Stuck on Stock?
here's How to Choose stock Photos that don't suck
Choosing stock images for real estate content or marketing can be a mind-numbing challenge. They have a bad rap because so many are just so blah, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are some incredible stock images out there. If you know what you’re looking for, choosing the right ones can be easier. Some see stock photos them as a necessary evil (which they kind of are), but they are also an incredibly important element of your overall brand style.
I use stock photos literally every day for things like website layouts, social templates, brochures, and presentation decks. It used to take me forever to find images that work and that didn’t feel staged or stuffy.
The hand with the keys? Skip that. The fake smile lady in the blazer? Please, don’t. We’ve all seen awful ones. The fake smiles, the scenes that would never happen in real life, and the gawd-awful chart /arrow ones. Here’s how to do it better.
no cheese, if you please
Whenever you can, steer clear of stock photos that look staged, canned, or not authentic. If it has stuffy people in suits with fake smiles shaking hands, just don’t. With homes, look for scenes that are appropriate for your market and your audience. (Tip: it’s easier with interior photos than exterior).
make 'em feel something
Your archetype will tell you which emotions you need to evoke. Serious vs happy, rebellious or tame, relaxed vs upbeat, etc.
If your colors are muted, your photos should be, too. If you have a bright and bold color palette, photos should be highly saturated. Deep and rich color scheme? Use images with colors that match the mood.
reflect your audience
They should be able to something of themselves in the images you choose. It can be their lifestyle or the one that they aspire to, or people who they perceive as having similar goals or needs. For home or interior photos, the perceived price range of the look should be similar to your market.
know where it's going
Not all images work for every purpose. If it’s being used as a website or Facebook header, it needs to work for horizontal formats. If it’s going on Instagram, you need to be able to crop it to a square. If you need to overlay text, make sure that there is enough copy space in the image.
watch the people
Photos with people in them help to increase a feeling of trustworthiness and a pic of someone smiling can increase your shares. Be careful, though. Make sure to stay compliant with diversity. They don’t all have to be on the same page or in a single post, but throughout your website and across your feeds be sure that you are show varying ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles.
mix it up
The photos you choose should tell a story, inspire, and evoke emotions. Sun coming through a window, a dog in the park, a stack of books on a table can help break things up. They show a lifestyle and give your real estate photos a little breathing room.