Stock Photos vs. Original Photos (What to use for your Website)

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Whether you are developing a new website, writing a blog, or running a new marketing campaign, you cannot underestimate the power of strong imagery. Photos not only add life to your content but also help your audience comprehend your message better. And when we say photos, we don’t mean just any photos. We mean, high-quality and excellent photographs.

According to MDG Advertising, 67% of online shoppers consider the quality of images “very important” while making a purchasing decision.

So, where do we get these exceptional images? We have two options:

 

●  Stock photos

●  Original photos

What are Stock Photos?

Stock photos are existing photos that have been already created and are available for use on different stock image websites. These photos can be purchased by paying a license fee to the creator and the stock agencies that have made them available on their platforms. When you buy stock photos, you acquire the legal right to use them as you want, while the artists who produced them retain the copyrights of their work.

What are Original Photos?

As the name suggests, these pictures are original works that belong solely to you unless you sell them to another party. Original photos include images that you snap yourself or hire a professional photographer to capture for your project.

Stock Photos or Original Photos?

While it may seem like an easy question, it isn’t. Deciding what kind of images you should be using for your project is a daunting job. Because there is no sharp right or wrong answer, it all boils down to what you are looking to sell and what purpose you will be using the images for.

So, what should it be? Stock photos or original ones? To make the decision easier for you, we will talk about the pros and cons of each.

Advantages of Using Stock Photos

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Budget-Friendly Option

Stock photos can really be easy on the pocket. Many stock image banks offer several price packages that you can choose from. Some of these packages are pretty reasonable. You can download one image or an assortment of images at a cheap cost. Moreover, some websites also offer free trials.

Readily Available Images

Another great advantage of using stock photos is that they are just a couple of clicks away. With their simple search feature, stock image websites give you a vast range of diverse images. You can purchase them instantly, download them, and put them to use immediately.

Disadvantages of Using Stock Photos

 Lack of Originality

Have you ever landed on the “Contact Us” page of a website and found a picture of a representative that seemed too familiar? You saw the same person’s picture on another website as well. The representative can’t be working in two places at once, can he? Well, that happens when you use stock photos.

Stock photos are not unique and lack originality, which can be problematic, especially when running an online business website.

Too Generic and Cliched

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One thing that makes stock photos a not-so-ideal choice is that sometimes they are too generic, and almost everyone is using them, owing to their easy availability. The creators produce numerous similar photos that could serve an array of companies and businesses.

Moreover, these cliched photos may not be able to accurately demonstrate what you are selling. Stock photos also reduce your chances of standing out among your peers.

Advantages of Using Original Photos

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One thing that makes stock photos a not-so-ideal choice is that sometimes they are too generic, and almost everyone is using them, owing to their easy availability. The creators produce numerous similar photos that could serve an array of companies and businesses.

Moreover, these cliched photos may not be able to accurately demonstrate what you are selling. Stock photos also reduce your chances of standing out among your peers.

Advantages of Using Original Photos

Unique and Highly Personalised

The greatest advantage of getting original photos taken either by yourself or a paid professional is that the content will be unique. It will be original and hence, help build trust for your website.

Original photos are highly personalized too. You can get them captured as you like by choosing the location and other settings of your liking. You can also be fully in control of what you do with your original photos.

No License Issues

Say goodbye to the fear of violating copyrights or other laws when using free stock photos. Your original pictures will be your very own intellectual property that you can showcase however you like.

If you are getting these photographs taken from a photographer, you will need to decide the copyrights, of course. But once the artist signs the release form and gives you all the rights, the photos will be yours completely.

Disadvantages of Using Original Photos

High Cost

Well, original things mostly come with a high price tag, and it is totally understandable. If you hire a professional photographer to get your photos taken, it’s definitely going to cost you a lot. Not to mention the equipment you’d need to rent, editing software, and personnel. There could be a need for models, too, and the list could go on, depending on the kind of content you are looking to generate.

Time Consuming

Another disadvantage of using original photos is that getting them taken is a time-consuming game. And we certainly cannot ignore the amount of planning, preparation, and hard work you would need to put in for the photoshoot.

If you are looking to get pictures instantly for your project, then original photos will not be an ideal option for you.

The Final Verdict

Whatever you end up choosing, stock photos or original photos, bear in mind the importance of high-quality images for web design, blogs, marketing projects, etc.

Both types have their pluses and minuses, and it all comes down to deciding which factors you can work with and which you cannot compromise on. If you are in immediate need of photos for your project, go for stock photos, but if you can really invest the time and the money, getting your original pictures taken is your best bet!

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