5 tips to make sure the images you choose appeal to your audience

Boy sitting in bed drinking beaker of orange juice, looking away, Bludenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
Cultura Creative (RF) / Alamy Stock Photo

Choose the most engaging images for your audience and your content will leave a lasting impression. No matter what the focus of your project is, using the right images can help your audience relate to and engage more effectively with your content.

Make sure you’re picking the best images for your audience by following our top tips…

Tip 1: Choose natural, un-staged imagery

One of the most prominent trends in both photography and advertising throughout 2017 is natural, everyday images that appear un-staged. The beauty of using an un-staged image that shows a real person in an everyday situation is that it’s easy to relate to. If your audience can picture themselves in a particular scenario, or they see an image that looks familiar to them, it’ll help to evoke an emotional reaction from them.

beautiful blue-eyed girl in a cafe with tablet
Oleg Baliuk / Alamy Stock Photo

Tip 2: Make sure you’re using images that are up to date

It’s easy to search for an image, see something you’re familiar with and go with what you know. But, whether you’re producing a magazine article, creating designs for a client, or updating your website, you need to think about what your audience of the ‘right now’ looks like.

One of the best ways to keep your content looking fresh is to look for up to date images that reflect the world today. Here are some great examples:

1. Modern families

Numerous reports like this one from the Telegraph show that over the course of a generation, single-parent households have nearly tripled in the UK, whilst the number of ‘traditional’ families has fallen from 52% to 36%. Yet you’d be surprised how many ad campaigns still focus on the ‘two married parents with two children’ household dynamic.

There’s a much broader family dynamic today than ever before so embrace it and show it in your image choices.

Gay fathers and baby son standing outdoors
Blend Images / Alamy Stock Photo

2. Modern payment methods

There are more options available today than ever before when it comes to consumers. So if you’re content focuses on buying goods or making purchases, be sure the images you choose reflect how your audiences are buying things.

Younger audiences are more likely to relate to online and contactless payments including using their phones to buy their groceries, whereas older generations are likely to use their bank card or good old-fashioned cash. Another top tip for if you’re using cash in an image is to think about any currency changes, like the recent changes to the £5 note and £1 coin in the UK.

Making contactless payment over cafe counter with muffin humanhand with mobile phone with mobile phone held close to card reader
Brian Scantlebury / Alamy Stock Photo

Tip 3: Make sure your images feel authentic to your audience

You need to make sure the images you pick meet the expectations of your audience. It might seem obvious to some of you, but if you’re creating content for an audience in the US, use images that a US audience will relate to. For example, if you’re working on a project that focuses on education in the US, using an image of a child in a school uniform would look very out of place.  It’s always worth doing a bit of research before you pick your images, just to see if there are any cultural variations for your chosen subject.

Mother and her children crossing road on way to school. Mother with her sons walking across zebra crossing.
Newman Studio / Alamy Stock Photo

To help you out, when you’re searching for images on Alamy, you can use our ‘Location’ search filter if you’re looking for images from the UK, USA or Europe:

Location search filter

Tip 4: Keep an eye on photography trends

In fast-paced creative industries new trends are emerging all the time and keeping up to date with what’s new is essential if you want to keep your audience engaged.

To make it easier for you to find out what’s trending, our yearly Image Trends report gives a full insight of the most popular image trends in the UK and US. Check out 2017’s report here > 

We’ve also got some handy blogs that cover the trends in different sectors, like this one covering 3 business image themes.  You can also search for ‘trending’ from our blog home page to see more blogs covering photography trends.

Portrait of young woman talking with friends at a cafe. Group of young people meeting at a coffee shop.
Ammentorp Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Tip 5: It is essential you use high quality images for whatever project you are working on

Using high-resolution images will not only give your content a professional and high quality look, but it’ll help with the impression your content makes when your audience sees it. There are a few ways to find high-resolution images but we’d recommend:

Go directly to a stock image library like Alamy

Using a stock image library is one of the best way to find high quality content and make sure you have the relevant permissions to use the image. Alamy offers a selection of image licensing options to suit a whole range of projects. You can find out all you need to know about licenses in our handy blog post ‘why buying an image license is important’.

Use Google to search for images

Google can be a good place to start your image search, especially if you want to get a feel for the types of images you can find online. Our advice would be to use Google Images and include ‘stock photo’ after your search term, to try and draw in the best quality results. For example, if you’re looking for an image of a cat, search for ‘Cat stock photo’ instead of just ‘Cat’. From here, if you find an image you like, you can click through to the website the image is hosted on and find out about the licensing options available to you.

For more info on using Google for your image search check out our blog post >

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