Image Library – Is it Time to Clean House?

In this post:  image library, clean up your media library, stop wasting time, marketing project, communications, publicity, low resolution, bad images, poor composition, improper lighting, wrong time of day, no practical application, trash, donate, not unique, stock images, historical value, out-dated, signs, images needing to be updated.

Image library … the backbone of all marketing, communications and publicity departments. If you find yourself with time on your hands, now may be the optimum occasion to delve into this never-have-enough-time marketing project.

If you’re like many people, your media or image library probably includes a mix of photos – some high and some low-resolution photos … the latter perhaps taken on a smartphone with a few no larger than a postage stamp. I suspect you have no idea where some came from or who the people are. The quality in several may be marginal at best. Yet you haven’t gotten around to tossing the really bad ones. Only keep the best photos in your image library.

Over the years, I’ve learned:

  • A bad image is a bad image. It can be for any number of reasons:  poor composition, closed eyes, improper lighting or the wrong time of day. The truth is the longer you keep it in your library the image is not going to get better. Toss it or you’ll waste 30 seconds every month looking at it while trying to find a different image. To learn what makes a bad photo, click here.
  • Some photos may be exceptional but they have no real-life application. Why keep them? Think about the various uses of an image – a website, marketing materials, print or digital ads, tradeshow display, social media, a PowerPoint presentation or video. Stop pining over how cool they are and move them to an I-don’t-have-the-heart-to-throw-them-way folder. Also known as some images are better as screensavers or artwork hanging on the wall. They have no functional purpose in marketing.
  • Images that are too generic and don’t convey the unique qualities of a destination are useless. Do you have any idea how many artsy photos of empty wine glasses sitting on a table that I’ve been given? The shoot was a waste of money. They don’t sell the experience; they promote glassware. Remove them from your image library.
  • Photos that may have historical value should be placed in a folder identified for a particular decade. Stop sifting through outdated images. Better yet, see if your historical society would like a set, providing you can identify the photographer, subject matter, people and dates taken.
  • A signature image is an awesome thing. It should sell the experience and, in my opinion, be the image(s) that you reserve exclusively for your own use. Mark this as such in your image library.
  • If you aren’t happy with the quality of a photo, why do you think anyone else would use it? Toss it. Promote your business or destination with only the best-composed and quality images. It really is OK to use a strong photo over and over again, except on social media.
  • Photos of signs don’t sell. Only keep and use images that convey an experience.
  • It may take several rounds to narrow your selections. Take notes as you clean house. You’ll want to make a list of images that you’re missing, and/or need to update or replace.

It comes down to this – spend time now spring cleaning or waste time later.

If you do find that you have a nearly perfect image, it is possible to save them with a little photo retouching. To learn more, click here.

If your nonprofit organization or quasi-government agency plans to take a fresh look at how your destination is marketed, please contact us today.

Skip to content