Note from Visible Digital:
Having found ourselves in need of some new contemporary corporate photography we stumbled across Tom at Luminous photographers in Berkshire, and we were thrilled with the results, so much so we offered Tom the opportunity to write for the blog.
The vast majority of marketers were convinced about the importance of using images in their marketing when they only had to worry about traditional offline/print media, but with the explosion on online/ web/ social media etc this has become essential. Most people (including this author) have a short attention span, coupled with an overall aversion to reading. After all, a picture says 1,000 words…
However, do your images say the 1,000 words you want them to? Or do they make you look generic at best, and comical at worst? That’s what sometimes happens when a marketer hops onto a stock photography site for homepage photography, backgrounds, blog post images, and the like. They often end up with stock photos that are generic, impersonal, rooted in no realism of any sort, and as a result, are completely and utterly laughable.
Best selling author and Marketing Strategist, David Meerman Scott refers to this phenomenon as “visual gobbledygook,” and it’s why he often recommends using images of real people (like your employees and your customers) on your website and in your marketing assets instead.
The problem most people in the creative department have with stock photography is that it’s a very poor substitute for a custom or bespoke photo shoot using a professional photographer. Stock photography is never a perfect solution, it’s simply something that is a close approximation to the idea originally conceived.
1: Stock Photography is not unique to you or your business
2: Stock Photographs can be used by anyone with a cheque book.
3: Stock Photography is often very cliché and lacks authenticity
Why not just use real people on your site? Use real employees in a real conference room to represent your employees in a conference room! Damn. And use your real customers too. adds greater authenticity to your company and its online/ offline presence.
Other advantages of using a commercial photographer to produce bespoke images:
- Create the correct visual identity for you company
- You can tell an authentic story of your service or product to create trust and belief in your business
- Greater flexibly over copyright and usage rights
- Stock photography usually requires you to specify the size of file. The greater the resolution the higher price meaning that if you purchased an small image for the web but then wanted to use it on a pop up stand, the resolution of the image would not be suitable and you would have purchase the image again, only larger. Most photographers will provide you with high res files so this won’t be a problem