Specialized Dental images

5 MUST-KNOW Pieces of Advice for selecting stock photos

January 08, 2021

Dental Stock Photos - labradoodle holding toothbrush in mouth

Do you find yourself scrolling through endless websites looking for affordable stock photos that are worth every cent? How do you decide which photos to select? How do you determine what defines the ‘best stock photo’? Why is this important - after all, can’t you just pick any old stock photo, buy it, and use it?

If you're thinking to yourself; how on earth do I find the BEST dental stock photo for a project? What are the things I need to consider? We’ve got you covered.

At Dental Stock Photos, our team of dental professionals have compiled the top five things to look out for when making this all important decision.

1. Think about where your image is going

There are millions of places you could place your purchased stock photos or images.

Without this very common practice, stock image websites wouldn’t exist!

Is the photo going to appear on your social media channels as a post? Will the photo accompany a post your business makes on Twitter? Will it form part of a Facebook video? Is it going to appear on a poster that’ll hang in your dental practice, doctors surgery or cosmetics surgery? Is it going to appear as the header image on your website? Is it going to form part of a brochure? Will it appear on a blog on your website? The options are endless.

Think about A) How you are going to USE the photo and B) Where it is going to appear.

For Part A), consider this; Is it going to be a standalone image (i.e. a post on Instagram) or will it have text or graphics on top of it, or placed alongside it?

If, for example, you’ve purchased some dental stock images and you’re going to use them for backgrounds on videos, you’ll want to ensure they aren’t too ‘heavy’, busy or likely to interrupt the focal point of wherever the background image is being placed.

2. Look for high quality, authentic images

Customers can pick out a good stock image from a bad one. It’s important to ensure the images you select are of a high standard, and don’t look too staged or fake.

Let’s say you needed an authentic dental photo of someone having a check-up.

If you came across a stock image where the dentist was not wearing gloves and the glamours patient wasn’t wearing eye protection (safety glasses) then this wouldn’t be an ideal image to use given it doesn’t accurately convey correct and safe infection control practice and looks staged.

Let’s say you needed some dental office images for a brochure advertising your dental practice. Real photographs feel natural and give your website a warm feel and keep potential customers engaged. People can spot those generic photos a mile away.

Put simply, an inaccurate stock image that ‘falsifies’ the process or looks ‘fake’ isn’t ideal. It can damage your credibility as a business.


3. Does the photo elicit an emotional response?

Would the photo you select make you stop, take notice, and develop a response or action from looking at it?

Stock photos that stand out and grab attention win each and every time. After all, you don’t just want to use the same stock-standard, boring or disengaging photos that everyone else is using.

For example, we don’t advise using the same picture of a dentist, dental assistant and glamourous patient that another 10 dental practices are using. You need to stand out.

4. Avoid doing what everyone else is doing

If you can avoid it, try and avoid using generic free photo websites for stock images. Why? Because a lot of businesses are using these, and they’re easily spotted.

People (and other businesses, for that matter), can pick out a photo they have seen before from a mile away.

We often see the same one or two photos used everywhere - after a while, it can damage the credibility and authority of a business if they are seen to be using the free option.

Of course, purchasing high quality dental stock photos comes down to budget and financial obligations - so it’s important to do your research and find the best option that suits you.

5. Be inclusive, and consider your target audience

Alienating or discriminating against people isn’t always intentional, but unfortunately, when selecting a stock photograph, this can sometimes happen.

If your business is orientated towards both men and women, it’s important to consider both genders. If all your marketing only includes female dental patient photos, then it’s unlikely that any men will visit your dental surgery.

Maybe you’re creating a campaign aimed at enticing people to visit your dental practice to have their teeth cleaned. As part of the campaign, you could be offering a limited time discount on teeth cleaning.

Consider what type of person would align to a stock photograph you use for your marketing here - you’re not going to use a photo of a baby, after all, they don’t quite need their teeth cleaned yet.

If you’re creating something which will include multiple photographs, ensure you diversify the people you include - think about different ethnicities, ages (depending on who you are targeting), occupations, and so forth. Don’t simply use the same person, or type of person, for everything you put out (unless you have a specific spokesperson or group).

6. Consider the orientation of the image

Do you need a tall photograph? Or a wide one? If the photo is being posted on Instagram, it’ll need to be square - is the stock photo you want to purchase able to be resized into a square? You need to consider this.

Facebook and Instagram generally prefer square images, whereas Pinterest likes tall images, and Twitter needs wide images.

Before you purchase a stock photo, you should check the dimensions required for the social network you’re going to be using it on. For example, Instagram posts are best sized to be 1080px by 1080px (Square) 1080px by 1350px (Portrait) and 1080px by 608px (Landscape).

7. Change things up in your search

If you type something into the search bar of a stock photos website, but find you are achieving little to no results - here’s a handy trick.

Visit an online thesaurus, type in the word that best describes the stock photo you’re looking for, and check out the results. You can use some of these results to inform what you type into the search bar for stock images.

Let’s say you need a stock image of a dental therapist. You struggle to find anything - why not jump into a thesaurus and see what comes up as a replacement?

Who knows, you could just find what you’re looking for by searching a different variant of the word!

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