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Stock Photos v Personal Photos

With millions of free stock photos at your disposal at all times, why would your company ever need anything else? The truth is, just using stock photography won’t cut it anymore on your social feeds and website. Your credibility and originality are on the line when you just stick with using stock photos.

Credibility is everything

Having team and personal photos on your website, social media, and ads instead of stock photos give your company credibility. When customers see photos that look like stock photos, they don’t feel very trusting of the company. Seeing a company’s employees in their everyday workday gives customers a glimpse into who they are working with and trusting in. Whether we like it or not, stock photos can look like a scam if you’re not careful. A lot of scamming sites or emails use regular run-of-the-mill stock photos so when a legitimate company uses them, they make themselves look cheaper. The bottom line is people want to see real people and real situations, not a staged stock photo.

Being original has never been more important

Having team photos gives your social feed some originality. When a stock photo is used, there is a risk of using a photo that every other competitor used for their social media as well. When you want a company to stand out, using an over-used stock photo is not going to send that message. A sure way to see if a photo is overused is to do a reverse search on it using It will show you all the places where that stock photo is used. If you have to use stock photography, you can at least make sure you aren’t using photos that are overused. When you’re thinking of using a stock photo, ask yourself if you can take a similar photo in real life.

The timing of it all

Some might argue that using a stock photo is easier and takes less time. While in some instances this may be true, using your own photos doesn’t have to take too long or require too much effort. Most smartphones today have incredible cameras on them that can easily take high-quality images. Instead of spending half an hour being frustrated at not finding the photo that had you envisioned, try to think of ways you can create the photo yourself. Taking the photo yourself gives you flexibility and options. Even if taking your own photos takes a little more time, it’s worth the positive impact that personal photos can have on your brand.

Stock Photos are not the enemy

Even though this whole text is about how stock photos aren’t as effective as real-life team photos, stock photos still have their place. While their place isn’t in the spotlight, they can still be useful as space fillers such as a background for text or a small element in a custom graphic. Make the photo your own by adding some kind of artistic flair using filters, type, color blocking, or cropping. Stock photography isn’t the enemy but just make sure you’re balancing it out with personal photos of your team and office to make your brand stand out!

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