Showcasing Your Brand: A Guide to Finding Images for Your Website
September 20, 2023
When it comes to establishing your brand's online presence, visuals play a crucial role in telling your story. Finding the right imagery is key in positioning your business and attracting the correct audience. This can be a fun and exciting process but it certainly comes with some challenges. So let's explore the art of finding stock images, commissioning photography and using Photoshop mockups!
Understanding Stock Images
Stock images are ready-to-use visuals that can be licensed and used by individuals and businesses. They are a great resource for website owners, offering a wide variety of professional images that can enhance your brand's online presence. It's important to note their downsides though, Stock photography traditionally is US-based and if you're trying to find relevant photography for Jersey, it quickly becomes clear it's not local. Ultimately, using Stock photography is always a bit of a compromise - you're very unlikely to find something exactly right for your brand, but more often than not, it'll be good enough.
Exploring Stock Image Websites
Start your hunt by visiting popular stock image websites such as Unsplash, Pexels, iStock and Shutterstock. These platforms host vast libraries of high-quality images with different licensing options. Take your time to browse through various categories or use relevant keywords to narrow down your search.
Commissioning a Photographer
To give your brand a unique touch, consider commissioning a photographer to capture custom images that reflect your brand more accurately. Professional photographers can bring your ideas to life, ensuring that your brand stands out with original visuals that align perfectly with your message. There are plenty of fantastic photographers on the island and a few hours with them is usually far more cost-effective than buying Stock imagery online. By planning these shoots well, you can have a bank of images you can use for months or years to come.
Using Photoshop Mockups
If you want to showcase your brand's logo or products in a visually appealing way, Photoshop mockups are your secret weapon. These pre-designed templates allow you to insert your own designs onto mock objects like stationery, digital screens, or product packaging. Websites like GraphicBurger and Adobe Stock provide a wide range of free and premium mockups to choose from. You'll need to have some Photoshop skills to really make the most of these, but these are a fantastic way of getting your brand across.
Nailing the Visual Aesthetic
Consistency is key when it comes to building your brand's visual identity. Aim for a coherent colour palette, similar image styles, and carefully curated images that complement each other. This will create a cohesive and visually appealing overall look for your website.
Licensing and Attribution
Always double-check the licensing requirements for each stock image you use. Some images may require attribution, while others may have specific usage restrictions. Make sure to respect and adhere to the guidelines set by the image creators and platforms. A word of warning, make sure you license your chosen image(s) properly! By Googling and 'borrowing' an image you find online you're liable for a hefty fine if that image turns out to be a licensed Stock image.
Optimising Image Size and Quality
To ensure fast loading times and optimal website performance, resize and compress your stock images without compromising quality. Tools like Adobe Photoshop, Squoosh, or TinyPNG can help you achieve the perfect balance between image size and visual clarity. You'll want to keep your images fairly small in size for the web, by uploading 25 MB photographs to your site, you're going to impact SEO and potentially slow down page loading time. Try to keep your images under 1 MB where possible.