Stock photos can help or hurt your brand. Learn how below, plus where to get some for free.
STAY ON BRAND
In a previous entry, I talked about using mood boards to establish a brand style. If possible, use photos with a neutral palette or one that’s similar to your branding.
With a little editing, you can also change the hue of the photo so it goes better with your scheme. I edited the dog photo below to be a little bluer and more muted.
Stock photos can help illustrate your points and ideas, and even make concepts more clear. But don’t use stock photos just for the sake of it - make sure they mean something and serve a purpose.
WHAT TO AVOID
There’s a common style of stock photo that will instantly date your brand. I’m not sure how to describe this type of photo (faceless abomination is bewildered by cyberspace?), so I’ll show you what I mean.
I could look at these all day. I think they’re extremely funny. If a graphic or illustration looks like it was created in the faceless man era or before, don’t use it.
Many design platforms come with libraries of stock images and artwork. I also find myself using Pexels a lot for free photos. Their library isn’t the most robust, but most of the images are free and don’t require attribution.
Pixabay is another good source, along with sites geared towards academic presentations and projects. If you find one of these websites, make sure to check if the photos are fine to use for commercial purposes.
I found this on my bad stock photo hunt. Seems important.
I mostly think of Snapchat as a personal messenger, so it doesn’t usually fall into my purview, but many brands do use it and the new update is so bad!
WE JUST WANT STUFF IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, GOOD GOD
It seems like just about every platform has now adopted an algorithm to predict what you most want to see, so it can show you the most “relevant” content. I don’t know anyone who likes this approach. Most of us just want to see things in the order they were posted.
Snapchat has taken this to a weird extreme, piling all your personal conversations and your contacts’ public stories into one tab that is not chronologically ordered.
For me, this has meant people I never talk to popping up in the top of my queue, because Snapchat thinks I’m more interested in seeing acquaintances’ stories (“lol back on my grind 🤑”) than sending a message to a close friend.
NUMBER OF EYES ON BRANDED CONTENT IS GOING TO PLUMMET
Before the update, I had reason to stumble on content from Snapchat’s brand partners because it was located in the same tab as my friends’ public stories. Now that the two are completely separate, I have no reason to click over the branded content tab.
I don’t think of Snapchat as a main purveyor of news and entertainment. I go elsewhere for that. Even though brands have actually made some pretty interesting Snapchat-exclusive content, I was mostly exposed to it through idle curiosity when looking at my friends’ stories. Now there’s almost no chance for me to see branded content, even by accident.
IT’S UGLY. IDK WHAT TO TELL YOU.
Snapshat’s messaging tab used to be sleek and easy to use. Now you’re bombarded with Bitmoji avatars, story previews, and multi colored silhouettes. It’s bad... to look at.
Opinion on the update has been universally critical (it’s not just me, even though I relish any opportunity to be mean to an app). It goes beyond consumers being resistant to change. People are even inventing workarounds to revert their app to the way it was!
It’s not enough to make me stop using Snapchat, but what a weird series of moves they’ve made.
Here are three apps that I use to make social media posts stand out. Try these out for yourself - they’re all free!
A while back, I posted an entry about tiling photos on Instagram. With this app, it’s so easy. Check out these tiles I created for Christine Marguerite Designs.
Almost everyone knows about Prisma by now, but it’s so cool! Make any picture look like a painting, poster, or sketch.
Palette comes in handy for me a lot. Create color schemes based on pictures and post cool palette photos.
That’s it! Good luck!
Aspiring Dog Parent