As a project manager, I am used to working with budgets and tight schedules. Some are tighter than others, and our team often has to get creative on how to make the most of the time and money available.

Sometimes you just simply don’t have the budget or time to create original creative content, such lifestyle photography. And as much as the creative industry hates using stock resources, there are times when that is the only option. Then you have to try and give the stock as much of a custom look as possible.

But how to go about it? At Tenfour, we like to start the process by revisiting the customer’s brand guidelines, including tone of voice and other style guidelines. It’s good to check what existing brand-specific and custom-created materials we can reuse. Consistency is key.

 

There is a lot of stock material available, but that means the quality varies too. We like to choose material that is subtle, but resembles the look and feel of our customer’s brand. The nuances must be just right. It’s almost like picking a blank canvas that you can add to.

The downside of stock is that it can often look too fabricated. Particularly when we work with stock photography that portrays people, we want to be extra careful. My advice would be to always choose imagery that portrays a sense of authenticity. Keep it natural!

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As an example, we’ve picked a stock photo from Shutterstock and customized it to match the illustration from Amanda’s storytelling post. What do you think?