You are producing content for your website and realize that only the visual appeal is missing. To fill this gap, if you do not have a dedicated photographer or designer for this purpose, the recommendation is that you go to an image stock and search for some files to illustrate what was produced.
But do you know how to consciously choose images? Better: do you know how to consciously choose which images you shouldn’t choose?
Let us help you below!
We know that in the time we live it is very easy to find images for blogs, and that there are countless platforms for these searches to be made.
However, upon being aware of this ocean of images and this vast number of options, from photographs, illustrations, vectors, memes, gifs, comic strips, etc., the question also arises: and which images should not be used?
We have brought here a list of types of images that you should, in theory, avoid using on your website, or use at your own risk.
Previously, we recommend the Shutterstock, a series of stock images with high-resolution files for download, which you can use to enhance the visual part of your website or blog.
The purpose of this post is to take the opposite path, but not in the sense of indicating sites that should not be used for research purposes, but rather of some types of images that are considered outdated or amateurish.
1 – Exaggeratedly happy people in the office
Are there still people who are deceived by these false expressions of happiness?
This does not in any way mean that an office cannot have a harmonious and cheerful environment. It means that passing on an idea of exaggeration can show pretence on the part of the company. Which is not good.
If you still need to use pictures of people working in offices, use the ones that show naturalness. Smiles are allowed, but without abuse.
2 – People with laptop working in unusual places
It is possible that you may have come across images of this calibre. People with laptops on their laps on beaches, mountains, fields, yachts and resorts.
As seductive as it seems, it is not so comfortable to use laptops in places like these. In fact, have you tried to work with a laptop on the beach? Have you ever seen anyone doing this? Even if so, the likelihood that it was an exception is quite high.
3 – In low resolution with increased dimensions
A very ugly practice is to download low-resolution images, increase the dimensions and publish with content. It is easy to see when this occurs, as the distortions in the image show that it happened.
This is one of the cases that most demonstrate amateurism on the part of a business. If you liked the image so much, why not buy it at a higher resolution? Or why not invest a little more time to look for a free, similar image in high resolution? There are many that are equivalent.
4 – Images With watermark
This case is very similar to what happens above. Here is another not-recommended practice: using images that are protected with watermarks instead of actually buying them or asking for authorization from the author of an image without that watermark.
It is important not to confuse it with the marks of some photographers or agencies, who use this artifice so that the images are not attributed to different authors, placing in the corners any logo or identification of authorship. The watermark, as the name suggests, is a larger print that usually occupies the center of the image, or all of it.
5 – Very repeated or clichés
Would you like the image that represented your business to be the same that represented so many others?
When this happens, the risk of people confusing your business with a competitor is quite considerable. Especially when an image has a high degree of cliché.
A tip is to do a search on Google Images. On the screen, instead of writing the words you want, click on the camera icon and upload the photo. If you use Chrome, you can right-click on an image found on any website and then on the option “Search this image on Google”.
6 – That do not match your content
Just because a photograph is fantastic in itself does not mean that it should be used for any type of content.
It is very easy for a photograph of a sunset on the beach to be a wonderful image. Or an image of Paris, registered on top of the Eiffel Tower, has the same degree of beauty.
Anyway, no matter how beautiful the image is, context is everything. It may even be an indirect relationship, but it must somehow make sense.
7 – Blue sky, Windows XP style
The reference says it all. Windows XP wallpaper has become so popular that basically everyone who has lived through this generation relates that image to the operating system.
Try to avoid photos that have similar compositions, from the shades to the structure of the image. It does not mean that pictures of a blue sky are prohibited. Nothing like that. To test it, preview the image and think, “Do I remember Windows XP when I saw this image?” If the answer is no, feel relieved.
How long does it take you to choose an image?
If your answer is “as little as possible” consider this to be a problem. With the high number of options and the ease of searching by typing only a few keywords, we have the false impression that this is a very simple process when, in reality, it is the other way around.
With so much noise in the middle of what we are really looking for, it is very common that most images are not the best option for their content. In fact, most of it is not.
Misinterpreted or poorly chosen images can destroy even the most complete content, in addition to distracting readers’ attention and leaving their arguments in the background. Often, even without reading the content itself, a single image is able to set an amateurish judgment on the part of your company in the reader’s mind.
Therefore, it is always worth stressing a little more: make your choices calmly and, above all, try to avoid the classes of images mentioned in this post. Try to escape clichés and outdated visual appeals that no longer work. Maintain an originality and aesthetic care as detailed as the contextual one.
Finally, to learn more in theory how to use an image in the best possible way, whenever you upload to a blog, website or material that has your business name, ask three questions about the image:
- 1 – Does the image look professional?
- 2 – Does the image help in understanding the proposed content?
- 3 – Would you show this image without shame in a presentation?
If all of the answers to the three questions above are “yes” it is the green light you need to use the image with peace of mind.