Monday, April 2, 2012

Rethinking the Stock Answer for Photography

The heroic handshake. The people in suits jumping for joy. The meeting room full of diverse employees.

I’m sure you have your own examples of stock photography clichés. Of course, there are reasons why stock images are so popular. They’re fast. They’re easy. They’re affordable.

Problem is, certain types of stock photos have become way too common. That’s not to say there aren’t lots of great stock images around. You just have to work harder to present the images in a fresh way and make sure they’re relevant and meaningful to your audience. (Here’s some good use of stock photography, for example.)

Or, if you have the right opportunity and resources, and you really want to stand out and show what’s special about your company, it may be time once again to consider original photography in some instances – your website and your brand collateral, perhaps.

Yes, it’s a significant investment. Yes, it takes more time and effort. But here are just three reasons why it may be worth the trouble:

  • Personality. Pictures of the real people in your real organization show who you really are – much better than images of nameless guys and gals with call-center headsets ever could.
  • Professionalism. High-quality original photos convey a strong company and a respect for your audiences, who don’t have to see those same old, arms-folded executive teams.
  • Relevance. You can set up your images to support your message and brand, instead of scouring iStock for a standard image that’s only marginally related.

Some of the advantages of original photography are on display at and (above right), two award-winning sites we’ve developed recently for clients.

So please, don’t force us to look at another generic close-up of fingers on a keyboard. Give your stock images some more thought, or give original photography a shot in your next marketing communications vehicle.

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