6 traps marketers should avoid when selecting stock photos

Images are essential for modern marketing campaigns—and stock photos can be a necessary evil. Make sure you don’t sink your message with these gaffes.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Not every photo is worth a thousand words—and some can do serious damage to your marketing campaign.

When selecting photos, many marketers turn to stock photography databases that have a wide selection of generic photos for a modest fee. However, you must choose your photos wisely.

Avoid these stock photo mistakes to protect your reputation and your campaign:

Image via: Dragonimages/ Dreamstime

1. Reinforced stereotypes

It may feel tempting to assume that an image of a manager, doctor or CEO must be someone of a certain age, but that could scare off your millennial customers. This same concept applies to gender, race, religion and more.

Reinforcing cliché stereotypes through the depiction of models in your photos is the last thing you want, and your customers will make that known if you fall into this trap. Make people of all ages, races and genders feel well-represented with a diverse selection of models in your images. Your diverse customer-base will appreciate it.

Image via: Mykola Kravchenko / Dreamstime

2. Fake smiles and forced expressions

Your customers find fake, forced smiles just as irritating as bad poses. Would you buy something from anyone who has a cheesy smile glued to their face?

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.