When you’re scrolling through Facebook or a website, what is it that makes you stop and pay attention to a certain post? Is it the catchy headline, or the number of comments? Most of the time, whether you realize it or not, it’s the picture. A good image can capture attention and make people stop and take notice. A great image can make people actually click through to find out more. You might decide to make your images colour and text based like I do (for the most part) or you could use pictures to capture attention. So, how do you find great photos you can use to make each post stand out against the rest?
One option is to build your own library using sourced stock photos. I wrote this post here listing some of the best places to find stock photos. I use this sites all the time for different projects, and sometimes I even incorporate them into my feature images. My suggestion is to go through these image sites once a month or so and save great ones to your computer. Name them something descriptive so you have an idea of what the images are, and save them to a stock photo folder. This means that every time you need a photo for a post or project, you don’t need to search for one online. You’ll already have a list of them on your computer so you can just scroll through there and pick one that works.
An alternative is to build your own stock photo library. This means photos that you take yourself in daily life. We all go out and about taking selfies and pictures of friends (and of course we wouldn’t want to use these in our posts) but less personal photos can make great stock images. Start making a conscious effort to take photos of scenery, interesting objects or patterns, or even scenes with lots of people in them (it’s just the images with a few people that are too personal). Every time you download photos from your camera or phone, save the ones that would make great stock photos to a separate folder, and name them something descriptive.
Building your own library of stock photos makes it so much easier to find the perfect image for a specific post. And, if you’re using your own photos, it’s even better, because it means their unique to you. There’s nothing worse than browsing the internet for hours to find the perfect image for your latest blog post, only to see the same image used by someone else the next day. Been there, done that. It sucks! Using your own images means that this will literally never happen, and you can always be proud of your unique work.
If this sounds like something you might want to do, why not start now? You’ve probably got some great stock photos in your image library already. Scroll through your pictures and look for beautiful images that aren’t too personal. You want them to be interesting and captivating, and look good within whatever template you use to create feature images. I use text over top of all my feature images, so I need photos that aren’t too busy or colourful, so my text is always readable. Think about your template and then pick images that would look great in it.
Here are a few of the images in my own library that I’m waiting to use. I’ve taken far too many pictures myself over the years.