Stock imagery versus photography – the battle for better design

November 7, 2017 • Posted in Design

A picture is worth a 1,000 words. And in today’s world where consumers have a smaller attention span than a goldfish, it may be more like a picture is worth 10,000 words. Consider this:

  • Images are processed 60,000 times faster compared to text
  • People focus more on images on a page than on the text itself. And they retain it longer.

Given the importance of imagery, it is important to consider what will work best for your website – stock imagery or photography – a decision that a lot of organizations struggle with.

The biggest advantage of using stock photography is that it’s affordable and quick. However, stock photography is never a perfect solution since it is not original, many people can buy the same image. Stock can get you close, but no matter what, it’s always a close approximation of the idea that is trying to be conveyed.

Photography is authentic and relevant. Real images evoke trust. When a consumer is considering buying something, they are looking for information about what they’d get if they decide to buy the product/service. A website that uses real images is showing consumers that they will get exactly what is shown – and that you are proud of it.

Bottom line: there are times where stock imagery makes sense and there are times when opting for real photography will be the best decision. And no matter what your decision is, here are some important things to remember to get the most out of your website imagery:

  • When using stock imagery, make the image your own. Crop it. Use a filter. Do something that will ensure that your image is not the same one that everyone else is using. If you plan to alter an image, though, make sure the owner allows alterations through his or her license.
  • Before your photo shoot, remember to think about your going to use these assets. For example, consider how the photos will look on mobile.

If you are interested in revamping the look and feel of your website or collateral, we’re here to help. Contact us at!

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