What Designers Are Looking for in Stock Photography

What are Graphic Designers and Creative Directors looking for, when it comes to the images they select?

That is the ultimate question for anyone who creates stock photography, isn't it. Being a graphic designer and a creative director for almost a decade now has given me a chance to understand what a designer is looking for when they browse a site like Dreamstime looking for an image to be used in a project.

© Armonn
© Seesea

First off, they are looking for something specific. That is one of the reasons it is important to have so many options available to them. It is not enough to have just a shot of a vegetable garden. That garden needs to be in rows, have certain vegetables that stand out and are easily recognized, and the rows might have to go in a certain way for the designer to like the shot. Thus the necessity for many shots of vegetable gardens, from multiple angles, and in unique lighting situations is necessary.

The next thing that I look for must co-inside with the first, and that is quality of the shot. When I am in the heat of designing a project for a client, there is absolutely nothing I hate more then having to color correct a stock photo, or clean up some amount of visual noise in the shot. For photographers, that means not just getting that perfect shot, but making sure that it is clear of unnecessary attention grabbers. It is also important for photographers to make sure that the shot has a good color hue to it, and that the subject of the photo is the dominant element.

The last thing I look for in a stock photo is the viability with the other elements in my design. Now that one photographers could never guess, because it is up to the individual designer to come up with something that works for their clients. Of all of the work that I have done It was always important to have the client in mind when considering the finished product. What does the client want the finished piece to express about them?

When it is all said and done, it is important to make sure that everything, including the photography, creates a cohesive mesh and the finished product looks like it was created by an awesome production company, not an individual designer, or small design group.

Photo credits: Noam Armonn, Brad Calkins, Bsilvia, La Fabrika Pixel S.l., Seesea, Alex Bramwell, Torchdesigns.

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November 21, 2009


Great info! i'll make a perfect image. Thank you.

November 17, 2009


Very useful! Thanks for this tips.

November 16, 2009


Thanks for this information. Good to know what potential buyers are looking for.

November 01, 2009


very useful informations!

October 29, 2009


Very useful amd interesting! It was nice of you to post it.

October 28, 2009


Thanks again. If there is any questions that anybody wants to ask about using stock in the design field, just let me know, and I will be more then happy to answer them.

:-) Have a great day Creating awesome Images!


October 28, 2009


Really useful article thank you!!

October 28, 2009


"It is hard to find that perfect image, but, based on the millions of options available, I assume that it is there, it just needs to be found."

But that's a wonderful thing for us because everyone's perfect image is different....

October 28, 2009


Thanks a lot. It was something I wanted to share. I am going to put up more articles like that one, that will give people incite into what Designers and creative directors want in their stock purchases.

It is hard to find that perfect image, but, based on the millions of options available, I assume that it is there, it just needs to be found.

October 27, 2009


Nice to hear from the other side of the spectrum, love your PF, thanks.

October 27, 2009


Great info! Thank you :0)

October 27, 2009


Very useful! Thanks for the tips!

October 27, 2009


Great advice. Thanks!

October 27, 2009


Useful article!!
Thanks for share it!

October 27, 2009


Thanks for this. Interesting to see that you're also successful at selling your images via DT - great sale ratio!

October 27, 2009


Thanks for taking the time to point out these issues, it's very helpful.

October 27, 2009


It is always useful to hear what designers are looking for - thanks!

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