Custom vs. Stock Photography In Web Design
Using custom photography in web design is time-consuming and expensive compared with using stock photography, so the question is: Is custom photography worth it? I think the answer is a definite yes, and here is why.
Take Your Site to the Next Level
Custom photography can turn a ho-hum site into one that rocks around the clock. (If lead generation is part of your strategy, then a handful of leads a year makes up the cost — and then some — of the custom photography.)
If budgeting is an issue, use custom photographs selectively, on pages that get the most views and have the most impact on conversions.
To further adjust for budget issues, consider high-end stock images that are more eye-catching than those stock photos you see every day.
Gain credibility with customers and prospects. When they see your actual staff and actual facilities, they’ll know you’re a real organization — and not one made out of smoke and mirrors.
Custom photography lets site visitors know you don’t cut corners, that you value them enough to make a good first impression. No company wants a reputation for being cheapskates.
Today’s site visitors spend a lot of time online, so they’ve seen those stock photo faces and offices again and again. Using them not only makes your site bland, it may lead visitors to conclude your company is not only unimaginative, but also unaware of how unimaginative it is!
This last point illustrates the real problem with stock photography. The few great images out there are overused to the max; to stand out with stock photos, you thus need to use ones that aren’t so great. There’s really no escape from this dilemma other than custom images.
A serious weakness of stock photography is that the images look staged, not like real situations. C’mon, does anyone who works for you put on a cheesy smile and give a thumbs-up to the camera?
When you capture employees in their work environment, you make your company real, something to which visitors can relate. This makes all the difference in the world when you are trying to persuade people to believe you, trust you and do business with you.