Images can serve as powerful marketing tools to represent your company. This is the reason why stock photos have become popular, although some website owners are still hesitant to use them. In this article, we will take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of using stock photos for your website.
What is a Stock Photo?
Stock photos are professionally-shot pictures usually sold free of royalties and applicable for personal or commercial use. These photos may be available for purchase at varying prices depending on the stock photography website or the owner’s preference. The images are available to anyone, and may be used over and over again.
Benefits of Using Stock Photos
Here are some of the reasons why using stock imagery can benefit your website:
Most stock photography websites follow strict requirements when it comes to accepting images. They need to pass certain standards for color, lighting, and resolution, among others. The images come with both low- and high-resolution versions, so you know that the photos you are buying will meet your quality standards.
If you need pictures in a jiffy, go for stock photography. They can be easily downloaded from the website. The only time you will spend is searching the image and retouching the picture, but there’s a big chance that you don’t have to edit the photo anymore.
There are thousands of stock photos that you can find on several stock image websites. Whatever imagery you need, stock photo repositories will probably have a handful of those.
Stock photos may be bought individually or as a package. The cost depends on picture resolution. Buying your photos from websites such as GraphicStock is cheaper than hiring a professional photographer to take your desired images.
Disadvantages of Using Stock Photos
Despite the plus points of using stock images, you’ll need to understand the drawbacks:
Stock images are governed by licensing restrictions so you need to be aware of them. Each repository has its own image restrictions, so you need to understand the terms and conditions. Make sure that they are royalty-free if you plan to use the pictures several times.
Some of the images are approved for editorial use only, and not for advertising purposes. In other words, you need to practice responsibility when purchasing stock photos.
Since the stock photos are quite accessible, chances are they will also be used by other companies. Your competitors in the market may already have used the images themselves. If you are trying to be unique, this could ruin your marketing efforts.
Stock photos are not customized for your marketing or branding project. They may not be able to accurately represent your brand.
Photographers submit pictures to websites for use by many people, and rely on concepts that are appealing to many businesses. Unfortunately, this makes stock images predictable or cliché. You may not be able to stand out if you use stock photos.
We hope you learned a thing or two about stock photos, so that you can decide whether to use them or not. Stock images are extremely helpful and convenient, but you need to understand the limitations of using them on your website.