Images grab a reader’s attention, help to inform them of content and tone, and guide the reading experience. They are powerful tools – think of the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” If you are mindful about the images that you use, these evoked “words” will only deepen and affirm the content of your writing.
The tone of your image and the tone of your writing should match. For example, if you are writing a cheerful piece, you probably want your image to be bright and fun. A dark and shadowy picture would give readers mixed messages.
Tone is not always an easy thing to describe. Before you use an image in your writing, ask yourself how the colors, shapes, and textures make you feel. This feeling is your tone. Sometimes you might want an image, like a picture of a product or a graph, to have a neutral tone. Simple white backgrounds help create this neutral space.
Decoration versus Information
Be careful of using images for decorative purposes. Some decoration on a website or brochure is nice, but it can easily become cluttered. A good image will add meaning. Before you use an image, ask yourself what it adds to the reading experience.
Letting the Images Speak for Themselves
A simple caption is often enough, but they are not always necessary. If you try to explain the image too much, it can lose its power. Trust that your readers will understand. Trust that the image can speak for itself.
Nice pictures equate to higher sales, more interested readers, and a better company image. Pictures are the first element most people look at, so they set the standard of quality in your writing. If you use a below average image, your writing will appear less professional, even if you have an amazing title and intriguing first paragraph.
Having an image that is blurry or hard to make out is like having a sentence full of grammatical errors. Take as much care with the image’s quality as you would with the quality of your words.
Ok, this one is pretty simple. Don’t use images without checking their copyright information. There are many free image websites you can use, but that leads us to our last point:
Be original when possible. Millions of people can download the same free image that you can. If someone sees the same picture on a facebook ad and on your website, it will be diminishing to your site. Originality with images is just as important as originality with words.