Tips For Choosing The Right Photos For Your Project

by Grace
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Visual elements become the defining characteristic of any project. According to statistics, a single photo can improve information retention by 65%, whereas in contrast, three days later, people only remember 10% of the information they read from a text-only post. Similarly, pictures receive a massive 352% more engagement on social media than posts with only text. Also, articles with relevant images get 94% more views than content without them.

These numbers provide credibility to the fact that photos make a huge difference to any design project. However, a key element for the photo to make a significant impact is that it should be relevant to the text. This can be a challenge, particularly when the options for images are limited. Fortunately, there are a host of paid and free resources available online to choose royalty-free images from. Moreover, it never hurts for you to make a custom photo for your project.

So, how does one select the right photo for any design or design-related project, such as websites, posts, or posters? Here are a few tips to follow:

1. Focus on the relevance

Nothing will throw off a person viewing your content more than an irrelevant image accompanying your design. An article that details things you should look for in a reliable mechanic with an image of a brand new car pictured in the sunset doesn’t essentially work together. Whether you are using stock photos & images or creating a new visual, it is crucial to make it as relevant as possible. Free libraries of royalty-free images may offer limitations, but it is best to expand your search as much as possible to find the most appropriate visuals.   

2. Always find the highest quality

The quality of the photo in your project plays a large role in attracting or diverting user attention. Not only does a viewer associate image quality with product quality, but search engines also determine rankings based on a photo’s resolutions and load speed. For businesses in today’s extremely competitive market, it is highly relevant to build trust with customers. Since images influence the perception of viewers and potential customers, adding high-quality visuals to build trust with them is crucial.

3. Have the purpose and utility of the image in your mind

Every picture or visual that goes into your design project has a purpose to fulfill. It will either capture attention or shed further light on the context. Images can keep the viewer immersed. They can also facilitate conversion rates and provide more details about the project overall. They can inspire visitors to take action or learn more.

Whatever the ultimate objective of the image may be, it is important to carefully consider this when picking the right visual to incorporate into your design. Bearing this in mind can also help you decide whether you need a fresh photo taken, design a new visual, or pick a royalty-free image from an existing library.

4. Don’t forget to give due credit for any image used

This is one of the things many designers tend to ignore. Especially with royalty-free images, very few people include photo credits in their designs. Although there are no restrictions on re-sharing or publishing these images, giving credit where due can make a lot of difference for the photographer. These individuals work tirelessly; sometimes, this passion is their only source of income. They deserve every bit of credit for their work. This is similar to what most of us would want when our work is re-shared.

That being said, there are no hard and fast rules about giving credit with royalty-free images unless stated otherwise. Things are different, though, when custom images or visuals are brought into the equation. Not providing due credit can bring about copyright claims and litigations, which can become a hassle for the designer. In order to avoid this, it is best to ensure photo credits are added as and when necessary. Here is a guide on how to properly give credit for any images that you use.

5. Go beyond the royalty-free library

This is a tip that requires abundant stress. Most designers and content creators heavily rely on stock images as they look for hassle-free and less time-consuming ways to acquire art for their work. This can work sometimes, but in other cases, it can backfire as well. More importantly, though, royalty-free images don’t always fulfill the objective that a designer wants to achieve through their design. Stock image libraries have limitations when it comes to relevance which is why it may be essential to go beyond them.

Your design is meant to inspire, captivate, build trust, and, many times, drive conversions. All these goals will not always be obtained through stock images. Most brands and businesses directly pull their images from the free library to save time and effort. And many times, they use the free versions of royalty-free libraries. As a result, the images repeat after some time, giving visitors the perception that the business lacks creativity. Ultimately, the website loses trust, which wastes the designer’s time. Going beyond stock is the only way to mitigate these issues.

6. Make engagement your top priority

Although this is something that doesn’t need to be stated, engaging viewers should always be the first objective for any image in your project. Immersing users and retaining them for long enough proves key in converting them or convincing them of your narrative. Engagement is the most crucial of all the purposes that any image can fulfill. Moreover, since attention is the hardest to get from viewers, extra effort must be put in to make the visuals more engaging.

7. Integrate brand values into the image

Every visual you include in a project serves a purpose. In this regard, it should always resonate with the brand values and elements. If the business has a signature color, a tagline, or any other element that takes a viewer back towards it, this needs to be integrated into the design. This has many benefits but most of all, it helps build brand recall and trust with the viewer, eventually turning them into customers.


The importance of images and photos cannot be understated in any project or design. This is why it is vital to put extensive effort into selecting these visuals. From finding relevance to going beyond the royalty-free library, there are a lot of factors that you need to incorporate. Together, these tips and elements come together to achieve a project’s objectives.

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