• Chase Charaba

Stock photos or custom photography, which is better?

Visual content is incredibly important for promoting your business. Whether you are creating content for your website, advertisements, social media, or print materials, you’ll need photos to draw customers in and help break up text.

You could take your own photos, hire someone to do so, or use stock images from the internet. But which is better for your brand: stock photos or custom photography? While both are essential, here are a few reasons why custom photography is often the better option for your business.

The benefits of using stock photography

First, let’s discuss why stock photography is so popular, and how it can benefit your business. One of the biggest benefits of stock photography is how accessible it is.

While you can purchase high quality stock images through sites like Adobe Stock, there are millions of free stock images on the internet available for commercial use. With sites like Unplash, Pexels, and Pixabay offering huge collections of free images, it’s no wonder that stock images are so widely used.

Not only are the photos on these sites free, but many of them look great. That’s because unlike other stock photography websites, these sites allow anyone to upload a photo. So, while the selection isn’t amazing, you do get more authentic looking photos.

Another benefit of using stock photos is that you have access to images you might not have otherwise been able to get due to budget and time constraints, or just location. This can really save you when you need a photo right away.

Stock images are readily available, although finding great ones can often take a bit longer. Now that we’ve seen how stock images can be beneficial for your business, let’s look at why custom photography can often be a better option.

Why custom photography is often better than stock photos

While stock photos are convenient and sometimes free to use, they have their drawbacks.

Stock images can be easy to spot. While there's some great stock photography out there, most stock photos come across as generic and often have the same look. This makes stock images easy to recognize by customers. Some stock photos are also unrealistic or don’t convey the right message for your brand.

It isn’t uncommon to find that one of your competitors is using the same stock image that you are! Imagine if a customer visited your website and a competitor's site and saw the same image. You don’t want that to happen.

Because of the widespread use of these same stock images by various companies, your audience will have a hard time connecting the images with your brand.

That’s where custom photography can help.

Custom photos are personalized for your brand. They match your brand style and are authentic to you. Therefore, they come across as more authentic to your audience, enabling you to establish a connection with your customers.

These photos are also original content, which means they aren’t being used elsewhere, such as by competitors. This helps your brand stand out.

Depending on how much you are willing to pay for the perfect stock image (or exclusive rights to that image), custom photography might even be the cheaper option.

Closing Thoughts

While stock photos are convenient, original custom photography will help your business stand out and create an authentic connection with your customers.

Is it okay to use stock photos? Absolutely! There’s nothing wrong with it, and sometimes it’s the only option. However, original content should be used wherever possible to generate authenticity and enable your brand to stand out.

When choosing stock images, try to stay away from generic images that are uninteresting. We’ve all seen the images of people smiling with a white background, trying to look welcoming. It doesn’t look natural. By selecting stock images that are more realistic and interesting, others are less likely to recognize them as being stock images.

You should also try to look for stock images that are used less frequently. Most stock websites allow you to see the number of views or downloads an image has received. The fewer the views and downloads, the better.

We hope that this information helped you decide which type of photography your business can benefit from.

Do you need photography for your brand? At SilverFox HQ, our digital marketing services aren’t just about advertisements and SEO. We can do it all, from writing and graphic design to video and package design. Our team is experienced in all types of photography. We can create compelling and stunning imagery to promote your business as part of your marketing plan.

Contact us today at (801) 716-1772 or info@SilverFoxHQ.com. We can make your biggest business dreams come true.