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At this point, it’s a lot like Where’s Waldo?—that book that keeps kids (and adults) occupied for hours on end. But we call our “Waldo”, Frank. At first, he didn’t have a name. But when he started to show up everywhere across the B2B digital universe—working on his desktop on websites, doing something business-like in newsletters, and attending meetings on landing pages—we felt he finally deserved one.

iStock Frank, as seen on countless product pages across the B2B landscape.

In fact, we’ve seen this play out time and time again with identical stock images popping up on various sites. We’ve even seen some cross-pollination in both B2B & B2C worlds. While iStock is excellent in many instances, it does lend itself to ”sameness”—especially in the B2B world when depicting office lifestyle or people with devices.

iStock Frank is proof that we need to pay more attention to the photos we use since many audiences are becoming more visually inclined (i.e. read less); so it’s more important than ever now to distinguish your brand with quality, memorable images. Ideally, images that become an extension of your brand experience.

Here are three tips on how to uplevel your photography:

1. Look further 

Luckily there are newer alternatives when sourcing photos beyond iStock or Shutterstock. For instance, here’s a great link to quite a few alternatives: 5fourdigital.

A couple other alternatives include gratisography or stocksnap.

2. Uplevel stock purchase

The easiest option is engaging a team member that has a talent for sourcing attractive images. Other times, it’s as simple as looking to a higher tier such as GettyOne; especially if your brand requires a unique visual style. Adobe is even getting into the game with Adobe Stock. We did this for two of our clients, Greenbrier and our new Swedish client, Paynova. This way we made sure that the photography on their websites had their own distinct style, 100% in line with their brand.

3. Photoshoots

Our own “iStock fatigue” has led us to bring the subject of photography to the table much earlier in our discussions with clients. Sometimes the best solution is to do an actual shoot; such was the case for clients Entelo, Ferry Building, and SF-Marin Food Bank. In these instances, we were able to create quality, engaging and original images that the client now owns and is in control of, rather than risk using an image that’s been widely used by a competitor or similar company.

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