How to find great visuals
Tips and tricks to get your images
There is no need for me to explain to you the importance of visuals for your content, do I? If so, crawl from under your rock into 2020. The content magic is in the combination between the image and your words.
Finding great visuals is one of the most difficult parts of writing. You want to stay away from the obvious usual suspect stock imagery. Your own supply is limited or, even worse, outdated. And create new bespoke visuals takes time and eat budget. How to get great visuals, by preference something original and for free?
Free stock images
For sure there are a lot of other websites for free stock. My go-to website to find stock images is Pexels, if I cannot find it there, my back up is Unsplash. For free. Original. High quality. Daily updated. Videos included. No more words needed.
Search for images
If you are searching for images on a regular basis, I recommend having your search-list in place. A search-list is a simple list with requirements and guiding principles. I always start with a keyword in line with the key message of the content item.
Taking off from there, using synonyms, clicking on suggested tags by the image website. And do not forget to browse the other images by the photographer of the images you like. You can add some of the magic and special keywords you use to the search-list for when you are stuck. To make this a bit more tangible and operational, my list:
- Requirements: Happy. Light. Fresh. White. No people, nop portraits, no children, no bodyparts, nothing human, except for the interviews. No buildings, no city images. No words as these are an awful UX combination with my headlines
- Guiding principles: beach, dunes, sea, water, (tropical) animals, happy nature, botany, white flower, spring, white or pale tones, vintage. Feeling happy, bright, exciting, passion, sparkle, white, sunny, colorful
- Keywords: vintage, toys, white, minimalism
Edit stock images
My final tip for great visuals is to be consistent in your editing. By enhancing the lighting, shadows, saturation, and other colors, you can create your own style. Next to that, be consistent in the cropping. Always applying the 'rule of thirds' for a more exciting visual. Just google on 'Photography rules'. What works for old school tradition photography, for sure also works in digital.
I have my (Keynote) template in place to crop and size. As a regular website does not need high res visuals, I simply edit the visual and make an export. Adjust the name and upload it into PressPage newsroom software. You can build a template in Photoshop. For me, being a bit lazy and cutting corners, Keynote is easier and quicker.
Last not least, have fun. Do not be too serious. Play around with the cropping. With the colors. Try and experiment. Surprise yourself and your audience with creativity. Having fun shows off and people do notice.
The content magic is in the combination between the image and your words. Finding great visuals is one of the most difficult parts of writing. You want to stay away from the obvious usual suspect stock imagery. Your own supply is limited or, even worse, outdated. And create new bespoke visuals takes time and eat budget. How to get great visuals, by preference something original and for free?