customer service representative: a beautiful girl with a snow-white smile…

I will not dispute the fact that there are such girls in call centers, but as a rule for one beauty there fall ten guys in checkered shirt with two weeks’ stubble on their faces. In most cases it’s better to use a still from some widely-known movie but not to use one face for multiple companies.

Shaking hand on some meaningful background. What does it mean? Who knows, but these images are all over the place…


Seems like such group photos that present team of a company are created with racial, age and sex distribution on mind…but where are the asians? Instead of showing such images wouldn’t it be better to show your real team. It’s always better to work with real personalities but not with stock ones.


Dat graph…looks like they are using one image to show how high the indicators are, when the whole picture can be much more deplorable.


Our products make your life easier…Haven’t I seen this family in toothpaste TV ad, or it was yogurt?
And one more thing…woman laughing with salad.

The picture is supposed to represent health, joy, fertility lastly (healthy-looking woman eats healthy food). But the only effect it makes is wonder…why the heck is she laughing with salad? Similar photos can be found in diet related websites. Why not to look for images denoting healthy food? Instead of searching for diet related images, cooking and cuisine related images will perfectly work. Use keywords like culinary, cooking, or groceries. You will get images of people enjoying food in related activities like chopping fresh vegetables or picking out the ripest fruit at the grocery store. These are much better images to make your reader think of healthy food in a fun, joyful way.
NB: When you’re using these images, your designs not only become boring, they make your visitors taunt you and take lightly. So how to avoid looking foolishly?

Use illustrations

Don’t get me wrong, stock photography isn’t all that bad. We’ve all used it, but it’s not something to be used often. There are tons of cool vector illustrations out there, you’ll definitely be able to use them instead of those boring stock photos. Just look at these images, aren’t they nice? Abstract images will also work, but don’t overuse all those sunsets and beautiful landscapes.

Aside from vectors you can use photos of real people and real situations. All you need is to take pictures of your friends  With a little bit of Photoshop pictures you’ve taken can give an absolutely new touch to your resource. Since these photos will belong to you there will be no licence restrictions.

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