Photography is a vital element of many aspects of the Denver brand. From marketing campaigns to website usage, photographs help tell a story that is hard to replicate in even the best graphic treatments or illustrations. Here you will find some tips for picking good photos as well as resources to help you find them. You will also learn proper usage of photographic imagery to help bring your content to the next level.

Preferred Photography and Stock Imagery

Candid Shots

Candid shots taken with personal cameras/camera phones. This type of photography is great to use in conjunction with events or other happenings around the city.

Denver Loves Immigrants banner hanging over the City and County of Denver building front steps   City-County-Building_Front-Steps.png

Stock Photography

Stock photography that doesn't look like stock photography! The less staged the image, the better. Look for unique images that are usually hidden a few pages into most stock image sites.

national western stock show parade downntown

union station aerial photo  

Professional or stock photos of the city from unique angles that show a different side of the city we all love.

Levitt pavilion crowd at concert

Larimer square dining event


Examples of Undesirable Photography and Stock Imagery

Do your stock photos look like stock photos? Do you think these people are REALLY having a meeting? If you can imagine the stock photo watermark on a picture even without it, don't use it!


Low resolution images are hard to see and just plain ugly. Have some respect for yourself and the viewer by using quality photography! Make it your resolution to only use high resolution!

low res photo of parking lot

Stock Photo Tips and Resources

Image Rights and Usage

Types of usage rights

  • Free to use or share: Allows you to copy or redistribute its content if the content remains unchanged.
  • Free to use share or modify: Allows you to copy, modify, or redistribute in ways specified in the license.
  • Commercially: If you want content for commercial use, be sure to select an option that includes the word "commercially."


Looking for some good stock photography or want access to our library of images?

Here are a few resources to get you started.

Free Stock Photo Sites

Note: Be wary of license restrictions on these photos and check for proper licensing:

Adobe Stock Images

Curated to include some of the most unique and professional quality media, Adobe Stock is a new addition to our marketing toolkit designed to give you more options and variety compared to traditional stock creative sites. Adobe Stock includes images, videos, motion videos, templates, and even 3D graphics for select programs. Also, if you currently have Adobe Creative Cloud, you can search Adobe Stock directly in applications such as Photoshop and use comp images in your design until you are ready to fully license them. 

Google Images 

Google Image Search! BUT IN A VERY SPECIFIC WAY! You are still not allowed to just do a random Google Image Search and just grab unlicensed images, but you CAN use the Google Advanced Image Search and filter by license type. Here are Google's instructions on how to do this:

Find images, text, and videos you can reuse
  1. Go to Advanced Image Search for images or Advanced Search for anything else.
  2. In the "all these words" box, type what you want to search.
  3. In the "Usage rights" section, use the drop-down to choose what kind of license you want the content to have.
  4. Select Advanced Search.

Note: Before reusing content, make sure that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse. For example, the license might require that you give credit to the image creator when you use the image. Google can't tell if the license label is legitimate, so we don't know if the content is lawfully licensed.