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When Is It Ok To Use Stock Photos?

When Is It Ok To Use Stock Photos?

When Is It Ok To Use Stock Photos?

How many times have you gone to various websites and notice that they have the same images throughout them? A few I bet! We’ve all had a cringe worthy moment when we see a stock photo that we’ve used on our website, now featured on someone else’s. This is the unfortunate side of using stock photos. But they can be great and a real time saver when it comes to sourcing engaging and high quality graphics for your marketing material.


Whilst stock photos are quite expensive to purchase, if you know what you’re looking for you can find some real gems amongst the thousands of slightly strange, staged photos!


So when it is ok to use stock photos vs real photos? That depends on what the purpose for the photo is, whom it’s for and what it’s representing. To make sure you get it right, we have some tips for using stock photos;


  1. Select images that will resonate with your target audience. Pay close attention to the colours, style, cultural and behavioural characteristics of the pictures to make sure that they don’t look out of place in your marketing material. For example, clothing, positioning, wording and props are just a few elements of a photo that can make it look natural or pretty much highlight that it was randomly selected from an overseas stock library and has zero relevance to your business here!


  1. Don’t pick the first photo that appears in the search results. Take the time to filter through the pages to find the best photo that’s unique, relevant and possibly not used before by others.


  1. Don’t use stock photos to replace images that should reflect a real life scenario that is part of your service offering. For example, your About Us page should have a photo of you and your team not a stock photo of business people standing in a boardroom (yep…bet you all just thought of the same stock photo below we have all seen on a million sites).

stock photo 2

  1. Mix up your use of stock photos and real photos through out your marketing so it’s balanced. You cant always get high quality photos for every page, blog or graphic so plan out your content and give yourself time to source the perfect picture in the stock libraries.


  1. Create your own stock photos. We do this all the time! We have our photographer come and take photos every month so we have our own stock library of images to use when we need. Of course, we still use stock photos at times as they are easier and more relevant but where possible, we try not to.


Our preferred site to use for stock photos is depositphotos.com as they are quite affordable and have some different style pics available but always remember that whilst stock photos are great, real photos are going to be the best reflection of your brand and help build credibility and trust in who you are and what you do.


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