With the increasingly visual nature of integrated marketing, you need a reliable source for images to continue producing consistent quality content for your customers. You choices for visual content are pretty clear: (a) shoot your own photos; (b) get a professional photographer; (c) license a stock photo; or (d) use free public domain images found on the web.
These days everyone has a camera in their phone, but not every business has the time, talent, or budget to shoot custom images. The advantage of quality stock photography is that it can provide your website with a professional look without the expense of actually hiring your own professional photographer. So it’s no surprise that stock photography is on the rise across a range of marketing channels.
To help you use stock effectively, here are five pointers to keep in mind when considering images for your next campaign.
1. Shop Around
There are a variety of good stock photography websites. Here are a few:
2. Don’t Be a Poser
While stock can look professional, it can also look overly posed and trite. Don’t settle for the first, most popular image you find in search results—because that’ll be the same one that everyone else uses. Dig a little bit to find more natural, unusual or unique images. Avoid the deadly handshake cliché and other corny shots that have already been used hundreds of times.
3. Set a Budget
Stock photo prices can vary from zero to hundreds of dollars, depending on usage and other factors. Set expectations upfront by setting a photography budget. More often than not, buying stock photography online will be less expensive than arranging for a professional photo shoot.
4. Get The Right Size
When in doubt, download the larger size photo, so you’ll have a high enough resolution for your needs.
5. Be Smart
Stock photography is not suitable for every situation. The ideal, whenever possible, is to use original photos that showcase your own office, products, and people. Then you can be certain they’re exclusive to your company and won’t inadvertently cause embarrassment by appearing in a competitor’s ad or other setting. If your business sells products that you create, obviously you’ll need professional photography of your actual products.