Are Stock Photos Good for Your Business?

With thousands of premium and free resources readily available, stock photography might initially seem to be a great, cost-effective option when compared to custom photography. Unfortunately, trying to save a couple of dollars might end up costing your business a lot in the long run.

Be Authentic

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely bashing stock photos… they have their purpose. But that purpose is not to covey authenticity with your brand. One of my biggest issues with stock is when it ends up making brands look generic. If you have a law firm in Hubbard, a small Ohio town, you shouldn’t be using stock of a modern office in Manhattan with skyscrapers visible out of the windows. It’s clear to even the most untrained eye that it isn’t your office. A photo taken with an iPhone by the receptionist of the actual office would work so much better. It might not be the most professional of shots, but the authenticity is there.

Anyone Can Use Them

Want to know what can be awkward? Seeing your competition use the same stock photo on their website or other marketing materials. It might seem far-fetched, but it happens more than you might think. When you use stock images, you need to keep in mind that you have no exclusive rights to them. Let’s say you own a barbershop and use a photo of a boy with a nice haircut. Sounds good, until you see that same photo being used on a flyer for a thrift shop, a high school student offering tutoring lessons for third-grade math, or who knows where else.

Lawsuits and Fines 

Want to know what can be even more awkward? Facing a fine, or even getting used, for improperly licensing a photo. Websites offering free stock, such as Unsplash, seem great, but they have risks. Anyone can upload a photo to one of these websites, claiming to be original content but it could be stolen. Do you know who gets in trouble? You.

There’s a lot of interesting statistics and research out there on the subject. On average, customers tend to convert about 35% more when faced with original photography. A large moving and storage company in NYC experienced a 45% higher conversion rate on their original photography compared to stock.

The bottom line: You’ve invested a lot in your business. Don’t sacrifice your brand and all of the hard work you’ve put into building it by using some cheap stock photos that don’t accurately portray your services or products. Although Exult doesn’t directly offer photography services, we have a small network of photographers we trust and recommend.

With thousands of premium and free resources readily available, stock photography might initially seem to be a great, cost-effective option when compared to custom photography. Unfortunately, trying to save a couple of dollars might end up costing your business a lot in the long run.

Be Authentic

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely bashing stock photos… they have their purpose. But that purpose is not to covey authenticity with your brand. One of my biggest issues with stock is when it ends up making brands look generic. If you have a law firm in Hubbard, a small Ohio town, you shouldn’t be using stock of a modern office in Manhattan with skyscrapers visible out of the windows. It’s clear to even the most untrained eye that it isn’t your office. A photo taken with an iPhone by the receptionist of the actual office would work so much better. It might not be the most professional of shots, but the authenticity is there.

Anyone Can Use Them

Want to know what can be awkward? Seeing your competition use the same stock photo on their website or other marketing materials. It might seem far-fetched, but it happens more than you might think. When you use stock images, you need to keep in mind that you have no exclusive rights to them. Let’s say you own a barbershop and use a photo of a boy with a nice haircut. Sounds good, until you see that same photo being used on a flyer for a thrift shop, a high school student offering tutoring lessons for third-grade math, or who knows where else.

Lawsuits and Fines 

Want to know what can be even more awkward? Facing a fine, or even getting used, for improperly licensing a photo. Websites offering free stock, such as Unsplash, seem great, but they have risks. Anyone can upload a photo to one of these websites, claiming to be original content but it could be stolen. Do you know who gets in trouble? You.

There’s a lot of interesting statistics and research out there on the subject. On average, customers tend to convert about 35% more when faced with original photography. A large moving and storage company in NYC experienced a 45% higher conversion rate on their original photography compared to stock.

The bottom line: You’ve invested a lot in your business. Don’t sacrifice your brand and all of the hard work you’ve put into building it by using some cheap stock photos that don’t accurately portray your services or products. Although Exult doesn’t directly offer photography services, we have a small network of photographers we trust and recommend.

 

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