February 14, 2018
How To Choose Business Stock Photos That Don't Suck
Updated April 11th, 2019
As the face of traditional office work continues to evolve into a more modern, tech industry space, the imagery we choose for our projects and campaigns should mirror those shifts. When perusing for visuals, however, it can feel challenging to differentiate yourself when a lot of stock business imagery is painfully generic (cue a couple of suits shaking hands in front of an embarrassingly fake graph). Rest assured, there is hope for enjoying the process of designing office work campaigns. Follow these cues for a better business experience and create projects that stand out from the crowd.
More imagery in this Better Biz gallery >>
Making use of visuals that utilize broader concepts within an office setting is no news, i.e. brainstorming, climbing the ladder, making connections, collaboration etc. But sometimes you don’t have to punch your audience in the face to get your message across. Choose a typical “buzzword” and take a couple steps back from there with an unconventional, creatively executed image/video. Qualify your message with supporting copy and you’ve got something special.
When perusing imagery of people doing work stuff in an office, there can be a lot of repetitive, obvious angles. Rather than laying out an image staged in front of a white backdrop, imagine yourself inside the office with a GoPro taped to your forehead. What would you actually see? What do people look like when they’re working? What are they working on? What are they laughing about? Try to give narrative context to each image or clip so the situation could be a real moment, not an empty attempt at faking “work”.
Why do people move to cities? Other than eating food and being entertained, we generally go there to work. Cities are busy, chaotic and buzzing with industry. Implement high-level urban imagery into your office/work campaigns to communicate modern sensibilities, quick pace and hustlin’ in the big smoke.
Work isn’t all business all the time so don’t forget to play with humour. Here’s a really easy method: Just put an animal where a person should be. Anthropomorphizing animals almost always gets a laugh which not only spreads joy, but it also makes your campaign memorable to the point of shareable.
The face of new business often is fancy, minimalist, high tech offices, true, but it is also looking like the freedom to work from anywhere, anytime. Remote work has increased by some 115% percent in the last decade, allowing a freedom never seen before for both employers and employees. So when you’re choosing “business” imagery, remember to include shots of people working from planes, homes, cafés and the beach while they surf the web or cruise the information highway.
Experimenting with office imagery from decades past offers a sense of familiar nostalgia while separating itself from the modern imagery of contemporary workspaces. Get your Don Draper thinking hat on and seek out elements like old rotary phones, typewriters, sharp suits and lunch martinis.