Are Stock Photos Good Value or Devaluing Your Business?
Online stock photography sites such as iStockphoto and stock.xchng have thousands of images covering a huge number of topics, situations, industries and more.
The question is, should you use these on your small business website or can people spot them a mile away?
The Case For
I use stock photography on this blog for a number of reasons; it’s easy to source a wide range of images, I’m not actively selling anything on this site, it’s free or low cost.
If you plan to use stock photography on your small business website, you can quickly, cheaply and easily source good quality images online, which is a big advantage.
The Case Against
Some images just scream “stock photography” because they’re used on so many different websites across the world. Whether it’s the woman with the headset answering the phone or the guy with grey hair and glasses in a variety of smiley poses, these images can put people off.
If you’re actively trying to promote your service online, do you want people to think you couldn’t be bothered investing more than a couple of pounds on each image? Hiring a local photographer to take unique shots for your site will really help it to stand out and show you’re a professional business.
The decision to go with stock photography or unique images is yours. Don’t assume that hiring a professional photographer is going to be too expensive, ask around for a few quotes and recommendations.
Take a look at the websites of your competitors – are they using stock photos? The chances are a lot of them will be which gives you the opportunity to stand out for the right reasons.
Your business is unique – make sure the images on your website reflect this.