Stock photography: the pros & cons

Images are a very important aspect of branding and marketing. For this very reason you should always spend some time making sure you have the correct images to represent your company clearly and in high quality.

Stock photography is a very commonly used way of doing this as there are millions of stock images online that you can pick up for little cost and fit right in to your website.

This may be the easiest option but it’s not always the most efficient or productive as there are a few pros and cons to this method. It is very important to think about whether you want to go with stock photography for your project as it is a highly important topic. Here are our pros and cons for stock photography…

The Pro’s of Stock Photography

Stock photography can be cheap – If you are planning to start a website on a low budget then stock images 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/images based on there resolution, so lower resolution images can be picked up for very cheap. Because of how cheap this is it means that you will be saving a lot of money on a photographer to take pictures personal to your business which usually comes with a higher price tag.

The fastest method for quality images – If you are ever in a rush for images then stock images 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 any website.

Stock photography offers lots of variety – The vast 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 and want images of mountains or palm trees then this will be easily achievable.

Stock photography is high quality – 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 to have passed all of the tests. You will also be able to view a low resolution version of the photo before purchasing it so that you know that the image you are purchasing is up to the standards you require before you even buy them.

The Con’s of Stock Photography

The images are not exclusive to your website – Due to the fact that all stock images are readily available for download at any time, you must be prepared to know that other companies will have used the same images for there very own websites. This means that your competition or another company in your market could be using the same image meaning that your website may not be more appealing and in some cases resulting in less profit. If you are trying to stand out in your market then using a stock image may not be the best way to go as this could completely undermine your marketing efforts. This is where using a professional photographer can give you an edge.

They can be predictable – All photographers that contribute to stock imagery 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 every business to attract more purchases. As a result of this problem a lot of the images can be seen as cliché. This means that you will not be able to capture the individuality of your company by using stock photos, so the consumer may just see your company as the same as all the others.

Less freedom – 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 will not be well represented by your marketing material.

After looking through these tips you may find that stock imagery is the route you would like to go down for your project. If this is the case make sure you spend a lot of time looking at all of the images to ensure that you have picked the correct one for your business. Spending more time looking for images may result in you finding an image that is correct to your business and may not be as frequently used by other companies.

You should also consider approaching local photographers for advice, maybe they have a budding apprentice who wants to boost their portfolio by offering cut-price shoots which will still give you that pro look!


Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest print offers and industry news & tips to help your business grow.

We use cookies to enhance your experience. Please click accept to continue or Click Here to find out more.