Many of us have heard of stock photography. Especially those of us who are in the graphic design or marketing industries. There are various platforms on the internet that provide free or low cost stock photography that many businesses utilize constantly. Simply type in the search bar which kind of photo you are looking for, and sort through hundreds of images before you find the one that works for you and your project. Although stock photos are popular, they also can bring about some challenges. This article explores the pros and cons of utilizing stock photography.
Pros of Stock Photos
Using stock photography can be highly beneficial because it is oftentimes easily accessible. There are loads of different websites on the internet that carry stock photography which can be free of cost or through a subscription purchase.
Stock photography is also very versatile. This is because hundreds of different photographers take pictures and have them uploaded.
Sometimes, certain projects require a very specific type of photo that may not be easily available. Whether it be a tropical photo of a sunset on the beach or a photo of the French Louvre, these can be easily acquired through stock photography. Oftentimes, the pictures in stock photography are high quality crisp photos. They even have different sizes and file types that can work for whatever size you need.
The properties of stock photos can be easily manipulated. With stock photos, you can tailor them to fit your exact needs. It’s also going to differentiate the photo more so it doesn’t look as generic. Stock photos give you access to high-quality images for a fraction of the cost rather than hiring a professional photographer. The best part? They’ll look great when viewed across all platforms.
Cons of Stock Photos
On the flip side, stock photography can cause your brand or company to turn generic because the photos are something anyone can have access to. It won’t necessarily set you apart from competitors because you aren’t creating new photos yourself. This can cause potential customers to confuse your business with someone else’s if they are also using the same pictures.
It is generally recommended to not use a lot of stock photos on your company’s website because doing so will take away from the uniqueness of your organization. It will also make it hard for consumers to understand what your culture and mission statement is. You should also avoid using a lot of stock images on your social media posts. You should use photos that are unique to your social media page so it can stand out from competitors. The last thing you want is to be using the same generic content that your competition might have used already.
Optimizing Stock Photos
The term “stock photo” generally implies that the image was provided by photographers and uploaded to a website for general public use. Although the images are not “owned” by you, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take the image and optimize it to meet your needs. In other words, this means that you can change the properties of the image to better suit your business’s blog post or social media postings.
People are more likely to click on content that’s visually appealing. Pictures are just as important as text when it comes to ranking in search engines. They also help give the article some context.
Putting your logo on the stock photos you use is one of the most important things to do. This will “brand” the photo and remove the generic feel. It’s important to remember that you should never use a stock photo to create a brand logo.
It’s also a good idea to change the color, add filters, and even crop the photo in unique ways. Programs like Canva and Photoshop are excellent tools to accomplish this.
Using stock photography can be a quick and easy way to meet the photography needs of your projects. It is important though, to not over do it, since you want to uphold the authenticity of your own brand/company. Having too much, can make it a challenge to set yourself apart from your competitors.