For this one, I wanted a combination of any of the following: icy planet, two people, darkness or purple hues, ruined architecture, and space. These are core concepts and setting design elements to the story of Janus Descending, and I wanted to see that reflected in the header.
I spend a lot of time making sure that I am not highlighting white, skinny bodies more than I am other marginalized bodies. Once I have some options, I sort for quality and size and spend a while staring at them, getting a feel for how they set up against the mood and/or theme of my piece. I usually put it in with my draft and read it with the headline, the image, and the first paragraph visible.
Any other tips?
Think outside the box! One of the harder things is writing a how-to article for anything in audio and not using a photo that involves a mic, or headphones, or a computer. Try something else -- try looking for drawings instead of photography, people instead of objects, and any larger concepts of what you are writing about.
Also, if you know someone who's good at Photoshop who works with you or who you like, hire them to lightly edit some stock photos if those photos have that permission. Shout-out here to my companion in crime Jarred Worley who created the image for my review of Passenger List. I couldn't get the image of a cut-out hole of plane from a sky out of my head. Jarred made it happen.