Stock Images or Real Photos  (What to Use for Your Website)

Written By Ivy Attie: www.stockphotos.com

Did you know that 65% of the content can stay in a reader’s mind when paired with images? The human brain also processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. 

These statistics and more highlight the significance of using photos on websites. 

Unfortunately, many new business owners are unaware of the benefits they can achieve with the use of pictures. And those who know are always in doubt regarding the best selection of images. 

If you are also in the same boat, we are here to help. This article will shed light on the two main categories of photos used in online content: Stock Photos and Real Images.

After going through this post, you’ll be able to decide which type of images are the right fit for your site. So, let’s begin: 

What are Stock Images?

Stock photos refer to the readily available supply of images that you can avail for your projects. Many websites offer these resources at reasonable prices. The biggest advantage of using stock photos is access to visuals in numerous categories. With their help, marketers can conveniently add pictures to various marketing materials, book covers, packaging, etc. 

When to Use Stock Photos?

Here are a few different scenarios when stock photos are the ideal choice: 

  • When you have a budget constraint 

Most small business owners invest in website design during the start of their business. And in many cases, there is a shortage of funding to settle all areas of the design process. This is where you can consider stock photos as the most affordable option to fill in the visual gap in your website. 

  • When competitors are using stock images 

You might have done a competitor analysis and determined the type of photographs they use in their campaign. You can do the same if they get the desired engagement from stock photos. 

Using stock pictures will also save you time to focus on your core business tactics. Otherwise, your rivals will make the most of this time and overtake the entire market. 

  • When you do not have enough time 

Getting original photographs is time-consuming. For starters, you will have to arrange a professional photographer, models, and locations for the shoot. Once the pictures are shot, there will be a long wait for post-processing edits to complete. 

All this can be time-consuming. If you are in a hurry to upload your photos, take advantage of stock pictures for immediate access. 

  • When taking real photos looks difficult or impossible  

Taking real images may not be feasible in every business. For instance, if you belong to the travel industry, taking photographs of every destination might not be possible. Likewise, not every patient will let you take a picture if you deal in medical products. Therefore, you need to use stock photos. 

What are Real Photos? 

As the name implies, real or original photographs are taken by you or your photographer. No one else can use these photos as you have their copyrights. You can adjust the angles, lighting, and focus areas depending on your needs. They are customized specifically for your brand and emerge authentic.  

When to Use Real Photos?

Real photos are ideal for some situations, such as:

  • When budget and time are not an issue 

After investing in all core business activities, you can hire a photographer if you still have a reasonable budget. However, do not forget that you need to bear some additional expenses besides the photographer fee, such as studio rent and models. 

Likewise, you can opt for real photos if you have enough time before launching your website. You will also need to be hands-on during the shoots and suggest edits according to your brand requirements. 

  • When you cannot compromise on quality

If we compare stock and real photos in terms of quality, real images are ‘near-perfect’. Look at your industry and see what competitors are using. If they are using custom photos, you cannot afford to compromise on quality. 

When visitors look at the best quality photos on your site, they will create a positive impression. However, if they notice you are using cliche photos, they might not consider your brand reliable. 

  • When you are trying to stand out with uniqueness 

If you have made up a strategy of targeting prospects by winning their trust, you must use only genuine photos. Many business owners discuss brand loyalty, trust, and uniqueness on a website’s homepage. But, they use ordinary stock photos on the inner pages. Conversely, real images showcase authenticity, so website visitors can never question your credibility. 

  • When business nature requires only real photos 

You only need real photos to showcase your work, mainly if you belong to some specific fields. For instance, if you have a makeup studio, you need real images of your clients to let visitors know about your talent. If you use stock images, prospects will never know how you can change their look after the makeup. 

Final Verdict 

In short, the selection between real and stock photos primarily depends on your business objective. Besides this, budget, time, and industry trends are a few other considerations. Stock and real photos both have their benefits and drawbacks for your site. Consider all the above scenarios and decide which option can better portray your business image. 

For assistance, get in touch with our web design team and learn how we can help you use different forms of images for your brand. 


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