Professional Video Production

5 Reasons Not To Use Stock Photos

real photos vs stock photos

You’ve heard me say before that images are incredibly powerful when it comes to online marketing and social media, but I want to go over why I think it’s important to use real pictures as opposed to stock photography. 

1. Emotion

A “real” picture is one you take with your smartphone or your camera. Real pictures bring out emotion. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about a stock photo that looks like you’re being marketed to, and it just doesn’t have an authentic feel to it. On the other hand, a real picture of an employee or a project draws you in and you end up saying, “Oh, wow, I know that person!” or “That’s a really cool-looking product or service!” It creates more engagement than a stock photo does. Every single time, without fail, when we post pictures of a company’s employees or staff, those pictures get tons more reach than any other pictures. This happens because people can see that there’s someone there that’s real, and they can really get a sense of the essence of the company. 

2. Authenticity

The pictures you take are authentic. One of the problems with getting a stock photo online is that you’re not the only one getting that same stock photo. That picture can be used by many different companies and when you use it it just doesn’t separate you from those other companies. Your pictures show your company and your work, not someone else’s, and no one else can use your pictures. 

3. Legality

which segues me into point number three, which is that if you took the picture, you can legally use it. Many people do not know this, but you can’t go to Google images and save a picture and use it as your own. That’s technically copyright infringement because someone else owns that photo. If you’ve been doing that, please stop! It’s just so much easier to use your own picture, and that there are no legal issues to worry about.

4. Cost

It’s more cost-effective to use your own photos. You often have to pay to use stock photos. For some of them you have to invest in a stock photo license—we have one here at Market With Mario because we do use some stock photos in some of our blogs. But if you use your own pictures, you don’t have to invest money into that stock photo license. And if you use your own photography it will perform a lot better, with a greater reach, so you’re going to receive a lot more of a return on that investment. It’s definitely a cost-effective strategy to use your own pictures. 

5. Show your work!

The fifth reason, and in my opinion one of the most important ones, is to show off your real work! For instance, if you build custom pools and landscapes, sure you can go get a stock photo of this awesome pool. But if it’s not your work, then you’re not really showing off what you can do. What I recommend is to go out and take really good before and after pictures of the yard that you just transformed, and put that out there for people. Without you even having to say it, people can see that you do outstanding work and they’re going to want to use you for their next project. They’re going to refer you as well. So whenever you can take pictures of your work, as opposed to just using stock photography like everybody else is.

I hope that this helps in getting you some more visual stimuli for your social media platforms, your blog posts, etc. Get out that iPhone, get out that Galaxy, whatever camera that you have, take horizontal pictures, and watch the leads and the revenue flow in!

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