Stock photos are photos created by freelance photographers and random individuals. After they have been created, these photos are sent by their creators to stock photography websites such as Depositphotos for approval. Once approved, they are hosted for online sales in terms of their usage rights and not ownership rights.
Stock photos are popular among billions of users worldwide. However, just like every other field or industry, using stock photography to source one’s photography needs has its own pros and cons. An overview of these has been explained below.
The Pros of Using Stock Photography
Stock Photography websites keep their websites updated and upload content almost every day to ensure the uninterrupted availability of millions of files to their users.
Using images from stock photography websites makes it easier for people short of time to find an image, video or music clip as per their requirements in no time. if you are working on a project which has a deadline approaching or you are working on back to back projects and do not have time arrange for real photos, stock photos are your savior.
Stock photo websites who take their services seriously try to cover all genres of photography, music and video clips in their library files. In this way, they offer a range of designs to their customers so that they can find the content they can relate to their project’s requirements too.
Hassle-Free & Cost-Efficient
Last but not the least; Stock photos are one of the most cost-efficient methods of arranging good quality photos. They do not require hiring professionals and managing models or sets where the photography would take place. Simply, go to the website sign up click on the image and use them. Using stock photos saves time, energy and money.
The Cons of Using Stock Photography
While stock photography is much appreciated for its cost efficiency and timeliness, many larger corporations and high-level professionals do not approve of it. The main reason for disapproving stock photos is cited as a lack of authenticity in the creators’ works. Almost every other creator replicates one or two most hit themes or designs and rarely comes up with an authentic idea of their own.
Since the designs or content are inspired by one or two main hit themes, the content whether audio, video or graphic lacks creativity too. This is exactly why top-notch industry professionals and marketing heads never entertain the idea of using stock photos.
Accessed/Used by Anyone
Another con of using stock photos as cited by the high-level professionals is that stock photography website content can be accessed and used by almost anyone. Stock photography website content cannot be bought for exclusive use by any organization no matter how high a price be paid.
Limited Use Because Of License Guidelines
Each stock photography website has its own set of guidelines about how its content should be used and how not. This limits the users’ ability by limiting their rights to use it.
Does Not Help In Positing You Among Competitors
Since stock photography limits a users’ right to use in ways other than specified by the owner in guidelines, it is not really a good option if you are trying to create content to help you position yourself among your competitors and make an impression in your customers’ eyes.
Might Not Resonate Well with Your Customer
What if another website used the same design before as you are using now but they scammed a customer. Since the images form a brand’s perception in the human mind, this image can come across and form an image quite otherwise of what you wanted it too.
Gives Off The Image That Probably You Are A Poor User
Since it is widely believed that stock photos are used by people and entities on a low budget, using a clichéd image or content can give off a ‘poor person’ vibe. People might perceive you as someone who resorted to using stock photography website’s resources since there no choice left out of poverty, even if you are capable of affording better options but opted for a stock photography website for any other reason.
According to a study, customers respond more to an original photo than to a much-repeated stock photography website image.
Considering the pros and cons listed above, it can be deduced that stock photography can be a good option for low budget businesses or for one-off use. However, for people or entities trying to carve their niche and make an impression on their customers’ minds, it is not a preferred or even much-appreciated method. Since it might not help you achieve the goal you have in mind, rather, turn your customers away.