How to find pictures without fake smiles and retouching

How to find pictures without fake smiles and retouching

Original photos and videos are cool, but not all brands can afford expensive production and invest quite a lot of money in shooting and editing. How do you find something good from a million photos with unnatural smiles, poses and retouching in stocks? We have collected nine tips to make the search painless and the content itself responsive to the target audience.

 

1. Imagine looking for a photo for a blogger’s account

People on social media are more responsive to content from other people than from brands. This means that the closer your publications are to real life, there are more chances for the audience’s attention. You can see Nike and Gucci exploiting this strategy.

There is such an exercise: describe what emotions a photo evokes in a blogger’s account and figure out what techniques help to achieve this. For example, close-ups without retouching are often used to show openness and honesty.

Instagram of Scottish actor Sam Heughan from Outlander / Stock image which could fit the account

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NoFrames Glasgow

2. Look for pictures that you want to think out

If the image evokes associations and forces the user to speculate on the scene, the brand wins. After all, this way it can be imprinted in the memory of a potential client.

To pick up a picture with a story inside, think about what good will not happen in other people lives without your product or service. For example, a person cannot relax with friends in the forest without your mosquito repellent.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

3. Take a closer look at the illustrations

A photo does not always work better than simplified and emphatically unrealistic graphics. Author’s illustrations, collages and animations highlight the ads in the feed, which is dominated by ordinary photos and videos.

In addition, illustrations are often more credible than retouched photographs of models – the graphics do not leave the impression that flaws are hiding from you.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

4. Focus on trending palettes

Stock pictures can be output based on the latest downloaded files and predictions of the Pantone Color Institute. For example, here is a collection of pictures of lime, the trendiest colour of summer 2021.

If ready-made solutions are not for you, you can work out your seasonal palette yourself – and then just filter the results by colour.

Without filter by colour / With filter by colour

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

5. Don’t be afraid of stock videos

If the budget or time for the production of the original video is limited, you can take a closer look at the stock ones. These videos won’t replace product reviews, but they can illustrate less specific things. For example, show the prototype of the target audience in the video, so that the viewer thinks: “Oh, this product is really for me!”

Also, stock videos are good as references. With their help, you can show the client how the video will look approximately, clearly explain the idea, transitions and effects.

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6. Be afraid of stock smiles

A happy family from a mayonnaise advertisement, a hacker in a hoodie, overly active gestures or facial expressions – these are all “typical stock photos” that do not inspire confidence in the audience and are repulsive.

There will always be such pictures on microstocks, but you can catch others – more natural and lively.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
Glasgow NoFrames

7. Choose a calm colour scheme

Contrasting images look more noticeable, but this technique has been overused in design so much that people stop responding to colourful content. In addition, it is hard to look at bright pictures when you are already sitting at a laptop or phone all day. The user is more likely to scroll through the image or close the page.

But the restrained, natural palette is relaxing, so this kind of content is worth taking a closer look at. Of course, if it is related to the brand book.

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NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

8. Avoid aggressive retouching

Today, artificial intelligence draws perfect skin even before you have time to photograph a friend – and it looks natural. Therefore, if retouching is striking, the design will cause rejection, look unstable, and you may be accused of embellishment.

Try to avoid deep retouching when choosing visuals on stocks. Give preference to imperfect shots that are taken as if by accident.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

9. Think wider

A post about the principles of a successful business? The picture shows a man in a suit. A poster about a new promotion in the mall? We are already downloading a photo with girls with a bunch of coloured bags.

Yes, through a stereotypical picture, you can convey an idea unmistakably and the majority will definitely understand it. But they don’t grab your audience and make your ad campaign stand out from hundreds of others.

Before looking for another visual, think: who will see this ad? What problems and worries do they have in their heads now? What story will resonate and make you grab the attention?

Bad / Better

Glasgow NoFrames
Glasgow NoFrames
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Which hobbies will prepare you for the world of work?

Which hobbies will prepare you for the world of work?

We’ve quizzed our team on the hobbies that get them through the week… and the crossover skills that get them through the working day.

After a busy work week, everyone needs to relax and destress. Whether it’s a book, a bath, or two cubic tonnes of wine.

For the well-adjusted among you, these don’t technically count as hobbies… Although in all seriousness, working on ‘passion projects’ and taking time for skills unrelated to work isn’t just good for your mental health—it’s good for your soul.

Your life is more than the work you do and the right job should leave you ample time to live it. It’s only by valuing the time we spend away from work, that we learn how to do a better job. You may not have thought that these everyday pastimes are sets of transferable skills, but they are!

We spoke to every member of the team and managed to eke some insight out of these  creative types. Let’s find out what they had to say!

 

You’re not nervous, are you?

There seems to be something a few of us have in common. When it comes to the performing arts, this lot are old pros. Our Sales Rep, Patrick McCulloch, is someone you may well have seen before. He’s had roles in both Outlander and The Nest.

Patrick spoke of the necessary ability to calm his nerves. He describes going into every audition with the resolution that he will not get the part. Although this doesn’t quite get rid of all the nerves, it lessens the blow (in case he doesn’t) and keeps them at a manageable level. In the world of digital marketing, going in with little to no expectations means having real conversations and putting less pressure on meetings with potential clients.

Sophie also spoke of nerves when discussing her musicianship, as she’s played the Saxophone in various jazz bands and orchestras. While studying abroad, she acted in and co-directed a multi-media play. This represented a real turning point. Sophie, much like Patrick, agreed that while controlling your nerves was a good thing, being unable to harness that nervous energy leaves your work stale and boring.

Feeling comfortable at all times is a sign that you aren’t progressing. Of course, we all take time to decompress, but, “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area” as David Bowie said.

Know your limit and try to surpass it.

 

Teamwork, gaming and creativity.

Next time you’re playing five-a-side footie with your pals or sitting down at a games console for some multiplayer mayhem, you can tell people you’re just brushing up on your digital marketing.

Jonathan, our Customer Relations Manager, spoke of the sheer joy and satisfaction he quite rightly gains from these activities. To him, it’s the teamwork and strategising that follow over into his job. He has to coordinate people, discuss plans, and be a natural team player.

Jack, our Content Creator, has plenty of experience with crossover collaborative skills. He’s done his time on film and TV sets, and found there is a great overlap of communication and organisational skills. He learned this from working in various teams and in different departments.

On the creative side of things, he’s found that the more experience he has over a wide variety of disciplines (like film, TV or digital media) the more he can focus on creating purely to entertain, educate and inspire. He considers it a feedback loop of creative ideas and solutions.

Both Jack and Jonathan are self described film buffs, and while we all enjoy a good movie from time to time, it’s best never to get Jonathan started on ‘French New Wave’ (because he might never stop).

 

Work imitates art.

Both co-founders of NoFrames, Irina and Ana, enjoy painting and drawing. As does Sophie, who likes to ‘lino print’. Irina believes this has helped her think creatively and keeps her providing high quality visual content for clients. In the beginning, Irina was creating all of the content herself—so it’s no surprise that she has an artistic streak.

In her free time, Ana writes poems in Russian, and is a great talent in writing copy. This skill has proved worth its weight in gold when writing applications for grants and creating presentations. She owes this skill to consistently writing in her spare time.

 

What are you waiting for?

Almost any hobby or outside interest can make you more productive, introduce you to new skills or boost your CV.

That being said, the most important thing about hobbies—is that you enjoy them. Regardless of their worth to your career, if there’s something you love to do, you might as well do it. Life is too short for the opposite.

It seems like the team at NoFrames has proved that with creative hobbies and interests, you can build a skill set that applies to your work and career. In our case this is of great advantage to our work in digital marketing. But, remember—

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

 

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How to build a career plan and what to do if it doesn’t work

How to build a career plan and what to do if it doesn’t work

It is difficult with a career: at first, you do not know which direction to choose, then you doubt whether it is the right one, and even if the work is your favourite, you can turn sour on it.

We asked several HRs:

– what kind of animal is it, a career strategy?
– will it save you from focus, burnout and self-disappointment?
– what questions should be asked?
– and what to do if you are already lost?

When do you need to think about a career strategy: at the start of work or when you feel that you need to change something?

A career strategy is needed at any stage of the working life. It draws key points on the way to the goal, helps to understand what skills will be needed in the future, and makes it possible to acquire them gradually and thoughtfully. For example, if you want to work abroad, the strategy will give you time to learn the language.

The annoying question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” is not so bad if you paraphrase it to “How do I see my life?”. Even if the answer is “I don’t work and I live with an ocean view,” a career strategy will help you achieve that state.

The main thing for building a strategy is understanding the benchmark you want to come to. In a situation of career stagnation, for example, there may not be such a target point – for a start, a person needs to cope with burnout or even depression.

 

What happens if there is no strategy?

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We can’t say that everything will be bad. There is simply a greater risk of being disappointed at the end of the road and thinking: “Why did I spend so many years on THIS, when all my life I dreamed of something completely different.” Career strategy is for those who understand the value of time.

Without a strategy, of course, it is possible, but there is a great risk that the path to the coveted sphere or position will be thorny. De-focus, a fortune on learning whose skills are not being used. Remember how it was in “Alice In Wonderland”? If you don’t know where you need to go, it doesn’t matter where you go.

At the same time, it is important to understand that all people are different – there are those who are comfortable working in the same position for many years, doing the same thing. And that’s okay, this also has a career strategy. If everyone around them were incredibly ambitious, no one would perform some of the tasks – everyone would be busy with their rapid growth.

Okay, I think I need a strategy. How do I start? Whatshould it look like?

To summarize, there are three main career tracks:

  1. vertical – a standard track in the form of a career ladder, where you rise up from a junior position to a managerial position and beyond;
  2. expert (horizontal) – you expand and / or delve into a function / industry of interest to you. Quite often people go freelancing on this track;
  3. entrepreneurial – you create something of your own and gradually scale your business.

In a career strategy, you can combine several tracks at once. For example, based on knowledge of the industry and the needs of the target audience with which a person worked, he can create his own product that will cover the needs of this audience. A freelancer can create his own company, attract more clients and employees for their tasks and scale the business through cross-function and client needs.

Strategy is always about vectors:

  • where to move on;
  • are there opportunities at the current place of work and what needs to be learned for this;
  • If not, where to go and what are the risks to be prepared for.

It may be a trivial map in Miro, where you draw: I am at point A, in order to come to point B, I need – and then you build options for the path. In parallel, you can formulate achievements for yourself that will help you move on to the next stage: what skills you need to acquire, what projects to defend.

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In career tracks for our guys at NoFrames, we often build a plan in the context of six months – but this is also flexible. Having tried to move along the intended path, after a month a person can wake up and understand that this is not at all what he wants to do.

 

It’s hard to sit down like this and figure out what I want. Are there any tools?

Remember: always in your areas of interest and always based on your strengths.

First of all, determine point A where you are now: your strengths, experience, education, tools, circle of your interests and current area of ​​responsibility.

Next, choose point B where you want to come: it can be a specific position, your own company, or even early retirement. The more details you write, the easier it will be to build a path.

But you need to understand that a career is not a static thing. It will be subject to changes, therefore, it is necessary to return to the strategy at least once a year. Don’t be afraid to revisit the B-point – it will help you stay tuned and transform your experience, adding value and expertise.

Little life hack: it is convenient to promote a career plan “from above”, from a big goal to a small one.

You can try focusing on more than just your career strategy. Ask the question where andhow yousee yourself in six months, what do you dream of, but not only within the framework of work – perhaps you want to move, change your image, master a new hobby. Compare the motivation “I want more money” and “I want to go on a trip around the world.”

There are goals, there is a plan, but I’m still slipping – what’s the matter?

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Perhaps, building a map, you overestimated your strengths, gained a lot of tasks and do not have time to self-develop or learn from someone else’s experience. It seems that no one is pressing, but the plan is built and there is an inner feeling that you need to do everything in time. It’s important to give yourself the right to slow down – this is your career track, you can influence it and you don’t have to run forever if a fast pace doesn’t suit you.

And you also need to periodically ask yourself these questions:

Am I cool now?

Do I like what I am doing?

Do I like what I am studying, or am I doing it because I have to?

And who needs – me or the leader with whom we built this track?

It is important to return to yourself with these questions – otherwise, it will not be possible to understand whether you are moving there, unfortunately.

There is also the trap of fear of change. It is always scary to go into the unknown and the new: to someone because of responsibility, to someone because of the fear of failure. Here, again, a psychologist will help. And there is another option – to talk to a career consultant. Sometimes we set ourselves high goals and do not understand how to approach them. Therefore, we procrastinate.

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Jonathan McCrorie about doing sales for a marketing company

Jonathan McCrorie about doing sales for a marketing company

How to maintain relationships with potential clients and getting courses via Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. We spoke to NoFrames Customer Relationship Manager Jonathan to know more about his career development from a marketing student to a sales professional.

– Let us know, where did you study? Why did you choose this field?

I have a background in marketing at City of Glasgow College and Strathclyde University, marketing has always interested me due to how varied a practise it is. The balance between it being an art and a science allows for a lot of interesting creativity to be had.

– What past experience do you think lends itself to this role?

It’s hard to say as this is my first sales position, in these scenarios it’s all about transferrable skills. I’ve worked in a few bars in my time and have thought back to those days in some situations while working here, it’s a stretch but it’s helped! 

– How did you find NoFrames? What made you choose NoFrames over others?

NoFrames was referred to me through the Kickstart Scheme set up by the government to help younger people get back into work, after being advised to apply for the job I thought it looked like a great opportunity and a great team to join, it was really a no brainer to look into.

 

 

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After being advised to apply for the job I thought it looked like a great opportunity and a great team to join, it was really a no brainer to look into.

 

– How has the experience been so far?

Yeah, it’s been a great learning experience given the fact I’m new when it comes to sales but in these situations, you tend to find the most room to grow and I’ve tried to welcome that opportunity with open arms.

I’ve been a part of NoFrames for nearly 3 months now and I’ve had a lot of positive experiences along the way in this short time. There has been so much support from the founders Ana and Irina, they have been a great help to me over my time here and allowed me to progress each and every day since my start.

– What is a Customer Relationship Manager? Give us an idea of what you do day-to-day.

In my day-to-day there is a mix of two different sides of the sales process, trying to find potential companies that would be a good fit for NoFrames to work with and maintaining relationships with potential clients—as the process can take some time. This mix keeps things fresh.

– Have you taken any training while being at NoFrames?

There have been a few training courses that I’ve taken in my time here that have been
beneficial to me, a social media for business lecture and a customer sales workshop. Both have been a big helping hand.

A funny story comes to mind when thinking about the support I’ve had throughout my time here involving one of the founders, Ana. It was early on in my sales training and I was being taken through the different stages and processes of trying to secure a new client for the company, Ana was a massive help as she was very informative; giving me a lot of resources to read through which were very helpful and I thought this was great, I’m going to be able to pick up this sales stuff so well with all of this guidance.

Ana decided that me and her should do a practice sales Zoom call where Ana would act as the potential client and I would do my job of selling the company. After reading and watching so much of the material Ana had given to me I felt ready as ever, fully confident I would be able to land this imaginary business.

The call started and I felt like I was flying, flowing with all information I had been given. Being detailed about our strategy all the while staying interesting to keep Ana fully engaged, I felt as if it couldn’t be going better.

After my spiel was over Ana’s quick response still haunts me to this day: “Jonathan your enthusiasm is great but you never even asked how I am.”

This was the moment I realised that even after all the help I’d been given, I personally still had a long way to go!

After that tragic/hilarious moment which was a while ago now, I feel I have personally progressed in my role at NoFrames. Getting better and better with each passing week all through my persistence and the fantastic team we have.

P.S. I now remember to ask “how are you?” at the start of a call.

– What does being a Customer Relationship Manager mean to you?

I’m the bridge between our clients and the company, it’s your job to maintain that bridge and create as straightforward and secure a route as possible.

 

 

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I’m the bridge between our clients and the company, it’s your job to maintain that bridge and create as straightforward and secure a route as possible.

 

– What are a few key elements you need to be able to do your job?

Patience and persistence are good mantras to have in this role, like a lot of things never too high never too low. As generic as it is, these things can help a lot.

What are your long-term goals?

I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself too much when it comes to long term goals, I know life can be pretty random and whatever you are doing at the moment can be turned on its head a year from now, but ideally if I can just focus on doing my best day-to-day, I like to hope the right things will pop up.

To anyone interested in getting started in Customer Relations, what advice would you give to them?

Every individual sales process is a marathon not a sprint, understand that most of the time you are working at the potential clients’ pace when it comes to selling and not your own.

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How to choose your brand colours

How to choose your brand colours

Don’t be afraid to be bold—after all, did you know colour determines 62-90% of how your buyer will react to your business’s product? Every colour has different perceived meanings and connotations, so how do you know how to use them? Read our quick guide on colour: when to use it, and how!

1. RED

Red is an eye-catching colour that promotes action. It’s a warning colour, sharply bringing you out of a calm state and attracting attention.

How does it work?:
Red affects someone’s physiology: it stimulates the nervous system and slightly increases blood pressure.

Remember:
In electronic media, red is subconsciously perceived as a mistake—so it’s better not to use this colour for brands related to education, finance and IT.

Fits:

  • food / drinks
  • the medicine
  • beauty
  • sport
  • transport
  • real estate

2. BLUE

Blue is the colour of serenity, calm and dimension (think the sea and sky). As well as reliability and purity. It’s still a restful colour, and isn’t overbearing or unpleasant when used as bright shades. 

How does it work?:
Affects emotions: calms, balances, controls.

Remember:
Blue is a universal colour that suits almost everyone. Ideal for travel brands – blue is reminiscent of the sky, sea and mountains.

Fits:

  • transport
  • finance / business
  • IT / digital
  • real estate
  • medicine
  • tourism
  • family / children

3. YELLOW

An energetic, warm and inviting colour. Take a look at some of the world’s most iconic brands—Mcdonald’s golden arches are a recognisable symbol anywhere on the planet. 

How does it work?:
Yellow stimulates brain activity and improves performance. Gold denotes success, worthiness and value.

Remember:
Bright yellow is associated with childhood, and gold is best used for luxurious, high status businesses.

Fits:

  • clothes
  • sport
  • entertainment
  • tourism
  • family Children
  • art
  • education
  • animals 

4. GREEN

Green is the undeniable colour of nature, peace and freshness.

How does it work?:
It’s said to soothe the nervous system, lower intraocular pressure and sharpen vision.

Remember:
Often green is associated with sustainable causes and ecological benefits, making it a good match for food brands. Also associated with money (as it’s the colour of the dollar) and is suitable for the financial sector.

Fits:

  • food / drinks
  • education
  • IT / digital
  • real estate
  • the medicine
  • tourism
  • family / children
  • animals
  • finance / business

5. BLACK

In branding, black is the colour of order, professionalism and clarity.

How does it work?:
It denotes high cost, luxury and functionality—in the 19th and 20th centuries, equipment and machines were often first produced in black.

Remember:
Black (like most colours) has different cultural meanings: for example, in Russia, it is the colour of mourning and, in Japan, the colour of joy.

 

Fits:

  • beauty
  • art
  • clothes
  • real estate
  • education
  • sport
  • finance / business
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