How to find the perfect stock photo

When we talk about stock photography, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a bright image of four suits in a glass boardroom, laughing at their salad or scowling at a plummeting line graph. While we can’t deny the existence of these images in the vast expanse of stock photos on the internet, there is hope! Beautiful, royalty-free images do exist – and you don’t need to use up half a day to find them!

To make your search easier, we have pulled together our three favourite tips for honing in on the best stock imagery for your content!

Tip #1: Utilise your keywords

Like any search function on the internet, the broader the search terms you use, the broader your results. Bulking out your search string with extra terms will narrow your results, yield more relevant content, and reduce the amount of time spent trawling through irrelevant & unsuitable images. As an example, searching ‘friends laughing’ on IStockPhoto pulls 311,223 results, whereas ‘friends laughing restaurant wine’ yields 2,947 results. That’s over 30,000 images you wouldn’t need to look through!

Tip #2: Follow the breadcrumbs

Sometimes it can be hard to put your finger on exactly what you’re looking for in an image, or you’re not even quite sure what you need. In this instance, it is helpful to search more broadly, until you come across an image that seems to be heading in the right direction, even if it doesn’t necessarily fit the bill. If you click on this image, you will find a lot of data and information associated with this image. Read through the keywords for this for terms that may help you find your perfect result. Try also looking through the suggested ‘related images’ – these may lead you closer to what you need. If you like the style of the image, look through the photographer’s portfolio on that website (or even that particular set of images) – often, a number of slightly different iterations of the same image will be available. If you follow all of these tips, you may go down a rabbit hole, but you will also likely find the perfect stock photo. 

Tip #3: Look for images that are relatable

For the most part, humans don’t have perfect posture, a winning smile, or manicured appearance 24/7 (although that would be nice). As a result, the majority of us can spot a staged photo from a mile away. We don’t relate to them at all and we don’t remember them either. As a response to this, the images which resonate the most with audiences are those of ‘real’ people. While skimming through your search results, keep your eyes peeled for images that you could see yourself in and that you relate to – chances are, others will relate to them too. 

Feel as though your visuals aren’t resonating with your target audience? Get in touch! Whatever your brand has to say with its imagery, at Social Weaver, we can help you tell your story.

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