How to choose eye-catching marketing photos

When you’re choosing marketing photos to go with your copy, you need to think carefully about where you’re directing your readers’ eyeballs.

Discover why the Mona Lisa Effect is a no-no for most marketing photos, and why a Non Mona Lisa image will help your message to get across more effectively.

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When you’re choosing marketing photos, there are 3 things you should look for.

1. The marketing photo should be aspirational

The photo should be positive and inspiring, so it creates an “I want that” factor.

2. If possible, use marketing photos with a person in them

People are far more drawn to photographs of people than of objects.

3. Pay careful attention to where the person in the photograph is looking

There are two main types of “people” photos:

1. The Mona Lisa Effect

This Mona Lisa style of picture, where the model is looking straight at you, is effective for magazine covers and other scenarios where the role of the picture is to get attention.

I call this style of photograph the Mona Lisa Effect, and it works well in crowded magazine stands. This is because the photos job is to make eye contact with you, so that you pick it up and buy the magazine.

So yeah, the Mona Lisa Effect is great for magazine covers. (But not so great for most marketing photos.)

2. Non-Mona Lisa

A Non-Mona Lisa photo is one where where the model is looking into a space.

What you do with that photo is to add a strong headline into that space. That way, your prospects’ eyeballs will be lured into reading your headline, as they’ll naturally follow the model’s gaze.

This is a technique that works on websites, brochures, advertisements… just about anything where you have a headline.

And this eyeball controlling technique really works! This has been tested with heatmaps based on where people are looking. So use this technique for marketing photos and really take your marketing message to the next level.


How to choose eye-catching marketing photosWhen you’re choosing marketing photos:

  1. The photograph should be aspirational and positive.
  2. It should have a person in it.
  3. The model in the photograph should be Non Mona Lisa, that is, looking into the copy space.
  4. Add a strong headline into that copy space.

This technique doesn’t take any extra time, or cost extra money, but it gets your prospects to read your message.