How to Choose the Right Images for Your Brand

How to Choose the Right Images for Your Brand

May 20, 2015

“Brand Imagery” - the photos and graphics used to represent your brand through your blog posts, newsletter articles, social media posts, and websites.

Brand imagery is an important part of building a brand that is recognizable, cohesive, and memorable, but unfortunately it’s something that I see many business owners neglecting to be mindful about.

They choose cheesy stock images that lower the quality of their brand, or they get lazy and slop together images that don’t have a cohesive look and feel.


How to Choose the Right Images for Your Brand:

When choosing your brand images consider 3 things…

1. Your Brand’s Look and Feel

First you must know your brand’s look and feel, and once you do, choosing images will be much easier. For example, my brand’s look and feel is elegant, edgy and inspired by nature. When I choose images to represent my brand, I choose images that align with these words. I wouldn’t choose a picture of a punk rocker chick wearing florescent pink because that wouldn’t align with my brand’s look and feel.

2. Your Brand’s Color Palette

When you choose images to represent your brand, you want them to align with your brand’s color palette. For example, my brand’s color palette consists of red, gold, browns and creams. I choose images, for the most part, that match this color palette. You don’t have to be a total perfectionist about this, but in general, follow your color palette.

Tip: Create a Pinterest Board of images that represent your brand’s style and color palette. You can search for images on Pinterest by color, and also by key words like “nature,” “edgy,” or “elegant.” To see my Brand Inspiration Board on Pinterest, click here.

3. Your Brand’s Metaphors

Including metaphors in your brand imagery is a secret way to brilliantly pull your brand together and give it a consistent look and feel. For example, I often use the metaphor of “shining light” in terms of encouraging my clients to shine their lights brighter so they can be found by their ideal clients. To represent this metaphor in my brand imagery, many of my images include light shining or reflecting in different ways.

Here are some ideas for other metaphors that you could explore in your brand imagery:

  • Doorways – representing walking through a threshold into a new phase of life.
  • Flower buds – representing “blooming” into one’s full potential.
  • Birds – representing a bird’s eye view.

What metaphors can you think of to represent your brand?


HOW TO FIND IMAGES:

Now that you know these basics for how to choose images that represent your brand, you’ll need to actually find images! Here’s what NOT to do: do not, I repeat, DO NOT, use images that you find by searching Google.

You can get in big trouble for doing this and end up owing lots of money. I know because it happened to me in the early days of my business. I thought that if a Google image wasn’t watermarked then it was up for grabs. WRONG!

I received a notice from one of the big stock image companies informing me that I owed $5,000 for two images that I used on my blog “illegally.” I soon discovered that this company had bots trolling the internet, looking for unassuming people to fine for using their photos.

Luckily, my husband is a lawyer and he got me out of it, but not without lots of letters back and forth and lots of wasted time.

So where to find photos without spending an arm and a leg at stock photo websites?

Well, the best option is to use your own photos. But besides your own photos, there are some great websites that offer free photos! Yep, totally free.

Here’s a list of 15 free photography websites that I’ve put together for you.

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