A picture can be a valuable way to communicate an idea or concept and can be every way as effective as words. The use of pictures can complement a freelance article and make it more appealing and readable to the intended audience. Finding the right photo to use in conjunction with a freelance article is as much an art as the writing itself.

Stock photos are images that are licensed by the photographer for a specific use and are made available either for free or a licensing fee. Business, advertising agencies and media outlets use stock photos on a frequent basis and have given prominence to this more than $3.2 billion industry. Knowing how to use stock photos in a post and how to relate the image to the written content is important if a freelancer wants to create a greater impression for their writing.

Engaging Readers with Images  
In the newspaper business the word “art” is used to mean a photograph that relates to a news story that has been written. Matching an image of a firefighter rescuing a kitten produces a far more powerful story and image of the firefighter as a hero than any amount of words written in the newspaper article. The same principle for the use of art with words applies to freelance articles as well. Images have the power to effectively communicate a thought, an idea or concepts that are being written in an article.

The expression a picture is worth a thousand words is even truer in an age where social media and short text messaging dominate the way we communicate with one another. Knowing how important images are and how they can be used to highlight or punctuate a point made in an article is an important skill for any writer to learn.

The Importance of Aligning a Photo to the Niche Being Written  
A stock photo selected for an article should match what the article is about. An article being written about children playground safety is not enhanced by a photo of a child eating an ice cream cone although a photo of a child playing on a swing would make more sense. It is important for the writer to match the theme and content of the article with the stock photo chosen to effectively communicate the subject matter to the reader and engage them on a deeper level through the imagery.

A writer should find stock photos on a website that pertains specifically to what they are writing. Many stock photo sites provide a description of the types of photo licenses they provide in order to assist a freelancer or business in choosing the right photo for their writing niche, whether its health, science, business or education.

Making Images Relevant to Content  
As important as it is to match a photo to the writing niche, it is also important for the image to be relevant to the content. Back to the previous example of a photograph of a child eating an ice cream cone versus the child playing on a swing set; because the example of the child and the swing set is more relevant to the story on playground safety, it is the obvious image choice for the article. Relevancy is important in order to keep the reader’s attention and effectively communicate the point of the article.

Stock photos are an easy way to make an article more appealing and readable. Freelancers should find ways whenever called upon to use these images in their work. Once experienced in using these images a freelancer will be able to become even more creative in their writing and take their skills to the next level.

If you would like to request articles complete with stock photography for your next content piece, contact support@contentrunner for more information.