Should I use original or stock photography?

Let’s say you just finished writing a new blog for your website and would like to add some images to further your point and add interest. Ideally, you would have a professional photographer capture and provide perfect, unique photography for you. However, sometimes this is not always possible or practical. So how do you know when to go with original photography or use stock photography? There are many factors in deciding whether to hire a professional photographer or to search online for photography to purchase.

First, let’s talk about the image itself. If the required photograph is of your company’s unique product, then using stock photography would not be a good choice. By using original photography of your product, you are in complete control of how your brand and product are represented. This control allows you to portray your brand accurately. On the other hand, if you are in search of an image of a dog, you could easily turn to finding a stock photograph to fulfill your needs.

Another factor in deciding whether to go with original or stock photography is time. With tight time frames, going with a professional photographer is sometimes just not possible. Hiring the photographer, scheduling a photoshoot, paying for a stylist and a professional retoucher, can take quite a bit of time. Similarly, searching through thousands of stock photographs to find the perfect image can take hours. And oftentimes, after you find a suitable image, it needs to be tweaked to better represent your blog, advertisement, or website. And we all know that the longer a project takes, the more money is spent.

Which brings us to our last factor, which of course is budget. While it might seem less expensive to find and buy an image online, dealing with rights-managed or royalty-free photography can get quite pricey. And costs differ between using the image commercially versus personally. When using original photography, the price can vary greatly, depending on the amount of labor needed.

When confronted with the decision of whether to use original or stock photography, keeping in mind these factors will lead you in the correct direction:

  • Do you need to establish a personal connection?
  • What is your project’s timeline?
  • What is your budget?

If you choose to use original photography, remember that offers professional photography services. If your team needs new headshots or you are looking to update images on your website, contact us today!