What I look for when Selecting Images Featuring People

Construction co-workers discussing

As a marketer working with a staffing agency, photos of people are of course pretty necessary. One wants to convey a sense of promise to potential temp workers and a sense of organization and expertise to potential customers in-need of temp workers. And since a picture is worth a thousand words....well, you get the picture, pardon the pun.

When I am online and seeking images to use from stock photo sources, I first-off try to find images that look like real-life work scenarios. The smiling, jovial team photos with their arms crossed as symbols of authority have always seemed a bit "cheesy" to me so I look for images of people at-work or at least photos of folks that don't appear like the models know they are being photographed. I guess the word is "cinema verite' for such a style. The integrity of a non-forced, non-orchestrated image just seems to have more style and authentic charm to it.

I also work very hard to find images that include "minorities" in them, although the latest census figures indicate that Caucasians will be the minority in America after 2050. But I digress! I look for images that feature brown and black-skinned individuals included in the compositions because I wish to depict realistic work scenarios. I also think that such images depict a "forward-looking" business and a company that wants to be fair and inclusive - American "values" that I am proud to highlight as an image curator in my marketing.

Fairness and honesty in stock photography - that's what's important to me as I chose images featuring people.

Photo credits: Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang).

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May 14, 2017


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May 13, 2017


Thank you so much for this article. With stock photography it's nice to know what the customer wants. Very helpful.

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