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How to choose stock photos for your website

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Stock photos are everywhere, and you can even get free stock photos now. It seems like a great idea, so what’s the pros and cons of these sites?

Well, one con of all stock photos, is that they are easily recognised. Google research has shown that stock photos are ignored by viewers, as if it wasn’t there. But if your choice is to have a wall of text or to stick in some color, then a stock photo may do the trick.

You can get stock photos from various sources.

Free Stock Sites

Yes you can actually get stock imagery to use completely free. Some are of good professional quality. Usually not curated, so searching is a bit time consuming. There are no real catches, some want attribution and maybe a link back.

Of course, what you find, someone else will. Everyone starts searching first from the free sites. So if you’ve found something high quality, chances are it’s widely used.

Paid Stock Sites

These have been around decades too. Being curated (sometimes) means a more consistent quality and hopefully easier and more detailed search parameters.

You’ll pay according to usage, size, and a bunch of other parameters. It gets a bit confusing at some sites, but you can probably get your web designer to do it all.

Still, really good imagery gets widely used, and all over the world. 3000 uses is pretty common. We’ve even seen one shot on a doctor’s page also on a brothel’s site on the other side of the world.

Custom Stock

What is you could license some stock photos exclusively? You would remove the problems of reuse above.

Well you can, with Custom Stock Photos. You could probably get a small region for a reasonable price, as the photographer can still sell to other regions. But if you want a whole country, then you’re going to start paying full custom photography prices.

They still use actors though, so your viewers are going to know it’s stock. And people can still steal them from your website and use it.

Alternatives To Stock Photos

The best alternative is of course to have real photographs of your business. When you have valuable screen real state, you want the photos to actually build trust and confidence in your viewers.

You can take photos with your phone. You will have to work harder, wait for the right times so the light is perfect, and it will be a little cringy every time you look at your own website. But did you know that even a low quality phone pic outperforms a slick stock photo for website conversions?

Or we can help you with business photography tailored to your website and audience. We take you from planning to execution, and you’ll have beautiful imagery that none of your competitors can copy.