5 Ways Freelancers Can Benefit from Stock Images

Everything is becoming more visual. That’s a real advantage for visually-oriented professionals such as designers, who are being tasked with projects that call upon compelling imagery to help get the job done. Freelance designers in particular, who are vying against others for work, can stand out from the competition by showing a strong prowess for selecting and using dynamic and prominent images. Here are some of the ways that designers are incorporating stock images into their work:

1. Banner ads

abstract blank management scheme on blackboard

Since the early days of the Internet, banner ads have been the predominant way that companies have lured people to their sites. Since we’re all spending more time logged in these days, we’ve learned to adjust and to sometimes ignore these big ads. Savvy designers, however, know there’s still an opportunity to reel people in. Ads with attention-grabbing pictures are shown to work better than more traditional text-based ads. Pick a photo that is alive and represents the company at hand well. If you get people thinking about action, then they’ll hit your Call to Action button.

2. Blog posts

Color pencils representing the concept of Standing out from the crowd

Posts and articles with images beside them are more interesting and clickable. In that split-second when someone lands on your page, he is deciding whether to keep reading on or to click off. Make the page more memorable and inviting by including a picture. Similar to the banner ad, it’s worth giving some thought to a more out-of-the-box representation than the obvious photo to accompany your thoughts. The same is true for the hardwired imagery you choose for the template on your blog’s pages; make it exciting and people will stick around.

3. Brochures


We don’t think enough nowadays about the offsite marketing materials that we hand out or send via snail mail. To be a truly great designer, you’ll need to show the ability to adapt ideas from the web to print. Even if you’re not attending networking events, you’ll want to be able to send people a brochure that shows examples of the work you have done, and the work you can do for them. Images are crucial here. For all marketing materials, it’s worth thinking about how to customise both images and your logo to showcase your innovation, creativity, and inspiration.

4. Comps for layout

Collection of images

For designers working on a big project, like a magazine spread or a marketing campaign, there are many stages and proofs to get through before completion. It requires frequent check-ins with the client to ensure that communication is smooth and execution is correct. That’s why some designers turn to “comping,” a traditional method of implementing temporary images in the spaces where the final images will ultimately reside. This process helps people envision along the way what the final product will look like. For comps, it’s worth carefully selecting some images that jump off the page. At that stage, these images speak as loudly as your vision.

5. Invitations

Beautiful invitation cards for your wedding ceremony

Although many of the image needs for designers come up professionally, there are a variety of other reasons to use images. For instance, if you’re hosting a dinner party, you can send custom-made invitations to all of your guests. Impress them with colourful and personalised invitations. This can be done digitally or more formally. Make a collage of photos of one theme for the cover, too, that will set the tone for the party. By the time people show up, they’ll already be in the spirit of things.

Many thanks for this blog post to Danny Groner, the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Bigstock.

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