Custom Photography Vs Stock Photography for Your Content

In every aspect of marketing, using photography can enhance your efforts.

In every aspect of marketing, using photography can enhance your efforts. Whether it’s adding visuals to your website, social media posts or display ads, a picture is often worth a thousand words. So what options do you have to get photos and when should you use each type? We are here to answer those questions and more!

Stock, please!

Stock photography often sounds too good to be true: it’s affordable, easy to obtain and in most cases, a high-quality image that will work for your project does exist. There are thousands of photos out there that are taken by professional photographers can perfectly communicate your message. You may just have to dig through a few libraries to find it. There are even some photos you can use without paying for a license. Sounds easy, right? It definitely can be.

One thing to keep in mind when looking at stock photography is that even though you pay for a photo, that doesn’t mean you completely own it. The money you pay is for a license, and that license has restrictions. That might mean you have to give credit to the photographer or that you can’t modify the image in certain ways. Make sure you check the type of copyright on any photo you are looking to use and abide by the rules.

What does custom photography have to offer?

If you’re working on building a cohesive brand across all your collateral and brand profiles, custom photography can allow you to build exactly what you need. With stock photography, it can be extremely difficult to find enough imagery that fits the essence of your brand. When you encounter this issue it can leave your campaigns feeling either repetitive or disjointed.

Custom photography can also help you make a more personal connection with your employees and customers. When we organize our photoshoots, it’s often easier and more cost effective to utilize employees and local areas to get our message across.

One of the most valuable aspects of custom photography is that you own the images you take. You can use them in any-way at any-time. This allows you the freedom and peace of mind that you aren’t stepping on anyone’s toes or breaking any rules.

Here’s an example!

For our client Desert Schools, we recently did a photoshoot to build out our library of custom photography for them to use across all of their platforms and marketing materials. If we want to promote how great our mortgage loan rates are and the personal service you’ll receive, which image do you think is more impactful?

stock vs custom example 1

stock vs custom example 2

Now, both communicate our customer service and the customer would know what we were trying to say – but don’t you think the custom images says this in a more authentic and cohesive way? Also, if you saw this image in a Desert Schools location, the aesthetic will match everything else in branch – from the physical location to the product brochures.

Ultimately, each route has it’s pros and cons and each project has different needs. Go with what fits your project!

**We owe a special thanks to our former Account Executive, Lauren Strief for contributing to this article! Find her following her dreams, on Facebook and Instagram.