Custom Imaging: Why to say 'NO!' to stock images
Stock photographs are cheap, easy and common. Don't be tempted by the "cheap and easy" route, be authentic. Be unique. Visual images are a cornerstone in today's brand-marketing, yet we see respectable brands using average stock photos that undermine the credibility of their standards.
Nowadays, there's plenty of very good paid stock photo options available. In fact, some sites even sell exclusivity over the use of the images they're selling. They're pretty danged good, and they may satisfy some branding needs. But, while building your brand you likely aspired to present with a high level of authenticity. As such, stock photographs will not allow you to stay true to that goal. How can clients be expected to stand behind a company that won't even stand behind its own image?
Work With A Professional
Stock photos can be good for product shots, and some other generic office photos. You may even be able to take a nice clean pic yourself, but you may find that these images aren't as good as the ones made by a professional photographer using high-quality equipment. A pro will be far more help than just being a fella with lighting and lenses that exceed the quality of your smartphone. A pro can help with composition and visual storytelling.
YOU Are A Member Of YOUR Creative Team
As you begin this process, it's important to plan the visual story you want told. What do you want to say? Are you a Personal Trainer who wants to show how committed you are to encouraging and educating people about the benefits of living a healthy and happy lifestyle? Are you a makeup artist who wants to show your skill and experience enhancing the beauty of others while maintaining a sanitary and diverse kit? Are you a home builder who wants to show your ability to manage an array of Trades while assembling a luxurious custom home for your home-buyers? All of this can be expressed effectively through visual storytelling.
Your Product Is Your Product
Don't forget that your product is your product. While your logo may be pretty shnazzy, the most important thing you can sell is your product or service. While photographs are something that can simplify your branding through authenticity, please don't let this process consume your company by eating into valuable time and resources.
Plan The Story You Want Told
Some businesses prefer a more casual and approachable image. Some businesses prefer a more composed, "prim and proper" aesthetic for their branding. Whatever you decide, be sure to apply a consistent visual story. A mixed bag of random stock photos can often do more harm than good.
You are not standard. You are not common. Show your uniqueness authentically with custom photography and be seen how you should be seen!