Skip to main content
Random Thoughts On Business

Choosing The Best Stock Photos

By July 24, 2023August 25th, 2023No Comments
stock photos

In marketing and advertising, people use stock photos to convey messages and capture the audience’s attention. However, not all stock photography is created equally. Most of it is boring, cliché, outdated, or simply unappealing. Despite their flaws, lousy stock photos are used frequently due to their convenience and low cost.

This post will explore the prevalence of ‘bad’ stock photos and why people use them so often. We will also provide key points for avoiding poor-quality stock photos and choosing images that effectively communicate your message and enhance the visual appeal of your content.

What is Stock Photography?

Stock photography is a collection of pre-existing images that are licensed and made available for use by individuals or organizations. These images are created by photographers who sell them to stock photo agencies, making them available for purchase or licensing to others. Marketers use stock photography in various contexts, such as advertising, editorial, and design.

When licensing stock photos, it’s important to understand the legal and financial aspects of their use. Licensing agreements vary, but they typically grant the purchaser the right to use the image in a specific way, for a limited time, and within certain parameters. The cost of licensing stock photos can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of image, its intended use, and the license duration.

Photographers play an important role in producing stock images, as they are the content creators. Many photographers specialize in stock photography, creating images in this context. These photographers must balance the need for commercial appeal with the desire to create unique and interesting photos. Photographers must also consider legal and ethical issues related to their work, such as model releases and copyright laws.

Types of Stock Photos to Avoid

When choosing stock photos, avoid certain images to ensure your marketing materials look professional and authentic. Here are some common types of stock photos to watch out for:

  1. Abstract Images: While abstract images may seem artistic and unique, they can be confusing and difficult to understand for your audience. Unless your brand or product is explicitly related to abstract art, avoiding using these images is best.
  2. Overly Happy Corporate Office Employees: Stock images of smiling, perfectly dressed, and groomed office workers may seem appealing, but they can come across as inauthentic and unrealistic. Instead, opt for images that show real people in authentic work settings.
  3. Exaggerated Emotions: Images that depict extreme emotions, such as laughing hysterically or crying uncontrollably, can be distracting and seem forced. Choose images that show genuine, relatable feelings.
  4. Unnatural Activities in Unnatural Settings: Images that show people doing things that seem strange or unrealistic in a specific setting can be off-putting to viewers. Ensure that the images you choose accurately reflect the context of your message.
  5. Cliches or Stereotypes: Avoid using stock images that rely on stereotypes or cliches, such as images of women laughing while eating salads or men in suits shaking hands. These images can be unoriginal and perpetuate stereotypes.
  6. Outdated References: Using stock images referencing outdated technology or cultural references can make your marketing materials seem out-of-touch and irrelevant. Choose pictures that are up-to-date and relevant to your audience.
  7. Low-Quality or Low-Resolution Images: Using low-quality or low-resolution images can make your marketing materials look unprofessional and cheap. Always choose high-quality images that are clear and well-lit.
  8. Bad Editing: Poorly edited images can be distracting and take away from the overall impact of your marketing materials. Make sure that the photos you choose are well-edited and look natural.

Why Using Authentic and Creative Images is Important

Using authentic and creative images in marketing materials and website design is crucial for businesses today. Original photos help create a connection with customers by portraying real people and experiences, which enhances credibility and trust. Additionally, creative imagery can help set a business apart from its competitors and create a memorable brand identity.

Finding high-quality stock photos can be a challenge, but there are options for businesses to consider. One option is investing in custom stock photography or illustrations, which can help ensure the images used are unique and tailored to the company and its messaging. However, this option can be more expensive than using general stock photos.

When searching for stock photos, it’s important to look for high-quality images that are visually appealing and convey the desired message. Many websites offer high-quality stock photos, some of which are free and others that require a fee for licensing. Investing in quality images can improve the aesthetic of marketing materials and website design, ultimately enhancing the brand’s image and reputation.

In conclusion, avoiding boring stock photos and using high-quality, unique, and creative images in marketing materials and website design is essential for businesses looking to succeed. By investing in quality imagery, companies can enhance their brand’s identity, create a connection with customers, and ultimately achieve their marketing goals. 

Let us help you show off your company, culture, and services using photography. Get in touch with us today.