7 Tips for Using Stock Photos in eLearning

Photos are a powerful tool in eLearning. Unless you can afford custom photo shoots, you likely need to purchase stock photos. You may have heard some people talk about how much they hate stock photos in eLearning: they seem cheesy, they aren’t diverse enough, or they look like the subject is in a vacuum.

Stock Photos in eLearning

A lot of people don’t actually hate stock photos in eLearning, despite saying they do. What they hate is seeing a stock photo next to some bullet points. This approach lacks imagination and leaves people with nothing to do but critique the photo.

Here are seven tips for using stock photos in eLearning!

Blur the photo and use it as a background.

Stock Photos in eLearning

Take some pictures and make them look like polaroids with captions.

Stock Photos in eLearning

Showcase the photos by cropping them with a unique shape (a.k.a., “clipping mask”).

Stock Photos in eLearning

Use cutout characters with transparent backgrounds over other images.

Stock Photos in eLearning

Overlay text on top of an image.

Stock Photos in eLearning

Select a series of images and create a collage or fill the screen for a slideshow.

Stock Photos in eLearning

Combine photos with icons or other graphics.

Stock Photos in eLearning

What are some of the creative ways you have used stock photos in eLearning? Share them by commenting below!

Additional Resources

This post was originally posted on elearninguncovered.com.

Tim Slade
Hi, I’m Tim Slade, and I’m a speaker, author, and award-winning eLearning designer. I’ve spent nearly a decade working to help others elevate their eLearning and visual communications content. I’ve been recognized and awarded within the eLearning industry multiple times for my creative and innovative design aesthetics. I also speak regularly at national eLearning conferences, and I’m a recognized Articulate Super Hero and co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series.

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