Stock Photography vs. Custom Photography – How to Choose the Right Option for Your Needs

You have a business and you need images for your web site or printed material. Perhaps you’re going to create some type of advertising campaign or you’re attending a business convention. You know you will need images to promote your business but the cost of hiring a photographer is much higher compared to using stock photography.

If you’re building a web site or creating printed material such as a brochure, you will definitely need to take your own pictures or hire a photographer if you need images of your products. If you provide a service such as asphalt paving or lawn care, then you may be able to use stock images. Providing examples of what you do may suffice.

If you’re a small outfit doing driveway asphalt sealing and basic repairs, select images that are equivalent to what you’re doing. You won’t want to choose images that imply you have dump trucks and can do large scale or industrial projects. Asphalt paving equipment can be quite extensive depending on the scale of service a company can provide and you don’t want to give the impression you can do more than what you’re truly capable of.

It's the same with a small lawn care service. If you’re one guy with a push lawn mower, you won’t want to use images that show professional grade equipment. It will be a waste of your time getting calls for quotes or properties that are beyond your capabilities. Pictures of a nice, manicured lawn may suffice. You could perhaps take some pictures yourself showing actual work you’ve done but a quality image from a stock agency such as Dreamstime may have a better look than a picture taken on a cellphone on a cloudy day.

Many businesses attend industry conventions in order to find clients and generate sales. If you have a display or booth, you will definitely want to have images to help you stand out from your competition. Photographs can be printed on vinyl banners or canvas walls and other materials. Booth design is a topic in itself but what images should you use? If you want a calming type of display, you might want a field or forest background in the back of your booth. In that case stock photography will work just fine. You may need to edit the image to include text of your company name or web site.

If it’s prudent to have photos in your booth showing the brick and mortar building of your company, then you’ll need to search for a photographer who will capture quality images of your facility.

As you can see, utilizing stock photography for promoting your business can be cost effective and help you stand out from your competition. If you use images that demonstrate your business or service and on a level that you can perform, online stock will meet your needs. Many services only need a nice background scene that portrays peace and tranquility or anything themed that describes your business or service in a generic way. Or you may want a simple banner for an online web site.

A professional photographer may be required to photograph specific parts and equipment that you provide. If you need a picture of the building or location of your business, hiring a photographer may be required.There may be cases where you can cut costs by using stock photography and hiring a photographer only for a smaller set of images that you need. It will be a win for you if you can show the boss that utilizing stock images can lower the budget for an upcoming shoot with a professional photographer.

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