This month, I’m going to be focusing on stock photography.

In the next 4 weeks, you’ll learn all about stock photography, how it can help or hinder your brand and we’ll be playing stock photography 0’s and X’s!

This week we’re going to discover what a stock photo is, where you can get one, and why they are bad for your business.

Watch the video below or scroll down for the transcript.

What is a stock photo?

A stock photo is a particular image that has specific brief or focuses specific subject. Commonly created by professional photographers, it’s quite generic with its use.

Where can you get stock images from?

Stock images commonly fall under two categories, free, which have a Creative Commons licence, or paid for where you buy a licence of one usage or a multiple of usages. You can buy a licence of use from sites like Getty Images, from Adobe Stock Imagery, and because you’re buying that licence, normally the quality of that image is going to be higher than say the free sites. For free sites, have a look at Pixabay and most arguably the most popular site out there, Unsplash.

Unsplash is an interesting site, as anyone can submit an image to it and big companies like Slack, Trello, and Squarespace are big fans of Unsplash. It sparks some controversy in the photography world, as it’s such a popular site and contributors are only paid in exposure.

Professionally, I’m not a fan of Unsplash, because the contributors aren’t renumerated. I have used it, and I feel the quality of the imagery on there is very very good.

Why is stock photography bad for your business?

Firstly, let’s get real here. I’m not telling or advising you never to use a stock imagery website, but I want you to think a bit deeper on how you could do this better.

Stock photography steals your brand’s authentic voice. These types of images were created to be impersonal and fit as many opportunities and briefs as they can. I’d expect you wouldn’t want your brand to be generic and lacking in personality.

Stock photography undermines your brand’s authenticity. You can’t afford to allow your visuals to weaken your brand’s impact. Using stock photography devalues the trust the customer has in your brand. And that’s a value you cannot afford to lose.

Don’t allow your brand to be muddied by being generic. Clients are savvy these days and can tell the difference between a stock image and a really authentic image which has been created for your company.

Stock photography can even be costly when it’s free. I’ve mentioned previously about free images having a Creative Commons licence or paid images where you’re paying for the use of that image and buying a licence of use. Have you ever gone onto Google, searched for an image, found it, and used it? I’m sorry to tell you, you may have broken copyright law.

If you have used an image from Google or online without permission, you are running the risk of being fined. Here’s a rule of thumb to stick to. If you don’t know what kind of licence the image has, just don’t use it. It’s not worth the risk.

I’ve covered the reasons why stock photography is bad for your business.

What can you do about it?

Create your own images.

I get it, there are 101 things that you need to do and taking your own images is way down on the list. I’m going to be blunt with you. Do it, try it. Make some time.

You always have your phone in your pocket, so might as well use it when you’re out and about. You’ll get some great images and the more you take, the better you’ll get. And if you really don’t have the time or you can’t make the time, hire a professional to do it for you.

I’d like to share with you a mini case study of a client that I worked with in 2018, VNC Automotive.

They came to me because they wanted to expand their staff and hire some amazing people, but they found that from the feedback they were getting, their recruitment website just wasn’t up to scratch. It didn’t have a personality. Each staff member got two headshots and there was a really good selection of imagery of them working, having a meeting, and generally socialising and the kind of atmosphere VNC Automotive had.

I spent half a day with them shooting portraits and doing some marketing collateral they could use on their website to show their personality and what it was like to work with them.

The outcome of these images actually helped recruit more staff and I’m really pleased to hear that 2019 is going to be an amazing year for them.

Do you need help with creating unique imagery for your business? Why don’t you book a free discovery call with me? I would love to help.

So in the next three weeks, I’ll be focusing on stock photography and I’m so excited about next week. We’re gonna be playing stock photography noughts and crosses, woohoo!

Are you excited? You better be. So, don’t miss next week. It’s going to be great. I want you to all be involved. And it’s going to be amazing.

Are you in?

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