Should I use stock images on my website or professional photography?

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  • 27 April 2022

If you’re currently in the process of designing your website, you might be wondering which images to use. Adding images is essential since it not only helps to bring your product to life but increases views and clicks. This, in turn, improves your search engine ranking. However, you might be wondering “Should I use stock images on my website or professional photography?” This is a common question we get asked here at jask Media. Read on to find out the answer. 

Stock images vs professional photography

Should I use stock images on my website or professional photography?

One decision you’ll need to make is whether to use stock images or professional photography on your website. If you ask most website designers, they will recommend getting photos professionally taken since this generally achieves better results. However, stock images can sometimes prove useful. Keep reading to learn more about stock images and professional photography for websites. 

What are stock images?

Many people have heard of stock images but often aren’t sure what exactly they are. Stock photos are available either for free or bought. The photographer retains the ownership and determines the parameters for how each image can be used. Stock photography normally features a generic object or scene that shows a specific idea or example. 

Landscapes, architecture, technology, animals and staged lifestyle scenes using actors are common subjects in stock photos. Whilst stock photos are often frowned upon, they can sometimes prove useful if you need to access quality images quickly or you don’t have the budget for professional photos. 

Consider copyright rules

If you decide to use stock images on your website, it’s important to consider the copyright rules. Unfortunately, you can’t simply pull any photo you want from Google images and use it to promote your business. Many images are subject to copyright rules, which means you can’t use them without permission. If you find an image you want to use, look carefully are the licensing and terms of use. Make sure to look at the terms of use and licensing that may come with the image. This will let you how you’re able to use it without breaking copyright rules. 

Wherever you source stock photos from, it’s vital to ensure that you’re using them as the original photographer intended. If you want to avoid the complications that can come with using copyrighted images, you may want to opt for professional photography instead. When you invest in professional photos, you’ll own the rights to them, which means you can use them however and whenever you want. 

Why professionally photography is the better option 

Should I use stock images on my website or professional photography?

Many people choose to use stock images due to them being highly accessible and lower cost. They also look better than photos taken poorly on a phone. However, stock imagery is, in general, a bad substitute for a custom photoshoot. Not only could you damage your search engine rankings by using an image that has been used elsewhere but it can also compromise your brand identity. Many companies might have used the exact same image, even potentially your competitors. 

There are definitely negative connotations for brands using the same stock photos to represent the same concepts. It becomes particularly problematic if a stock photo you’re using is similar to another site that created a negative experience for a visitor. They could subconsciously project this bad experience onto your stock photos, reducing trust in your brand and adding friction to the buying process.

Better Quality Images

When asking “Should I use stock images on my website or professional photography?”, consider that poor quality images can cheapen your brand by communicating to the consumer that it’s impersonal and untrustworthy. Your customers may view your company as unprofessional or unreliable. However, photos that have been taken professionally can enhance your business’s image, improving your reputation whilst also driving visitors to your website and encouraging social shares. 

Investing in professional photos for your website can help you to achieve your business goals. According to a study by MDG Advertising, 67% of shoppers online rated high-quality images as “very important” to their purchase decisions – more than “product specific information,” “long descriptions,” and “product reviews and ratings”.Professional photography for websites is likely to be more expensive than stock photos. However, you can expect higher quality photos that achieve better results for your business. You might be considering opting for stock photos to save money, however, they can be costly depending on where you source them from. Whilst there are sites that offer stock photos for free, some feature very poor images and you’re likely to spend longer finding the right image for your web design.

Hire experienced website designers in Doncaster 

When you hire jask Media to design your website, we can assist with images making sure they not only help to explain your products and services effectively but strengthen your brand identity. Some people underestimate the importance of quality images on their website but we understand just how essential they are for driving your business forward online. 

We’ve designed websites for hundreds of businesses throughout the Doncaster area, becoming renowned for our professionalism and affordable prices. Whether your business is already established or you’re a start-up looking to get off the ground, we can assist. We can help you source high-quality images that represent your company in the best possible light.

Contact us 

For advice on arranging professional photography for your website, talk to the team at jask Media. As leading website designers in Doncaster, we’re confident we can assist you with your needs. Call us on 01302 969019 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, send us a message via our website and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.