Blending images or stock footage into your video is common practice for most film and creators out there. Usually you’ll see this in videos made for online use, like YouTube but other times, you’ll see the practice in more elaborate films or documentaries by video production companies or aspiring filmmakers.

But not all images are created equal. And if you happen to pick an image that doesn’t go well or doesn’t have the right specs as the video you’re creating, it will only standout – and not in a good way.

Here are 5 tips you can keep in mind when integrating stock photos or images into your video or film production.

Always Color Correct Your Image

This might seem like a no brainer but some filmmakers, especially new ones, skip this and make this glaring mistake. Color correction is crucial so your image and video complement each other. You can do this by hand or sometimes you can allow video editing software to do it for you.

Always Color Match Too

Color correcting your image and video is one thing but color matching with your stock image or photo is another. Sometimes this can be as simple as playing with the levels in your image. Other times, it takes much more. The goal in doing this is to make the image look convincing together with your film.

Think About Image Sharpness

Video quality will differ depending on what film camera or equipment you have. It will also differ on the type of settings you use to shoot the footage. This is also true for photographs. One obvious area you need to pay careful attention to is the sharpness of your image. Your video has to match the sharpness of your image if you want a coherent look throughout your film or video.

Remember the Saturation

Another key point is the saturation level of your image. If the image is too saturated, either adjust your video settings accordingly or vice-versa. This is crucial if you’re trying to make both the video and image look like the same thing or at least related to each other. You won’t get that beautiful seamless look if your image is highly saturated and your video isn’t. This is also true the other way around. It will look odd and disjointed when this is overlooked.

Finally, Color Grade Everything

As opposed to color correcting, color grading is the process of stylizing a current video or film footage. When it comes to stylizing your footage or your image, you’re essentially giving them color properties that will help in creating a more even, coherent look between the two.

Adding an image into your film or video footage means taking several things into consideration. Aside from those mentioned above, you also need to note if your image matches the story you are trying to convey. In addition, the tone the image has is also crucial. All these and more create a seamless blend between the two mediums.

Whether you’re creating films for a high- end video production company in New York or a small editing service in LA, you’ll find that taking time to study and process your video and image together will get you the best result.