Stock photos are a stock-standard part of working in the communications industry.
Everyone uses them. Everyone needs them. After all, the photo or creative idea you have in your head likely already exists so there’s often no need to dump all your resources into custom editorial shoots.
BUT, when searching the web for stock visuals of work environments, it can be disappointing to consistently come across generic, overproduced, painfully staged images. The good news? There are business stock photos and videos that skip the predictable and can bring your creative vision to life — sometimes in ways you didn’t think of. Here are a few ways to choose fresh and contemporary business photos for campaigns that stand out.
Brainstorming, climbing the ladder, collaboration … they’re all pretty standard concepts to use when executing a campaign or creative assets around business. However, a lot of conceptual business images are overdone and overused. The fix? Choose an industry “buzzword” or a contemporary culture subject (like burnout, anxiety, or workplace wellness) and work back from there. Don’t be afraid to get a little weird. An unconventional, creatively executed photo or video paired with straightforward copy can result in a more memorable project or campaign.
Take a different POV
When looking at images of people doing “business stuff” around the office, you’ll probably come across a lot of repetitive and obvious angles. So, instead of laying out an image staged in front of a white background, take a different point of view. Imagine you’ve taped a GoPro to your head — what would you see on your commute or in the office? What do people look like when they’re actually working? If they’re having a laugh, what are they smiling about? Give narrative context to each image so the situation could be a real moment and not an attempt at fake “happy working”.
Humour goes a long way
Work hard, play hard, so the saying goes. While business stock photos typically have a serious tone to them, humour can take a “been there done that” photo and breathe new life into it. An easy example of humour working hard for you so you don’t have to: 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.
While the modern face of business is fancy, minimalist and high tech, it also looks like the freedom to work from anywhere, anytime. Remote work has increased by some 115% percent in the last decade, allowing freedom never seen before for both employers and employees. So when you’re choosing business imagery, don’t forget to look for photos of people checking their emails from planes, cafes, home offices or the beach. What a time to be alive.
Take a trip back to the wonder years with stock images that have a touch of vintage flair. Not only does this ignite a sense of nostalgia but it also separates typical office photos of contemporary workspaces. Channel your inner Don Draper and seek out elements like old rotary phones, typewriters, sharp suits and lunch martinis.
See more quality business stock photos in Stocksy’s curated gallery here >>
Stocksy United is a stock photography + footage agency founded on creative integrity and respect for artists. Quality content paired with expert curation by creatives makes discovering unique, beautifully authentic imagery effortless. Explore Stocksy’s collection of exclusive imagery and easily find the perfect assets for attention-grabbing projects.