Images are a very important aspect of branding and marketing. For this reason, you should always spend some time making sure you have the correct images to represent your company clearly and in the highest quality possible. Stock Photography is a very common way of doing this as there are millions of stock images online that you can pick up for a relatively low cost, which will fit well into your website.
This may be the easiest option but it’s not always the most efficient or productive. There are a few pros and cons to this method and it’s very important to think about whether you want to go with stock photos for your project. Here are our pros and cons for stock photography use…
Very Low Prices
If you are planning to start a website on a low budget then stock photos are probably the best way to go. All images are very affordable and some can be bought in bulk packages, lowering the price even more. When it comes to stock images most sites will determine the cost of the image or images based on the resolution, so lower resolution images can be picked up for very cheap and will probably be great for web use. This means that you will be saving a lot of money on photographer costs for pictures personal to your business which will inevitably come with a higher price tag.
The Fastest Method
If you are ever in a rush for images then stock photos can be a good choice. All images are instantly available to download so you don’t have to go through the hassle of organising a photographer etc. it’s as easy as searching for the image you want, downloading it and retouching it to fit your websites requirements. The use of stock photography can be a huge time saver in the development of your website.
Lots of Variety
The variety of images available makes stock imagery a fantastic approach. Once you search for the image you want you will find thousands of different images to choose from, so spending some time looking through to find the most fitting photo is highly advised. Photographers contribute to these websites from all over the world so if you live in the countryside but need images of mountains or palm trees then this will be easily achievable.
Most stock photography websites that you come across will have strict requirement for the quality of the images, for example they must pass the standards for lighting, resolution, colour and more. This means that when you purchase a stock image you can expect them to be high quality and they will have passed all of the tests. You will also be able to view a low resolution version of the photo before purchasing it, or perhaps a watermarked one, so that you know the image you are purchasing is up to the standards you require before buying them.
Not Exclusive to Your Website
Due to the fact that all stock photos are readily available for download at any time, you must be prepared that other companies may have used the same images for their websites. This means that your competition or another business in your market, could be using the same image meaning that your website may appear a little less appealing if people have seen the image before. If you are trying to stand out in your market then using a stock image may not be the best way to go. This is where using a professional photographer can give you an edge, but at a cost.
They Can Be Predictable
All photographers that contribute to stock image websites will look to take photos that stand out to the buyer and will be used by many people. They try to make each and every image appeal to businesses to attract more purchases. As a result of this problem, a lot of the images can be seen as a little cliché. This means that you may not be able to capture the individuality of your company by using stock photos, and the consumer may just see your company as the same as all the others.
Limiting your web designers with stock images gives them less freedom to create unique and outstanding concepts. This is because the photographer taking the photos for the website won’t be taking that picture with your business in mind, and most importantly your product may not be quite as well represented by your marketing material.