The Dos and Don’ts of Using Photos in Website Building

For your content to stand out online, you need images. Including images enhances the user experience of any piece of material, including blog posts, websites, ebooks, and other digital publications. You must assess if and how you may use the image without breaking copyright; you cannot just download photographs off the internet. Every image obtains copyright as soon as it is generated, whether you find it on Google, social media, or a stock photo website. It is up to you to determine if you have the legal right to use it.

Even unintentional copyright violations have major repercussions. Anyone found guilty of violating copyright might be fined up to $150,000 for each offense. A person found guilty of copyright infringement is also liable for all legal bills and court costs should a matter go to trial. Not only that, but the court also has the authority to seize any work that violates copyright; in serious instances, the offender may even go to jail.

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Do: Adapt Your Images

You are permitted to change the images provided that you abide by the law. Even after customization, it is crucial to keep in mind that you cannot claim ownership of or resale the stock photos as your work. 

Here are some techniques for editing stock photos:

  • Create various cropping for your image
  • Add a border in your company’s color
  • To communicate your brand message, add text
  • Add elements from other images to make them distinctive

In brief, experiment as much as you can with the images. Just keep in mind that you are not permitted to use the stock images to depict diseases like AIDS or in any sexual, political, or libelous content.

Do: Try to be relevant

The finest stock picture websites have millions and thousands of images in their repositories. Additionally, they provide search tools that enable you to narrow down the results to images that are pertinent to your target market based on factors like size, color, and even orientation. 

However, resist the urge to select the first image that appears in your search results when looking for photos. Even if the first few images are attractive, do they match your branding aesthetic? Do they fit in with the design of your website as a whole?

Although the stock photos seen on the initial pages of search results may be stunning, if they are not consistent with your brand, you risk misleading your audience. Additionally, it will make your website look less organized and relevant.

Do: Research your rivals

Since stock photos are so common, there is a significant probability that the image you choose is also being used by several other websites.

Therefore, it is suggested to use TinEye or Google Reverse Image Search tools while choosing the images for your website. These tools can assist you in determining whether the image you selected may also be found on other websites, especially ones that are in your industry.

Do: Use Google’s advanced search filters to find images that are free to reuse

You may restrict your search results in Google Photos to only see photos that have been approved for reuse. Even if a picture is marked as free for reuse, it is nevertheless advised that you confirm its source since there may be limitations or requirements, such as the need that the photographer be given credit.

Do: Consider quality

Be careful to emphasize quality when selecting photographs for your website. Since there are so many submissions to stock photography websites, they frequently forget to check each image and produce images of poor quality. 

However, using dark, grainy, or even photos taken in low light will not help you draw in the audience you want. Instead, these images will make your visitors feel uncomfortable and they will probably decide not to connect with your page. 

Simply said, pay attention to the image quality. Examine each option carefully for any shortcomings, and then utilize the one that exactly satisfies your requirements.

Do: Use Captions

Images with captions provide readers with additional information and value. Keep them succinct and descriptive, and only offer people the information they need that the image does not already directly show.

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Don’t: Overcrop

Overcropping may result in a loss of background contrast, an unbalanced appearance of the subject, or a dramatic decline in image quality. When cropping photographs, strive to keep the image size large enough to prevent losing quality and producing pixelated images, eliminate just the extraneous parts or unneeded space, and leave enough breathing area for the subject.

Don’t: Opt for cliché

Avoid artificial-looking photos in your site design unless there is a compelling purpose to do so. 

Clichés in the stock sector include, among other things, guys dancing in suits, headless men pointing at stuff in the air, and overly happy customer service agents with headsets. In addition to being unsightly, they appear artificial in their photos. 

By all circumstances, it is advisable to avoid viewing such images. Instead, look around for photos that are natural-looking or don’t look overly produced. Avoid abstract figures as well because they are often overused and may reduce the originality of your work.

Don’t: Forget Licenses

Online sites that sell stock pictures frequently ignore legal issues. However, disobeying them may result in a variety of legal issues, such as a penalty, punishment, lawsuit, or even a DMCA takedown notice. 

Make careful to double- (or even triple-) check the agreements when choosing a photography website to make sure you are utilizing it legally. The legal restrictions will specify where, how long, and if credit is required when using the images. 

Additionally, you must be aware of the modifications that can be made to the stock photos you purchase. The majority of stock photo websites do provide basic change. However, it is essential to make sure that the modifications you make are done so legally.

Don’t: Ignore SEO

Prepare your photographs for SEO so that they may only aid in directing visitors to your website. 

To begin with, stock images have titles that appeal to the studio or photographer. After you have paid for and downloaded the photographs, give them a better SEO name. Rename the image to “cat-with-ball.JPG” if it depicts a cat playing with a ball, for instance.

By including keywords and phrases in picture names, captions, and alt tags, you may further improve your website’s SEO. The size of the image is another thing to be aware of. Resize photos as much as you can to reduce their weight since large images might cause a website to load slowly. By doing this, you can ensure that your photos load quickly and enhance user experience.

Don’t: Forget to upload your images

Stock photos could be the quickest option, but they cannot match the authenticity of a personalized image. And you do not need to be a pro to capture attractive images owing to cellphones and DSLR cameras. 

To spice up your layout, you should use both stock and personalized photographs rather than relying just on stock photography.

Don’t: Overwhelm used with too many images

Visitors may feel overwhelmed and confused by an excessive amount of photos on a website. Utilize compelling and pertinent graphics to enhance the informational value, user experience, and retention of your website pages.

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You may utilize stock photos in a variety of places on your website since they are adaptable. To guarantee that your photographs are providing the value you seek, however, be careful to use them according to the best practices.