As humans, our strongest emotional responses - both positive and negative - come from visual cues. That's precisely why the old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words," has more than a ring of truth to it. When you're flipping through a magazine or surfing the Web, the photos are what make you stop and look. Today, the images that are most effective in capturing the attention of readers and web visitors alike can be summed up in three words: ocean, water, life.
Imagery is Everything
Those who are in the business of advertising or web design understand that developing a wonderful product or a website full of useful information is important, but it's only one component of success. Choosing the proper imagery to communicate to the potential customer or visitor can result in resounding success, while selecting the wrong images can be disastrous in terms of sales and web "stickiness."
Carefully selected images can help to establish and reinforce brand awareness, can help to target niche markets, and can help to build customer loyalty. Today, lifestyle photography is the primary means of conveying consumer messages - so much so that product photography is often a small element of a print advertising campaign or a web design.
Lifestyle Photography Conveys Concepts
The primary purpose of lifestyle photography is to convey concepts. For example, a photograph of waves lapping on the beach can convey relaxation, freedom, luxury, and promise. Photography of crashing waves can communicate agitation, strength, and persistence. Images of still water with stormy skies can convey turbulence, doubt, conflict, and confusion. A hand reaching out of the water can relay a message of hope or of hopelessness. Photography that depicts surfing can communicate youthful exuberance or a hip, active lifestyle.
Finding Unique, Captivating Images
If you use these types of ocean, water, and life images in your advertising campaigns or web design work, you know how frustrating it can be to find the right photography to communicate your key concepts. Most, if not all, major stock photography companies have either a limited number of images, or images that are dated. When you're looking for unique images that evoke the proper emotional tone, it often pays to patronize smaller stock photography companies, particularly those that specialize in ocean, water, and life images. The images that will allow you to stand apart from your competition may very well come from a company that is steeped in the surf and water lifestyle.
Besides offering unique stock images, the right stock photography company should be able to offer you exclusive rights, should you so desire, should track the use of all photos, and should consider commission ideas. In other words, if you need a certain type of ocean, water, or life image, the company should consider shooting the image for you and then adding it to their stock catalog.
With ocean, water, and life photography quickly becoming the most common images used in advertising and web design, it's important to find a stock photography company that can deliver the unique images that will give you the edge and set you apart from your competitors.
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