20 Stock Photos That Will Actually “Un-Stock” Your Advertising

by Caroline Mercurio on December 7, 2016 No comments

In advertising, you need to lead first with visuals to grab your audience’s attention. Yet not every creative team has a photographer on call with an unlimited travel budget to supply a steady stream of fresh and innovative images. Instead, the majority of marketers and designers turn to stock photographs for high quality content.

Unfortunately, some of these photos can seem “stocky”—too posed, too cliched, and too unreal—for consumers to truly connect with the message. That’s why we’ve picked 20 of our favorite photos to “un-stock” your advertising, as well as explaining the four best types of photos to look for when picking fresh visual content for your advertising.

 

Authentic Portraits

Day in and day out, customers are bombarded with photographs of retouched models in highly-posed situations. Advertising that uses images of everyday people in realistic contexts can connect with audiences at a human level, resonating with consumers’ desire for authenticity.

Portraiture with subjects who develop strong and honest rapports with the camera evoke a sense of believability and earnesty. Direct and emotive gazes without false smiles are crucial for these types of advertising portraits.

 
1.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of an elderly man at work.

 
2.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a happy boy laughing.

 
3.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a woman and her husband.

 
4.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a young woman working out.

 
5.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a pedestrian in the city.

 

Street Photography

The city is in the zeitgeist. Because we live in a constantly connected, digital world, metropolitan imagery has begun to resonate more and more with audiences, regardless of where ever they actually are.

Aesthetically, street photography appeals to viewers because of the wide array of textures and diversity of subjects it offers, as well as the frequent contrasts between structured, urban environments and their human inhabitants.

 
6.
Stock Photos

Download this street photograph of people in a crowd.

 
7.
Stock Photos

Download this photograph of graffiti on the metro.

 
8.
Stock Photos

Download this photograph of a young skateboarder in the city.

 
9.
Stock Photos

Download this photography of a tourist photographing a Vatican street.

 
10.
Stock Photos

Download this photograph of people on a busy street.

 

Flat Lay

Although seemingly more posed and polished than many of the visual trends we’ve highlighted, flat lay photography is having a moment. The style has it’s own kind of authenticity—the illusion of two dimensional space and the style’s fusion of geometric layouts with organic shapes appeals to an innate desire for simplicity and order.

Flat lay is especially popular for food advertising, but the aesthetic lends itself to any number of objects, from tools to plastic packaging. Using flat lay photos like these will keep your advertising fresh and on trend.

 
11.
Stock Photos

Download this flat lay laptop photograph.

 
12.
Stock Photos

Download this flat lay fresh fruits in a cone photograph.

 
13.
Stock Photos

Download this pills on a plate flat lay medical photograph.

 
14.
Stock Photos

Download this ice cream packaging bags flat lay photograph.

 
15.
Stock Photos

Download this flat lay tools photograph.

 

Quirky Subjects

A sense of humor, especially one that’s just slightly off-beat and not overly cliched, can really help cut through the noise in today’s oversaturated advertising landscape. Fun, quirky subjects with visually striking compositions do this by connecting with audiences through one of the most basic languages there is—humor.

To capture this trend, focus on images that feature off-center composition, bright or contrasting colors, and subjects that are just slightly weird or odd without being completely unrelatable. Think of a Wes Anderson film, but for advertising.

 
16.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a business person exercising.

 
17.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a grumpy middle aged woman with hair rollers.

 
18.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a senior cook.

 
19.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a thinking student in a cap.

 
20.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a man with a red nose.

 
Ready to start creating? Download all 20 photos and more—or, if you’re looking for even more inspiration, take a look at our guide to the Hottest Design Trends of 2016.

 

Un-stock Your Ads

 

Caroline Mercurio20 Stock Photos That Will Actually “Un-Stock” Your Advertising

Related Posts

Take a also a look at these posts

Join the conversation

Or