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Photo of trendy female riding a white kitten.

Picture perfect: Choosing images that get results

Last week Getty Images hosted a webinar by Creative Research Expert Jacqueline Bourke on how to select images what will increase engagement. In 2015, there were 1.5 trillion images were shot. That number will only continue to increase. The quality of those images keeps getting better and better. Consumers now expect high quality images in all their content. It is important that you select images that engage your audience’s emotions and senses.

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-2-07-54-pmWe are visual creatures. Ninety percent of information is transferred visually. Our audiences are being bombarded byscreen-shot-2016-10-20-at-2-08-08-pm an ever increasing amount messages. Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text.  A strong visual image will allow for our content to stand out from the crowd.

Images are obviously crucial on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but tweets and Facebook posts with strong visual elements have more engagement than text only counterparts. Below are some trends and examples of how they have been used:



First person: This perspective pulls your audience in and makes them a part of the image. It is much easier for them to envision whatever you are pitching from this angle.


Close up: This example takes the first person to the next level. The closer images are to their subject the more detail audiences are able to pick up. It makes them feel a part of the scene. Combine that with the contrast of the bright ice cream with the pale background makes the image really pop. It will surely stand out on a timeline.


Perspective: The previous two images obscure the subject’s identity. By shooting from a lower angle the body of the runner is cut off. Focusing on the feet allows for the audience to picture themselves in the runner’s position.


Overhead: We are seeing a lot more shots from the overhead perspective popping up over and over. It is not an angle we see often in our daily lives, and when marketers use them it makes the audience stop and notice.


It would have been been easy to actually show the plane, but showing its shadow puts a unique spin on it.


When photographing people hugging it is hard to see both people. Looking down on this tender moment bring more emotion.


This ad from HSBC employs the overhead angle. Dividing the family table into a pie chart allows them to show multiple people while keeping identities anonymous. We are able to envision our family.


The over head perspective allows Sainsbury’s Bank to take advantage of the negative space on the carpet for their copy. This brings us to the next trend…


Silence: Or negative space is areas of the image that are empty. It can be a powerful tool that forces the eye to what we want to audience to focus on.



Emirates uses negative space to the fullest here. The top of Big Ben is pushed all the way to the bottom. It is still clear that London is one of their destinations, but focusing on the sky lets people imagine a destination of their choice.


Volkswagen has traditionally opted for silence in their ads. Less copy and simpler images are what we have come to expect from the German car company.


User adapted content: This image from MTV is what I am calling user adapted content. The rise of free photo editing software allows people to modify your work. MTV placed Miley riding a cat on the high contrast background to enable people to easily pull her out and create new content with that image. Everyone would know where the original came from and would remember the Video Music Awards.

Sean is a web specialist. He runs the email marketing program, helps in website design, manages social media accounts, and uploads weekly ads. In 2017, Sean started Grocer Podcast, a month show that intends to be another way to get information to retailers. Prior to joining AWG, Sean spent three years as a high school teacher. Sean is an avid cook, sports fan and Kansas Citian.