Stock Images vs Custom Photography...Which is Best?

What’s the Right Choice for You?

When it comes to your project’s design – be it brochure, poster, or website, there is one question that always needs a deliberate answer. Stock images or custom photography?

For whatever reason, many argue for one over the other but ultimately, it is your goals that we use to help make this decision!

What are the cases in which we may pick stock photos? When do we want to hire a professional photographer? It really is circumstantial. Both options are perfectly acceptable – if you know what you’re looking for.

Stock Imagery...Easy & Budget Friendly

First, let’s define stock imagery. Stock is pre-made photos and/or graphics that can be purchased for use by individuals or businesses.

You may find free to use stock images online, but it is good practice to ask your designer if an image you find is ACTUALLY free for use. Some sites contain hidden charges or there may be fine print about the ways in which an image may be used that puts constraints on your design.

In general, stock photos are an awesome tool in our tool belt. They help us fill out a design when we are working with a tight deadline and add to the overall feelings that we are trying to invoke. They can help cut down on cost when creating new designs as professional photography is an extra thing to budget for, which may not be feasible for a business that is just starting out.

Another benefit of stock photography is the variety that is offered. Maybe you need photography of something that you may not necessarily have access to as of yet. Stock photos can be fantastic place holders until other details have been sorted.

Custom Photography...Original & Bespoke

So here’s a scenario. Your friend tells you about a new bakery that just opened up downtown and you need to order a cake. You would love to support a local business, so you decide to look them up online to see what they have to offer. But when you find their site, what you’re greeted with are some obvious stock images. It’s clear that the photos on this bakery’s site where not taken in the same space as this business. How does this make you feel? Would you go ahead with your cake order? Maybe, but…wouldn’t you rather see their actual store? The way they’ve made the space their own? Wouldn’t you like to see their previous bakes, and maybe even their staff?

There really is no replacing YOU. You and your business are the stars, and we want people to get the best first impression they can of what you have to offer.

And the best first impression involves authenticity.

In today’s digital world we see ads constantly. The average person has become efficient at differentiating personal content from advertising content in regard to social media. So how do we combat this when trying to market and engagement is our target? When we need your audience to see you for who we are and what you have to offer them? When you want to stand out from the crowd…custom photography is the way to go.

So it really is up to you! Whatever your goal, we want to help you on your way. We will do our best to steer you in the right direction – whichever direction that may be! For your convenience we offer guidance, a robust collection of licensed stock images, AND professional hourly photography for both in studio and on location.

Let’s get started!


Contact us to chat about your next Creative Project!