Original Photos vs. Stock Photos: Can We Use Both?

Original Photos vs. Stock Photos: Can We Use Both?

Social | Dec 18, 2019

We live in a dilemma-filled world – left or right, coke or sprite, Chucks or Vans. Many businesses are caught in a similar predicament when it comes to deciding whether to use stock photography or original photography.

But it doesn’t have to be an “either/or” situation. Truth be told, using stock photos and original photos are valuable assets to your business. The more options you have available at your fingertips, the more opportunities you have to explore your brand’s creativity.

Here are some of the benefits of using stock photos and original photos.

Benefits of stock photography

  • Display your vision easily – While stock photos can be identified from a mile away, it is still valuable because it can vividly express the emotions your campaigns are trying to convey. When searching for and selecting stock images, you’re almost always sure you’ll find the right picture you need for blogs, email campaigns, or social media posts.
  • Cheaper and accessible – Hiring a good photographer can be expensive. Photoshoots, whether it’s with a professional photographer or by yourself, is time-consuming. It can take days or weeks to coordinate photoshoots. Not only are stock photos very accessible these days, but it is also cheaper (by which we mean free). Side note, our team loves Unsplash and Pexels. Another option for you is to subscribe to stock photo services such as iStock or Shutterstock. (If you have the money to spend.)

Benefits of original photography

  • Great for branding – Using original photos for your business shows authenticity and personality that many consumers want to see. They know you are serious when it comes to your business because you chose to take the time and effort to create original photos over buying or using stock/generic images.
  • The “wow” factor – Create your own eye-catching images. Show your skills and excite your audience by taking your own photos. This will make your brand stand out from the competition because you are offering unique images that consumers will see. Your business can live worry-free that you will not have the same photos as your rivals.
  • Create trust – Consumers can instantly spot the difference between stock photos and original photos. When businesses use stock photos to represent the staff members, consumers may hesitate to reach out to the company. But when actual, original images are used, on the other hand, consumers feel confident about your brand and they may initiate communication and start a business relationship.

The trick is figuring out when to use stock photography or original photography. We created a simple guide for you to know when to use stock images or original images.

  • Use stock photos with your original photos – It’s perfectly fine to mix both kinds of images. When the thought and concept of the selected images, stock and original, are aligned, these combined images will complement each other.
  • Use original photos when telling a story – The readers will be able to relate on a more personal level when they see the images match the story they are reading. It doesn’t have to be a professionally taken photo. Authenticity is more important than high-quality images in this situation.
  • Use stock photos for marketing projects – This will help you save time and money! You don’t need to buy a piece of fancy equipment, hire a professional photographer, or pay for models. Finding the appropriate stock image online will be free, or cheaper in the long run.

Do you prefer stock photos over original photos, or do you use both? Tell us what you think. Comment below.

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