Stock Photos

Stock Photos for Websites: Pros and Cons

Photos have become one of the most common and most effective tools in marketing and branding. Stock photography, which began in 1920 but only started to prosper in 1980 through advertising agencies, is one of the most popular option for many businesses. In fact, there are many stock photos you can source from different stock photography websites. But before deciding to use any of hem, it pays to know the advantages and disadvantages of using stock photos.

The Pros

  • Affordable

If you are on a low budget, then stock photography is for you. You can browse and download stock photos for free or on the cheap. Royalty-based and rights-managed stock images are priced based on their quality or resolution. The price also depends on where you get them from. Some require you to pay per photo while others allow you to download those included in a set.

Compared to the amount of money you have to spend for a professional photographer and organizing photo shoots, you are going to save a lot of money with stock photos. There are a bunch of sites that offer affordable prices for their photos, so finding one that is perfect for you budget will be easy for you.

  • Accessible

Unlike photo shoots where you need to hire a photographer and model, stock photos only require you to search for images online. If you are in a hurry about a certain project for your website, then stock photography is a good choice. There are a lot of stock photos available online, and you can download them all in a few clicks of the mouse.

  • Doesn’t consume much of your time

Custom photos require a lot of your time, from hiring a photographer and getting a model to editing the pictures. To achieve a good quality picture, you need not only invest money but also time and effort. However, with stock photos, you don’t have to go through all the hassle. You can choose from a variety of photos and download them instantly once you make the selection and purchase.

The Cons

  • Commonly used

Just because you have bought the photos doesn’t mean you have exclusive rights to them. That is unless you are buying rights-managed images. You have to be aware that the stock photos you are buying can also be bought and used by everyone who has access to them. Thus, you might see them on other social media platforms and websites. Seeing your photos being used by other brands can negatively affect your own. You can solve this problem by buying your stock photos with exclusive rights. These photos, however, usually come with a higher price and are more difficult to find.

  • Vague

Most photographers make contributes to stock photo sites submit images that can be used and bought by everyone. They don’t have any specific theme with all of their photos as they only depend on concepts that are appealing to more people. This way, they can attract more buyers. If you want to have something more unique, then you might not want to use stock photos.

  • Doesn’t really represent your market

Since stock photos are vague, you have to expect that some photos might not do enough to explain the message you want to convey to your audience. Images in stock photos usually are never taken with specific concepts in mind. If you use these images, you run the risk of not being able to represent your brand as clearly as you want to.

Final Thoughts

If you decide to use stock photography on your website, you need to spend extra time researching appropriate images to represent your brand. Planning ahead can help you achieve a more favorable outcome and allow you to select the correct photos for your specific marketing campaigns.

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