What’s the relationship between stock photography and cheap suits?


Many SMEs use stock images as a cheap photography solution but are these images really that cheap?

For many people who want web design or development services the price can be a shock, leaving budgets tight for affording good photography. This misconception is fuelled by web design becoming devalued, with common adverts such as “designed websites for free” or “cheap web design” plaguing the media.

Buying stock photography is like buying a cheap suit

High street suits look expensive, are easy on the bank account, come in easily-understood sizes and you can get them immediately. They offer a more economical deal compared to a tailored suit—which can be expensive and time consuming to make—or do they?

Although the pros of a cheap high street suit may be immediate, problems may arise in the long term.

  • The person next to you is wearing the same suit
    As with stock photography, it’s highly likely that another person (or even your competitor) has bought a similar or the same picture. In reality, thousands of people buy the same image resulting in photos becoming clichéd. How many business photos have you seen with people shaking hands with a cheesy grin on their face?
  • The suit size you bought was the best fit you could find, but the arms are too short
    Likewise, stock images don’t require you to have any technical understanding, you just find the image that you like which can save time, money, and hassle. However, these images are often too generic and can make it unclear what you do. Many businesses also resort to stock photography as a result of having an unclear brand identity.
  • It’s not actually that cheap
    Even though a suit or stock photography may be cheap, it may cost you in a different way. First impressions count. So if you invest poorly in yourself, what will your customers think?

Even though the cheaper option can be attractive, in the long run it could cost you more. Spending a bit more for good photography and design can help you achieve better returns on your investment.

What are your thoughts on the use of stock photography? We’d love to get your comments! Tell us and say hello@minttwist.com or @MintTwist.

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