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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.

Photography & Stock Photo Tips

Examples of Preferred Photography and Stock Imagery

Good: 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.

image of city and county building in denver with Denver Loves Immigrants banner


Good: 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.

Picture of stock show parade coming down the street from union station

photo of lightrail train passing in front of downtown denver convention center

photo of Union Station during day


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

photo of kayakers on confluence park river

aerial drone shot of denver overlooking state capitol building

photo of crowd gathered for concert at Levitt Pavilion

rooftop view photo looking down on larimer square during an event


Examples of Undesirable Photography and Stock Imagery

Bad: 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!

workers shaking hands over paperwork on table


Bad: 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 resolution photo of parking lot aerial view


OK... Sometimes: If you can use a good photo that either you took yourself or fits the criteria above that should always be the first option. Overtly obvious stock photos can be used, but only in moderation for things like wayfinding buttons on a webpage or as accents to printed pieces. 


generic stock image of gears in an abstract setting


Stock Photo Resources

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 Phot Sites:

Adobe Stock logo image

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 logo image

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.

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."



Location & Hours
1437 Bannock St. Room 002
Denver, CO 80202
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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