Why Using Stock Photos Isn’t The Best Move
Jonathan Rodriguez
January 6, 2021

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As a business owner, it may be tempting to use stock photos on your website and the content that you provide. Stock photos are abundant on the web and many of them are either free or cheap for creative usage. All you need to do is go visit an online stock photo website, type what you want in their search box, find the one you want, pay for it if it has a price, and then download it. The best part is that most stock photos are free and don’t require you to purchase a license to use them.

Of course, using stock photos also comes with some drawbacks. Stock photos are not as attention-grabbing as using your own photos that you can take yourself. Many of those photos look generic, which can reflect poorly on your business and website.

Instead of using stock photos, look into taking your own unique photos. You can use these photos to give your business a more authentic and personal appearance to visitors of your website. 

Are Stock Photos Helpful?

Stock photos are helpful to a business that isn’t looking to spend too much money on a nice camera or pay a photographer to take photos. There are a variety of stock photos available to use for your website content that are typically affordable or free. A simple search and download is all you need to start the implementation process. From there, you just need to upload the stock photos you want to use onto your website. 

Stock photos are a very appealing alternative to taking your own genuine photos. They are easy to look for, quick to obtain, and simple to implement. On the other hand, taking your own photos can be the solution that you need for your business. Instead of using stock photos, try thinking about taking the time and money needed to capture some great moments. Taking your own authentic and original photos can help your photos stand out from the other websites. 

Think about the number of websites that you have visited. How many of them have stock photos? Chances are many of them have stock photos and some of them are even using the same ones. You don’t want your website to look just like the others, right? In a digital world, where many websites look the same, it helps to stand out from the crowd. Standing out from the crowd can lead to better brand recognition and can also help drive more people to your website and business. 

Improve Authenticity and Originality

Stock photos are a great way to fill up your website with content, especially a new one, in a short period of time. Just starting a new website? Then take time to create authentic and original content! Stock photos seem like a great solution at first. But really, you should see it as only a temporary solution. 

Since stock photos are available to every business, using them on your website or on social platforms can leave your business appearing less authentic and lacking originality when it comes to content. So how do you make your business appear more authentic and original? The answer is taking and using your own photos!

Authentic

Taking the time and money necessary to organize a photoshoot of your business and even the customers can boost the way people see your company. Stock photos tend to come off as generic and unappealing compared to your own genuine photos. In fact, there was a study that was conducted that found that people ignored the stock photos on a website and paid more attention to ones that were original and genuine. 

Original

Taking your own photos gives you the freedom of creativity that your business can benefit from. Stock photos tend to be more or less the same based on what you are looking for. Looking for someone smiling? Trying to find a picture of someone thinking? There are many stock photos that start resembling others to the point where they all start to look the same. This can turn visitors off as they have seen that same picture on other websites they have visited. 

Website visitors prefer photos that show a more unique and original feel of your business. Stock photos can be rather easy to spot as they may not seem related to your business at all. This can lead to all sorts of issues which include branding and lack of creativity. Visitors and people who view your photos will be much more receptive to your new and unique photos.

How To Plan To Take Your Own Photos

Now that you’ve learned why you should reduce or stop using stock photos, how do you go about implementing that? Fortunately, with a bit of planning, you should be able to have your first photoshoot!

Planning

Planning is the most important part of a photoshoot as this is where you decide on who takes the photos, what you want pictures taken of, where they are taken, and the creative direction that you want. 

Finding a Photographer

Finding a photographer can be a quick and simple process or a more complex one depending on what you need. If you are comfortable with just taking some basic photos, then you can possibly take the pictures yourself or have someone on your team take them. If you want more professional-quality photos taken with a high-quality camera, then you can look into hiring a photographer. They will make sure that the photos come out the way you want and can even edit them after they are taken. 

Where to Take The Pictures

You can take the pictures wherever you like, but you should prioritize taking them in and around your business. If you are wanting more creative and fun content, then you can look into other locations and venues. 

Who and What To Take Pictures Of

Next, you have to decide what you want pictures of exactly. This is where you should strongly consider taking pictures of your team and their interactions with one another as well as with customers. These pictures of your team can put a face to your business giving off a more trustful and human appearance that customers and visitors would appreciate. 

Schedule The Photoshoot

Of course in business, there are some days where you have some free time and others where you are just drowning in work. That is why photo shoots should be scheduled in advance as an impromptu may or may not be the most convenient for people participating. 

Once you have all the planning setup and everything is set in stone, then you should be all ready for the photoshoot. Keep in mind that the end result should be a set of photos that look natural and don’t seem forced or posed. Show your brand in an authentic way that makes your team comfortable.

Leave Stock Photos in 2020

Stock photos were once more widely accepted by people as they were easy to implement. Unfortunately, as the years go on, they have begun to be seen as a more generic practice. Sure, they are good for businesses who are just starting out and who aren’t looking to drop some money or spend some time taking their own photos. 

In the end, though, taking your own photos and using them in your content is the best solution for the long run. Customers will become more trusting of your business which is important if you plan on continuing to have a great relationship with them in the future. The best businesses are the ones who strive to provide a great customer experience. 

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