Seven Ways to Use Stock Photos in E-Learning

Photos are a powerful tool in e-learning. 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 e-learning: they seem cheesy, they aren’t diverse enough, or they look like the subject is in a vacuum.

stock photos in e-learning

A lot of people don’t actually hate stock photos in e-learning, 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. In a recent post, Tim Slade shared his Top 10 Free Stock Photo Sites for E-Learning. In this post, I want to share some tips for how to use those stock photos so people love them, instead of hate them!

Here are seven ways you can use stock photos in e-learning:

1. Blur the photo and use it as a background.

stock photos in e-learning

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

stock photos in e-learning

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

stock photos in e-learning

4. Use cut-out characters with transparent backgrounds over other images.

stock photos in e-learning

5. Overlay text on top of an image.

stock photos in e-learning

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

stock photos in e-learning

7. Combine photos with icons or other graphics.

stock photos in e-learning

What are some of the creative ways you have used stock photos in e-learning? Share them with us by commenting below! Also, further your skills by checking out these related posts and how-to videos on graphic design, custom icons, e-learning characters, and more!

Sharon Gutowski
Artisan E-Learning

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